Customer loyalty on mobile apps vs. mobile sites

We often say to our clients that one key difference between mobile apps and mobile sites is the customer type that prefers to shop on each channel.

Mobile sites are an essential for retailers, to make it easy for casual visitors and browsers to be able to view your site on any device, but a mobile app is a great way to keep your most valuable customers engaged.

And here’s the difference visualised. The charts below represent two of our clients, who have both a mobile app and a mobile site. Returning visitors are represented in red, for both the mobile site and the mobile app.


Client 1 mobile app and mobile site

Client 2 mobile site and mobile app


As we expected, you can clearly see that the mobile app traffic is heavily weighted towards returning visitors, while the mobile site traffic leans towards new visitors.

The difference is even more clearly pronounced for Client 2, where new users make up just under 20% of traffic. This app has strong download figures and a constant stream of new users, so these stats indicate that the app is engaging returning customers, who are coming back often to read updates and browse products.

For more differences between mobile sites and mobile apps for ecommerce, and to find out why you might choose either one, download our free whitepaper ‘Do online retailers need a mobile app – even if they already have a mobile site?

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