The Benefits of Converting Your Website to an App

It’s no secret that our society is becoming increasingly reliant on mobile devices. But having a mobile-optimized website alone is no longer enough to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, particularly when targeting mobile users. A mobile website is just the bare minimum.

To keep pace with consumer expectations and gain an edge over your competition, converting your website into an app is critical.

The numbers speak for themselves. 88% of mobile device time is spent using apps. 70% of all digital media consumption comes from apps, and mobile apps are expected to generate over $935 billion this year alone. 

Converting a website into an app opens up countless opportunities for businesses across every industry. From improving user engagement and customer loyalty to accessing new revenue streams and expanding market reach, these benefits are hard to overlook for anyone with a website.

Fortunately, developing an app has never been easier. With the help of an app builder or website to app converter, you can turn your website into your own app quickly—without breaking the bank.

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If you’re still on the fence, the information in this guide might be enough to change your mind. We’ll dive deep into all the benefits and advantages of going from a website to a mobile app that will take your business to new heights. 

Enhancing the Mobile User Experience

A whopping 85% of consumers say they prefer mobile apps over mobile websites. So when you convert your website to an app, you’re instantly improving the user experience. 

How is this possible? Let’s take a look at some key UX-related advantages of a mobile app compared to a website.

  • User Interface and Interaction — Apps are designed with mobile users in mind, offering interfaces and interactions that are optimized for small screens and touch controls. This results in significant improvements in user interface (UI) design, including simplified menus, larger buttons, and intuitive gestures that enhance the overall user experience. Apps have a clear edge over mobile websites that often require pinching, zooming, and scrolling to view content.
  • Speed and Performance — One of the most noticeable differences users experience when switching from a website to an app is speed. Apps store data locally on the device, allowing for quicker load times and smoother transitions between features and content. This immediate access is crucial for retaining users, as loading delays can lead to frustration and abandonment. 
  • Navigation and Accessibility — Apps also offer superior navigation compared to mobile websites. With the ability to implement custom navigation solutions, such as bottom navigation bars or swipeable tabs, apps make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for. This encourages deeper exploration of what the app has to offer.
  • Engagement and Satisfaction — The tailored UX that apps provide leads to higher engagement levels and customer satisfaction. Features like push notifications can be used to keep users informed and engaged, offering timely updates and personalized content that draws them back into the app. This direct line of communication is something that websites struggle to match, making apps a powerful tool for fostering long-term relationships with users.

One great example of this in the real world is H&M. 

As the second largest fashion retailer in the world, H&M has astonishing engagement rates—with 61% of its app users returning to use it on a monthly basis. Ecommerce websites don’t see this type of traction for their audience. 

This same type of success can be replicated through your own app

Accessing Native Mobile Features

One of the most compelling reasons to convert a website into an app is the ability to access and utilize native mobile features. These features, intrinsic to mobile devices, open up a new realm of possibilities for user interaction, engagement, and functionality that simply cannot be matched by mobile websites. Examples include: 

  • GPS: Enables location-based services, providing users with tailored content, nearby store locations, or personalized offers based on their current location.
  • Camera: Allows for interactive features like scanning QR codes, uploading images directly from the device, or even augmented reality experiences, enriching user interaction.
  • Push Notifications: Offer a direct channel to keep users informed and engaged, whether it’s about new content, promotions, or updates, encouraging frequent app usage.
  • Accelerometer: Can be used in fitness apps to track physical activity, or in gaming apps for motion-based controls, adding a layer of interactivity and fun.
  • Contact List: Facilitates features like easy sharing, social interactions, or sending invites directly from the app, promoting a sense of community and connectivity.
  • Biometric Authentication: Such as fingerprint or facial recognition, offers a secure and convenient way for users to access their accounts, enhancing both security and user experience.

Integrating these features into your native app not only enhances its appeal and usability but also offers practical benefits that can significantly impact user retention and satisfaction. For instance, an e-commerce app utilizing push notifications for personalized offers can see an increase in repeat visits and sales. Similarly, a travel app leveraging GPS for real-time updates and location-based services can become an indispensable tool for travelers.

