How Progressive Web Apps Change the Game For Digital Agencies
According to figures by Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide is most likely to pass five billion by the year 2019. All smartphones surely use progressive web apps for mobile devices. Statista’s numbers show two possible conclusions about the behaviors of smartphone users. Firstly, the increase in smartphone devices will increase worldwide connectivity. Secondly, convenience is the reason why smartphones are popular. Most of you are probably reading this article on your smartphone.
Businesses today simply cannot ignore mobile device users when building a business strategy. Fast, affordable, and convenient solutions appeal to smartphone users. Progressive web apps development is surely a decision which helps companies make a lot of positive influence on their business’ overall growth. In the past decade, website and mobile application development have undergone a major tectonic shift in what’s doable and possible. The rise of device-compatible responsive web design which also includes progressive web applications (PWAs) proves the point that PWAs are accurate methods to address users’ desire for mobile-ready, easy usable applications.
What are Progressive Web Apps?
Before we move forward, we need to understand the scope of PWAs. PWAs are web apps on mobile browsers. They do not run like native mobile applications. It’s like a native application, but with the web app-like experience. “Progressive” refers to advancements which aim for better user engagement while applying the same basic and clean UI (User Interface). Andrew Gazdecki of Bizness Apps claims that PWAs are “the future of mobile”.
We are in the year 2018 and PWAs are barely 2 years old. Google started exploring the technology running PWAs in 2015. Since that time, Google has actively promoted progressive web apps during the discussions at Google I/O 2017 and Google’s Developers Conference.
According to Frances Berriman, who helped with the name of progressive web apps, “[PWAs are] for those users who have to pay for per MB for their downloads and Internet surfing, who have old phones [non-smartphones], who either don’t want to, or can’t, be on a native-app-based OS, operating systems like Android, Windows or iOS.” So, as you see, they significantly change the web. Berriman also mentioned that PWAs were initially willed to solve problems with native mobile applications and mobile phone websites.
Since websites bring in more traffic, they are comparatively slower. Native mobile applications and native app development require multiple plugins to work flawlessly, and they usually have mobile-device compatibility problems. Progressive web apps fixe those issues.
Examples of Progressive Web Apps
Following three companies have created PWAs which are yielding excellent results.
Last year, one of the leading social media platforms Twitter announced the ownership of PWA: Twitter Lite. Twitter Lite reduced the app loading time and data consumption. It surely was a major hit among users. According to developers, Twitter Lite saw:
- 65% increase in pages per session in comparison with the standard Twitter App;
- 75% increase in Tweeting;
- 20% decrease in bounce rate.
The current number of Twitter users is about 328 million monthly active users, so Twitter Lite was an overall success which shows how many people are willing to use this PWA.
AliExpress is a leading e-commerce platform. Their Progressive web application development was intended to improve the visitors’ re-engagements, retention rates, and overall Return Over Investment (ROI). The PWA didn’t disappoint anybody at all. AliExpress’ PWA yielded the following figures across all browsers:
- 104% increase in conversion rate for new users;
- 82% increase in iOS conversion rate;
- 2x more pages visited per session per user;
- 74% increase in time spent per session.
Their PWA is successful because it leads to much higher conversion rates.
Forbes, a news and media company that specializes in global business news, focused on improving visitors’ engagement and providing relevant content to promote offline reading. The PWA site saw:
- 20% increase in impressions per page;
- 12% increase in the number of users;
- 6x increase in the number of readers completing articles.
Other companies which opted for PWAs include Alibaba, Medium, Snapdeal, The Financial Times, GitHub Explorer, Tinder, Flipboard, and Offline Wikipedia.
6 Reasons Digital Agencies Opt for Progressive Web Apps
Here are a few functions which PWAs usagefacilitates.
Progressive Web Apps Don’t Need Connectivity
Imagine you are at a place without good network service and you’re also running low on gas for your car. You are unable to use Google Maps to locate a nearby gas station, and you’re absolutely clueless as for what to do.
PWAs solve this issue by working on low connectivity. They load quickly and save the info you accessed when you last used the app. Service workers help progressive online applications run off-line through proxy servers which act as a medium between the application, the internet browser, and the actual network. Instead of caching the response data, service workers cache the accurate response.
Above mentioned structure cuts down connectivity issues and gives a flawless connection to the network.
PWAs Focus on the Best Features of Mobile and Web Applications
PWAs aren’t limited by browser or device. Like a website, PWAs provide:
- instant access via browsers;
- quick load speed;
- index-able, shareable content;
- mobile app features.
Because app developers use the React Native frameworks, which generate superior website functionalities, PWAs can use progressive web apps features like:
- push notifications;
- full-screen functionality;
- splash screens;
- offline content.
Progressive Web Apps Are Easier to Develop, Deploy, and Use
NO App Store Restrictions for PWAs
PWA Developer only has to design and build one single time for Android and iOS running smartphones. Progressive web apps update automatically so that the users won’t have to worry about the latest version of the App.
All these improvements in downloads and usage increase rates since users don’t have to worry about restrictions as all progressive web apps are available on Android or iOS. Web apps’ frameworks run on all available mobile operating systems.
Progressive Web Apps Are Linkable
Progressive web apps are highly linkable just like mobile websites. Every page of a PWA carries a unique URL, just like a complete website. These pages can be easily opened in a new browser window, bookmarked, and shared across social media platforms. For example, you can easily link it with Forbes PWA.
Progressive Web Apps don’t Use Mobile Space
PWAs are hosted on web servers, which is the reason why they don’t take up much space on your phone.PWAs don’t ask the users to download the app but users have the option to save them as an icon on their home screen for faster and easier access.
This option is available for both iOS and Android users.
Mobile websites work flawlessly but the user experience of them is not up-to-the-mark. Native applications provide better user experience but they have other limitations like mobile version adaptations. Native applications need to be downloaded, which means building considerable consumers first and then undermining the benefits of impulse behaviors. PWA is the answer to these shortcomings of mobile websites and native mobile applications. It brings together the best elements of mobile sites and native applications while minimizing their disadvantages.
Progressive web apps development doesn’t have any drawback which lets a company face any sort of issue in terms of business growth. In fact, more and more companies are following this amazing technology trend. Soon this technology is going to help companies grow faster and with a growth that is sustainable.
Dozens of major brands are moving to PWAs or intending to use Progressive Web Apps Framework instead of mobile websites and native mobile applications. So, it’s easy to see why digital agencies recommend it to their new and existing customers. PWAs are turning out to be the best of both worlds for businesses of all sizes and categories. We can only expect more improvements leading to better ROI and healthier conversion rates as this technology continues to develop. This surely is a game changer for digital agencies.