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When you go to on an iOS device you're greeted with a splash screen saying "We made an App!" and it gives you the choice to "Download Now" or "No Thanks, I'll just use the browser."

I was wondering if anyone had any statistics or suspicions on the more probable outcome of this choice? My gut is telling me most people just use the browser because it's immediate, meaning they won't have to wait for the app to download and enter their password.

I can see someone being more likely to download the app if they come across the screen more than one time but chances are you'll only see that page once.

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Anecdata: I've never once downloaded any app from one of these. They're extremely annoying for non-regular visitors – Ben Brocka Jun 15 '12 at 15:20
I'm with @BenBrocka - I never have and I probably never will. Nielsen says apps are better now and sites will be better at some magical point in the future. That's probably true when everything is equal (i.e., you already have the app downloaded). But users are on the mobile site right now and installing an app and then getting back to whatever they were looking at in the app takes time. And time can definitely cost you customers. – Karen Jun 15 '12 at 20:32
If I want the app, I go to to the App Store. I'm at your web site, so just give me the web site. – DA01 Jun 15 '12 at 20:58
Man, I find those things so irritating. If I'm visiting your homepage, fine, I'm probably a regular visitor and might appreciate the option if it's better, but if I'm linked into the middle of the site from twitter or something I'm so not going to leave, download your app, and try to find it again myself there. And surely there's a better way to promote the app than shoving it in my face instead of the things I was looking for, right?? (sorry, rant done now) – Pam G Jun 15 '12 at 22:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I completely agree with you where you said:

I can see someone being more likely to download the app if they come across the screen more than one time but chances are you'll only see that page once.

Users want the "right now!" option. This means that when posed with the option of App vs Website, they will quickly weigh both of the options and ask themselves whether they are going to be doing this a lot or whether this is a one time thing.

If they know what pair of shoes they want in the size they want in the color they want, then they are more likely to use the website. If they are thinking about getting a pair of shoes in the near future and want to browse their options throughout the week, they are more likely to make the commitment and download the app.

I also stumbled across an article on marketingland that discusses the possible outcomes of the App vs Web battle.

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