Boost Brand Recognition Amongst App Users

Brand visibility and recognition are paramount for business success. Converting your website into an app offers a unique advantage in this arena, notably through the presence of your app icon on a user’s home screen. This seemingly small feature can have profound implications for brand awareness and engagement.

An app icon acts as a constant visual reminder of your brand, residing among the most used tools and platforms on a user’s device. 

Unlike a website, which requires a user to open a browser, type in a website URL, or search for your site, an app is just a tap away. This ease of access significantly reduces the barrier to interaction, making it more likely that users will engage with your app—and, by extension, your brand—on a regular basis.

Consider the difference in steps between accessing a website and an app:

  • Website: Unlock phone → Open browser → Type URL or search → Navigate to the website.
  • App: Unlock phone → Tap app icon.

This direct and simplified access not only enhances user convenience but also increases the likelihood of frequent engagement. Each interaction with your app reinforces brand recognition and loyalty, making your brand a familiar and trusted presence in the user’s daily digital landscape.

Furthermore, the app icon itself serves as a mini-advertisement for your brand. Well-designed app icons can convey your brand’s essence, values, and aesthetic, contributing to a cohesive and recognizable brand identity. This visual consistency across platforms—be it in the app, on your website, or in marketing materials—strengthens your brand’s presence and can lead to increased consumer trust and loyalty.

In addition to the app icon, converting your website into an app allows you to maintain consistent branding elements throughout the user experience. From the color scheme and logos to the tone of voice and messaging, an app provides a controlled environment in which every aspect can be tailored to reflect your brand identity. This consistency is crucial for building a strong brand image that resonates with users and stands out in a crowded marketplace.

Improving Customer Retention

While attracting new customers is important, retaining existing ones is even more critical—and often more cost-effective. Mobile apps offer a powerful toolset for enhancing customer retention, thanks to their ability to facilitate direct engagement, personalized experiences, and loyalty incentives in ways that websites simply cannot match.

In fact, research shows that mobile app retention rate is 50% higher than web browser. This number jumps to 90% for smartphone users. 

The effectiveness of mobile apps in retaining customers lies in their capacity to maintain an ongoing dialogue with users. Through features like push notifications, apps can deliver timely and relevant content directly to a user’s device. This immediacy ensures that your brand remains visible and top-of-mind, encouraging regular interaction. Whether it’s a reminder about an unfinished purchase, a notification about a new product, or a personalized offer based on past behavior, these notifications can significantly increase engagement rates and, consequently, retention.

Personalization is another key advantage of mobile apps. By leveraging user data and behavior, apps can tailor the user experience to meet individual preferences and needs. This could mean recommending products similar to past purchases, customizing content feeds, or even adjusting the app’s navigation based on the user’s interests. Personalized experiences make users feel valued and understood, fostering a positive connection with your brand and increasing the likelihood of continued app use.

Loyalty programs seamlessly integrated into your app can further enhance customer retention. Offering rewards, points, or exclusive benefits for app activities not only incentivizes continued usage but also builds emotional loyalty towards your brand. Users are more likely to return to an app where they feel their loyalty is recognized and rewarded.

The impact of these strategies on customer retention is clear. This ongoing engagement is vital for building a stable customer base for your brand.

Mobile Apps Provide Offline Accessibility

A key benefit that sets mobile apps apart from websites is the ability to offer offline accessibility. This feature is not just a technical enhancement—it’s a fundamental shift in how users interact with your digital content. By enabling certain functionalities to be available without an internet connection, apps can significantly enhance user convenience, ensuring that your services remain accessible even in the most remote or connectivity-challenged situations.

Offline accessibility in iOS apps and Android apps addresses a critical pain point for users—the need to access information, services, or functionalities when they’re not connected to the internet. Whether it’s due to poor network coverage, data usage concerns, or the desire to save battery life, the ability to use an app offline can be a deciding factor for users when choosing between competitors.

