What Are Progressive Web Apps?

What Are Progressive Web Apps?

You may not have heard of them yet, but Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are changing the mobile landscape.

Introduced in 2015 by Google, PWAs have gained popularity and have gained traction by large brands such as Starbucks, Twitter, Pinterest, Lancome… and many more.

To keep things simple, Progressive Web Apps are mobile apps delivered through the web. PWA technology allows an app experience delivered through the web. As a customer, it feels like a native app because the app-shell that the PWA provides, however since they’re powered through the web, there’s no download required like a native app.

>> Grab Our Free Guide: Progressive Web App Checklist <<


Why Choose a Progressive Web App?

Works Without Internet

Thanks to service workers, PWAs can run without internet. Crazy, right?! PWAs use pre-caching to stay up-to-date on content so that your customers have the newest content when they launch their app.

Home Screen Access

Similar to an app, the user is able to save the PWA to their home screen to access it at any time. Making it installable, without the hassle of downloading it from the app stores.

Benefits of a PWA

Progressive Web Apps or Mobile Apps are the biggest advancement in mobile since the introduction of the iPhone. With Progressive Web Applications, you’re combining mobile friendly website and native web apps. Native Apps provide the end customer with great benefits such as loyalty programs, food ordering, push notifications, and more. Mobile websites are static, don’t provide much outside ‘contact us’. What Progressive Web Apps do is combine the benefits of native apps and mobile website, giving you a mobile app in the cloud.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), or Web Apps, are the happy medium between a mobile-friendly website and native apps. Web Apps (PWAs) offer your customers the features they’re looking for from an app with the user-friendly interface of a mobile website. They are game-changing with their ease and simplicity. When developed properly, PWAs are more affordable than native apps, while still providing an engaging and robust experience for the end user (your customers!).

PWA vs. Native App

What’s the difference between a Progressive Web App and a Native App?

While most people associate apps with traditional native mobile apps, they can often cause some bottlenecks within the user experience.

One of the biggest bottlenecks is the ‘app store middleman’. For Native Apps, the customer has to go to the app store to download their app. We all know the drop in your stomach feeling when you have to remember your password! With Progressive Web Apps, this ‘app store middleman’ is completely taken out of the picture. The customer, or end user, can use a link to find the app. Users can share the link to their PWA on social media, email, text, Facebook Ads, etc.

No approval processes required so your mobile app is able to be up and running quickly.

By removing all this friction, it will be much easier for users to have access to the app. As the diagram below shows, with every step of the native app download process, 20% of users are lost. Consumers find it tedious having to find the app in the app store, wait for it to download, and worry that it’ll use up all their storage space before they can start using the app. Because PWAs drastically reduce the amount of steps they need to take (essentially making it a one-step process), there is a much higher chance of people actually using the app. In fact, we use 4x as many websites as mobile apps, resulting in a much larger potential user base with a web based app.

No Updates Required from the apple store.

Continuously having to update your apps from the app store can be a major bottleneck with native apps. With Progressive Web Apps, there are no manual updates required. Your app is always displayed in its most recent version so your customers are always having the most up to date information about your local business.

As you can see within this video, the steps within the user experience is much longer with a native app compared to that of a PWA. This creates a great user experience for you and your customers!

PWA vs. Mobile Website

So, you may be thinking “I have a mobile-friendly website, isn’t that the same thing?”. Nope!

PWAs fall in between mobile websites and native apps. But how are they different from mobile websites?

PWAs are faster. Did you know that 53% customers will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds? Progressive Web Apps load instantly no matter the network (like websites). This allows a more reliable experience for your customers.

Mobile websites are focused on information rather than experience. Think of a website like a scrolling brochure. PWAs give the customer a more dynamic, full-screen experience allowing customers to purchase and order items, participate in a loyalty program and contact. PWAs offer an immersive full-screen experience, allowing customers to place mobile food orders, experience push notifications, participate in a loyalty program and have contact details with the touch of a button.

Final Words

What does a Progressive Web App look like for your business?

PWAs can provide the perfect solution for your business if you’re looking to create the ultimate user mobile experience that’s aligned with your entire brand strategy. PWAs are an ideal solution for businesses looking to build a compelling and easily adoptable mobile experience for their customers.

PWAs offer the best of both worlds, with all the share-ability of the web and all the functionality of the native app.

Interested? Request a Quote below and we’ll send you a note!