Native apps fall way short of the mark!

A couple of years ago during the boom of native mobile apps, every restaurant rushed to create a dedicated mobile-based application for its business. A few businesses even went a step ahead and developed multiple applications with specific functions such as one for online ordering, one for loyalty programs and for reservations.

And then there were some businesses that had independent apps for tablets and mobiles. In the end, the consumer was left with apps for specific uses such as making a reservation, exploring the menu or loyalty programs; All for one single restaurant business. Now imagine the predicament of people that fancy eating-out and frequent eateries far and near. What’s going to happen when every restaurant business decides to have a different layout and interface for their mobile and desktop versions of their site? Quite a mess!

There just was no end to the plethora of native applications, enough to confuse a user to the point of giving up on it all. Couple this with the lack of an integrated strategy with respect to growth and what we have is a blank space of uncertainty and absence of clear metrics for measurable improvements and ROI. 

It is a well-known fact that users who engage more deeply from their phones tend to do so with mobile applications and not web browsers. Progressive Web Applications are known to offer more cohesion and a convenient platform for users to engage with the restaurant business in a growth-oriented mobility environment. A higher level of functionality ultimately makes it easier for mobile users to order food, or make a reservation. 

PWAs have been reported to increase the user session time, along with an increase in the number of user interactions. Forbes Magazine reported a 43 per cent increase in sessions per user with a PWA. It also reported a significant increase in average user time spent on the PWA.

In retrospect of native ios and android apps, PWAs are significantly cheaper to develop and easier to deploy as well as maintain. Developing a native application can cost somewhere in between $5,000 to upwards of $20,000 and even more. While PWAs can be developed in around quarter to half the price of a native application. 

Restaurant mobile-apps have failed to make the home screen

The restaurant sector has realized the inherent difficulties of getting their customers to download the native mobile application. Some businesses even incentivize the process for consumers, but to not much avail. McDonald’s once introduced the offer for free fries with downloading and installing the official mobile application. This has become somewhat of a tricky affair; To get a hungry customer to go to the app store and search for the restaurant there. As finding the right application (among multiple apps) seemed harder than performing brain surgery.

The slow and low-on-functionality native mobile applications have failed miserably at boosting growth and overall restaurant business. And with the reductions in our collective attention span, it is no surprise that standalone restaurant apps have fallen sideways in most cases. Add this to the glut of other ‘useful’ mobile apps fighting for your home screen space and we have a consumer problem at our hands.

The problems with traditional applications apply to restaurant apps as well. Consequently,  Progressive Web Apps can accomplish a lot more for business with a responsive web experience that fits both mobile and desktop screens. A big advantage of PWAs is the improved user experience. Inter-device compatibility allows for users to have the exact same layout and navigation experience for both mobile and desktop. The smooth and seamless experience prevents the early closure of the application. Users would often close out a website when it takes too long to load. PWAs will, under any circumstance, load quicker than the typical website.

In addition to this, visibility and searchability are perhaps two of the biggest problems with native mobile apps, when viewed from the focal lens of a purely business perspective. Following closely is retaining the user. Native mobile applications have been hilariously outperformed by PWAs when it comes to customer retention. 

Essentially, a PWA gives the user the option to save the website to their home screen. The user need not have to go through the Apple iTunes store or Android store for searching the application. That extra visibility allows your restaurant to increase engagement and maintain a heightened level of visibility. This presents more direct access to your website and allows users to find the site before they get to consider a wider search for ‘other’ local restaurants.

 

Mobile-responsive sites are not much for functionality

Beauty is important, but it cannot take precedence over utility. From the users POV, there is a clear-cut difference between websites that look fabulous and websites that highly functional (platforms that help users achieve their purpose). PWAs fare is much better than traditional apps as they help the consumer accomplish their task as well as a good navigating experience.  

Progressive Web Apps are acclaimed for the higher level of functionality, which makes it easier for mobile users to order food, or make a reservation. PWAs help build digital loyalty, as they provide a higher level of user engagement. This also makes PWas as the most-suited platform for coupons or promotions.
PWAs are a game-changer for restaurants, the next phase of mobile marketing. The biggest of names in social media, Twitter, witnessed an increase in the number of tweets sold. 75% more tweets were sold via the PWA than previously via the native mobile application. Many large businesses have already benefited from the use of a PWA. Restaurants should take a real good look at this technology to leverage for taking their digital marketing to the next level of effectiveness.

Progressive web apps can be the game changer restaurant businesses, eager for growth and building a digital fan-base. These powerful new digital tools offer many distinct marketing opportunities, such as broadcasting the open-hours, location and menu instantly the customer base. It’s also an opportunity to showcase the work of your chef, by incorporating, as you would on a standard website. So in nut-shell, from providing restaurant businesses with an enhanced digital platform incorporating innovative marketing ideas such as professional food photography or showcasing the chefs special and many more; PWA’s ought to be incorporated into your digital footprint. 

“Create Restaurant Apps with Progressive Web App (PWA) in minutes and boost your business never like before”

 

 

Written by webkon_blog