But apps become the preferred platform once users have already selected a service provider, such as online banking (73% app vs. 27% browser) and retailers (64% app vs. 36% browser). Ultimately, the browser is where brands should acquire customers, then use the app to engage them and maintain their experience over the long run.
Millward Brown Digital broke out this dynamic in examining the customer path with a hotel brand.
While just 22% mostly used an app when comparing prices across hotels, 29% used mostly apps to book hotels, and 42% said the same of logging into loyalty programs. The same number of users (22%) said they mostly used apps when researching a new wireless plan, while more than triple that percentage (67%) mostly used apps to check existing bank account balances.
One area where app and browser use tended to be equal was in the consumption of news. For these, convenience tended to be the main reason consumers preferred one platform over another.
Of those who preferred apps, 50% said it was because they are “easier to navigate” while 44% said they appreciated the notifications about breaking news. What didn’t come up in the responses was how ad presentation affected users.
“I expected ad blocking to be a bigger part of the rationale for why respondents chose one platform over another, but it wasn’t really talked about,” said Eisenberg Gantz. “It does make me want to do some supplementary research to look into that question specifically.”