Technology March 13, 2019 Last updated March 6th, 2019 284 Reads share

How Progressive Web Apps Can Bring Digital Transformation

Image Credit: Stockunlimited

 

If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished – Wendy Clark, CEO at DDB Worldwide

Every business has a mobile audience and you can’t ignore them. To target them successfully, either you have to build a native mobile app or create a responsive website. These two options are ubiquitous now.

It is an irrefutable fact that responsive websites are easy to get on mobile web but they are not delightful in terms of user experience. On the flip side, native apps are highly adaptable considering user experience but they have their own limitations.

So, what could be the best to target mobile users?

The answer is the Progressive Web App.

If you are not aware of what is PWA, here’s the definition in simple words:

Progressive Web App is a medium between a mobile website and a native mobile app to enhance the user experience. They are web apps but behave like mobile apps.

Recently, Adobe has added Progressive Web App for Magento customers via PWA Studio and developer toolkit.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are trending over the internet and every business wants to get involved in. No one had thought it will become a hot trend when the term was actually introduced back in 2015.

So, how PWAs work?

PWAs are reliable, fast and engaging as per Google. Unlike native apps, they don’t require a download, saving the memory of smartphones and data.

Modern technologies like Push Notifications and Service Workers allow the app to execute background tasks like sending notifications even if they are not running. Service worker is a javascript file that is installed on a user’s device which acts like network proxy and decides whether to fetch data from the network or deliver data from the local cache.

They are also economical from a developer’s perspective. These apps are hosted on the application’s server only. So if it requires an update, app developers can update exactly like a web app.

In other words, they are up to date and responsive.

Why PWAs are adopted so well?

User behavior with brands has changed tremendously since mobile apps were launched. The recent trend, however, shows that people are not fond of native apps.

Research by comScore shows a decline in the number of apps download and says that the majority of people download zero apps per month. Only an exceptional app with spectacular user experience can be a reason to increase the number of downloads, which is the main purpose of any business.

 

In contrast to native apps which require to pass the regulation for launch in the app store, PWAs are easy to distribute among users as they are ready to access through shareable links. Users can check them in a browser before installing.

Many users abandon a mobile website if it takes more time to load. Whereas, PWAs bring the top-notch experience to users as they can be launched from home screen within a second.

Because of the pre-cached content facility, PWAs provide better connectivity and performance in areas of poor connection where the network is not stable. They won’t go offline unlike native apps.

Another reason to embrace PWAs is they work on all devices because of online hosting. It means businesses can bring the same experience to all devices of different size, be it Android or iOS. They don’t need to execute a variety of designs for all gadgets.

Most of the browsers including Chrome and Opera support the PWAs. So there is no need to look back for the native app.

PWAs are the future

With PWAs, business owners can achieve both purposes – getting more traffic and providing the world-class experience of the native app. Cost of creating PWAs is negligible as there is no need to build a separate app for both platforms- Android and iOS.

To put things in perspective, let’s take a look at some of the popular apps using PWA successfully –

Since Alibaba has migrated to PWA, the number of conversions jumped by 76%. As I said, the power of PWA!

 

Flipkart, an India based eCommerce venture has upgraded their website to the progressive web app and they saw 60% customers return on their website who had previously uninstalled the app.

 

Tinder also has implemented PWA term to decrease the load time compared to native app and results are impressive – more sent messages, longer session times!

 

There are plenty of examples to illustrate why progressive web apps have gained more popularity last year.

If PWA is designed correctly for your business, you can enhance visibility even for local search queries. Your business can drive more conversions from mobile users if the website evacuates the same experiences that of a native application.

In addition, native app stores are quite overflowed. To survive in this competition, that too at the initial stage of the business when you are sort for a marketing budget, you have to think of an option of PWA instead of the native app.

Many times, businesses have to fall for in-app marketing including paid downloads or in-app purchases. This can be an extra load as Google and Apple stores cut their fees as much as 30% which can be exorbitant for small and medium-sized businesses. On contrary, PWAs revenues directly go to business owners. That makes a huge impact on startups.

Building a progressive web app for eCommerce can be an ideal solution to give an idea about your products.

Wrap up

If this trend continues to grow, mobile users will be more acquainted with this interface which is more user-friendly. I presume that major small to medium businesses will go for PWAs and quit this native app agenda and that will bring the transformation to the digital web.

Though they are gaining their technical abilities and getting more of recognition, Google has not done yet in regards to PWA being truly app whereas Microsoft has proved its commitment by allowing PWAs in the windows app store.

What are your thoughts on native apps being replaced by Progressive Web Apps? Share your views in comments.

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Kunjal Panchal

Kunjal Panchal

Kunjal Panchal is a Brand Strategist at Simform, a custom software development company. She is passionate about content marketing and strongly believes in the power of storytelling for marketing. She has shared her inputs on high-end publications like Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur and many more. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee. Connect with her on Twitter @KunjalPanchal

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