Mobile apps might be getting the lion’s share of attention (and ad dollars) right now, but marketers ignore the mobile web at their own peril.
Users spend significantly more time in-app than on the mobile web, according to data from comScore, but the mobile web drew more than double the number of unique visitors in June 2017.
These mobile web users often rely on search to serve a short-lived, immediate desire, such as finding a nearby restaurant. More and more consumers add the phrase "near me" when searching for services and products. And with more than half of searches now taking place on mobile devices by Google’s count, marketers need to ensure that they’re delivering a web experience optimized for smartphones.
Webpages also need to be as fast as possible—data shows that faster page load times equate to lower bounce rates and higher conversions.
eMarketer’s new report, "Mobile Optimization: How Mobile-First Indexing and New Technologies Like Instant Apps Are Changing the Game," explains what marketers need to know about several new changes and technologies—most of which are backed by Google—intended to make the mobile web less clunky.
In the latest episode of eMarketer's "Behind the Numbers" podcast, analyst Rahul Chadha discusses the significance of the mobile web.
Among them are Google’s shift to mobile-first indexing, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), Android Instant Apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Instant apps and PWAs, in particular, are blurring the line between the mobile web and the native app to create a more seamless user experience.
In one example detailed in the report, ecommerce platform Hollar found that its instant app had helped to drive sales among potential customers hesitant to download the company’s full native app.
“[The instant app] has allowed us to be more efficient in converting what I call the ‘undecided’ app user, who allows us into their device—at least temporarily—for a better experience,” said James Ho, vice president of product development at Hollar. “They get all the benefits of a highly converting, highly engaging install path, without us ever having to get in their face about trying our app.”
In other words, instead of trying to force potential customers into its native app, Hollar’s strategy was to use its instant app to provide a better experience than the one it could provide on the mobile web.
Hollar’s instant app experiment also yielded an unforeseen marketing insight. It found that much of its best converting traffic resulted from email messaging—not search, as it had expected.
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