Five Good Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build a Native App

Remember when a brand pretty much felt it had to build a native app to put itself on the map? Well, it isn’t 2009 anymore. In fact, there are very good reasons to NOT build an app or a mobile landing page from scratch.

Many brands and agencies remain attached to the vain and antiquated notion that an app with their name on it is a badge of honor. Actually, the opposite is true. More often than not, in fact, it can hurt your business.

Why shouldn’t you dive in and spend money making your very own app? Well, a quick review of some outstanding stats will help paint the picture of why building your own app is probably a really foolish investment.

Reason #1: Nobody really wants another app

Most people have just a few apps that they use regularly, but those few get the lion’s share of use. The rest of the apps on our homescreens languish there unused. Getting the download in the first place is very tricky; brands watch 95% of people abandon a native app download. Do you really want to go to all the work of making an app, just to watch your brand almost get new downloads and users?

A brand can spend millions on ad campaigns that link to their native apps, but most people who click the ad abandon the download. Of those who do install the app, 77% don’t use it after three days. Talk about lost ROI.

Mobile web landing pages are even worse. While mobile web pages have some benefits (no download friction and mature analytics), the interface itself is the ROI killer. A full 85% of users use apps, not websites when they are on their phone, and when they click on a link and get a small website, they leave. Thus, initial bounce rates for mobile landing pages can be as high as 70–90% and those who stay are less likely to convert to a sale than those who make it to a native app.

Reason #2 Construction is expensive

If you get one of the big boys to build your app, you’re likely to spend more than $1million just to get the app up and running. Then you’ll pay for every single edit and tweak and design change. [[Q:Do we want to emphasize cost as a reason NOT to do a native app since instant apps also cost?]]

Reason #3 Walled gardens are a pain

We all know that Apple’s terms can be restrictive. And each update is a total pain. Still, you’re better off building for Apple first and then moving to Android. But wouldn’t it be better to take a platform-agnostic approach?

Reason #4 Control is not yours

See #3. Unfortunately, when you have an app, you don’t necessarily own all your own data. This is ridiculous. A better branded experience would load with zero download friction AND offer analytics that provide deep insight into engagement and conversion. Doesn’t that sound more like what you really want from your mobile experience?

Reason #5 There’s a better way

Technology is a beautiful thing. And instant apps are the answer to the pain points mentioned above. You don’t need a PhD in engineering or computer science to use Instant Apps. Virtually anyone on your team — from CMO or VP to even intern — can learn the SAAS platform interface and have your app up and running in no time.

Not only are instant apps easily customizable and updateable, the load time is negligible so that users can instantaneously see the content you want to put in front of them. Instant means no friction which means better engagement. And you can modify and update on the fly, as your product and marketing needs change.

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