Progressive web apps are the next great trend for the mobile web. It was invented about two years ago by Google and already got a lot of attention around it. As many experts assume that this is the nearest future both in terms of development and user experience, let’s observe more facts, details and use cases of progressive web apps.
What is Progressive Web Apps?
A progressive web application is a website that looks and behaves in the same way as a mobile application, which means that it can be added to the main screen of the smartphone, send push notifications, access the hardware of the device, and work offline . Yes, you read it right. Progressive Web App works just as smoothly in an unstable connection or in the absence of a network, as it would be with full Internet access.
The main benefits of progressive web apps
As we know in some certain cases, when there is no internet connection, websites are absolutely limited to be displayed properly. On the other hand, mobile apps are often self-contained, allowing users to browse the app when not online, thus increasing the engagement and availability greatly. With an offline mode any information can be saved automatically during the last online access. The offline page can be completed with a brand logo, some information and there even can be some advanced features.
For example, from this can benefit businesses with the product catalogs that people can view in the offline mode as well. As a result, potential increase in customers’ retention & engagement rates.
The next benefit of progressive web apps is that they are being designed like mobile apps while still having the full functionality of websites with dynamic data and database access. In general, every developer chooses how extensively to program progressive web apps, by most of them take full advantage of existing frameworks and conventional theory on how mobile apps provide superior user experiences compared to websites.
What makes progressive web apps different from the native apps lets say is that you can get an access to the via URLs and that they are therefore indexable by search engines. Businesses can get crucial advantages from doing it.
Progressive web apps are faster because of the way that Progressive Web Apps work significantly faster due to the way the underlying technology caches and serves text, stylesheets, images and other content on the websites. As a result conversation, user experience and retention rates benefit from the improved performance.
Compared to mobile applications, when users install PWA’s, there are no long download times, and visitors are not routed through Google Play or the App Store, but directly downloading the app onto their device. This means that the progressive web app gets its own icon on phones and tablets, just like a mobile application, but without the need to go through the sometimes tedious and slow App Store submission process.
Specific hardware features, for example, push notifications
The next benefit of progressive web apps is the option of implementing different useful features, such as push notifications. Publishers and developers have full control over how to implement this option, allowing for creative solutions with regards to advertising new content. For e-commerce sites, this could mean an entirely new entry channel for sales, since push notifications directly displayed on phones are getting read far more often than either e-mail newsletters, status updates on social media etc.
No app store submission
Progressive web apps don’t need to be published in Google Play, Windows Phone Apps or Apple’s App Store. Less time-consuming actions. Also, developers can push new updates without waiting for approvals, allowing for regular updates on a level not currently possible with traditional mobile apps. All the updates will be automatically downloaded and updated when users relaunch the app.
Some reasons and use cases why companies should use progressive web applications.
Progressive web apps will be a bridge for those gaps between mobile app and website. In June 2017, Recode published a study that confirmed that many professionals are already spinning a language: the boom of traditional applications has passed, and the percentage of those who uninstall applications continues to grow. Obviously, there are many benefits for companies in implementing these technologies. For example:
- Twitter Lite saw a 65% increase in pages per session, 75% in Tweets, and a 20% decrease in bounce rate. Twitter Lite loads in under 3 seconds for repeat visits even on slow networks.
- Forbes’ progressive web app test saw 2× increase in average user session length, 6× completion rate, and 20% more impressions. Loads in 0.8s down from 3 to 12s. Forbes’ PWA loads in 2.5 seconds on mobile compared to 6.5 seconds for its previous site. Impressions per visit are up 10%. Forbes redesigned their mobile experience as a PWA resulting in 43% increase in sessions per user, add viewability up 20%, and 100% more engagement.
- Lancôme’s progressive web app features a 17% increase in conversions, a 51% increase in mobile sessions overall and a 53% increase on iOS alone. Notifications contribute a 18% open rate and a 12% increase in recovered carts. 8% of people responding to a notification make a purchase. Since launching their PWA, Lancôme’s mobile sales have increased 16% year over year with overall speed increases of 50%.
- Google found that Progressive Web App install banners convert 5-6× more often than native install banners. Alibaba increased conversions on the mobile web by 76%, with 14% more monthly active users on iOS and 30% more on Android.
- AliExpress has been on the forefront of mobile commerce, and based on the growth they see in this area they quickly developed their own PWA. With a reported 104% increase in conversion rates for new users gained with their Progressive Web App compared to their traditional website and mobile app, things are looking quite well for the Chinese company.
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