On a daily basis, we use websites, web apps, and native apps. But what is the big difference between these three, and why is a web app an exciting option for marketers? Our web app developers Tom De Buyser and Jens De Craecker reveal the magic of web apps.
A web app contains more business logic than a website. A website is often used for displaying static information. A web app includes every element of a website but offers more complexity.
For example, a web app gives you more opportunities to integrate interaction, usually through forms, user flows, …. The visible data is adaptable, and new data can be added easily (e.g., products). A big difference between a web app and a native app is that you don't have to download a web app from the stores. Another critical difference is that with native apps, you need to update manually; with a web app, this happens automatically.
6 reasons why we believe marketers need web apps
1. Google x web apps
One of the big advantages of a web app is that it can be easily found using search engines like Google. What’s the first thing people do when they are looking for something? Right, they Google it. Most of the time, they will use a keyword that will lead them to a page that is accessible via the web. So, if you have a website or web app, it will be the first touchpoint for your potential customers.
Searching for a native app is not yet our habit. That’s because native apps can only be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play Store. Being found on Google is thus very important because, as a marketer, you want as many people as possible to find your business online. That's why our second reason will also be interesting for you.
2. High ranking
The findability of a web app is the same as that of a website. Your company's rankings on Google can be optimized with the same SEO/SEA strategies used for a website. If you do it well, you will benefit from it in the long run! SEO can ensure that you receive a good position in the search results for your target audience. SEA, on the other hand, revolves around the advertising part. Once approved, they will be shown with the relevant search terms. And it will lead to more clicks, visitors, and customers.
3. Custom URLs
This is a very useful feature for a marketer. Especially when you are promoting campaigns, let’s say that you want your ad to link through to a landing page of your website, then a great feature to use is a campaign-specific name. A good example is https://isitchristmas.com/. As you can see, you can choose whatever you like, as long as the domain name is still available.
Did you know that if you buy a domain name, you can customize your email as well?
Major OS updates often bring significant changes. As web apps run in the browser, and the browser does not depend on the OS, changes within an OS will not affect the browser itself, and thus it does not affect your web app. This is different from a native application; it runs directly on the OS, which means that an update of the OS can break the application.
Native app users often have to install new updates in the app. And we all know that not everyone does this as conscientiously. This results in not everyone having the latest version of your app. With a web app, you just have to go to the URL; as a user, you always have the newest version of the app. Super convenient. New OS versions don’t impact web apps, which is also convenient. And finally, a web app is accessible from any device in the world with any screen size, as long as it has a browser.
A web app is available on any device. It makes no difference in iOS or Android, so there’s no need to create different app versions. And the app looks the same on every device. Configuring native apps also takes a lot of time. For example, to publish an app in the Apple store, you first need to sign up for the Apple Developer Program, prepare your app for submission, create your App Store listing, make screenshots,… to, eventually, end up with an app review that can last for weeks.
Think of Netflix for example, a very well-known web app. You can watch it on any screen you like. Never ever have to do an update to get the latest shows in your feed.
6. Easy to tease
It’s easy to surprise your target audience or tease them with your latest features. Very useful when pushing campaigns or specific promotions. Think of a themed holiday month, a special anniversary look, … all possible, and you’re sure everyone gets to see it without updating first.
Uber eats for example can easily push promotions, special actions, and campaigns to their customers. With the certainty that they will all see it once they open the application and get ready to order.
Web apps are more than you expected right? Did you know we have a lot of experience building them? Look at how we can help you set up the right digital product for your needs.