First introduced four years ago, the term “progressive web apps” (PWA) is still little-known for businessmen. However, a lot of software companies consider this a future of mobile app development and start to effectively use this technology. Providing a unique set of features, new apps can change the way you present your brand, your products, or services.
Nowadays it’s possible to interact with your visitors or buyers directly through your website. This has become easier than ever since a PWA can be installed instantly on any device. It is also able to send push notifications and most importantly, work offline (by adding files to the cache).
You are probably wondering what the difference between progressive apps and native ones is. At first sight, you see no dissimilarities but there are certainly some assets that can change your mind. Let’s see how progressive applications differ from traditional mobile apps and what advantages they can offer to your e-commerce or online marketplace, for instance.
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Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps
At first blush, one would think they are very similar. However, the divergence may be perceptible and here’s why:
- Adjustable layouts – No matter what PWA screen size is, it can be installed on any device in Google, Opera, and Firefox browsers. The layouts are automatically adjusted to the device’s screen. Thus, lite apps are highly responsive.
- Easy development – IT experts consider that it’s easier to build a progressive app than to create regular websites. Meanwhile, users don’t notice any distinctions between the apps as both native and progressive provide similar features as instant notifications, icons, and responsive design.
- The same code – Opposed to traditional apps, progressive apps run the same site code. These apps don’t need API with backward compatibility.
Advantages for your Users
A new type of communication via such apps can give your business a lot of opportunities by providing end-users with the following features:
1. Download directly from a browser with one tap
App users can switch to progressive applications from links in social networks, while browsing the web or directly from the search results. It’s much more beneficial than competing for user views with millions of apps available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
2. Get what you’re interested in only
Users are offered to install a progressive app only when it meets certain criteria, and the user has shown interest by visiting the site for the second time.
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3. No need to wait for a download
Instant installation is available. All components that require a long time for download have already been installed in the cache when the user first visited the site. You don’t need to go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to find the app you want to download.
4. Avoid large-sized apps
Progressive applications are lightweight and much smaller in size as compared to native iOS or Android apps, as they effectively use the capabilities of the browser.
5. Browse offline and get notified of the most interesting deals
Push notifications, offline work, and all other functions will be available, even if a user has never installed those.
Advantages for your Business
Simply put, installed or not, progressive apps are able to work anywhere. Here are four major pros businesses can get with the use of PWA:
1. Maintenance and support costs reduction
The maintenance and technical support of classic apps tailored for different platforms cost much whereas PWA implementation can reduce these costs as this type of software, once developed, can run on any platform.
2. More loyal customers
Since a PWA works offline, people are able to browse sites without access to the Internet. This feature can increase the number of your customers and make many of them loyal.
3. Faster page speed
The loading time of progressive web apps is twice as fast compared to native apps. This helps to prevent users from leaving the page because it loads too slowly.
4. High conversion rate
Browsing goes seamless with any progressive app. It’s very convenient for users to use the device they prefer to find the needed information or product online. Besides, a PWA increases the conversion rate and the time spent by users on site.
Progressive Web App Example: Twitter
To better understand how a PWA works, let’s take a closer look at the Twitter lite version for Android. When you visit the Twitter site through a browser for the first time on your Android phone, you will be offered to pin the app’s icon to your home screen. Once you add it, it will appear on your home screen and, as you can see in the image below, the size of the installed application is 180 kB only.
The world of mobile apps is evolving with the appearance of PWA technology. We aren’t 100% sure whether progressive apps will further compete with native ones but they certainly changed the situation on the market.
If you are looking for new ways to improve your brand awareness or boost your sales, you can try this innovative model for better engagement with your clients. With an instant and light installation, your users will definitely notice the profit from it.
Are you looking for help to develop a progressive web app? We are happy to help you out by giving you advice and providing you with the right solution!