Progressive web apps are a result of the new software development methodology which combines features of regular websites and mobile applications. This new application model merges the features offered by modern browsers with the effective mobile experience. In simpler terms, progressive web app (PWA) is a web application that offers the native app like experience using modern web capabilities, resulting in the best of both web and the native apps.
Essentially, PWA is a web app that delivers native app (that are found only in the Google play store or Apple Store) functionalities. The user thus doesn’t need to install the app from the app stores anymore of which a PWA is developed. Their mobile web browsers will deliver a user experience like native apps while using the PWA. The progressive web app is a normal webpage in the browser that behaves more like the mobile app downloaded from the app store.
Important Metrics of the PWA
Reach: According to Google, the mobile web audiences have been growing tremendously. Today Chrome has whopping 1 billion mobile users as compared to the 400 million users in 2016. The reach of the mobile web users has increased 2.5 times. Flipkart and Myntra have abandoned their websites for this reason and work more on bettering the app experience for their users to reach to a wider audience which is a competitive edge over their competitors.
Acquisition: Since the acquisition cost of the users is lower through websites than that of the native apps by 10 times, making websites is preferred. Now PWA will acquire more users at a very less expense.
Conversion: PWA provides seamless end-to-end user experience even in the bad network connections or the offline mode. It has successfully improved the conversions of companies like Flipkart; its PWA version, Flipkart Lite claims to have increased their conversion rate by 70% with low acquisition cost.
Why Progressive Web Apps Are Important
When the user finds a website interesting, they visit either the Apple app store or Google play store to download its app. The user installs the app and opens it on their smartphone.
The process is a little lengthy and expects a lot from their website and the users with loads of variables involved. However, when the user finds a progressive web app, they can immediately get the app-like experience from the browser itself, eliminating the unnecessary downloads and installation. A progressive web app is supported by major browsers like Chrome and Opera and list would only increase.
The key features of PWAs that encourage the users to use them are
- Progressive web apps are progressive by nature working on any browsers irrespective of the device they run on
They are highly responsive that fits on any devices such as desktop, mobile, and tablet etc.
- PWA doesn’t depend on network connectivity. Users can save pages with the help of service workers to be read in low internet conditions or offline mode, making them highly reliable and to load instantly. They are fast as compared to native apps, and respond quickly to user interactions requiring little or no scrolling.
- Progressive web apps are discoverable in search engines which gives it an upper hand to others since they are essentially websites, only in compact form. Native applications are still lagging in the search results. As per the W3C manifest, PWA is classed as apps and service worker allows the search engines to easily find them.
- Another important feature of the PWA is they are linkable and shared via URL. This feature is accrued from websites which enable refreshing when the person using it shares or bookmarks it.
- PWA engages their users like a natural app which provides the immersive user experience. Mobile users reuse the apps again and again. Progressive web apps are intended to achieve the same goal with the features like push notifications to re-engage.
- They are safer as compared to native apps because all network requests can be intercepted by the service workers. They are always served via HTTPS ensuring no tampering with your app without proper authorization.
Also Read: PWA vs AMP:- The Best to Choose?