February 15, 2021

Mobile Web vs. Mobile In-App: Where to Advertise and Why

Millions of people use mobile devices and millions of mobile users spend large amounts of time in apps to plan and shop. With that said, it is no surprise that CPG advertising professionals are adjusting their marketing spend to properly address the mobile in-app environment.

One common question that arises in the mobile advertising world is: What is the difference between mobile web and mobile in-app advertising? Is one better than the other? Should I advertise in both environments?

When deciding which route to take, here are a few key points to consider.

1) Where Mobile Web and Mobile In-App Reside on the Phone:

One of the primary differences between mobile web and mobile in-app is where it appears on a phone.

The mobile web environment is defined as where a user surfs the web, via a browser, on their mobile device. Users will type in a URL and will be using Safari, Google Chrome, or Samsung Internet to arrive at their desired destination (varies based on device type).

The mobile in-app environment is defined as when a user is using a downloaded app. For example, if the end goal is to lookup an item available at Kroger on their mobile, the user has two paths.

Path #1: The mobile web path; going into Safari and typing in www.kroger.com.

Path #2: Opening up the Kroger app or downloading the app from the app store. This is considered the mobile in-app environment.

2) Type of Audience Reached:

Another difference between mobile web and mobile in-app is the type of audience reached.

Mobile web is generally easy to access. Anyone across all mobile devices with an internet connection can find and arrive at a mobile website. However, mobile web also encompasses many people and many different agendas or search paths making targeting challenging and reach very broad.

Mobile in-app requires that the user has downloaded the app versus mobile web which is readily available on the user’s phone. With that said, mobile apps tend to capture in-market audiences in a highly contextual way making targeting the right consumer easier and more precise.

3) Variation in User Experience

User experience (UX) for consumers is important to consider when deciding between mobile web versus mobile in-app.

In 2020, eMarketer anticipated that mobile users will spend 88% of their time in apps as opposed to 12% of the time on the mobile web.

Why will consumers be spending less time in mobile web?

While mobile web has the benefit of quickly searching information and ease of reading editorial content, mobile in-app tends to be the prioritized digital space by consumers because of personalization, unique features, ease of access, recall of user preferences, and the experience is highly specific to the user.

These features create a superior user experience to perform tasks like shopping, creating grocery lists, playing games, or checking the weather.

Concluding Remarks:

In conclusion, mobile in-app is the preferred choice when KPIs include engagement, context, and driving sales. In certain cases mobile web may still be applicable, however, as the world continues to shift towards heavier reliance on the mobile device and time continues to rise in mobile apps, mobile in-app advertising will be a priority in any digital ad strategy.

Are you looking for a solution that will give you access to the mobile in-app audience?

AdAdapted has curated a proprietary network of grocery shoppers who use mobile grocery shopping apps to build their list and shop for groceries. Our network includes 110MM+ grocery-minded consumers. By showing ads in grocery list apps, AdAdapted seamlessly fits into the mobile app experience and are able to drive sales, engagement, and a consistent user experience.

For more information on how to capture the mobile audience for your brand go to our request a demo page and request some time with one of our subject matter experts.

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