Prior to the development of Progressive Web Apps (PWA), most businesses needed a traditional website, native Android app, and native iOS app to achieve maximum online reach.
An overall focus on mobile user experience has been important for years, and has become even more critical since Google recently announced mobile search volume has surpassed desktop search.
However, since native mobile app development can be cost prohibitive, many smaller businesses are now facing the problem of how to provide users with an awesome mobile experience without breaking the bank.
Creating a progressive web app is the perfect solution because a PWA gives your users the familiar look and feel of a mobile app, but at roughly HALF THE COST of building a native Android or iOS app.
Continue reading to learn why you or your business should turbocharge your online reach and build a progressive web app.
Mobile Gone Native On The Web
Without getting into all the technical details (which our development team loves to discuss around the water cooler), progressive web apps provide your users with a mobile app-like experience on the web.
Providing the best benefits of both native mobile applications and traditional websites, progressive web apps automatically load from the first browser visit to your website and provide a smooth mobile experience with nothing to download and install.
Just like a native app for your iPhone or Android, progressive web apps can be displayed on your user’s home screen, send push notifications, enable offline work, load quickly, and perform other functions that are not possible with a traditional web site.
Top 9 Reasons To Love Progressive Web Apps
Here are nine reasons your company will benefit tremendously from upgrading your existing website to a PWA:
- Familiarity – Looks and feels just like a native mobile app to your users, complete with app-style interactions and navigation.
- Home Screen Icon – Your users will automatically be prompted to install your web app on the home screen of their mobile devices, making it quick and easy to bring users back with your home screen icon (also builds/increases your company’s brand name recognition).
- Smooth & Speedy – Your PWA loads smoothly, reliably, and nearly instantly — even with slow or unstable internet connections. Also can be designed to function offline.
- Low Cost – Recent advancements in technology mean your PWA can be built for MUCH LESS THAN HALF the cost of native Android and iOS mobile apps.
- Push Notifications – Keep your users engaged by sending relevant and timely push notifications through your PWA, even when the user’s web browser is closed.
- Safety & Security – All PWAs run on secure, encrypted connections (https), which ensures that your users’ personal information remains secure and cannot be tampered with.
- Responsiveness – Your PWA will look fantastic on any screen size, regardless of whether user is visiting via phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
- Freshness – PWAs are automatically updated in the background to always keep your content fresh and up-to-date, without requiring user interaction.
- Shareable – Users can “keep” your progressive web app on their home screens, then easily share it via standard URL (website link). No hassle of an app store or complex installation to deal with.
Here’s How A Typical Progressive Web App Works
Below are several screenshots from Flipkart Lite, the new progressive web app launched by Flipkart, the largest ecommerce company in India.
Read the captions below each image for clear explanation, then I’ll tell you about the incredible turnaround story of Flipkart, thanks to the recent launch of its progressive web app:
Flipkart – A Progressive Web App Success Story
The story of Flipkart’s remarkable turnaround and success is a fascinating one I’d like to quickly share with you.
Because they were finding it difficult to provide their customers with a fast and engaging mobile website experience, Flipkart temporarily shut down their mobile website in 2015.
In doing so, their plan was to require all mobile users to download and install Flipkart’s native Android or iOS app, rather than allowing the mobile website to remain accessible.
However, thanks to creation of progressive web apps and their plan to build one, Flipkart soon reversed that decision and began raking in the dough.
The ecommerce company began allowing mobile visitors to access their store via Flipkart Lite, their new progressive web app that is accessible without being forced to download anything.
This part is important because, in emerging markets like India, a large percentage of the population buy smartphones that only have mobile web browsers (no access to the native app stores).
The Flipkart Lite PWA opened the door for engagement with less expensive mobile devices and the highly impressive results speak for themselves:
- Average time spent on site increased 300%
- 70% higher conversion rate among users arriving via new home screen icon
- 60% of all visits to Flipkart Lite are from users who press the home screen icon
- 40% higher re-engagement rate
- 300% reduction in data usage (especially important for budget phones in emerging markets)
As detailed above, the “Add To Home Screen” button was clearly a key reason for the success of their progressive web app.
Further, their mobile customers no longer needed to deal with the complexity of downloading/installing a native mobile app (difficult with a slow or off-brand smartphone).
Alibaba similarly experienced a 104% increase in conversions after launching AliExpress, a PWA of their online shopping service.
Are You Ready?
By now, you may agree that progressive web apps are likely to become the next logical progression of technology trends.
PWAs are a newer concept that is not yet mainstream, but that situation is fast-changing.
Success stories such as Flipkart Lite are spreading among tech-savvy business owners, while Google is even doing a roadshow to promote progressive web apps.
It is surely only a matter of time until PWAs become the “next big thing,” just as mobile apps have recently exploded.
Recognizing up and coming trends in the mobile industry is crucial to your business success, and staying on top of the newest technology enables you to be an industry leader.
Build your progressive web app today and provide your users with the smooth mobile experience they deserve (at a much lower cost than developing a native mobile app).
Helping you find your inner genius,
Deron | co-founder @ BrainyApps
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