When looking at websites vs. web applications the differences may seem insignificant. As we expect more from our online engagement most websites include some form of web application to help draw the user into a more individualized and interactive experience. Knowing this, it becomes essential for your business to have a developed understanding of where you need to provide a static website to simplify needed information versus where you want an expansive web application that feels personalized to the customer.
Read ahead to learn more about making websites and web applications work for you.
A web application puts interaction as a high priority, thereby encouraging a greater level of user engagement and personalization. This creates a back-and-forth dialogue in which the customer is provided with the content they desire by communicating with the website. Sites like Amazon generate productions on the feed based on what their users have shown interest in or recently purchased. TikTok utilizes an algorithm to provide videos similar to ones the user has previously viewed. If you want to see an example of the vast potential of web applications, visit Roll20 to see how they have made a platform that allows users to build interactive tabletop games in real-time.
Integration allows you to utilize multiple resources in order to create a more streamlined process for your business, your employees, and your customers. Web applications frequently need to work in tandem with multiple software programs due to the complexity of their function.
For instance, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can be exceptionally useful. Let’s say your customer pays a visit to your e-commerce and puts an item in their cart, but never checks out. In all likelihood, they received a pop-up offering them a discount on their purchase if they submit their e-mail. Assuming they did so, that information is stored by the CRM software. If the user leaves the website or e-commerce application without making a purchase, the owner can then send them a reminder via e-mail that they still have an item in their cart, coaxing them to revisit the site.
An example of highly customized website software integration would be Pinterest. When you log in, search, and ‘Pin’ images to your Pinterest boards, the ‘Pin Feed’ changes its suggestions based on what you have just looked at utilizing analytics software. This allows Pinterest to collect data that tells them when items are more popular, or if interest is waning. This data helps the marketing team create a comprehensive marketing strategy going forward.
When it comes to online privacy for your customers, nothing could be more important than a solid guarantee that their information remains secure. User accounts are full of sensitive data from addresses to credit card numbers, and a breach can seriously damage your company’s integrity. On the more business-focused side of things, maintaining registered users allows you to control who has access to what information, and when.
Static and dynamic websites make good use of the authentication process. For instance, many newspapers now have their stories behind a paywall that requires visitors to register. Sites such as The Mary Sue allows visitors to read the content without an account, but users can only comment on the post if they sign up. This allows the website to control the content added to their site by the viewer, thereby minimizing risk and blocking spam content. Movie websites may ask a user to enter their birthday and e-mail information, especially if the movie is rated-R, giving them control over who has access to their content.
On the more developed end, DnDBeyond is an excellent example of how to utilize web applications that allow logged-in users to create a highly personalized experience from character creation to which books can be added to your account. Services like Discord have created user-maintained chat servers that can be customized to the user’s needs. Several online businesses now have their own Discord server where they can talk with their community, arrange meetings, and even give sneak peeks of upcoming merchandise to authenticated customers.
Now that you know a little bit more about websites, web applications, and what they can do for your business, it’s time to consider how you want to integrate them. Lion & Panda would love to help your business develop its online presence.