Helping inform the app vs browser mobile decision
Recommended link: Yahoo mobile modes research
I found this research interesting since it set out to understand how users interact with devices on their mobile. We all know from our personal use of mobiles that, if we have a smartphone, we’ll prefer apps for some tasks and browsers for others. This research gives a nice clear statement on what these mobile tasks are:
An obvious question is “how do mobile tasks differ from PC tasks”? Well, there is surprisingly little difference; the report suggests that mobile usage is similar although with social and search slightly higher on mobile as you would expect:
The report then goes on to look at app vs browser preference varies by type of task - this is the most useful data to inform the app vs browser decision:
Source: Royal Pingdom based on Yahoo! Study
You can see that for social connecting, maps and news there seems to be a clear preference for apps, but for search and most important retail there is a clear preference for browser.
Marketing implications of research
This research looks at the modes of user interaction with their mobiles across the full range of consumers. It likely disguises preferences in particular niches. So it suggests the needs for research amongst an audience of preference before taking the app vs browser-based service decision.
The preference for browser for retail shows that for retailers, a browser-based service which is usable on mobile may be the best option for all but the largest retailers.