Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web application that takes the best from web and mobile versions of software to provide the ultimate user experience. Unlike traditional applications, PWA does not require installation on the device. They look like a website and are accessible from the user's home screen.
At Merehead, we use the potential of PWA to provide products that will significantly increase end-user engagement. Progressive web applications is the new market trend. Our team makes their development one of the main areas, as they significantly improve conversion rates, as well as reduce the number of failures.
PWA Main Point
The first idea of progressive web applications was proposed by Google in 2015, but the market began to talk about them only in 2018. Therefore, today many brands do not understand the essence of these applications and their business benefits.
In fact, PWA is a browser-based application that can be placed on the device’s desktop as an icon, without installing an API. They provide the services listed on the site, but at the same time have all the functions of native applications.
The developer still creates a web application using the appropriate tools, but thanks to a wider ecosystem, it can add mobile functions (autonomous operation, access to the camera or device files, and others). This allows you to quickly and reliably use the services of the company from a mobile device, while maintaining the availability of the web page.
PWA is installed without visiting the mobile store, and the file itself takes up less space. It is based on a manifest file that determines the appearance of the application on a specific device and controls the launch (exit). PWA Benefits
Progressive web applications are a new trend in the market, because the full potential has not yet been assessed. However, the concept of work already implies a mass of obvious advantages.
Adaptive nature. But this means not only that the appearance easily adapts to the device with which the application is used. The application can be used anywhere on any device without installing an API. In other words, this is a ready-to-use user experience, for which no effort is needed. It can work with any library on the back-end like Ember
Using a small amount of data. The obvious feature is that you need significantly less drive memory so that the user has constant access. In addition, the application needs significantly less data for normal operation. For example, if a traditional application needs 10 MB of data, PWA will cost only 500 KB.
Productivity. PWA loads at a very high speed, which affects search engine rankings. The speed of loading pages in the Washington Post increased to 0.8 milliseconds after the implementation of PWA, and the number of visits increased by 12%. It is faster than use React.js for development
Extensibility. The developer can at any time add new features without harming the user experience. This allows you to spontaneously update the application, developing the success of the business.
Why does the business needs PWA
A wave of traditional applications has passed. Moreover, a lot of users delete native applications from devices. According to Comscore, most users download zero apps per month. Statistics show that companies need a new solution to meet customer requirements.
Features and capabilities of progressive web applications - exactly what will bring any modern business to a new level. First of all - the ability to use the capabilities of the site and the mobile application in the same environment. You can also highlight the following benefits:
1. The user will be able to go to the application through links in social networks, or while browsing the web. It is much more convenient than competing for viewing with several millions of applications in the App Store or Google Play. Brand awareness will increase significantly.
2. The user will receive an offer to install the application only if it meets his needs. This will reduce the amount of annoying ads and increase brand credibility.
3. Instant installation, which is achieved by a smaller main file.
4. Pop-up notifications can be configured in more detail. Thus, the user will always receive only the information he needs.
5. PWA work anywhere, on any device, regardless of whether they are installed or not, which improves contact between the company and the client.
Whenever a user installs a native application, it must be periodically updated (or this process will take place automatically). This requires a network connection, free memory and time. PWA is updated only by the server side developer like Symfony
. The user does not need to carry out any actions to work with the new version.
The overall indicator is an improvement in user experience. Today it is one of the main indicators of business success.
Among other things, the development of PWA is cheaper than creating separate platforms for iOS or Android. As a rule, the installation of native applications is an unnecessary barrier both for business (requires additional costs) and for the user (takes up space on the device, it takes time to learn all the functionality).
Instead of investing in the development of traditional applications and requiring even minimal effort on the part of the client, today you can make the company's experience available instantly.
The technology of progressive web applications seems pretty simple. This has created many misunderstandings of its basics, as well as myths among forum users.
PWA is browser “magic”. It seems to beginners that the PWA will erase all alternatives by individually occupying the market. When realizing the potential of this technology in the market, many changes will indeed occur. But websites and native applications will still exist, since many users remain their supporters.
PWA – is exclusively offline application. The essence of the myth is that the use of progressive web applications is relevant only if the user needs the program to work offline. In fact, PWA is equally good online and offline. Their task is to ensure that the user has normal access to the application even with a bad network.
This is a mobile application. They are not specific web development
for smartphones. The advantage of PWA is that they can be used on any devices without emulators or additional settings.
PWA not ready for market yet. The myth is spread due to the fact that active work on such applications began only in 2018. But they are implemented by many brands, like Uber, Bookmyshow or Pinterest.
How PWA improved existing business
There are not so many examples of using progressive web applications today, however several large companies have already felt its benefit.
In Twitter Lite, the number of pages per session increased by 65%, the number of tweets by 75%, and the bounce rate of the application decreased by 20%. Twitter Lite loads in less than 3 seconds, and for repeat visits in a second.
Forbes also tested PWA. As a result, they received a doubling of the user's session, a gain of 20%. The download accelerated to 0.8 seconds (previously it was from 3 to 12 seconds, depending on the power of the device).
After switching to PWA, Aliexpress commented on the incredible growth of their indicators. Thus, the conversion increased by 104%, users visit 2 times more pages per session, and the duration of sessions increased by 74% on average.
Flipkart began the transition to PWA in 2015, disabling the native application. Then they received a flurry of critics, but they were able to justify their actions by running PWA. Added features and updated user experience led to a 70% increase in conversion, a 3-fold increase in session duration, and a 3-fold reduction in data consumption.
PWA is not a cure. But this is definitely a new step in modern business. It is necessary to go now. When such applications become the basis of the market, it will be much more difficult to compete.