Mobile Apps Work Better Than Mobile Websites for Customer Retention

Mike Martinez

By Mike Martinez

It’s true, a mobile web­site is a manda­to­ry func­tion­al­i­ty to con­nect with poten­tial buy­ers. But if you want to keep your cus­tomers con­nect­ed and all you’re offer­ing is a mobile web­site, then you’re going to rapid­ly fall behind and fade into the back­ground while those stores with mobile apps shoot to the fore­ground.

No trend in mar­ket­ing is more stag­ger­ing than the actu­al amount of time that peo­ple are spend­ing with mobile apps, and how fast their dai­ly mobile app usage time is grow­ing:

  • In just one year, from 2011 to 2012, the total time spent on mobile web¬≠sites grew by 22 per¬≠cent.  But time spent in mobile apps grew by almost 5 times that rate dur¬≠ing the same peri¬≠od. Time spent on apps is even catch¬≠ing up to the time spent watch¬≠ing TV!
  • Apps were cre¬≠at¬≠ed specif¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly to address the advan¬≠tages and lim¬≠i¬≠ta¬≠tions of the mobile envi¬≠ron¬≠ment. For exam¬≠ple, they bet¬≠ter exploit loca¬≠tion-based fea¬≠tures. They not only know where you are on the map but they can use the accelerom¬≠e¬≠ter in your device to know which way you‚Äôre fac¬≠ing. And rather than slow load¬≠ing, con¬≠stant¬≠ly refresh¬≠ing mobile web pages, apps are built for more tar¬≠get¬≠ed, spe¬≠cif¬≠ic pur¬≠pose use, goal based func¬≠tion¬≠al¬≠i¬≠ty.
  • Mobile web brows¬≠ing has suf¬≠fered from very slow con¬≠nec¬≠tion speeds. While this is improv¬≠ing, dozens of usabil¬≠i¬≠ty stud¬≠ies con¬≠firm that apps are speed¬≠i¬≠er, have a more user-friend¬≠ly inter¬≠face and sim¬≠ply get more peo¬≠ple where they want to go quick¬≠er. The small screen and fat fin¬≠ger-typ¬≠ing prob¬≠lem is inher¬≠ent to mobile, so speed makes or breaks a platform‚Äôs usabil¬≠i¬≠ty.
  • Mobile web¬≠sites require peo¬≠ple to spend thought and ener¬≠gy in order to get to them and the info they want to share. But apps, when inte¬≠grat¬≠ed with your DMS or oth¬≠er tar¬≠get¬≠ed life¬≠cy¬≠cle com¬≠mu¬≠ni¬≠ca¬≠tions sys¬≠tems, allow you to auto¬≠mat¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly send the cus¬≠tomer high¬≠ly tar¬≠get¬≠ed mes¬≠sages with option¬≠al push noti¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tions (per¬≠son¬≠al¬≠ized mes¬≠sages that pop up right on the customer‚Äôs screen).
  • And while mobile web¬≠sites are great for first time car buy¬≠ers, mobile apps are what keep them com¬≠ing back for future pur¬≠chas¬≠es (and even ser¬≠vice!).
  • Because mobile apps take a per¬≠ma¬≠nent res¬≠i¬≠dence on your customer‚Äôs screen, they keep your store clos¬≠er to the cus¬≠tomer than any oth¬≠er media plat¬≠form out there ‚ÄĒ even mobile web¬≠sites.

For more infor­ma­tion about the impor­tance of hav­ing a mobile app in today’s auto indus­try, go to and down­load your free copy of The Pock­et Rev­o­lu­tion: The Com­plete Guide to a Killer Mobile App, or pur­chase the Kin­dle eBook at

Mike Mar­tinez is Chief Mar­ket­ing Offi­cer of DMEau­to­mo­tive, the indus­try leader in sci­ence-based, results-dri­ven auto­mo­tive mar­ket­ing that pro­vides a range of mar­ket­ing ser­vices to the biggest and most inno­v­a­tive auto­mo­tive orga­ni­za­tions in the indus­try. For more infor­ma­tion, email



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