Native Apps vs Web Apps and Ads in Apps

BY Kathy Crosett
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Do consumers still download apps? And do they notice ads in those apps? What are native apps vs web apps? Aki asked over 1,500 U.S. adults about their app use and their reactions to ads on their mobile apps. Your clients will want to know about these findings.

Native Apps vs Web Apps

First of all, do your clients know the difference between native apps vs web apps? A native app, according to App Press, is, "one that is installed directly onto the smartphone and can work, in most cases, with no internet connectivity depending on the nature of the app." A web apps, on the other hand, "are not real applications; they are websites that, in many ways, look and feel like native applications, but are not implemented as such."

Preferred Apps

Consumers have definite preferences for specific types of apps:

  • Games 64%
  • Social networks 60%
  • Shopping 55%
  • Music 53%
  • Weather 53%

Will consumers actually pay for apps? Not really. At least 73% of app users are looking for free downloads. Another 24% will use a mix of free and paid apps. And 3% will only use paid apps. These may be consumers who want to be sure they’re not going to be infected with malware or bombarded with advertising messages.

In fact, 26% of consumers said the ads in paid apps were of higher quality. Only 12% of consumers said the same about adds in free apps. 

Noticing Ads

Aki researchers also asked consumers when they notice ads in native apps vs web apps. We all know there are times when nothing is going to make us slow down and pay attention to an ad. But there are other times when a marketer can get a consumer to click. Consumers are most likely to notice when an ad matches:

  • General interests 72%
  • Current activity 32%
  • Mood 33%
  • Theme of the app content they’re viewing 29%

For example, if a consumer is a hiker, and they are using an app to check out nearby hiking trails, they might notice and click an ad for new boots.

Ad Context

Aki’s researchers also considered contextual variables. They measured willingness of consumers to engage with ads based on:

  • App — ad alignment with the kind of app the consumer is using
  • Environment — ad alignment with the consumer’s location
  • Mental — ad alignment with the consumer’s mindset, such as whether they are energized or relaxed

For some industry verticals, such as OTC health care, showing an ad in a weather or news app when the consumer is in the right environment, at the gym, for example, can drive clicks. On the other hand, measuring a factor like mental energy can be challenging. Is it always safe to assume that a consumer is tired at the end of the day and therefore open to ads from a wine marketer when they’re playing a game?

These are the challenges presented in the kind of research that Aki has undertaken. But they have asked important questions. Your clients should be thinking about which apps they want to advertise in (native apps vs web apps and such). To learn more about consumers who use apps, check out the multiple profiles available on AdMall from SalesFuel​.com.