After we wrote about the business benefits of Progressive Web Applications or PWAs last year, the technology has since exploded massively in 2020.
Google Play has started listing Progressive Web Apps on Google Play for Chromebooks, while WooCommerce (one of the most popular e-commerce platforms) has introduced a PWA plugin — essentially allowing Progressive Web Apps to take over the mCommerce landscape.
These are just a few examples of many tech companies aggressively advancing PWA technologies in 2020 and beyond.
Last year, we predicted that Progressive Web Apps will be the new standard for web interactions in the future. Today, the amount of effort and resources that tech companies are placing on Progressive Web Apps validates the importance of PWAs in business, especially given the current Covid-19 situation which has propelled digital transformation in many industries.
Should I build a PWA?
Before we begin the discussion, let us recall what a PWA site is. As we defined in our previous article, Progressive Web Apps are web pages that look and feel like an app. Progressive Web Apps are installable and offer an immersive full screen experience. Progressive Web Apps work reliably regardless of network conditions, sending less data for page loads and transactions versus traditional web pages.
Progressive Web Applications are marketed by Google Developer as user experiences that have “the reach of the web” and are “reliable (load instantly and never show the dinosaur), fast (respond quickly with silky smooth animations and good quality scrolling), and engaging (feel like a natural app on the device).
Given that, you should build a Progressive Web Application if you want to deliver an excellent user experience on the mobile web. Moreover, if your users visit your website regularly for updates, and they are mostly on Google Chrome, Opera or Mozilla Firefox, plus you offer-real time information as well as content that will interest users even when they are offline, then you must consider implementing a Progressive Web App.
With a great user experience, you can reap results that can affect engagement and even conversion rates. Check out the following case studies from Google:
• An authoritative media business records 58% more conversions and 49% more daily active users with their multi-page Progressive Web Application
• A large ticketing firm drove an 80% increase in conversions after improving their Progressive Web Application
• An online destination for classified ads boosts re-engagement by 250% with a Progressive Web Application
As we said in our previous article, website user experience can be leveraged to improve customer experience. Innovations like Progressive Web Applications help us do that.
Why do we need PWA?
Your business may need a Progressive Web Application if you want to reap the following benefits:
1. Wider market reach
If you want to increase your number of users, Progressive Web Applications can be leveraged to help you enjoy a wider reach on the web, particularly among markets with poor internet connection.
If you wish to save on cost and time, instead of building a website and separate mobile apps for iOS and Android, you can turn to Progressive Web Applications which can be used on both iOS or Android devices. Moreover, bypassing the app store allows businesses to save on costs for listing and marketing on the Play Store or App Store.
3. Bypassing app discovery
Because there are over two million apps on both the Play Store and App Store, Progressive Web Applications can allow business to showcase its app experience immediately, thus being one step ahead of the Play Store and App Store crowd.
4. Time-saving design
Because Progressive Web Applications are updated in real-time on the server, users don’t need to spend time installing future updates sporadically.
5. Higher conversion
Aside from the fact that the seamlessness of Progressive Web Applications can result in surges in conversion rates, Progressive Web Applications can also be used to store payment details on the device to make a payment.
How do I start a PWA or convert my website to a PWA?
For starters, you can refer to this checklist from Google Developer, which includes: HTTPS implementation, responsive design, use of service worker, and fast loading on 3G.
If that sounds Greek to you, you may want to consult with us so we can discuss your PWA project. Beyond the technicalities, when starting or converting a website to a Progressive Web Application, it is important to be anchored on a larger strategy. A Progressive Web Application is not a one-size-fits-all solution. In order to maximise this nice-to-have, you may need more than just a web developer, but a team of highly experienced strategists, creatives, and even digital marketing specialists. Reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our enquiry form to discuss. You can also take a look at our list of services.