Progressive Web App (PWA) was initially proclaimed as the next breakthrough a few years ago. While this isn’t always the case with “innovations” within technology, PWA sadly hasn’t attained its anticipated momentum from those initial explosive headlines. To suggest that PWA has been unsuccessful is completely off-base though – it’s just being used in different ways than what was originally expected.
Google and Microsoft have joined the PWA movement and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Keep reading if you’re curious about what PWA is, how it works, as well as its advantages for your web store!
What is PWA?
Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a type of web app that can be used as both a web page and a mobile app on any device. PWA is created to improve user experience, with faster conversion rates and cleaner browsing even when there is a poor Internet connection.
Furthermore, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) can be uploaded to well-known app stores such as AppStore and Google Play. Since PWAs do not force a specific implementation, it is difficult to define them accurately in the dictionary. Dishearteningly even Google who invented PWAs provides little clarity on what they are with its official introduction remaining quite unclear.
PWA, or Progressive Web App, is defined as:
- Reliable, with instant loading even in poor network conditions.
- Fast, offering quick responses to user actions and smooth animations.
- Engaging, providing a seamless app-like experience on the device.
For a deeper understanding of PWA, let’s explore the details further.
Purpose of PWA
It’s no secret that the e-commerce landscape is ever-evolving, but today its pace of change is greater than it’s ever been before. For years now mobile-first shopping has become commonplace, and its influence continues to grow with each passing day.
The statistics speak for themselves:
- In 2014, the number of people worldwide using mobile devices surpassed those using desktop computers, as reported by comScore.
- According to Business Insider, by 2025, mobile commerce sales in the retail industry are expected to reach $728.28 billion and make up 44.2% of total retail e-commerce sales in the United States.
- Outer box Design notes that 80% of shoppers use their mobile phones while in physical stores to check product reviews, compare prices, or find other store locations.
If you haven’t joined the mobile commerce revolution yet, now is your chance to jump on board! Thanks to PWA (Progressive Web Apps), transforming your e-commerce business for a mobile-first world has never been easier and more affordable. You’ll be able to make the switch with greater ease and speed than ever before. Don’t wait any longer – start leveraging this powerful tool today!
Explore the History Behind Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
It is no surprise that Google leads the way in PWA, as it blends web and mobile-like experiences to break down data walls. While Google has an advantage here given its extensive storage of global websites, Apple may not be so fortunate. Consequently, they will have to depend on other outlets if they wish to remain competitive.
More than a decade ago, Steve Jobs took the unprecedented step of placing mobile user experiences at the forefront by introducing them in his iconic iPhone presentation back in 2007. He saw that utilizing external apps would be an excellent way to leverage the then-burgeoning popularity of Apple devices and wanted to encourage developers to create them.
This bold decision set off a domino effect that has shaped mobile technology ever since! However, that was a short-lived idea. In July 2008, Apple put the concept of “universal apps” on hold. The company presented the App Store instead and mobile apps started to take over the internet.
Berriman and Russell uncovered a new category of websites that offered an enhanced user experience compared to conventional web applications – called Progressive Web Apps. As Google IO’s Senior Staff Developers Programs Engineer, Eric Bidelman took the stage to introduce PWA as the cutting-edge standard for web development in 2017. In 2018, Apple accepted the fundamental features of PWAs but imposed specific restrictions on cache capacity and native push notifications.
The Advantages of Progressive Web Apps for Mobile-First Commerce
With PWA, you can expect to experience vast improvements in speed and performance, an enhanced user experience resembling that of a mobile app, and cross-platform usage. Still curious about the full range of benefits? Let’s dig deeper into each one!
- Short time-to-market
Making your way to the mobile world is easier than ever with Progressive Web Apps. Developed using common web technologies, it can be installed in a matter of months instead of years like traditional applications. What’s more, you don’t even need two separate apps for iOS and Android! PWA works on all types of devices – no extra coding is required.
