Progressive Web Apps

The Internet is a remarkable invention. As user, you can use all kinds of devices to access services, stay in touch with your friends and family, listen to music, watch television or go on a virtual shopping tour. All you need is a browser on your smartphone and you can experience all these things whereever you are.

Mobile Apps

Native mobile apps in the other hand, offer an even greater level of user engagement. Data shows that app users are more likely to stay longer in apps and do more. Native mobile apps are also something that consumers are used to having on their homescreens. They don’t search websites: they just open the mobile app to find what they are looking for. This creates a high level of loyalty and helps drive ecommerce success.

The only problem with apps is their reach is limited to specific platforms (mostly iOS and Android). Unless the user has found the app in the respective App Store and installed it – apps will see lower numbers of users. This creates costs for businesses, because you need to make sure that you reach users on all different platforms.

What if you could combine the Internet and mobile Apps? What if there is a way to make the web as rich and engaging as native apps? What if you can benefit of the ubiquity of the Internet for your apps?

Enter PWAs

PWAs are built to combine the best of both worlds. They offer enhanced capabilities and a native app like experience to users, while reaching anyone, anywhere, on any device with a single codebase.

Technically, PWAs use standard web technologies, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. As apps they are delivered through the web and everybody with a standards-compliant browser, including both desktop and mobile devices, can install them with a click – without having to go through the app store first. Put another way, PWAs bring the richness of app experiences to the web.

The Advantages of PWAs

1. Widest possible Audience

PWAs work for any user on any platform. They are responsive and scale to fit any screen. This means that you can have your PWA running on any device. In addition to smartphones and desktops, you can have your app running in a Tesla. Basically, any device that is capable of accessing the Intetnet with a browser can serve your app. This ubiquity means that you can give your app access to the widest possible audience.

2. Reducing Development Costs

Developing native apps require separate development and maintenance efforts. For example, if you have an iOS and Android app, you have to do that twice, essentially doubling your costs. PWAs can be implemented with a single code base as single app that works on different platforms and devices. As such, they offer a coherent experience for every platform. This vastly cuts development time and saves your money.

3. Speed

PWAs are optimized to work on different devices and platforms. They are designed for a smooth and speedy experience and benefit from established web standards and optimization techniques. Their small size (typically in the range of several 100 kilobytes instead of dozens of megabytes) allows for fast downloads within few seconds, even with poor connectivity. Also, PWAs are specifically designed to work offline as well and offer users functions without network connectivity.

4. Better conversion

Studies show that PWAs have better conversion rates than webpages or native Apps. For example, according to Google, Alibaba saw a 76% increase in conversions with their PWA – thanks to a better and faster user experience.

5. Core web vitals

Core web vitals are a set of metrics introduced by Google in 2020. These metrics provide insights on page speeds, how quickly before web pages can be used and so on. PWAs are a perfect match, since they are geared towards meeting these metrics for a better user experience. Therefore, PWAs enjoy better rankings in Google search results.

6. Simplified payments

Payments can be complicated in native apps, but are a vital part of ecommerce. PWAs allow a straightforward integration of existing payment solutions, so that payments can easily be
added to your app and made available for your customers.

7. Better data and better marketing

Since PWAs are web-based, they allow the integration of web analytics tools. In doing so, you can add PWAs analytics data to your web data pool and use analytics tools your are already familiar with. This provides the means for a detailed behavioural analysis across channels and platforms, leading to a better understanding of users and more precise targeting for marketing.

8. Apps that are easy to access and share

PWAs are small in size and easy to share. For example, the Twitter Android app is 23.5Mb, Twitter PWA is 600kb. Being just a link, they are much easier to share and promote. Because PWAs are referenced by a link, “normal” SEO rules apply and you don’t need to spend extra money for ASO (App Store Optimization).

9. Fast Updates

PWAs updates don’t need to go through an approval process like native apps, before updates become available to users. Just like web pages, updates can be done anytime and are available to users instantaneously.

Interested in PWAs for your business? Just contact us.

Check out the IKANGAI blog PWA to see how PWAs work.

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