What does the future hold for my website?

In late November 2014, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article entitled “The Web is dying; apps are killing it” emphasising the continued rise and strength of apps in modern technology. But this isn’t a recent observation - Steve Jobs was noting the increased reliance on apps back at the turn of this decade.

So what, if any, is the risk to the humble website? Today, there are more users reaching for a mobile than using their desktop and apps are dominating usage on the mobile web. According to Flurry, in 2014 users spent 86% of their time on mobile devices using apps, a rise from 80% in 2013.

 App image

Users want to get to their answer faster, websites can take time to load and considerable time can be spent navigating to the information required, compared with a well-designed app where responses are almost instantaneous. With the rise in mobile web usage and increased reliance on apps, some brands are quite rightly focusing on serving their customer needs through bespoke apps as a complimentary channel to their wider online offering.

Add into the mix the growth in the use of voice commands (think Siri, Cortana, etc) and you can begin to see the potential role of the website diminishing, particularly in some consumer sectors such as retail.

We have recently undertaken a number of studies for clients where we have reviewed their online offer, speaking with existing and potential customers to understand their strengths and weaknesses and often apps have been spoken about in positive tones.

A significant proportion of heating engineers, for example already use apps such as Gasrate and Gaschecker and industry leading offers such as the Ideal Spec app are highly praised by those in the industry. We know from our own research in the plumbing sector that it is particularly (although not exclusively) younger plumbers who are adopting this technology.

For this audience the smartphone is absolutely key to their business’s operation. As well as using this device to showcase their own work and communicate with customers, well over half are regularly running work related apps.

Whether or not the role of the internet is actually diminishing (and unsurprisingly, there is plenty of evidence online to the contrary!), brands need to consider the impact of the significant rise in usage of mobile web and apps and ensure their offer meets the varying needs and demands of their sector.

By Richard Mace, Associate Director

This entry was tagged Trades, Mobile, Insight, Technology, Mobile research, Apps and posted on June 26, 2015

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