- Instantly access all of your capabilities
Utilizing Progressive Web Apps (PWA) technology, your team can develop one app which functions flawlessly on any device; eliminating the need for a website and native mobile app separately. PWA enables you to optimize your storefront so that it runs smoothly both as a web page and an application, delivering a consistent experience akin to a native app regardless of browser capabilities.
- Cost optimization for maximum efficiency
Thanks to PWA’s comprehensive features, you can not only reduce the time it takes for development but also save a great deal of money. Essentially, instead of creating three distinct entities – i.e., an app for iOS, Android, and a website – all you need will run smoothly on any device!
Moreover, with no fees associated with being present in App stores as PWAs don’t require such presence; yet if your heart desires to upload your PWA into AppStore or Google Play then Vue Storefront makes this task effortless!
- Decreased Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
By utilizing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), you can craft websites that urge users to install the app directly from their mobile browser. This eliminates having to go through an app store and download a native application, raising the odds of them giving it a shot. Additionally, with PWAs there is no need for updates or installations – making it much more likely for customers to make the transition from the website to the app without any added expenses!
- PWA utilizes the potential of headless commerce technology
By leveraging the power of headless architecture, PWA grants your business exceptional suppleness – both for selecting the best-suited tech stack and substantially improving conversion rates. The front end will be dissociated from the backend eCommerce platform due to this approach, thus bringing a whole new level of autonomy to your marketing squad! With headless CMS in place, they can freely make alterations without developers’ aid.
- Better SEO results
The primary advantage of PWAs is their lightning-fast indexing with Google. Thanks to its traditional URLs, it enables search engine crawlers and bots to identify them quickly. Furthermore, thanks to full server-side rendering (SSR) implementation, webpages can be completely indexed – an essential feature for large eCommerce stores! With PWA’s rapid crawling process, your business will have a more visible presence on the web in no time at all!
Search engines favor swift, efficient applications with minimal retention and reward them by elevating their ranking in search results. This inevitably draws a user’s attention as the higher up they are on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), the more likely they are to be noticed. Furthermore, optimizing website performance reduces bounce rate which also affects how Google assesses a page and consequently its positioning in the SERP.
- Reduced Bounce Rate
A DoubleClick study found that an incredible 53% of mobile site visits are deserted if pages take more than 3 seconds to load, with the mean loading time over 3G connections for such sites being 19 seconds. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) provide a refreshing solution–they no longer rely on networks and can be immediately accessed even when offline. Lightweight PWAs using placeholders instantly fill users’ screens with content, providing them with the illusion that their app is swiftly loading.
With PWA, users can continue browsing even without a steady internet connection. With other conventional web stores, customers would have to abandon the purchase process altogether in such poor network conditions. But with this innovative technology, you don’t need to worry about lower sales caused by bad reception ever again!
- Boosted mobile conversions, engagement, and revenue
When analyzing the discrepancy between mobile and desktop conversions, many retailers notice a significant “mobile gap” – customers may spend more time perusing products on their phones, yet still, end up making fewer purchases than those using desktops.
Though this partially stems from varied user goals on each device, some companies have managed to close this gap and dramatically increase their revenue through devices other than PCs. To achieve comparable results for your business too you must make sure that your website is functioning correctly across all platforms with optimized UX specifically designed for mobile users.
Progressive Web Apps enable businesses to reach their desired objectives due to the full-screen experience it provides and also their easy access on most devices via Add to Home Screen. Additionally, PWA allows for push notifications – a feature that was previously limited only to native apps – which helps boost user re-engagement significantly.
In conclusion, Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have emerged as a game-changer in the world of web development. With their ability to provide native-like experiences on any device, PWAs are transforming the way businesses interact with their customers. They offer a fast, reliable, and engaging experience that seamlessly integrates with any web browser.
Furthermore, PWA leverages the power of headless commerce technology, providing businesses with the flexibility and scalability they need to succeed in a highly competitive market. By embracing PWA, businesses can meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers and stay ahead of the curve.