According to the data from Statista, nowadays, mobile currently accounts for over 60% of total internet usage. The chief reasons for it are ease in accessing the internet, portability, and cheap hardware. In this situation, UX obtains huge significance, and progressive web apps can aid in enhancing UX as they optimize websites on Smartphones. Flipkart, Twitter, Pinterest, and many more big businesses generated progressive web apps. These PWAs integrate characteristics of the web along with the mobile app, delivering the native or hybrid app-like User experience. Applications that offer an optimized website for mobile devices are referred to as Progressive Web Apps.
PWAs give access to the users to content via browsers and let users download the content whenever and wherever they browse. Native app development is suitable for a specific platform, whereas Progressive web apps are devised for usage in a browser. PWAs function similar to native apps almost, but they don’t command the complete hardware of the device.
Real-Life PWA Cases
Numerous well-established businesses adopted PWAs. The following case studies will present you with a better insight into the effectiveness of Progressive Web Apps.
Twitter ranks amongst the most popular social apps, with 328+ million users per month, and approx 80% of them access Twitter on mobiles. In April 2017, Twitter named PWA the default mobile mode for producing mobile quicker and more trustworthy for users.
Doing this, they realized:
- A decline in Bounce rate by 20%
- Posted Tweets progressed by 75%
- Pages per session multiplied by 65%
Moreover, as PWA is just 600kB compared to the downloaded version, which is 23.5MB, Users save on their data plan with Twitter Lite. It takes only 5 seconds on a 3G network if you are downloading the first time and the app loads in less than 3 seconds for each return.
Pinterest is an image-based platform; assists users in making their catalog of ideas and has more than 200 million active users each month. In order to enhance user experience and augment the conversion to higher than app installation, the application development team revised the mobile website as a PWA.
They got tremendous results:
- Weekly active users rose by 130%
- Pins views number improved by 401%
- Logins raised by 370% and new sign-ups rose by 843%
- Page payload deducted from 490kb to 190kb
- User engagement grew with an average session period surging by 296%
Flipkart decided to close their mobile website tentatively and offer an app-only interface when India’s largest e-commerce website suffered the issue of addressing users with seamless experience because of various variables of network connectivity. They rethought their strategy and developed Flipkart Lite, a progressive web app as the PWA features replicated the native experience, and the consequences were significant.
The results were:
- Time the users spent on the site increased by over 3x.
- The re-engagement rate raised by 40%
- Data usage diminished by 3x among users who visited the site through the option of Add to Home Screen
- Conversion rate advanced by 70%
When to Consider Progressive Web Application development?
PWAs may not be a good option for the business whose customers don’t visit their website often as the app is not evident on app stores. Users become urged to download PWAs only if they are on the home screen. You must consider these points before deciding whether to go for Progressive Web Apps or not.
- Customer acquisition cost: PWAs are vital for businesses looking at minimizing customer acquisition cost. Not all company can bear the high cost of user acquisition that native apps necessitate. PWAs can lessen customer acquisition costs can be reduced by ten times approx.
- Importance of app store presence: Games and social apps that are special categories of apps are likely to be downloaded from app stores. Hence, if your company falls in a category that has more probability of displaying in web searches by keywords, then PWAs will helpful.
- Processing requirement: While PWAs are accessible offline, so they are available in a limited version. They work well for e-commerce platforms, education portals, and other business websites that can operate with offline content.
- Dependence on native features: PWAs gives push notifications that let businesses in reminding customers each time they advertise new content to launch a new product. In terms of accessibility, PWAs have limitations to access features like geofencing, accessing contacts/calendars or mobile payments and if these features are necessary for your app, go for native apps over Progressive Web Apps.
- Existence of a mobile-optimized website: If your business has a mobile-optimized site already, then it would not be much expensive to convert to into a progressive web app as compared to building a native app from scratch.
How Do Progressive Web Apps Work?
Native apps can work without an internet connection as basic elements like UI components and data are stored on the device when a user downloads and installs them. The same goes with PWAs as well. By saving CSS files, HTML files, and images in the cache of the browser, Service Workers can be employed to provide developers full charge over the network call. When a user visits a website more than twice or thrice times, it implies they are interested in seeing content from the specific page. Browser is authorized to verify if the user visits adhere to decided frequency standards, following which the user gets a message to preserve the website as the app on the home screen. The user can visit PWA any time once the site is collected, even if they are offline, giving them a responsive and fast experience.
