Are You Ready for a Progressive Web Application?29 November 2018
Progressive web applications (PWA) have really changed the way we use the Internet today. Push notifications, offline websites and extremely fast load times are just a few of the features that are used in progressive web applications, with users appreciating these improvements every day.
Progressive web applications are also a popular topic at technology conferences, especially those organized by Google. PWA development is the result of hightened interest in providing users with richer experiences and better functionality, which were previously reserved for native mobile applications downloaded from app stores.
What is a Progressive Web Application (PWA)?
A Progressive Web Application is a connectivity independent browser-based application that mimics a website, but shares the functionality of a mobile app. It looks like a website, it's run like a regular website, but it feels like it's a mobile or desktop application. Technically speaking, PWA’s provide a special manifest which includes an application icon address and must remain operational while off-line to some extent, to safe-guard against the event a user experiences poor connectivity or loses it all together.
PWA’s are a competitive solution for mobile applications, and a completely different proposition for users.
In the case of mobile applications, users download applications from stores, register them and use them while connected to the internet. In the case of PWA’s, internet connectivity is only necessary to initially enter a website or related web pages, but internet connectivity is not needed to use them to engage particular functionalities.
Why are PWA’s becoming more and more popular?
The ability to take advantage of mobile application functionality through an internet browser, without the need to access internet connectivity, is a new, satisfying and hugely advantageous development.
Thanks to PWA’s, the sudden loss of internet access doesn’t disrupt the use of developer defined functionalities. This means that data entered just before losing connectivity, is not lost, and when the connection returns the user can pick up where they left off.
PWA’s are not associated with the operating system of a device. They don’t require using app stores at all. Additionally, PWA functionality and availability is not determined by Android or iOS operating systems, which is common among mobile applications. Just enter the url in your browser to gain access. PWA’s even appear on the device like a typical application, allowing full range access to on-screen content if the user elects to hide their browser bar.
How can a Progressive Web Application support your business?
Thanks to PWA technology, user behavior remains virtually unchanged by addressing their needs are in real time, eliminating restrictions related to
→ access to internet connectivity
→ access to functionality.
This has a positive effect on business growth.
Cheaper IT production costs
Choosing PWA technology allows for IT projects to be compatible with user every device, regardless of their operating system or browser preference.
Larger conversions for e-Commerce
If during an online shopping experience a customer loses connectivity, a PWA saves the most recent action in the browser application. Whether the user is adding products to the shopping cart or is already at the point of completing the transaction, the shopping process picks up at the point where the user left off once network connectivity has been restored. This functionality simplifies and stabilizes customer experience on the site, which directly affects the number of transactions.
AliExpress is a popular e-commerce website, which belongs to the Alibaba Group. These industry frontrunners have already adapted Progressive Web Applications to their mobile site.
However, before AliExpress utilized PWA technology, their focus was on promoting application use, which failed to bring the expected results. At the same time, their online store's website didn’t provide the same level of customer satisfaction on mobile devices.
The following statistics give some insight into the amazing results that followed the implementation of a PWA solution for this business.
→ 104% increase in conversions for new users.
→ 2x more pages visited per session.
→ 74% increase in time spent per session.
Bigger coverage and involvement for content sites
Internet websites, which base their business model on displaying advertisements, build greater reach and user involvement thanks to PWA’s (time = time of the session and corresponding activity). Users of PWA affected websites can view pages and advertisements even when they do not have internet access.
All you have to do is download one website, and links from this page (other websites, links under icons) can also be downloaded to quickly load your content.
Once a PWA site is accessed, links from this page (other websites, links under icons), as well as other content, can also quickly be loaded.
Thanks to this advantage, advertising partners are more willing to invest in marketing with a website that has strong customer loyalty.
In 2017, Twitter implemented the Progressive Web App "Twitter Lite" as the default setting on mobile devices for it’s world wide usership.
By utilizing PWA technology, Twitter wanted to improve the quality of their mobile network, making it faster and more engaging, especially since many Twitter users were in areas with slow and unstable internet connectivity.
Thanks to Twitter Lite, websites are loaded instantly, and the amount of data loaded is reduced by optimizing images and using cached data. User involvement has increased thanks to push notifications and installing Twitter Lite icons on the home screen of their mobile devices.
Here are some key results from Twitter Lite:
→ 75% increase in sent Tweets.
→ decrease of the bounce rate by 20%.
→ 65% increase in pages per session.
Progressive Web Applications in the experience of the user are:
→ reliable - they are efficient, they load instantly and keep you from having to deal with Google Chrome’s pet Dinosaur :)
→ fast - up to 53% of users leave a website, if it takes more than 3 seconds to load! Progressive Web Applications solve this problem, because page loading is almost instantaneous *
→ engaging - the use of functionality typically reserved for traditional applications allows for greater user involvement and activity, even when internet connectivity is poor or even absent. Notifications (push notifications) operating in the application don’t let you forget about initiated activities, encouraging users to continue, even when the browser is minimized and the user device (eg tablet, phone) is muted.
→ conserving data - one major advantage of PWA’s is they can occupy from several to several dozen times less space on a user’s device than a mobile application.
The application development market is definitely aimed at shifting more and more mobile applications to the browser environment. For years, WhiteLabelCoders has been cooperating with partners from all over the world in the field of custom web development and Magento technology (Magento Peregrine containing components for creating Magento - PWA technology and is coming soon). Including PWA technology in the toolbox of our team of specialists allows our clients dependent on business based IT systems to take a big step forward, too.