Skip to Content

The mobile purchasing journey is full of twists and turns. With shoppers enthralled by the thrill of the hunt, research has become more important than ever. Searching for the best products, deals, and reviews, people switch between apps and mobile sites before making a final decision. This new consumer behavior requires a tandem effort among app and mobile web teams as shoppers expect friction-free research experiences and seamless points of sale. Yet many organizations still silo these teams, resulting in fragmented user experiences. If that describes your organization, here are three reasons why you may want to make sure your mobile marketing teams are collaborating going forward.

1. People use apps and mobile sites interchangeably

The lines continue to blur between apps and mobile sites. On average, a mobile shopping session contains at least six visits to an app and/or mobile site,1 and nearly half of those sessions include at least one transition between a mobile site and an app.2

Our research found one person who went through eight steps and used mobile sites and apps when booking travel for an upcoming conference: “I just have to make sure I’m getting the best value, the best deal. It provides me peace of mind, verification, knowing I’m being economical.”

1243 Inline 01

For marketers, it’s important to understand how people are engaging with both platforms. Whether they’re using an app to save with coupons or browsing mobile sites to survey inventory, shoppers find value in both. That’s why it’s important to spend time with your user insights and site analytics to tailor the experience wherever possible.

2. People switch to apps from mobile sites because they find them easier to use

People expect faster and seamless experiences on mobile, especially when browsing, researching, or purchasing. We learned that people will switch from a mobile site to an app because they perceive the app to be easier to navigate (47%) or make a purchase (40%), or because it can save them time in the checkout process (37%).3

Top three reasons people will switch from a mobile site to an app when browsing, researching, or purchasing:

1243 Inline 02 V2

“For me, apps are almost like a speed-dial button,” one person told us. “They’re for really regular things. They’re like a console, and you only want a certain number of things in your console, and you want to know what they are.”

But an app needs to be useful and well trusted if it’s going to take up precious real estate on a phone. “I’ve got to really need the app,” another person said. “It’s got to make my life easier, and I generally will need to have heard about it from someone else.”

Mobile marketing teams need to work together to provide consistent and seamless experiences for users to avoid abandonment. Understand exactly why users are switching between platforms so you can solve gaps in experience.

3. People switch to mobile sites from apps because they’re more useful in accessing information

Consumers expect frictionless experiences on mobile sites. In fact, they expect them to be as easy to use as mobile apps.

“Websites are getting much better on your phone,” explained one person. “When you go to one, they ask if you want to change to the mobile version, and if you do that, it’s pretty much like an app. But it needs to be really good and clear for shopping. If not, I’ll think I can go somewhere else to get more information.”

If a mobile site is as easy to use as an app, users may not be compelled to use both platforms. “If I am purchasing an item online, I do not use the app because I feel that the [mobile] website is smooth enough. There is no need to download the app,” said someone else.

Added another person, “[one brand’s] site was an actual pleasure to use. It’s well laid out, with all the products, and big green buttons there, with big pictures. At no point did the site make me question my purchase or make me think I needed their app.”

In some instances, people will switch from a mobile app to a mobile site when browsing, researching, or purchasing. The top three reasons they switch is because they want to go directly to the source (40%); they are more familiar with the mobile site (38%); or they’re looking to broaden their search (38%).4

Top three reasons people will switch from an app to a mobile site when browsing, researching, or purchasing:

1243 Inline 03

Marketers debating whether they need to invest in an app should first evaluate whether their mobile site experience can meet the demands on their customers. If a customer can get what they want quickly and easily from a mobile site—and can effectively build a positive relationship with a brand via its mobile site—then a mobile app may not be needed.