What is a Progressive Web App?
A relatively new technology, progressive web apps are becoming more and more common, with their benefits being proven daily, but what actually are they?
Progressive Web Apps are described as ‘user experiences that have the reach of the web’ so, essentially they’re regular websites that have the ability to appear as traditional native applications while improving a user’s mobile browsing experience.
First made notable by Google, PWAs combine the best aspects of mobile and web apps – they’re responsive in all browsers on all devices, load with limited network access and respond quickly to the user.
Conventional mobile applications require a long-winded installation process that a lot of potential users don’t even bother with which is a blow to any company as guiding users to a mobile app is an expensive process. Google used a great example of this in their Chrome Dev Summit (2015).
Software Engineer, Alex Russell, explained that if 1000 people were intrigued by an app, only 800 would actually load the app store, 640 people would find the app in the store, 512 people would click install, 410 people would accept any permissions, 328 would wait for the app to download and ultimately, only 262 people would use the app.
Progressive Web Apps might just be the solution to this problem. As well as working perfectly within a browser, users have the option to add a shortcut to their homescreen simply by clicking a button and waiting a couple of seconds.
Once installed on the homescreen, the users have the option for push notifications which will not only make their user experience much more engaging and immersive but will also result in 3X more retention than apps/websites without.
Examples of Progressive Web Apps
After doing some research, this online retail service found the majority of it’s users arrived on the website from the mobile web and so, after their mobile app received less downloads than expected, developing a PWA seemed like the perfect way to bridge the gap between their website and their mobile app.
Subsequently, after releasing their PWA, conversions increased by 104$ and users now visit twice as many pages per session with the amount of time spent having increased by an average of 74%.
Probably one of the most used Progressive Web Apps, Twitter Lite was specifically developed so Twitter users can still access Twitter when they have slow, unreliable and limited connectivity. In fact, the fast, responsive nature of Twitter Lite combined with the fact it uses less data and has more storage than the mobile app means many users choose to use the PWA over the mobile app.
Twitter Lite is interactive in less than 5 seconds on 3g networks and reduces data usage even more while in data saver mode by replacing images and direct messages with blurred previews.
Flipkart decided to combine their website and native app to create a PWA which resulted in a 70% increase in conversions and a 40% higher re-engagement rate. These increases could be credited to the instant load of progressive web apps, even with bad network connections.
The need for a PWA to work in bad network conditions was essential to Flipkart because 63% of users visit using a 2G network. In fact, some aspects even work offline, giving users the ability to browse categories, product pages and review previous searches without any internet connection.
Here at Hyperext, we believe Progressive Web Apps are the future. So get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your business.