What is PWA and how it change the world of Web Applications?
What if we tell you that there’s a hybrid of the web app and a website in a few clicks and it will work on your device no matter if you’re on IoS or Android or whatever else. No, it’s not a new series of the Silicon Valley, it’s the PWA.
Progressive Web Apps or PWA are an emerging solution for businesses that takes advantage of the strengths of both regular websites and apps for mobile phones to create a better experience.
“PWA is the single biggest thing to happen on the mobile web since Steve introduced the iPhone!”, – Henrik Joreteg
PWA was introduced in 2015 by Google, and by 2020 they are expected to replace 50% of consumer-facing apps (according to Gartner). This initiative has been enhanced through the Android operating system and the Chrome browser.
What is PWA?
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) combine everything great about a native mobile application with everything great about a mobile website. It can provide additional features based on what the device supports, push notifications, providing the offline capability, and almost native app look and speed, and local caching of resources.
It is the latest trend in mobile application development using web technologies. A Progressive Web App is a website that is developed with specific techniques that make the mobile experience much more pleasant than a standard mobile-optimized site.
It allows developers to deliver web-based applications that rival, or even out-perform the native apps user experience.
Some of the main features of PWA are:
- Offline support
- Fast loading
- Enhanced security
- Push notifications available
- Full-screen user experience without the URLs
How PWA works
PWAs allow users to install the website as an icon on the home screen of their phones based on how frequently they visit your website.
When users go to your site with the PWA, they are asked if they wish to install the app on their phones. We recommend to be thoughtful with the popups offering to install the app—it shouldn’t feel intrusive.
PWA’s are not in the Google Market or App Store market. It means that you don’t need Apple’s or Google’s approval to be in users’ pockets. It gives you the freedom to release updates whenever you want, without having to go through the standard approval processes.
5 Unexpected Benefits of the Progressive Web App
What are the advantages of making a PWA against building a fully functional Android App?
For an app publisher, the most significant advantage is the cost-saving in terms of app development and maintenance.
Any specific platform does not limit PWA. That means you do not need to make separate versions of the app for Android and iOS.
Instant loads and never show the down sour, even in uncertain network conditions. PWAs use less data than regular mobile apps, so they first took off in emerging markets that suffer from poor internet connectivity.
Quick responses to user interactions with smooth animations and scrolling.
Engaging and feel like a native app on the device, with an immersive user experience that allows them to earn a place on the user’s home screen.
The headless architecture allows you to separate the frontend from your backend eCommerce platform and add the PWA to your eCommerce platform by API in just three months.
What Are the Key Challenges of PWA?
Just like anything new on the market, PWAs pose some challenges to be considered.
- Browsers. It may not have cross-browser support. Yes, Chrome, Opera, and Samsung’s Android browser support PWA, while IE and Edge don’t do that yet. You can use PWA with Safari, but it doesn’t support push messages.
- Limited in functions. PWA doesn’t have support for any hardware that is not supported by HTML5
- Limited in legitimacy. As there is no central download Store for PWA, they lack in giving a sense of legitimacy and confidence, which is usually given by native apps from the Play Store/App Store.
- Cross Application Login Support: Native apps have the capability to talk to other apps and authenticate logins (Facebook, Twitter, Google). As a web page PWA doesn’t have the capability to communicate with other apps installed.
- Draining your phone battery. App sharing needs the connection, which takes more power from a device battery.
- Currently, PWA is installable on Windows only, while Apple is getting there as of iOS 11.3.
8 Core Concepts of PWA that Make them Unique
Highly adaptable UI design – no matter what the size of the device screen, it will look just perfect.
It feels like an app.
A PWA is so much more comfortable to use on your phone because it doesn’t feel like a website but rather like an application.
A PWA uses the device’s storage to provide an offline experience.
Easy to install.
Once you open the PWA powered site, it will offer you the option of installing the app on your home screen.
Continuously engaging its users.
PWA push notifications involve users, helping you re-discover your app even after it has been installed.
Search engines can discover PWAs. A PWA works smoothly with a regular SEO, which can result in much less reliance on paid acquisition and many more users than the app store.
Once installed, the app is able to update itself when online. This means users can access content even in conditions of poor connectivity.
PWAs uses HTTPS, so unauthorized users can’t access their content.
A PWA works on any device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Who Will Benefit the Most from PWAs? Applications and Industries
Today, there are three types of web apps for users:
- Daily use apps such as Gmail, Facebook, WhatsApp
- Occasional use apps (used 2-3 times per week), such as weather, food delivery, bank apps, e-learning, etc.
- Rare use apps (used from time to time, quite rarely), such as web stores, subscription businesses, etc.
