Mobile Application vs Chatbots – What’s the Best Option for a Business?
Any chatbot developer with the nascent passion for bot development will tell you that chatbots are no longer the underdogs they used to be. This is because the much-adored mobile apps and mobile websites are slowly losing altitude in terms of being seen as the best communication solution for any business. With the changing business environment and customer preferences, businesses are now looking for alternative communication technologies to apply in their business models.
If You’re Happy with Your App, Do You Even Need Chatbots?
So what’s the biggest question we should ask? It’s this: Should businesses continue clinging onto apps, or shift focus to the chatbots?
In this article, we’re going to give an in-depth analysis of mobile apps and chatbots to determine which one is the best. For starters, what’s the difference between the two?
The Apps vs. Chatbots Breakdown
Mobile apps are softwares and programs specifically built for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. These apps turn mobile devices into small powerhouses filled with function and fun. The custom mobile application development also allows users to enjoy multiple apps which can come pre-installed on these devices, while others can be accessed via the app stores.
There are multiple advantages of having mobile apps as part of your customer communication strategy, including wide interaction options and dynamic reloading. Let’s break them down.
Wide Interaction Options
Mobile apps provide significantly wider options for the users to interact with. As a matter of fact, app usability and design possibilities are limited only by the developer’s imagination and budget.
Another unique selling point of mobile apps is that the content can be dynamically reloaded. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t change the app’s basic functionality, as this can only be done through updates.
Just like with their chatbot peers, there are multiple mobile development services and platforms that help developers build feature-packed mobile applications across all major platforms.
Chatbots combine artificial intelligence and NLP to simulate conversations and interaction by responding to questions posed by users.
It’s an undeniable fact that chatbots were underdogs until recently. To put this into perspective, in 2017 alone, 268 billion app downloads generated over $77 billion. This is in comparison to the $88 billion in 2016 and $45 billion in 2015. On the other hand, chatbot projected revenues are expected to hit $1.23 billion by 2025, showing that it’s still at the infant stage.
The mobile application development market is saturated with all sorts of apps seeking to solve every kind of problem. You can virtually shop, send messages, and even chat with a friend using them.
But here’s where the problem begins…
Recent research has shown that no matter how many apps an individual has on their phone, on average they will use 30 of them in a given month. This means that the rest are rendered irrelevant.
Then come the bots…
Bots have emerged as the most efficient way to reach out to a wide customer base. It’s estimated that in the next few years, at least half of the world’s population will have some sort of bot on their phones. Large corporations are leading the charge with bots like CNN News Chatbot, Spring (E-commerce Chatbot), Hyatt (Hotel Chatbot), and much more.
Four Benefits of Using Chatbots
1. More Human, Compared to Apps
Although bots may sound like just a messaging service, a bot is a sort of intelligent assistant. For instance, Facebook Messenger bot is more interactive and speaks human language. By so doing, they respond to requests in a more human language, which is simply what every user wants.
For communication purposes the chatbot technology utilizes natural language processing, which allows bots to understand and contextualize the different keywords of any text.
2. Unified Interface (UI)
A critical analysis of various UI elements reveals that mobile apps are just information assortments. However, when programming a chatbot, a creative chatbot developer can factor in other services to reach a larger audience.
With the increasing chatbot integration, regular services such as purchasing movie tickets, buying groceries, or even hotel booking can be merged into a single convenient messaging app, as opposed to multiple apps that consume device storage. Chatbots can also reduce the multiple downloads.
Finally, the flexibility to integrate chatbots into websites gives businesses an even wider reach.
3. Technical Superiority
Mobile apps are a conglomeration of less personalization and static user experience. On the other hand, chatbot development utilizes a combination of AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing), making them smarter and expandable. In fact, chatbot technology is premeditated to learn from your behavior to give you super-personalized responses. Bots can constantly learn from user behavior, and offer much more personalized responses. This intelligence becomes apparent once you compare the initial responses to the most recent ones.
4. Faster Development
Any chatbot development company out there will admit that writing a chatbot code is relatively easy compared to iOS mobile app development, or even hybrid application development. With the right skills, there are multiple bot development platforms that make it easier to create your own chatbot.
Using Chatbots Can Increase Customer Engagement
Apparently, hybrid application development still has a long walk before going obsolete. However, the steep upwards curve seems to have stagnated. People will continue using them due to the wider interaction options, but the diversity just won’t be there. Most companies will have to look for an alternative channel of reaching out to customers, such as chatbots. Chatbot use can be seen as a natural progression in customer engagement.
Bots are more versatile, inclusive, and multipurpose. As a business, you may want to build a chatbot – or risk being left behind. If you aren’t a bot developer, there are multiple online tutorials that will clearly guide you on how to build a chatbot from scratch. Whether you try your hand at bot creation or hire a pro, you may want to get started with creating a chatbot sooner rather than later.
What’s your perspective on chatbots? Are you quite happy with your current mobile app? Do share your thoughts on bots in the comments!