Imagine that you quickly need to check the train timetable. You do it with your smartphone. You go to a website and it won't load. How soon will you lose patience and close your browser window? This is a situation that affects many websites. It annoys all users, but annoys those using mobile devices the most. In particular, they expect quick site operation and immediate access to information. If they are forced to overcome any obstacles, they usually give up action. However, it is mobile users that have been growing in strength in recent years. Therefore, companies must adapt to their expectations and needs. So how do you do that?

 

PWA is certainly the answer, i.e. progressive Internet applications. They are a combination of the functions of a classic website and a mobile application. Thanks to this combination they are able to offer users speed of operation, the ability to work offline and access directly from the browser. You can add them as a shortcut on your smartphone's home screen exactly as you would with a typical native application. However, you do not need to download them from the application store, which saves space in the device's memory. This is very important especially for people who collect photos, notes, messages and other files on their phones. So if they are to download another application that will occupy their valuable place, they will think about it and most likely give up its choice.

 

What benefits does the user get by using PWA?

First of all, progressive Internet applications do not force users to make difficult choices between space on the phone and the possibility of using their options. Although they take up a little memory of the device, they are not strongly felt. Secondly, they are less complicated to use because they do not require installation. So just click the appropriate button and a shortcut will appear on the main screen of your smartphone or tablet. So what do they offer their users in a nutshell?

 

  • Short page loading time, and quick access to information.

 

  • Good performance despite poor network conditions (e.g. poor coverage or lack of network access).

 

  • Small size, and therefore a small amount of memory used.

 

  • Functions analogous to functions in native applications (shortcut on the main screen, operation in offline mode, push notifications).

 

  • No need to download applications from the application store, e.g. from Google Play or the App Store.

 

  • Instant updates without having to download a new version.

 

In a word, PWA is a solution for today's time, where mobile users lead the way among people using the internet and when their expectations become more and more demanding.

 

What are the benefits of PWA for companies?

If you run your own business, especially in the e-commerce industry, Progressive Web App is the solution that you should focus on first. With this type of application, you can communicate with your clients, and by avoiding third parties (e.g., a mobile operator to send clients SMS or a chatbot company), reduce your financial outlays. Notification functions are also a great form of communication with clients, thanks to which you can be sure that your recipient has received the right message. What's more, by using PWA, you also protect your users' data against cybercrime. A progressive web application is also easier to update than traditional applications that usually take much longer to process. It also provides excellent UX (User Experience), increasing audience engagement and thus increasing conversion rate. A huge plus is also that thanks to the PWA solution, faster page loading time is gained. This reduces server load and minimizes the risk of failure or slowdown even during heavy traffic on the site, e.g. during sales.

 

What else does PWA gain a greater advantage over native applications? It turns out that often despite downloading the application, users do not use it at the frequency assumed by the creator and after some time it is removed anyway. According to Loyalitics (2016-2018), almost 21% of customers give up newly downloaded applications after their first use. Therefore, it proves that one in five users never starts the application again just after one session. Is it worth investing in them at all?

 

Why is it still worth companies using PWA?

We all like it when someone gives us ready solutions. So it is similar with Progressive Web Apps. Convincing customers to install them directly from the browser is much simpler than sending them to the app store for that purpose. This reduces the need to go through installation processes and the cyclical need for updates. And what's more, you don't have to pay intermediaries for distribution, thereby reducing your acquisition costs (CAC). An investment in PWA also pays back in a different way. The costs are reduced because you don't have to invest in a separate website, in a mobile application for two operating systems (Android and iOS), and in implementing and testing website responsiveness (RWD). Thanks to PWA you get all these functions in the package.

 

The progressive web application also creates an excellent opportunity to use the customer's shopping impulse. At the moment of his digital journey through the store, delighted with the attractive offer, he will also be more likely to attach PWA to his home screen to have faster access to his favorite store. It works in exactly the same way as sweets placed at the checkout in the supermarket - they are tempting effectively and after a while they go to the customer's basket.

 

In the case of conducting e-commerce activities in the multi-channel approach (omnichannel), PWA also plays a significant role. Thanks to this type of technology, you are able to unify all customer experiences and improve their service, regardless of their point of contact with your brand. All this at a lower cost than separate websites and applications. Thanks to PWA you can also analyze the needs and preferences of your recipients. In the same way as with other technologies. Also remember that customers become loyal faster if they receive something more than just the product they purchased. So you can add options that will help recipients while increasing their engagement. Use push notifications and other options that are usually provided with native applications, so that the client has the feeling and confidence that he is getting a completely complete and helpful tool.

 

In summary, the benefits that companies receive by choosing PWA are:

 

  • No intermediaries needed to download and install the application.

 

  • Independence in the application update process.

 

  • Customers can continue their digital journey through the site without interference due to lack of internet connectivity.

 

  • Fast page loading time even during hours of increased website traffic, e.g. during sales.

 

  • High user engagement and increased conversion rate.

 

  • Quick possibility to reach the client's information when using mobile devices.

 

  • Seamless connection with social media and increased return on marketing activities.

 

  • Reducing the cost of acquiring a user (CAC).

 

  • Increased conversion between different platforms.

 

  • The ability to comprehensively compile data, introduce updates and new product information.

 

Programming work and the benefits of PWA

The main benefits of PWA for programmers are that they are based on popular web standards such as JavaScript, CSS and HTML. Compared to native applications, they are quite easy to build. Especially with some projects created from the very beginning by an internal team of front-end programmers.

 

However, the situation is not always so easy. For more complex websites or specific industries, building a PWA-based system can be difficult. For example, if your company has many different systems that work closely together, all changes should be made very carefully. This is the effort that rests on the shoulders of programmers. After all, as a team they must find a solution tailored to the concept of the originator. Also meet customer expectations, ensuring a positive User Experience and trouble-free operation of the web application. This is especially important for e-commerce platforms that are based on outdated technology.

 

Fortunately, it turns out that thanks to the possibilities of PWA, nothing is impossible. The latest PWA frameworks and other ready-to-use solutions allow developers to transform an old site into a progressive web application, without interfering with the entire e-commerce platform engine. You can separate the interface from the backend of the platform, also supporting sales and marketing teams with a new way of working. By working with, for example, Vue Storefront, developers build strong frontend and JavaScript competences, and gain valuable experience in e-commerce projects, which also results in other areas. What's more, they quickly gain satisfaction from the work done. They can see their effects fairly quickly, because it takes several months to introduce PWA-based platforms. On the other hand, testing the fully functional proof of the Vue Storefront concept for PWA e-commerce takes only 160 hours.

 

In short, the benefits of PWA for programmers are:

 

  • A modern approach to work and the opportunity to gain valuable development experience.

 

  • Ability to work with headless architecture.

 

  • No need to create separate applications for Android and iOS.

 

  • No need to have paid development accounts in Google Play or the App Store.

 

  • Quick implementation time - possibility of starting PWA within 160 hours.

 

  • Backend resolution with PWA-independent solutions.

 

 

Do you want to develop your business without increasing the amount of work and financial expenses? Do you want to satisfy your customers and offer them pleasant experiences in contact with your brand? If so, then you know that it is worth to bet on PWA!