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Here are some examples of how offline features can be implemented in apps to enhance user experience:

  • Content Caching: Apps can store content locally on a device, allowing users to access previously loaded articles, videos, or documents without needing an internet connection.
  • Data Syncing: Changes made in offline mode, such as editing documents or updating settings, can be synced automatically once the device reconnects to the internet.
  • Offline Navigation: Navigation apps can offer map downloads for offline use, enabling users to find their way without relying on a live data connection.
  • Music and Video Playback: Entertainment apps can allow users to download music, podcasts, or videos to enjoy offline, providing continuous access to media content.
  • E-commerce Shopping: Shopping apps can enable browsing of products and even adding items to a cart in offline mode, with transactions completed once connectivity is restored.

Implementing offline accessibility not only improves user convenience but also signals to your customers that you value their experience and are committed to providing uninterrupted access to your services. This level of thoughtfulness provided by native app development can significantly enhance user satisfaction and loyalty, as it demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing user needs and challenges.

Creating New Revenue Opportunities

The decision to convert your website into a mobile app is not just a strategic move to enhance user engagement or improve brand visibility—it also presents a multitude of new revenue opportunities. Mobile apps offer unique monetization avenues that are not as readily available or as effective on traditional websites. By leveraging these opportunities, businesses can diversify their revenue streams and drive financial growth.

  • In-App Purchases: One of the most direct ways to generate revenue from your app is through in-app purchases. This could range from selling physical goods, as seen in retail or e-commerce apps, to offering digital services or content, such as subscriptions, premium features, or virtual goods. In-app purchases provide a seamless shopping experience, encouraging users to buy directly within iOS or Android apps.
  • Subscription Models: Apps can implement subscription models, offering access to exclusive content or features for a recurring fee. This model is particularly effective for services that provide ongoing value, such as media streaming, productivity tools, or specialized content platforms. Subscriptions ensure a steady revenue stream and can help build a loyal user base committed to your app.
  • Advertisements: Integrating advertisements into your app is another way to generate revenue. Whether through banner ads, interstitials, or native advertising, carefully placed ads can provide significant income without detracting from the user experience. Choosing the right ad network and optimizing ad placement and frequency are crucial to maximizing revenue while maintaining a positive user experience.
  • Freemium Models: Offering a basic version of your app for free while charging for premium features or enhancements is a strategy known as the freemium model. This approach encourages widespread adoption of your app while monetizing a subset of users who are willing to pay for a higher value offering.
  • Affiliate Marketing: By participating in affiliate programs, your app can earn commissions for referring users to other services or products. This monetization strategy works well for native apps that recommend products, offer reviews, or curate content that includes external links. It’s a way to leverage the content and user trust you’ve built to generate additional revenue.
  • Sponsored Content or Partnerships: Collaborating with brands or businesses to feature sponsored content within your app can also open up revenue opportunities. This approach requires a balance to ensure that sponsored content aligns with your user’s interests and the app’s overall theme, maintaining authenticity and user trust.

By diversifying the ways in which an app can generate revenue, mobile app developers not only increase their potential income but also build a more resilient business model. Each of these strategies can be tailored to fit the unique context of your app and your target audience, allowing you to maximize revenue while enhancing the user experience.

Expanding Audience Reach

Converting your website into an app significantly broadens your reach, leveraging the global platforms of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

Listing your Android or iOS app in these stores opens your business to a vast audience, transcending geographical boundaries. The presence in these app marketplaces is crucial, as they are the primary channels through which users discover and download new apps.

Optimizing your app for these stores through careful keyword selection, compelling descriptions, and high-quality visuals is essential for improving your app’s visibility. 

This process, known as App Store Optimization (ASO), enhances your app’s discoverability, making it easier for potential users to find and download your app. Positive ratings and reviews further boost your app’s credibility, encouraging more installs.