Will PWAs Replace Native apps
With a responsive design, the mobile web experience has been significantly enhanced. However, many website designs are not conceived as mobile-first as of which the experience lags in terms of speed where PWAs can help you to bridge the gap. Undoubtedly, Native apps provide a superior experience on mobile, but until your app stands amongst the top in its category, the high development and management cost is justified.
Progressive Web Apps: The Future for the Web
Despite the growing prevalence of native apps, there are numerous causes why Progressive Web Apps will be the future of the web.
- Mobile websites with native-like experience: Native apps are preferred interface for seeing content, and this is likely to change as more businesses are adopting PWAs. They offer it all that users admire about the native interface like Offline access, app shell, navigation bar, and telephony, with other features.
- Congested app stores: Competition is intense in the app stores, and almost impossible to compete with the giants like Facebook, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, Google Search, Google Maps, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Google Play. Leading categories of apps when talking about share of minutes are Entertainment, Social Media, Instant Messaging, and Games. If your app does not fall in one of the categories stated above, it doesn’t make sense to spend on native app development.
Progressive web apps rank in Search:
The main advantage of PWAs is they rank in search engines, making it simple for businesses practicing SEO services for their website ranking. New apps won’t have the harm of the shortage of reviews/ratings, as well as the link of the website can be shared efficiently.
- User retention and commitment: Native app development demands a substantial investment, and it isn’t simple to retain users, even if the initial downloads seem much promising. Native apps are reliant on users. Progressive web apps are more convenient as users not require to commit to downloading or to maintain the app in their home screen.
- More revenue generation: Besides in-advertising, in most native apps, the app owners suffer a sizeable reduction in revenues as a portion of it is being payable to the app store owners for paid downloads, subscriptions and in-app purchases, among other sources. But with PWAs, all the revenue produced rests in the hands of the business.
Native, React-native or PWA, what to choose?
All frameworks have pros and cons that are to be evaluated before deciding on the most suitable option for your app.
Native Apps: Pros
- As native apps development employs a language that is simple for the hardware to get, it makes it effortless for the developers to build features that the OS allows.
- Performance is superior
Native Apps: Cons
- As each platform expresses a diverse language, you have to study the language that the platform demands.
- The app has to be developed independently for all platforms.
Progressive web apps: Pros
- It runs across all devices and platforms
- No limitations in style or design
- Runs on all types of hardware
- No requirement to be on the app stores
Progressive web apps: Cons
- The app stops when the user closes the browser tab
- It isn’t possible to administer background processes, so features like geofencing cannot be included.
- It cannot be found on the app stores except Windows App Store
What features should Progressive Web Apps have?
Let’s see why web app developers are talking about progressive web apps being the future of mobile and the ones which are missing in non-progressive apps. Following are the features making the experience much better:
- Reliability: Loading of pages is almost instantaneous, even when the device is not connected to the internet or connected on a low-speed network.
- Speed: The transition and scrolling within pages are very smooth, accommodating users with a more satisfying experience.
- Responsiveness: The app can respond across various devices, allowing fluidity in the design irrespective of the device utilized.
- Easy to install: For PWAs to match native-like app user experience, they should be installable and accessible on the home screen of devices like native apps, enabling users to access them by a single click.
- Splash Screen: The appearance of a splash screen at the startup can provide the PWA the native-like feel.
- More engagement: PWA must have characteristics such as offline first, push notifications, and home screen icon that magnifies user engagement.
Technical components that form the foundation of PWAs
PWAs demand some components that run in sync to power them, which include Service Worker, Manifest file, and HTTPS.
- Manifest file: It is a config JSON file with information for the application that could include details like featuring the icons on the home screen, when the app is installed, background color, theme, or any other information.
- HTTPS: Service workers conduct actions on the client-side, like intercepting network requests and modifying responses. So, all PWAs require a secure protocol HTTPS.
If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, this blog will help you allocate, which is better for your business. Progressive web apps have a bright future in the tech world, and this could be observed as businesses prefer Progressive Web Apps over Native apps. Before heading towards progressive web apps development, contact a mobile application development company that understands your client’s needs and your business needs. The company must be such that it can recommend the best framework for developing your app as per your budget and app strategy.