As we have talked about this issue earlier in our articles, a Progressive Web Apps is a mobile website transformed with additional features and functionalities that give it a definite “app-like” feel. 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. So It is a website but it feels like a native mobile app, with a custom loading screen, smoother animations and no navigation bar. Progressive Web Apps have a range of features and benefits that set them apart from the regular web experience.
Here we are going to introduce you the significant benefits to using Progressive Web Apps and why they may be better for your business.
Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
PWA technology has opened door to a set of new features that was previously limited to the native apps. These capabilities harness the best of native apps and websites to improve the overall experience for users.
1. “Low Data Usage” Is One of the Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
In many developing countries data is an expensive commodity. While places such as India are noticing a fall in the cost of mobile data, it is still pricey compared to developed nations.
PWAs only use a fraction of data usage compared to native apps. Konga, which is a leading e-commerce website based in Nigeria, use a PWA that has resulted in 92% less data consumption, compared to a traditional app, thereby keeping the cost of using PWAs low for the end user. A native app that consumes 10mb of data for instance can be cut to just 500kb with a PWA. This is a massive decrease when your monthly data limit isn’t huge or where buying data is expensive.
In fact, PWAs don’t require any significant storage on the device either. This frees up space for the user and contributes to better performance on their smartphones.
2. Offline Mode
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.
3. One of the Other Benefits of Progressive Web Apps Is that They Are “Reliable”
A WPA should launch and give users meaningful content regardless of network conditions. The level of offline functionality will depend on the application. Some apps will be able to function completely offline, while others will display meaningful placeholder data informing the user that they are offline. In no case should the application break or become unresponsive.
Modern apps can be developed to provide a super cool experience to fully capable browsers, and an acceptable (although not quite as shiny) experience to less capable browsers.
5. It Is Great for SEO
It is not just the low data, reliability that are major benefits of adopting a PWA approach. They can also boost the accessibility and searchability of your app. A Progressive Web App loads fast. Uber’s PWA takes less than 2 seconds to load and this has a marked impact on search engine rankings as faster loading sites receive a ranking boost. Your PWA will be indexed quickly too and it provides a great user experience which all add to the success of your SEO strategy. In fact, you can implement PWAs into your existing online marketing plan.
6. Costs Are Kept Low
For companies, the cost of developing a PWA is much cheaper than developing a native app.
A business that needs a native app, will require that app to be developed for both Android and iOS devices, which are present on a whopping 99.6% of all smartphone devices. This can be very costly especially for start-ups or businesses that are eager to see a significant ROI on their native app.
Progressive Web Apps are cheaper to produce but not at the expense of less functionality. Thus PWAs provide a better option to businesses to generate a positive ROI. Developing both an Android and iOS app can cost $20k – $80k while a PWA can be developed for a fraction of this cost at around $6k – $10k.
7. One of the Other Benefits of Progressive Web Apps Is that They Are “Expandable”
PWAs are easy to expand. Because you are essentially working on a website and adding some functionality, you can ad new bells and whistles step by step. Also, you can update your Progressive Web App with new features as more browsers become compatible with everything PWAs have to offer.
8. Save Time and Resources for Your Business
Native apps take extra time and efforts in terms of supporting different platforms like Android and iOS, which makes them extremely expensive to build and maintain. Meanwhile, a PWA can be implemented with one single codebase to simplify and reduce the cost associated with development and maintenance. This eliminates the need to create separate apps for Android & iOS, saving a great deal of resources in building, publishing and marketing the app. PWAs provide a better and easier way to provide app-like experience for your customers, instead of going through a long process of distributing to the app stores.
One of the most powerful features of the Web is to be able to link an app a specific URL, no app store needed and no complex installation process. This is how it has always been.
A core part of the apps experience is for users to have apps icon on their own container that feels nicely integrated with the underlying platform. Modern web apps can have this native app feel via properties set inside the Web app manifest, and via a feature available in modern smartphone browsers called Add to home screen.
Traditionally, native applications have been much more engaging than web applications. Having an icon on the home screen makes it easy to get into the app and push notifications can help alert the user of important information that requires their attention. With Progressive Web Applications, users can now get the same benefits with web apps.
12. No Updates Required
The native apps that most users have installed on their device update automatically and oftentimes this requires a manual update or a Wi-Fi connection. Updating apps without Wi-Fi can lead to huge data consumption which increases the cost to the user. For example, an update for the Facebook app can be 200mb which, if the user is not using Wi-Fi, is a significant chunk of one’s monthly data allowance.
PWAs don’t have this problem. As they are similar to websites, the update happens ‘on-use’ very much in the way a website is updated. You see the update when you load the PWA and it doesn’t have to be updated in the background or before you launch it like a native app. It also means that PWAs can be updated a lot quicker and there is no App or Play Store approval needed so any critical issues can be fixed in a much shorter time frame.
13. One of the Other Benefits of Progressive Web Apps Is that They Are “Fast”
It’s no secret that site speed is vital to the success and profitability of any online venture. Slow sites are proven to have a negative impact on engagement and conversion across a variety of network conditions and devices: 53% of mobile visits are abandoned if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load. Ultimately, brands looking to provide their customers a truly helpful experience need to optimize their web stores for speed and efficiency.
PWAs are streamlined to help users quickly reach the products they are trying to find and easily make purchases. Once loaded, the app can instantly react to user interactions with silky smooth transitions, without having to reload like a conventional website. Its instant load time empowers the app to cut through the clutter, allowing users to complete their desired tasks rapidly and therefore making it easy for them to convert.
14. App-like Way
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.
The great thing about PWA is that even though all browsers do not support the underlying technologies, you can already roll them out without worries. This is because all the used technologies are progressive in nature. This means that those customers that have support from them will get an enhanced experience, but all customers will get a great basic experience.
PWA techniques are relatively new so there’s room for improvements in the long run. This year we have seen a massive adoption of the technology among retailers of all sizes and the number continues to increase. For those who can capitalize on its extensive capabilities, PWAs have unlocked real opportunities to effectively monetize the growing mobile traffic and maintain a competitive edge.
Start with building a great web experience. Enhance it with PWA tech for the majority of users that have support for it. Your customers will thank you.