A PWA is a perfect fit for the second type of web apps. In addition, it allows the automation of expenses for the developers of the third type of apps.
It is quite challenging for businesses in types 2 and 3 to make the user download an app. What’s more, the user may stop using the app after 90 days, especially when the app is used only from time to time. This may eventually result in the loss of an ever-growing number of internet-savvy customers that fall within the target audience of these companies.
Thus, PWA benefits apply the most to large corporations that have vast product portfolios and significant financial resources as well as medium-sized companies, with smaller offerings and more modest means.
Here’s where the basic concept of a PWA – delivering a native app experience within a browser – comes into play.
Bookings and Subscription Businesses
|Riviera Maya Resort||Conversion rate of 53% by leveraging the speed and notification benefits of a PWA|
|Best Western River North||300% increase in revenue and a 500% increase in room nights|
|Trivago||Engagement of users who add to home screen has grown by 150%Offline access only has around 3% of users currently using this feature.|
|Raphael Hotel||20% increase in website conversion|
|BookMyShow||80%+ increase in conversion rates.PWA is 54x smaller than the Android app. PWA is 180x smaller than the iOS app.PWA loading time is less than 2.94 seconds. PWA checkout time is under 30 seconds.|
Delivery Services and Restaurants
|Starbucks||2X retention time87% increase of user time spent2X daily and monthly users with PWA+20% conversion rate after PWA|
|Ele.me||11.6% decrease in loading time across all pre-cached pages. 6.35% decrease in loading time across all pages.3G network on the first load: Time to being consistently interactive decreased to 4.93 seconds.|
Check out the challenges and tech opportunities that enable your restaurants and delivery business to automate.
Big Ecommerce Stores
|Westelm||15% average visit9% revenue per visit+25% of traffic acrossAndroid and iOS|
27% higher conversion rate
|George||3.8x faster average page load time.31% increase in conversion rate.20% more page views per visit.2x lower bounce rate.28% longer average time on site for visits from home screen.|
|Alibaba||76% higher conversions across browsers.4X higher interaction rate from “Add to Homescreen”.The number of monthly active users grew by 14% on iOS and by 30% on Android.|
|Aliexpress||104% for new users across all browsers. 82% increase in iOS conversion rate. 2X more pages visited per session per user across all browsers. 74% increase in time spent per session across all browsers.|
|Jumia||33% higher conversion rate12X more users vs. native apps 50% lower bounce rate25X less device storage required2X less data to complete first transaction5X less data used|
A PWA allows ecommerce to get rid of its greatest annoyances with the website – the native app inconvenience when it comes to payments.
Usually, customers have to switch from mobile to desktop to complete their transactions. Statistically, 53% of traffic comes to online stores via mobile apps, providing just 32% of revenue.
A PWA helps businesses to introduce one-click checkouts via Google Payments API, making the purchase process for users even more convenient and seamless.
Learn more about headless ecommerce as the fastest way to a PWA.
Media and Content Sites
|Forbes||3x more deep scroll100% more engagementUp to 20% ad viewability43% increase of sessions per user|
|Infobae||230% longer sessions 3X more page views per session 5% bounce rate vs. 51% on previous mobile website|
|Nikkei||75% faster loading with prefetch14 seconds faster time-to-interactive58% more conversions 2X better speed index49% more daily active users2X page views per session2.3X organic traffic|
|Mynet||43% longer average time on site34% more page views per session25% higher revenue per article pageview24% lower bounce rates4X faster average page-load speed|
|Voot||80% decrease in page load time77% increase in conversion from visitor to video viewer39% increase in session time per user19% decrease in bounce rate15% increase in average daily video views per user|
PWA users spend up to 40% more time per session and view 15% more pages per session. In general, PWAs allow a media business to increase the session time on their pages, prolonging ad viewability and in-depth reading time.
Marketplaces and Social Media
|Uber||Designed to be fast even on 2G50K is the weight of the core app Only 3 second loading time even on 2G internet|
|60% increase in core engagements.50% increase in ad click-through 40% increase in user time spent on the mobile site.44% increase in user-generated ad revenue|
|Interactive in under 5 seconds via 3G on most devices. 30% reduction of the average load times. 25% reduction of the 99th percentile time-to-interactive latency.|
The Cost of PWA Development
How much does it cost to make a PWA in comparison to native apps and websites?
A website costs in the region of $3,000 – $10,000
Additional native app development costs in the region of $20,000 – $80,000
A Progressive Web App costs between $6,000 – $20,000
Check the full review of PWA development pricing.
It would be unwise to say that PWAs will kill native apps in the future. However, interest in this technology is increasing. Although PWAs are still in their infancy, with a lot of challenges to be solved, they have the potential to create a shift in the way the web works.