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Progressive web apps for website promotion
20 April 2019
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Progressive web apps for website promotion

Front-end developer of Clock Creative Lab Igor Gontarenko told about the new technology, its advantages, disadvantages and personal impressions of working with PWA.

Progressive Web App (PWA) is a new convenient and lightweight application format. When using PWA, it is hard to distinguish it from the traditional native app. It is distinguished by only a few additional advantages:

  • it downloads immediately,
  • takes up less memory,
  • no need to update or download from IOS App Store or Google Play Store,
  • works on any device (even on older PCs).

How PWA works

Progressive Web App for Mercedes-Benz

A few months ago we developed and launched a new website for Mercedes-Benz car dealership at Kiltseva Road. Now, we have optimized it for the functions of a progressive web application.

Before explaining in detail the numerous strengths and talk about the minor shortcomings of the technology, I will show it in the work on the example of the Mercedes-Benz project.


Advantages Of Progressive Web App

for business

  1. Simplification of work and reduction of expenses three times. Multi-platform compatibility is an important component of a successful web technology that allows achieving these advantages. In native applications, multi-platform compatibility was provided by separate independent code bases. With PWA, you no longer need to spend money on creating them. The technology has a single code and works on any platform that has an internet browser. It is even available on older PCs, however, with limited functionality. In addition to a more modest budget, this means that it is now easier for companies to get an effective website and application. Previously, it was necessary to hire three teams of developers to create: a web resource, a native application for the iOS platform, and applications for Android. It was necessary to prepare the technical tasks for each platform and supervise the budgets. It was because the Desktop, iOS, and Android required knowledge of different programming languages. With the advent of PWA, a single technical task and one team of web developers are enough. They will create a website and connect it to a progressive Internet application.
  2. Additional SEO-promotion of your website. The download speed of PWA is higher than that of a regular web resource. Since the summer of this year, the Google search engine takes this factor into account and shows the fastest websites at the first priority. Clickability also depends on the time wasted by the download.

For example, on the Pinterest image hosting, as a result of a 40% reduction in waiting time, traffic increased by 15%, and the conversion rate before registration increased by 15%.

According to Google research about PWA:

  • The share of Internet sessions on mobile devices has increased by 20% since the introduction of the technology.
  • The duration of visits decreased by 18%.
  • 29% increase in the ratio of mobile conversions.
  • 53% of users are more likely to close the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. It takes at least 5 seconds to download 1MB with a standard 3G connection according to WebPageTest and DevTools.

Progressive web applications also have better competition conditions. They do not have to, as native apps, to coexist with thousands of similar apps in the IOS App Store or Google Play Store. The user can go to PWA from social networks, search results or messengers.

3. No need to follow the App Store and Google Play rules, as you no longer need their stores to host your app.

4. Work only with an interested audience. The installation of a PWA is offered only when you re-visit the website. In such a way, a significant part of the "random" visitors is eliminated.

5. Сonversion increases due to push-notifications and ease of using PWA on mobile devices. More than half of Internet users go online via smartphones, according to data for the first month of 2018. Customers and your business will get even closer thanks to the unique features of Progressive Web App.

PWA for users

  1. Multiplatform compatibility. The Progressive Internet Application can be downloaded on any digital devices in Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft browsers. There are no requirements for technical capabilities and parameters of gadgets.
  2. Unobtrusiveness. Installation of PWA is only offered after you have shown primary interest when you first visit the site.
  3. No need to download from stores. It is enough to click once on the button in the pop-up dialog box.
  4. Instant download. Heavy components are cached the first time you visit a web resource.
  5. Small size (up to 200Kb). Sustainable use of device memory allows the use of browser capabilities.
  6. One-click access from the home screen or via push notifications. "Push" will not let you miss a favorite product when it appears in stock. And it will regularly inform about new products, relevant to your interests.
  7. Automatic update. All website updates appear in PWA applications without your participation.
  8. The minimum download speed - less than a second.
  9. Work with the website with no internet. You will be able to access the latest version of the content on the web resource of interest through the Progressive Web App even offline. In this mode, you open the saved version of the website.

Disadvantages Of Progressive Web Apps

For developers. The only drawback is the novelty of the technology. Progressive web applications appeared only about a year ago. And relatively little information about working with PWA is available online.

For users. On the Safari browser in iOS, there is no simplicity of operation with "one-click", as in Google Chrome on Android. You need to apply more manipulation to install PWA. Manually add an icon to the desktop. This pushes away part of the potential audience.

It is also needed to improve the pop-up notifications so they would naturally lead the user to the target action. However, whether this will be done or not is a big question. PWA is a Google development, so Apple is constantly trying to fight it. For Apple, making it easier to work with this application on their platform means to play competitor’s game by their rules.

Native apps and PWA: when both technologies are needed

Many of the world's largest companies today work with their customers through two types of applications – native and PWA. The rejection of the trusted technology in favor of the new one still looks too risky. At this stage, the Progressive Web App is a good alternative to native. Such large companies as Uber, Twitter, Starbucks, Aviasales, Google Maps, Tinder, and AliExpress, give their customers the opportunity to choose.

Perhaps, soon, Google will release a service that will only work through PWA. In such a way they will show all the advantages of this technology and introduce it to those users who didn’t try it yet.

PWA efficiency for business – real cases of companies


Facebook

+43% of Internet sessions per user

+20% of ads visibility of

+100% engagement

3 times increase in the depth of scrolling

Lancôme

+17% higher conversion

+8% return to abandoned baskets via push notifications

+53% of mobile sessions on iOS

MakeMyTrip

+38% faster page loading

+160% of customer sessions

3 times higher conversion

AliExpress

+82% conversion on iOS

+74% session duration

2 times more visited pages for each user in all browsers

Progressive web applications: outcomes and perspectives

Due to the advances in the development of the browsers, the PWA has combined the functionality of a native application, easy installation, and ease of website download. The technology is also a powerful SEO promotion tool. Today, PWA is a direct way to smartphones if the clients of your business. The presence of a PWA in business activity, as the cases of the world's largest companies show, is a competitive advantage.

Those who do not use progressive web applications, now have the opportunity to "jump into the last car" – to get a unique tool for business development and show themselves as a progressive company. The effectiveness of the Progressive Web App will be maintained for another year and a half and gradually wane.

However, if the company's budget allows you to order the development of the site with PWA and native applications for different platforms – it is not necessary to completely switch to the use of new technology. The most advantageous strategy is to have a full set of features to engage all segments of users. Over time, native apps will outlast themselves. Then, the Progressive Web App will take their place and become the main thing to develop until there are new, even more convenient tools.

Are you ready for leadership on the internet?

Let's discuss the prospects for promoting your site!