Progressive Web Applications(PWA). What And How They Work?
Progressive Web Applications in short PWA is one of the hot trending topics in the technology world. This latest technology is transforming the conventional web experience for mobile users. Introduced by Google in 2015, PWA combines the best features of web and mobile applications. So, let’s see more about PWA and its role in improving B2C.
What is Progressive Web Applications(PWA)?
Progressive Web Applications in basic terms are actually websites, which appear like a normal web page when viewed through PC or laptops using a simple URL. It becomes interesting when you use a mobile device. On mobile devices when you link to the page enough, it will be added to the home screen. PWAs appear just like regular applications with real-time notifications. So, they are websites that just have a link.
Is PWA Actually A Mobile Application?
Mobile apps are usually downloaded from an app store and have to be updated each time to access new features. But PWAs exist in the cloud that is and you don’t even have to download or update it. All you have to do is just save the app to your home screen. It can be used in both offline and online modes like regular mobile apps.
What Makes PWA More Special And Engaging?
The creators Google says that it is highly reliable, fast and engaging to the users. Not just this. Let us see some of the important features of PWA. These are the key attributes of a PWA defined by Google’s senior software engineer Alex Russell, who proposed the idea of a progressive web app for the first time in 2015:
- Connectivity independent: PWAs operate in both online and offline mode. It can be used even with a poor connection.
- App-like: It appears and behaves like a native mobile app. So, it is very easy and simple to use.
- Fresh: Like Websites PWAs are always up-to-date, getting automatically updated in real-time.
- Safe: Since it is serviced via HTTPS, it is completely safe to use.
- Discoverable: With the aid of W3C manifest and service worker registration scope, W3C manifests and service worker registration scope, PWA allows search engines to find it.
- Re-engageable: Push notifications are available and this makes this app more re-engageable.
- Installable: The PWA can be easily and directly installed as a home-screen icon.
- Linkable: Since no installation hurdles needed, you can easily share this app via URL link.
this is proven by mobile apps traffic, which for a long time has been higher than desktop traffic and continues to grow, as well as the fact that Apple, which had been resistant to introducing PWA to its iOS system, did provide the support in the latest Safari version – it still does not allow to use all the PWA assets, but it is a huge progress and a good omen for the PWA technology.
Businesses are beginning to understand that this app can increase audience or customer engagement to a great level. Take the case of technology giant Apple. They had been resistant to introducing PWAs to their iOS system even though Chrome on Android has been supporting PWA for a long time. At last, they provided the support in the latest Safari version in OS 11.3. Even though it is slightly different from another OS this proves even Apple has accepted the potential of PWA.
Benefits Of PWAs In B2C
Nowadays businesses are showing great interest in building PWAs for their websites. Owing to the higher traffic in mobile apps as compared to the conventional web pages, this initiative will help them to attract more potential customers. It is Also, the progressive web application enables the users to utilize the native functions of the mobile device like push notifications, cameras, etc which is beyond the possibilities of a desktop website.
So, what are the benefits of using PWA in business to customer sales? Let’s take a look at them.
More Customer Engagement
As we already discussed, PWA provides a more user-friendly interface since it is a combination of best features from a website and a mobile app. It can attract many audiences because PWA’s automatically add themselves to the home screen, where 80% of the users save their most useful apps. The progressive web app is best suitable for b2c sales like eCommerce websites. Features like push notifications, real time updates, ease of usage, less storage space, etc are also factors that boost audience engagement. Better user engagement means an increase in conversion thereby a decrease in bounce rate.
Since PWA is more efficient, businesses only have to develop a PWA instead of separate units for browsers and mobile applications. This will help to reduce the cost of development & maintenance. That means businesses need only a single platform to attract a large pool of target audience.
This app works even in the absence of internet connectivity or in areas of slow data speed. You just need the internet at least at the launching of PWA and entering a certain category. This feature can help b2c commerce businesses to achieve more sales even from returning clients.
Fast and Safe
When it comes to b2c sales speed and reliability are the two main factors that make the customer choose whether to use it or not. Even when the connection is weak, the PWA will load quickly as compared to regular apps. At the first visit to the app, static assets, content, and UI are cached and thus it will be loaded instantly next time or revisits unbothered by internet connectivity. This fast nature will attract more potential customers into using the app. Since it is served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and other security breaches that can affect the reliability of the PWA and the business.
Minimal Data/Memory Usage
Usually, the users don’t want to waste their device’s space, especially when it comes to economical mobiles. Since a vast majority of potential customers come under this category it is best for b2c businesses to use PWA in place or along with mobile apps and desktop websites. PWA requires no downloading or updating and requires only fewer internet data to operate.
Top Businesses That Benefited Through Implementing PWA
There are many top players in b2c that have implemented the Progressive Web app to their business.
The global media group Forbes has adopted the PWA for creating a new reading experience for its audience. This app has reduced their loading time to 0.8 seconds which was 3-12 seconds earlier. As a result, a achieved a 100% engagement rate.
After shutting down their mobile site 2015 Flipkart, one of the popular shopping websites in India developed their PWA version, Flipkart Lite. This app required only three times less data usage and was preferable in the slow 2G network in India. They got around 70% increase in conversions.
Twitter, one of the largest social media networks in the world also turned in to PWA since a large percentage of their traffic is using mobile devices. The Twitter Lite gained a 75% increase in the number of Tweets sent.
In order to offer a seamless ticket booking experience to its users, BookMyShow implemented its progressive web app in 2017. This made the checkout time faster, which is within 30seconds, resulting in more than an 80% increase in conversions.
OLX an online classified ads directory operates over 40 countries worldwide with 90% of the total users using mobile phones. They developed a PWA for their business. Amazingly they got a 250% increase in re-engagement. Also a huge profit from a 146% increase in CTR on ads.
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