Chatbots Vs Mobile Apps: What Your Business Really Needs?



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: April 22, 2021

Ever since chatbots came onboard, a lot has changed in the mobile app development industry. One thing is clear; chatbots are changing the mobile app development industry in many unexpected ways. They are now the face of the AI technology and changing the way mobile applications are built and used. In this post, we will examine the concept of the chatbot, its difference with mobile apps and how it is transforming mobile app development and usage, be it a homework service or a huge enterprise.

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The Concept of Chatbots

Before unveiling the concept behind chatbot, here is a simple definition – A chatbot or bot is a service guided by rules or AI (artificial intelligence). Users are made to interact with a bot through a chat interface.

Chatbot can live in chat products like Slack and Facebook Messenger. So, it is a great concept for businesses working with large customers irrespective of their product or service business can easily incorporate a bot.

The chatbot technology is fascinating, but it is still at an infancy stage. Hence, more research is needed. According to Matt Hartman, Director of Seed Investments at Betaworks, “The difficulty in building a chatbot is less a technical one and more of an issue with the user experience. The most successful bots will be the ones where  users come back regularly and that provide consistent value.”

A lot has to change before we can think of replacing mobile applications with chatbots entirely. First, let’s look at the pros and cons of creating either of them according to Josh Brenson, the Thesis Helpers digital consultant.


  • Unified interface

Allowing users to access different apps through a single program is possible through chatbot. Users can access multiple services at a time. Each of these services might require different applications which users need to download and install. So creating chatbots will save storage space.

  • Faster development

The chatbot is faster to develop. Many start-ups that are eager to start their businesses will prefer having something already running than wait for several months. However, chatbot isn’t the answer to their customer service challenges just yet. As mentioned earlier, it is still in progress.

  • Lower development cost

The chatbot is less expensive to create and deploy, while mobile applications require more funds. But, apps can be designed to provide real value to end users, especially for niche businesses. The number of mobile device users is increasing. So, investing in mobile applications and incorporate chatbot will help businesses to take advantage of this opportunity to create more awareness and reach out to more prospects.

  • Advancement in technology

The Natural Language Process (NLP) enables chatbots to function as humans and provide better customer service experience to end users. Chatbot can also study human behavior and the way each person communicate. For big data projects, chatbots will be more useful to businesses.

  • Low storage space

Chatbot takes less storage space in smartphones, and it’s easy to install.


  • Control over the user experience

One of the cons of using chatbots for customer service is that the company will not have better control over user experience. A happy customer will likely repeat patronage. And since chatbot lacks the ability to empathize, an angry customer may leave and that too without informing the company about it. Bots may also have challenges defining the context of the interaction. They are programmed to reply to customers based on a script, and anything outside that can confuse them.

  • Bots are still immature

Many things can go wrong with chatbots because they are still immature. Many customers have poor experiences in the past, chatting with some chatbots, especially those made to act on a script (program). In addition, companies hire a human assistant in the background to function alongside the chatbot in case anything goes wrong.

  • Notification messages

One of the things users enjoy with a mobile application is the notification messages. But notification messages do not exist with a chatbot, at least, for now.

  • Shopping experience

The chatbot is effective for customer service but can make shopping process long and boring experience most times. Most people prefer to use catalog directly instead of using chatbots because it is faster and less stressful.

However, creating a mobile application and integrating chatbot will be a better option instead of creating chatbot. According to Business Insider with time, messaging apps will become the become the best way people communicate. They will have more active users communicating on daily basis with messaging app than social media networks.

With this on the way, businesses need to start thinking about how to interact with customers on messaging apps and chatbots seems to be the only scalable means to achieve this. This means every business will need to create a bot, but not at the expense of mobile application.

Bottom Line

Chatbots are transforming messaging applications in many ways. They help to provide better customer experience and timely response. Chatbots is still immature and needs more technical inputs. It will also take more time for them to get to the point of replacing mobile applications completely. Developing companies can also take advantage of the increased usage of messaging app and chatbot’s technology to transform their businesses.

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