4 Reasons Native Apps Give Higher ROI Than Other Channels

February 9, 2017

Smartphone adoption has run deeper and spread faster than any other technological trend before. But with small screen sizes and Apple’s closed system is it still an effective marketing channel?

Today over 80% of people aged 13+ in the US own a smartphone. This widespread adoption has given marketers huge incentives to direct more and more ad spend towards mobile. Mobile channels such as web, sms text, QR codes, bluetooth, and native apps are expected to have over 15% compound annual growth rate until 2021.

If you want to create a native app for your business you need to make a serious investment. Hiring a good freelancer or US based mobile agency will cost you tens of thousands of dollars and requires a significant amount of your time. For a lot of marketers this investment is too high risk, so instead, they focus on lower barriers-of-entry forms of advertising.

At App Partner, we specialize in developing native apps for various business needs. Developing over 200 apps has shown us just how profitable this investment can be. Here are four reasons we have seen these apps, despite their price tags, provide a higher ROI than other marketing channels.

Apps Are Where Time and Attention Is Spent

In 2013 the number of mobile users overtook the desktop users and continues to increase at a growing rate. According to expressPigeon, 50% of smartphone users grab their phone immediately upon waking up. Throughout the day people continue to check their phones constantly, averaging 150-200 times a day.

A SmartInsights report says 72-86% of this usage happens in native apps instead of mobile web. Even the most advanced mobile web apps can’t compete with the sophistication and UX that native apps provide. In a world where brands are constantly battling for consumer attention, there is no better channel than a native app.

Location Specific Campaigns

The “in your pocket” network access that mobile devices provide has revolutionized the way we use the internet. Mobile internet usage is much more fragmented than desktop usage. People are able to look up specific things whenever they have a “I want to learn more” moment. Google has coined these moments “micro-moments”, which stimulate instances in which consumers are very willing to make purchase decisions.

It is crucial for marketers to facilitate these high-intent moments, and deliver the content and products that the consumer wants, exactly when they want it. A native app with GPS capabilities allow marketers to get a much better idea of when and where these micro-moments occur. With this information, timely push notifications can promote location-based products and services very effectively.

These location specific campaigns target consumers exactly when and where they are most likely to make a purchase. Without a native app, it’s almost impossible for marketers to take advantage of this new way consumers are using the internet.

Push Notification Channel

With the sea of information and headlines consumers are bombarded by it is a necessity for businesses to find a way to stand out, while still respecting privacy and personal boundaries. When it comes to mobile, there are limited options. SMS text is often seen as too invasive, on the other hand, email is overly saturated leading to low engagement rates.

Push notifications are the perfect balance. They are easy to opt in and out of, are not overly saturated, and are hard for the user to miss. Push notifications are a programmatic channel meaning they can be highly personalized and optimized to best fit a huge range of different business objectives.

Long Shelf Life for Repeated Engagement

Advertising is no longer a one-way street. Marketers realize that if they want to persuade consumers to buy their product they need to provide the consumers with value too. Content marketing, however, can be difficult to scale, due to the high volume of content continually required to engage large amounts of readers.

Over the past few years, marketers have begun to see much higher ROI through web tools. Tools such as CoSchedule’s headline analyzer, and Hubspot’s website grader are great examples of such tools. Individuals find repeated value in using these tools, no matter if it’s their first time or their 100th. Web tools allow businesses to build one time, and reap the benefits for years to come.

An effective mobile app functions in very much the same way. A well-done mobile app can continually engage potential customers for years to come. The Nike+ Run Club app allows a community of runners to log runs and encourage each other. Nike uses this mobile real-estate to upsell their running gear and other products to their exact target audience. By investing in a high-quality mobile app, they have created this channel for themselves that will continue to provide revenue years and years after development.