If you already have a website, you’re likely familiar with how this works—as ASO and SEO are essentially the same concept (with a few key differences).

By targeting both Android and iOS users, you ensure that your app is accessible to the widest possible audience, taking full advantage of the extensive user base these platforms offer. The algorithms of the app stores play a pivotal role in recommending your app to interested users, making an app store presence a powerful tool for reaching a global audience and driving your business’s growth in the digital marketplace.

Optimizing Performance and Speed

Users today expect instant access to information and services, and even slight delays can lead to frustration and app abandonment. Apps that are finely tuned to offer quick loading times and smooth interactions set themselves apart in a competitive digital environment, where user patience is minimal.

A well-optimized app not only ensures quicker access to content but also enhances overall usability and satisfaction. This is particularly important in retaining users and converting potential customers into loyal ones. Faster apps are more likely to be used repeatedly, as they provide the immediate gratification users seek from their digital interactions.

The performance and speed of an app directly impact its conversion rates. Users are more likely to complete purchases or engage with services when the process is seamless and efficient. In contrast, apps that suffer from poor performance can see a significant drop in user engagement and revenue.

Establishing Increased Trust

Creating a mobile app for your business is a significant step towards building a deeper trust with your audience. 

Users are cautious about where they spend their time and money—making trust a critical component of user engagement and brand loyalty. An app enhances your brand’s credibility by demonstrating a commitment to providing a secure, efficient, and user-friendly platform.

A mobile app signals to users that a brand is serious about its digital presence and dedicated to improving the customer experience. This commitment is often associated with higher quality and reliability, which can enhance users’ trust in the brand. 

Features like biometric authentication, secure payment gateways, and personalized content within an app further reinforce this trust by ensuring user data is handled safely and their interactions are tailored and meaningful.

Focusing User Attention in a Controlled Environment

The digital landscape is full of distractions, which can make it difficult to keep a user’s attention. But apps offer a unique solution by creating a controlled environment that minimizes external distractions. 

Unlike web browsing, where users can easily switch between tabs or get sidetracked by notifications, an app encapsulates the user’s full attention on a single task or experience. This focused environment is crucial for businesses aiming to engage users deeply and effectively.

The design of mobile apps inherently encourages a more immersive experience. By utilizing the full screen for content display and tailoring the navigation to suit mobile interactions, apps can significantly enhance user engagement. This immersive experience is beneficial for both informational content consumption and e-commerce activities, as users are less likely to abandon their tasks due to distractions.

This focused attention ultimately leads to higher conversion rates. When users are fully engaged with an app, they are more likely to complete desired actions, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a service, or engaging with content.

Streamlining Business Processes

Mobile apps offer a significant advantage in streamlining business operations, leading to enhanced efficiency and productivity. By integrating various business processes into a single app, companies can automate tasks, improve communication, and manage data more effectively. 

This consolidation not only simplifies operations but also reduces the time and resources required to manage them, directly impacting the bottom line by reducing operational costs.

For example, apps can facilitate easier order processing, real-time inventory management, and instant customer support, providing a seamless experience for both the business and its customers. 

The ability to instantly update and share information across the app also ensures that all stakeholders are informed and can make data-driven decisions swiftly, enhancing the overall agility of the business.

Apps can also improve internal communication. Features such as in-app messaging, task assignments, and progress tracking enable teams to collaborate more effectively, regardless of their physical location.

Convert Website to App: Is It Worth It? (Final Thoughts)

The decision to convert your website into an app is clearly worth it. The benefits—ranging from enhanced user engagement and loyalty to new revenue opportunities and streamlined business operations—all highlight the strategic value of embracing mobile app technology.

For businesses ready to make this transformative leap, BuildFire stands out as the ideal partner. With our cutting-edge AI app builder, the transition from website to app has never been easier.

BuildFire’s technology is designed to sync with your existing website, automatically pulling in brand information, content, and logos. This integration significantly accelerates the app development process, ensuring that your mobile app aligns perfectly with your brand identity.