Nowadays, smartphones are more popular than ever. More and more users are browsing the web via mobile devices, versus spending that much time on a desktop. In fact, mobile apps have already surpassed websites, getting the attention of businesses, and having them consider creating their own apps to better reach the public.
That’s where progressive web apps come in!
With global mobile devices expected to grow from 8.8 billion (since 2018) to 13.1 billion by 2023 (according to the Cisco Annual Internet Report), it’s important now more than ever to go mobile; and what a better way to start by creating progressive web apps for your business. Studies have shown that companies that went PWA, versus native mobile apps, saw a huge spike in engagement rates and increased revenue.
As the Internet continues to evolve, it’s good to know what progressive web apps are, and what they can do for businesses. This article is intended to be a quick guide on PWAs; and hopefully, you can implement these kinds of apps for your brand.
» What Is PWA?
“A progressive web app, also known as a PWA, is a website that works the same way as a regular app,” says Shawn Campbell, a business writer at 1Day2write and Nextcoursework. “However, unlike a native app, PWAs tend to work better, whenever something like a lack of connectivity occurs or inadequate networking occurs. PWAs can be summed in three words: reliable, faster, and engaging.”
As PWAs become the norm for the future, businesses are now looking to offer better optimization for the user experience. And, luckily for businesses, PWAs are good in terms of budget, feature, development time, etc.
“Businesses are finding it to implement PWAs because they offer an enhanced user experience through progressive enhancement,” adds Campbell. “They understand that PWA solutions can accelerate technological capabilities, empower them, and add the right balance to their brand. And, PWAs are simple to develop, test, and maintain, post-deployment.”
While PWAs differ from normal web programs thanks to their unique programming, this allows them to have a wide range of advantages over traditional mobile apps.
1. Same Functionality As Native Apps - Rather than rely on an Internet browser, PWAs can use nearly all of the native device’s attributes economically and enhance the mobile user’s experience. However, they won’t access things like a user’s contact information, not hardware detectors.
2. Program Icons - PWAs are readily accessible on a device’s home display, making a brand more visible, and more likely to get tapped on by users.
3. Less Device Space Required - PWAs require less device space, in order to download, making them economically-efficient for your device’s storage.
4. They Update Automatically - PWAs can update by themselves, without the user needing to visit the App Store or other similar programs to download the upgrade and wait for installation.
» Businesses’ Reaction(s) To PWA
The reactions from businesses and brands are growing positive day to day. Here are a few examples of how PWAs are transforming engagements between businesses and customers:
• Google estimates that PWA installation banners will convert five to six times more often than native apps.
• When Tinder became a PWA, the brand saw its load time get cut from an estimated 11.91 seconds to 4.69.
• When Pinterest rebuilt and re-launched its entire mobile site as a PWA, the social media platform saw a 60% spike in core engagements and got an ad-revenue increase of 44%.
• When Uber implemented PWA for the sake of wanting to be fast on 2G, the app was able to load in less than three seconds, regardless if the network is 2G or not.
» What Makes An App PWA?
An app is a PWA if it has the following features and characteristics:
1. Progressive - A PWA should work on any device and operating system, and take advantage of any features available on the user’s device and browser.
2. Responsive - A PWA’s UI should be responsive, and fit any form factor and screen size, regardless of the mobile device.
3. Self-Connective - A PWA should connect, whether a device is online or offline.
4. Looks And Feels Like A Regular App - PWAs should have the same interactions as a regular app.
5. Fresh - PWAs have to be transparent and up-to-date in content-creating.
6. Safe - PWAs prevent spoofing and interception of data, making the app secure, thanks to it being hosted over HTTPS.
7. Easy Discovery - PWAs have to be identifiable by search engines through W3C Manifests and service worker scope registration.
8. Reengagement - PWAs remind users to engage more with the app via push notifications.
9. Easy Install - Installing an app has never been easier with a PWA since the app is readily accessible on your device.
10. Easy To Link - You can easily share PWAs without the hassle and run-around.
» Why Implement PWA?
“It’s important to take advantage of using PWAs in your business,” says Brooke Goldhar, a career blogger at Australia2write and Britstudent. “Many businesses are making the switch to implementing PWAs, due to the benefits that they have to offer.”
While many reasons lean in favor of building a PWA, here is just a handful of them below:
• Quickly Responds To Users - PWAs are highly responsive and compatible with every device to the point where scrolling is smooth and user interaction is a breeze.
• Reliability - Although studies say that more than 65% of the world uses a 2G Internet connection, PWAs can function offline, if necessary, for the user. Therefore, regardless of network conditions, PWAs can run seamlessly by loading data from the cache.
• Security - Safer than conventional web apps, PWAs are safer because they’re served via HTTPS, making tampering and vandalism virtually impossible.
• Engagement - PWAs looks and feels like a native app; therefore, it has the same features (i.e. push notification, display icon on the home screen, etc.) as a native app, making engagement easy to do.
• Installation - Installing a PWA is better than installing a native app, because installation requires less friction, and only requires a single tap to download.
• Updating - PWAs let you mediate updates, rather than have you rely on the app store to learn when it’s time to update it. You can take advantage of the updated version once you update it from your end.
• Lightweight - A PWA tends to be smaller than its native app, and can cut load times in half, making it “light” in weight.
• User Engagement - PWA offers a full-screen home screen and convenient push alerts to provide high user engagement.
• Websites Perform Better - Tired of sluggish websites not loading right away? Studies show that 53% of users abandon a website if it’s too slow. PWAs improve the load times by a long-shot.
• Both Online And Offline - Good news! You can experience PWAs both online and offline, making apps more accessible to users no matter where they are, and allowing developers to deploy and maintain the app.
Although this article is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to progressive web apps, these tips and benefits can help you boost sales and increase user engagement, both online and offline. And since many consumers are becoming more reliant on mobile devices for daily activities, many businesses are scrambling to meet the needs of these consumers.
By learning more about PWAs, and implementing them in your business, you’ll see enhanced customer experience, retention rates, and conversions.