Imagine the situation: you need to develop an application that will be convenient for owners of smartphones on iOS and Android, available on most devices and at the same time not going beyond a limited budget. Not an easy task.
A possible solution is to develop a PWA application. This technology was first announced by Google in 2015, and since then it has continued to improve and interest investors and developers. Brands such as Twitter, Washington Post, Instagram, Pinterest, Starbucks, Aviasales and other brands use PWA-based applications as the main solution or in addition to a mobile application.
Why do companies switch to new technologies and turn to PWA development experts? Should you pay attention to PWA technology for your business? Let’s find out.
What is a Progressive Web App?
PWA is a technology in web development that visually and functionally transforms a website into a web application. Thus, PWAs combine the advantages of web and mobile development.
Like a regular site, Progressive Web Apps are available at URLs and are indexed by search engines. Like mobile apps, they send push notifications to users with news and offers. At the same time, such applications work on all known browsers and platforms, on any gadgets and PCs, online and offline.
When to Use PWA Apps?
Consider developing a progressive web application in the following cases:
- When you need a mobile application for the widest possible audience, but the development, support, and modernization of two native platforms iOS and Android are too expensive;
- The content on your company’s website is constantly updated. Prices change, auctions are constantly held, there are stock reports, news, etc.;
- A chat or comment platform is attached to the site. And users need to receive notifications;
- It is convenient for users to first extract information and then download it offline, similar to news applications or a blog that publishes several articles a day.
As for business areas, first of all, we suggest ecommerce business owners take a closer look at PWAs since such applications allow you to:
- Improve site performance.
A fast app loading speed reduces the bounce rate (the percentage of users who leave the site before it loads). For mobile users, every second counts, and winning customer attention is critical. Fast loading applications help increase conversion, which allows you to increase the profit of the online store.
- Provide a native app experience.
Since the page does not need to be loaded completely, you can only change some blocks on the page, animate the changes. This brings PWA sites closer to the native app experience.
Pros and cons of PWA
Like any other technology, PWA is not a silver bullet and has some advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind.
Advantages of PWA
- Reduce development costs
PWA works on all platforms and devices, which eliminates the need to create product versions for each operating system.
- Interaction with the target audience
Progressive Web Apps help businesses reach audiences across a variety of communication channels with minimal investment.
- Low bounce rate
To download a regular mobile application, the user needs to go through 4-6 steps, and up to 20% of the audience falls off on each of them. Whereas the installation of PWA is offered to the user when they re-enter the site. The main components of the application are already preloaded during the first use of the application. This significantly speeds up the installation and reduces the number of failures.
With PWA, you don’t have to think about which operating system to choose. PWA applications are equally good for different devices, screens and browsers.
Thanks to efficient data caching, PWAs are faster than mobile apps.
PWAs take up much less space compared to native apps. For example, by incorporating PWA technology into its website, Pinterest reduced the size of its app from 9.6MB for Android and 56MB for iOS to 150KB.
- Accessing device features
As it was mentioned above, PWAs can access device features such as the camera, Bluetooth, or GPS location. For ecommerce website owners, it can be useful for PWAs to be able to send push notifications.
- No store restrictions
PWAs are not controlled by app stores and are required to comply with their requirements, unlike mobile versions of apps.
- Good for SEO
Fast loading plays a big role in a website’s position in the Google mobile search engine. PWA is indexed by Google and other search engines, although it works very much like a native app. This is an absolute plus for SEO.
Disadvantages of PWA
PWAs are a great alternative to native apps, but these apps also come with drawbacks.
- No traffic from the App Store and Google Play
A large number of users are accustomed to searching and downloading apps from app stores. Therefore, in the absence of a native application, traffic from the App Store and Google Play is missed.
- Limited support for device features
Some features of the mobile device are not available using the current capabilities of the web browser. This is especially true for support for PWA iOS features such as Face ID, Touch ID, ARKit, Bluetooth, and battery information. Therefore, PWA compatibility on iOS can be limited and buggy.
- Higher battery usage
PWA Application Examples
An example of a successful PWA application is Forbes. Their web page contains a lot of content, but the site loads very quickly: in just 0.8 seconds. And like a regular application, it sends push notifications to users. Forbes also created Fluid. This is an ad format for Progressive Web Apps that are designed to load quickly on smartphones.
According to Forbes, thanks to the introduction of PWA, the number of sessions per user increased by 43%, and ad views increased by 20%.
Another example of PWA is the site of the cosmetic brand Lancôme. The company’s analysts studied the movement of traffic on the site and came to a disappointing conclusion: if the conversion was 38% from the desktop, only 15% of users placed orders from smartphones. The most logical solution seemed to be to develop a mobile application to increase sales. But the owners of Lancôme rejected this option and rightly so.
Instead, Lancôme decided to create a Progressive Web App that does not need to be downloaded in the store and is accessible to the audience from any device. The solution turned out to be effective: conversion from mobile devices increased by 17%, the average session duration increased by 2 times, bounces decreased by 15%.
Another case of successful use of PWA is AliExpress. The company was looking for a way to provide all of its web users with the benefits of their app, such as performance and offline experience, and re-engage users.
After implementing the Progressive Web App, AliExpress increased the conversion rate for new users by 104%. Users began to visit twice as many pages per session, and time spent per session increased by an average of 74% across all browsers.
Progressive Web Apps combine the best features of mobile and web apps. Thanks to PWA, the interaction with users is significantly improved, as well as the level of loyalty and satisfaction.
If you are considering developing a PWA application, contact our experts. We will help you make the right decision.