Passbook is designed for lightweight content such as coupons for stores or entry tickets for concerts. They are ultra-easy to download and ultra-easy to distribute. The user experience is beautiful but simple, with the ability to update pass content over months or years and pop simple iBeacon messages in front of a physical location. It's just enough functionality to grow a quick coupon-clipper into a nicely engaged and educated customer.
To jump to the next level of engagement and user experience, we must use an app... which has a much richer functionality and user interface, but it is harder to persuade customers to download.
So think of Passbook and mobile apps working in partnership. Passbook used to be mass distributed and grow customers from "zero" to a healthy brand awareness. Then handing off to the more powerful native app to grow the relationship and revenue further.
Passbook has a built-in mechanism provided by Apple, specifically to promote this upgrade from Pass to App. Smart!
Passbook also takes almost no time to set up and requires no changes to IT infrastructure. It is linked automatically with iBeacons. Those same iBeacons can drive pop-up ads in your iOS apps.
Check out our Wallet CRM product, which makes it a snap to set up a system.