Technology has put, in our hands, a powerful weapon of knowledge and socialization that is continually rewriting our relationship with the world. We are referring to the Smartphone revolution, a revolution, nonetheless, that could be difficult to understand without the development of an entirely parallel market, that of mobile applications (apps).
However, despite its vital importance, it is not always obvious to understand the difference between apps and mobile websites (meaning, a website adapted for mobile phone or tablet screens). So, why download an app when you can directly access the information through the URL?
Obviously, one of the determining factors when deciding to download an application is its use. And in this sense, the use is determined, among other things, by the degree of interaction the app allows with other people. Therefore, it is not surprising to see Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram and Messenger (to highlight the most popular ones), among the 10 most downloaded free applications in the last decade (2010-2019).
A 100% digital, contactless & cashless experience
As a consequence of the new post-COVID paradigm, once on the slopes, offering a 100% digital experience, where coming into physical contact with customers or other physical elements is reduced as far as possible, will not only be an issue of convenience like it has been up to now, but it will also be one of the aspects to be strengthened for increased customer and employee protection. There’s also the fact that mobile devices themselves now offer the ability to pay directly without using a card, meaning a cashless experience is also possible just by using the device.
Another possible differentiating factor is the objective. While websites are more focused on event promotion, or the desire to communicate with large audiences (quantitative approach), applications are able to reach a specific target audience (qualitative approach).
The location from the same app makes it possible to orient yourself easily and find the required services or premises.
The third aspect is the trend in Internet access. According to studies, more than 60% of users access the Internet through a mobile device – which has a comparatively superior Web retention rate. This percentage is growing more and more thanks to the technological advances of the Smartphone, which, as indicated above, are linked to application development and improvement. In addition, many applications offer a large part of their services without the need for an internet connection, which is not possible for a website.
Below is a summary of the most noteworthy:
Apps are the greatest points of sale of the 21st century
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the physical retail store was the place where all the marketing techniques were put into practice. The result was the birth of the window dressing, meaning, the art of displaying products to promote sales. With the Internet Revolution, these techniques found, at least initially, a new place to experiment, websites. However, after the mobile telephone revolution, applications had already advanced ahead of the competition as the main online sales tool due to their ability to retain customer brand loyalty.
Meaning that any business, thanks to the data stored by the applications, could define its target sales market. For this very reason, it can be said that apps are the future points of sale of the 21st century. It is quite simple, in the winter-sports business, for example, to integrate online points of sale into ski resort applications, and well, kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, retail stores have an additional tool to promote sales. On the other hand, the public has quick and easy access to information about products that interest them. Who could ask for more?
ne of the most remarkable comparative advantages is the fact that apps permit user geolocation, which can generate an extremely valuable database. Because of this, a specific customer, a ski resort for example, can recommend events, restaurants or nearby businesses to users, and even warn them, among many other things, of possible accidents on the slopes.
Another notable difference is that apps can create and send push notifications, which allow for direct, real-time, and non-intrusive communication with the user. In other words, the user does not have to open the application to receive a message that could be of vital importance, such as, for example, a sudden change in the weather.
Not a lot of explanation is necessary to grasp this concept. In contrast to surfing the Web, users can interact with many of the application’s features without having to be connected to the Internet. In this respect, the application can automatically store information obtained at the users’ last network access point, and retrieve it later, even when offline.
Only one click separates the user from information. This factor greatly improves user experience and satisfaction when compared to the extra time it takes, occasionally, to load a mobile website. As previously pointed out, it can be extremely difficult to maintain an adequate Internet connection while in the mountains. With an app, interaction is instantaneous.
Skitude mobile app solutions
In 2012, we decided to start connecting skiers and mountain enthusiasts through the Mobile Application Skitude, specifically designed for these groups, offering them more convenience and fun when they visit any resort. And vice versa, connecting resorts to potential customers through the same application, and/or a more personalised own brand application.
Over the seasons, we saw that in many resorts, these applications were becoming their main advertising and communication channels, and for more than the last three seasons, the Apps we make have been ready to allow the purchasing and topping-up of RFID cards and facilitate instant access to the slopes, fully contactless.
More information available at http://www.skitudeservices.com