Why you should have Progressive Web Apps in your digital strategy?

By Ziggle Tech

Website apps have single-handedly changed the dynamics of doing business on the internet. A new generation of web apps called Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have emerged and are doing good for the future generations to come. This article gives an insight into PWAs and what makes it a unique pick!

What are Progressive Web Apps or PWAs?

A Progressive Web App is an advanced version of a website. It offers features which are usually associated with apps. The highlight of a PWA is accessibility which can be experienced either by visiting a given URL or by adding a PWA to the device the website or the app store. Speaking in broader terms, a traditional website can only be accessed via a web browser however PWAs promises a much more nuanced user experience.

The supporting websites will prompt the user to add their Progressive Web Apps to one’s home screen for the mobile devices. This also includes an option to manually do it via Chrome’s add to option. Installing a Progressive Web App on the desktop will require the user to hit the “+” sign that appears on the address bar on Chrome. The desktop users will have to visit the mobile version of a website in order to see the install prompt.

Introduction of the Trusted Web Activity functionality to Chrome as well has allowed some PWAs to deliver an experience without the Chrome browser UI showing up. Currently, this functionality is only available to Google-approved developers owing to security concerns.

Five features that make PWA unique

There are several advantages to using a Progressive Web App over a conventional web app. These features that make PWA unique have been responsible for its growth in the current business sphere. Apart from being extremely responsive when it comes to accessibility and user experience, the list of features also includes adjustment of the website content according to the device being used.

Offline mode

Users often feel stuck when there is no internet connection. The websites display information which is limited. The mobile apps offer a self-contained format which allows the users to browse the app when not online. This increases the engagement and availability of the user. The offline mode provides an added advantage of saving any information automatically during the last online access. The users are often exposed to the perils of seeing a 404 screen or blank page if one is using a website or conventional web app while offline. For instance, the Twitter PWA allows viewing a cached timeline if you lose connectivity. This feature can benefit e-commerce businesses which offer product catalogs that people can view even without internet connectivity. This, in turn, enhances customer’s engagement with the company and leaving a positive impact.

App lookalike

Progressive web apps are designed like mobile apps. This does not come in the way of its website-like dynamic functionality. This also ensures database access. This is a bone of contention for the developer as well because they tend to manipulate the superior user experience of the app along with the benefits of website functionality.

Progressive Web Apps to be served from a secure source (HTTPS), going some way to ensure that you don’t encounter malware or any other suspicious content which the traditional applications suffer from.

Performance is the key!

Progressive web apps are swifter and more efficient in delivering numbers. This enabled by underlying technology caches and serves text, stylesheets, images and other content on the websites. The user experience and retention rates benefit from improved performance. Considering the case of Forbes’, a global media company, a website that took about 3-12 seconds to load. It is staggering to note that 53% of visits to mobile sites are deprived of footfall if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. With the new site based on progressive web app technology, which is capable of loading in 0.8 seconds, Forbes saw a 43% increase in sessions and a 100% increase in engagement.

Stay away from the installation

The users install PWAs at a quicker pace. Gone are the days when the visitors are redirected to Google Play or the App Store. PWAs are directly downloaded from the app onto their device. It gets its own icon on phones and tablets but without the hassles of going through time-taking and slow App Store submission process.

In addition to this, PWAs do not need to be published in Google Play, Windows Phone Apps or Apple’s App Store. This also means that one can push new updates without waiting for approval. This feature allows regular updates on a level not possible with traditional mobile apps. The updates are automatically downloaded and updated when the users relaunch the app.

Moreover, Progressive Web Apps can be installed on your smartphone or PC. One can see the PWA listed in your app installation directory, for example. This is an attractive difference from traditional web apps.

Notifications

Progressive web apps enable users to go for push notifications. Publishers and developers have full control over how to materialize this option. This gives them ample space for creative solutions concerning advertising new content. This is an asset, especially for e-commerce sites. Creating an entirely new entry channel for sales, push notifications are directly displayed on phones rather than annoying the users with email newsletters or status updates on social media platforms. The users may also receive notifications on the smartphone or PC from the PWA as if it were a native application. They do not need to open the PWA in order to see what’s new.

Learning from the best

Some of the prolific companies from a variety of sectors have switched to PWAs for efficient functionality. Some of the top performers include AliExpress, Flipboard, Pinterest, Starbucks, Tinder, the Washington Post, Flipkart, Instagram, Spotify, Telegram, Twitter, and Uber. Needless to say that these companies have existing conventional apps anyway, but having a PWA serves as a viable alternative to installing the full-sized apps.

Google has also done its part to deliver PWAs, offering Google Maps, Google Photos, and Android Messages. Have we missed any Progressive Web Apps worth learning more about?

Please get in touch with ZiggleTech for more such insights, information, and further discussions.