A comprehensive guide to make the most out of progressive web apps (PWAs)
Mobile apps have become integral parts of our lives. From productivity to shopping to socializing, apps have become parts and parcels of our day-to-day routines. While apps can make a lot of things easier, it is only natural that customers expect businesses to provide app-like convenient experiences on the shopping websites.
Ecommerce businesses today are urged to deliver smooth and seamless shopping experiences so that they can outgrow competition and stand apart in this vast marketplace. The last five years witnessed an incredible upsurge in the number of mobile visits. With rapidly increasing shoppers on mobile devices, providing a device-specific and user-friendly website experience gets paramount importance. It is surveyed that more than 35% of eCommerce businesses have already started investing in developing exclusive shopping apps for their stores while a lion’s share of others are planning to invest in the upcoming financial year.
That being said, have you ever heard about PWAs?
PWAs stand for progressive web apps and they help you deliver fast, reliable, enhanced, and app-like shopping experiences to your customers. The best part about PWAs is that they work on all the devices and all the browsers seamlessly just like native apps but without consuming a huge development and maintenance cost. Sounds amazing, right? This article provides you with all the comprehensive insights that help you make the most out of progressive web apps and reap more business benefits for your eCommerce growth.
What is a progressive web app?
Progressive web apps often abbreviated as PWAs are web applications that leverage technology to combine the best of both web and mobile app experiences. Making use of the web browser APIs and features, PWAs can be put to work on any platform. They are developed with a traditional progressive enhancement strategy and provide the end-users with a native app-like user experience on cross-platform web apps. The standards-compliant browser of PWAs makes them work seamlessly on both desktop and mobile devices.
What are the benefits of progressive web apps?
Out of myriads of benefits, here are the five most important ones that make progressive web apps a delight for eCommerce businesses:
→ Faster and smooth page loads:
PWAs not only load faster, but they are also known for the speedy and smooth transitions. The content, image, and other elements of the site don’t have to be reloaded afresh every time after the first loading. This makes the progressive web apps start engaging the users right away without having to put them on a boring wait (like CSS-heavy web pages).
→ Economical and cost-effective solutions:
Progressive web apps act as one-stop solutions to multiple parameters like customer satisfaction, marketing capabilities, technology, and development expertise, etc. This helps eCommerce businesses save a lot of money, time, and resources that they would otherwise invest in developing platform-specific applications. PWAs help you get a near-native experience and app-like look and feel, and at the same time, they don’t hurt your budget. It’s comparatively way too cheaper than the native apps to develop, deploy, promote, and maintain these progressive web apps.
→ Enhanced user experience:
All the time, money, and resources that you invest in your online business will make sense only if your website is easy to use and translates your brand vision. Since PWAs combines the best of both desktop and mobile experiences, they help you deliver an enhanced shopping experience to your customers. Progressive web apps also make effective use of hardware functionalities like geo-location, device camera, etc., and provide a handy and intuitive user experience.
→ Responsiveness and accessibility:
The topmost benefits of PWAs are their accessibility and responsiveness. They are accessible on all browsers and work well in environments with poor or low internet connection too. They provide the same experience across devices of all sizes like mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktop screens. This makes your business perform the same and better on all devices and browsers, and even on offline modes.
→ Safety and security:
Progressive web applications are deployed on secure HTTPS servers that minimize the risks of security issues. Also, unlike other native apps, PWAs are not dependent on app engines and app distribution platforms like Microsoft store, Play Store, or Apple Store. This makes it easy, safe, and reliable to access progressive web apps.
Why should you build a PWA for your eCommerce site?
Apart from the user experience benefits, PWAs come with an array of marketing advantages. From automated app updates to SEO-readiness, progressive web apps have got you covered. Wondering if progressive web apps are better for SEO objectives? Here’s what you should know:
The SEO benefits of PWAs are listed below:
1. Engine-friendly as well as user-friendly
While PWAs guarantee an enhanced user experience, they are also rich in SEO-ready features. Progressive web apps act just like websites when it comes to search engine optimization with their content readily available for getting indexed on search engines. The mobile-friendly design and user experience of PWAs also contribute to better SEO outcomes.
2. Easy and faster indexing
Another benefit of progressive web apps is that it doesn’t require creating a dedicated mobile app page and optimizing the page for traffic and app downloads (like how the native app marketing usually works). SEO efforts for PWAs are as simple and the same as the efforts for optimizing the very website and its AMP-powered mobile version.
3. No ASO required
Usually, mobile apps need to be exclusively optimized for the app engines and marketplaces by adopting the best ASO (app store optimization) practices. It requires additional expertise, fuel, and resources whereas progressive web apps are not dependent on these app distribution platforms. Thus PWAs don’t need a dedicated app store optimization strategy or team.
4. Higher rankings with faster page loads
The topmost benefit of progressive web apps is their faster and smoother page loads. The good thing about speedy page loads is that it’s not only loved by the customers but the search engines also love pages that load faster. PWAs are ranked better on search engines.
5. Low bounce rates powered by fostered engagement
Since these progressive web apps come with UX-rich features and conversion-centric elements they entice customers to engage better and interact more on the pages. This fosters the overall engagement rate and thereby reduces the bounce rates. Needless to say that low bounce rates help pages rank better and higher on the search engines.
6. Continued engagement through push notifications
Native apps have a great feature called push notifications that can be used to re-engage users effectively and intelligently. Guess what, progressive web apps also have this provision of sending custom push notifications for specified users or user groups to serve specific purposes. This helps to increase the returning visits and page sessions on the progressive web pages which in return improves the SEO-friendliness of the website.
Progressive web apps vs native apps
If you are still not convinced, here are some successful progressive web apps examples that will definitely leave you inspired. Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Pinterest are some great examples of how you can use PWAs to provide app-like experiences on mobile browsers.
Here are a few more comparative insights on progressive web apps vs native apps that will help you keep pace with the trends:
Features and benefits
Progressive Web Apps
1. Push Notifications
2. Mobile-specific navigation (Eg. Menu)
3. Offline access
4. Home screen icon (for quick access)
5. Same built for all devices
6. Sharing and easy access through simple URLs
7. Automatic updates (without manual permissions)
8. Faster indexing by search engines like Google
9. Independent on app distribution platforms
10. Consumes low mobile data
11. Byepasses the competitive app markets
12. Centralized content entry and management
Progressive web apps are the future of both eCommerce shopping as well as mobile apps. If you haven’t invested in PWAs yet, now is the best time to get started. If you are looking for a PWA solution for your eCommerce business, The Commerce Shop is a top progressive web app development company, USA-based, that offers exemplary eCommerce solutions and services to industries and clients across the globe. Get in touch with our technology experts to uncover endless possibilities. A free consultation is just a click away.