In the first quarter of 2019, mobile phones accounted for 48.71% of website traffic worldwide.(Some of our clients, mobile phones account for > 80% of their website traffic) This goes to show how important mobile users are to businesses that leverage the web. In light of this, many businesses continuously look for new ways through which they can grow. This has lead to the rise of PWAs (Progressive Web Applications).
Progressive Web Applications in basic terms are websites with native mobile application capabilities. They leverage modern browser technologies to serve web users the experience of using a native mobile application. What this means is that they make using any normal website look like you were using an Android or IOS application.
One feature of PWA that amazes people at first is the ability to use the app without an internet connection. Imagine your users with the ability to view your content offline or use your app as they normally would even with slow internet speed. This is just one of the many benefits of progressive web applications.
In this article, we will consider 5 benefits of progressive web applications that can take your business to the next level. These are the 5 reasons your business needs a progressive web application.
As the internet evolved over the years, users have become more impatient with website load times. A research done by gomez.com shows that over 50% of internet users expect web pages to load in 2 seconds or less. If your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, there’s a good chance your users will leave your website. They’ll rather look somewhere else for a quicker response to their need.
There a good number of things you could do to your website to speed it up. A common example is image optimization and compression. Images are usually accountable for a large percentage of the size of a web page, so optimizing them can lead to a drastic improvement in your website speed. However, you might still find it difficult to get your website load at the desired time. What then can you do?
Progressive Web Applications are the simple answer. PWAs are designed primarily with speed in mind. A progressive web application might load like any normal website the first time a user uses it. The initial load time usually dependent on factors that affect any normal website load time. These factors could be CSS rendering, server response time and so on. However, after the initial page load, users will experience lightning quick page load times.
Progressive web applications provide many of the features available in native mobile applications. One of these features is push notifications. For the most part of your day, you might not remember to use a good number of apps you already have installed on your phone. However, before the day ends, you would get notifications about updates you might be missing on.
When your visitors leave your website, how do you inform them about updates they might be interested in? Oh yes, emails! That’s a great option. They’ll first have to subscribe to your newsletter, then verify the subscription through their emails and then you’d have to compete with other businesses sending them emails daily. Or you could just use a progressive web app and send them push notifications “responsibly”, informing them about your new updates.
Availability: When there isn’t an internet connection available, it is believed by many people that it is impossible to access the web. Well, those “many people” haven’t used a progressive web application before. And if they have, they haven’t tried using it while their mobile internet connection or wifi was off.
PWAs have the ability to use caching through service workers to store updated data right within a user’s device. This makes it possible for users to access a website’s content even if they aren’t connected to the internet. Of course, there’s a limit to how much content can be cached offline, nevertheless, providing continuous use even when the network breaks no doubt improves the user experience of your website.
Talking about user experience, PWAs provides a means to completely integrate your website into a user’s device like any normal mobile application. To access your content, your users wouldn’t need to type your website into a mobile browser. In fact, there should be no need for it. They can simply click on your website icon on their home screen and have your content displayed to them like any native mobile application.
Many companies already leverage the power of progressive web applications to improve the user experience of their platforms. AliExpress uses progressive web application to make its shopping experience seamless. Twitter rolled out Twitter Lite in 2017 to provide a fast user experience for users who live in areas with poor internet connections. You can take advantage of this to provide services for people in these parts of the world.
Alternative To Native Mobile Applications: Progressive web applications isn’t a complete replacement for native mobile applications. Although it has similar features of a native mobile application, it is incapable of doing everything a native app would. However, it has many benefits over native applications. Unless you’re looking to compel users to spend a lot of time in your app and make money using in-app purchases, a progressive web application might be a better option for you.
There are just some of the benefits of using a progressive web application for your business in place of a native application.
● Discoverability: People search for answers to their queries through search engines first, not through an app store. With a PWA, your content will be discoverable by your users through search engines. There’s no need to direct your marketing to an app store and then hope for them to download the app.
● Cross-Platform: Your mobile application will work on any device, no need to develop different applications for different operating systems.
● Cost-Effective: It costs way less to develop a progressive web application than a native mobile application.
In this article, we’ve been able to consider 5 benefits of leveraging progressive web applications. If you have been considering building a mobile application for your business, using a PWA offers more benefits when compared to its native counterpart. Not only will it provide a better user experience to your users, it will help you better engage with your consumers. Also if you already own a website, you can convert your website to a PWA.