Why Websites Want You to Download Their App

Updated on 21. November 2023 by Jan Bunk

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One thing that you may notice when browsing certain websites is popups and banners that request you to download their app. This is especially common with social media apps like X, Facebook and Reddit. You may have skipped all these popups and not thought much about it, or you may have spotted a trend that led you to wonder why websites are seemingly so dedicated to pushing their apps. I've been helping companies turn their websites into apps for many years now, so I hope I can explain the benefits that websites gain from you downloading their apps.

We have actually investigated all the benefits of an app from the perspective of a business owner here. This will kind of overlap, because obviously corporations are pushing you to use their app because they think it helps them as a business (to make more money).

User Experience

One reason websites push apps because they can provide a superior user experience. This improved user experience comes through various advantages apps have over websites.

First of all, unlike websites, apps can work offline, so without an internet connection. This is attractive for users but also for businesses - since they want you to use their app as much as possible, even when you're not at home in your Wi-Fi network.

Apart from that, apps are more responsive, which means they have better performance and less lag when clicking around in it. This is possible because the app is downloaded ahead of time (unlike a website, which is downloaded one page at a time).

Another way they can improve user experience is through taking advantage of unique device capabilities, like your device's camera and other sensors, which would not be accessible to a website in the browser. For example, take a look at the IKEA app. They have a feature where you can virtually place furniture in your real life room. Something like that is only feasible in an app.

Easy Accessibility

Whenever you download an app, it's placed right on your home screen. Considering how much we all use our phones these days, this is prime real estate! Here's why it's interesting for businesses:

  • It's super easy for you to open the app. Just one click and you're in it. Compare that to a browser where you would first have to search for the website, wait for it to load, and so on.
  • You're regularly exposed to the company's brand - whether you realize it or not. All those times you see that app icon in the background solidify the companies brand in your mind.
  • Are you ever bored and randomly browse the apps on your phone? Well, companies want to make sure they own one of those apps that you might decide to open randomly.

Push Notifications

A major advantage of apps is sending and receiving push notifications. Everyone that downloads the app and allows push notifications can quickly and easily be marketed to by the business operating the app.

Such a communication channel is worth a lot to a company, since they own it. They don't have to pay anyone to use it (like they have to with ads).

Controlled Environment

If you access an article from the New York Times from Reddit or through a Google result, you will likely go to another website or app once you have finished viewing it. In contrast, if you view the content on the app, you will face more options once you are done viewing. You are more likely to stay on an app than you are to stay on a website page. Companies want users to spend as much time as possible browsing their content. The process of purchasing a product from the company is also far more streamlined and straightforward through an app. Through a website, there would usually be a lengthy order form that requires personal and payment details. An app allows this purchase to take place directly and in a more convenient manner.


Advertisers prefer apps because they provide more information about a user’s habits. This information is more valuable than the one which would have been obtained simply from browsing. The number of app downloads also tends to be a more reliable figure for a fanbase than views or clicks on a web page. Most companies make a fair share of income from advertising, and therefore it is in their best interest to offer the best solution for advertisers.

Closing Thoughts

It should now be much more apparent to you as to why websites are so insistent on pushing their mobile applications. There are clear benefits for them, and in future years, the importance of apps will continue to rise due to increased smartphone ownership and usage. Apps offer superior user experience, and they take up key smartphone space that makes it more likely for a user to return. Therefore, it is clear that there is a huge incentive for most companies to redirect mobile traffic to app downloads.

Are you interested in taking advantage of the above aspects? You can get your own app for your website using our website to app converter that also supports push notifications. Click here to convert your website into an app.

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Author Jan Bunk
Written by
Jan Bunk

Hi, I'm Jan! I created webtoapp.design in 2019 while studying computer science in university. A lot has changed since then - not only have I graduated, but it's also no longer just me running webtoapp.design. We've grown to a global, fully remote team and have gathered lots of experience around app development and app publishing. We've created and published hundreds of apps in the app stores, where they've been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.