Why Progressive Web Apps Are Rising Up in Popularity Chart

by sagacity

Google introduced the term “Progressive Web App” a few years ago. Since then, the idea of facilitating experiences like a native app and, at the same time, providing a broader reach has rapidly gained traction.

A progressive web app, also called PWA, produces native-app-like experiences for the user. Created using standard technologies such as CSS, HTML, as well as JavaScript, a PWA can function across different devices and platforms — thus, exhibiting platform agnosticism. 

Take the case of BMW’s PWA. To provide seamless navigation experiences on the web and to emulate the capabilities of a native app, the company used PWA to reflect upon its values with high-resolution media. The result? 49% increase in site visits and 4X higher conversion from the homepage to the sales page.

Indeed, PWAs have a lot to offer — precisely why it’s unsurprising why they’re rising up in the popularity chart. Let’s get into more details about the same.


Tangible Results and Revenues from PWA Adoption

Microsoft, Apple, Google, BMW, Starbucks, Spotify, Uber, Pinterest, etc. — organizations across almost all sectors are transitioning to the use of PWAs owing to their flexibility and capability of significantly enhancing customer experiences.

PWAs are particularly transforming the way mobile web looks and functions. Browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari are providing continual support and maintenance to PWAs. There are also directories such as PWA Rocks and Outweb.io, which provide a large PWA collection in a single place.

As such, many organizations have found tangible results from using PWAs. For example, Pinterest experienced a  60% increase in engagements and a 44% increase in its advertisement revenues once it began using PWAs. Likewise, Tinder was able to reduce overall loading times from 11.91 seconds to as little as 4.69 seconds using their new PWA.


Instances Where PWAs are Valuable

There are many instances where the usage of PWAs proves beneficial. These include cases such as:

  • Increased size of the app
  • Limited internet connectivity
  • Infrequent app usage
  • Storage and Big Data consumption, and
  • Frequent updates as well as permissions


Benefits of PWAs for Users

PWAs offer a large range of benefits for users, such as:

  • High performance even when the Internet network is poor and unstable
  • Less loading times
  • Small size
  • Features similar to native apps such as offline mode, home screen, push notifications, etc.
  • The facility of app installation on mobile or desktop like native apps
  • Instant updates 

The most impressive capability in modern-day PWAs is in their ability to have device accessibility. This includes examples such as using preferred color schemes of the customer, access to phone contact lists, as well as having read and write access to the local file systems on the device. 

As such, PWAs find themselves being put to use for specific purposes such as food delivery, eCommerce, etc. Read along for more on this.


PWAs and Their Benefits for Businesses

If businesses can manage to convince their users to download apps locally, it can help avoid dependence on third-party platforms. This helps to reduce the monetary effort of cooperation and also lowers the risk of cyber fraud or consumer data leaks. 

PWAs are easy to update compared to traditional mobile apps. The communication between the business and its customers can also be much smoother on a PWA compared to a mobile app. 

Additionally, a greater focus on UX design exponentially increases visitor engagement, as well as conversion rates. Not to forget that PWAs reduce the server load owing to their quick loading times. They can reduce the dangers of slowdowns or crashes, especially during peak traffic periods. 


Big on Reliability

One of the clearest examples of the reliability of PWAs is the offline PWA functionality of Airbnb. This is crucial when customers arrive at an Airbnb destination but are yet to connect to Wi-Fi. This is mainly possible due to the storage APIs available to developers nowadays. In fact, PWAs are far quicker, more accessible, and resilient now compared to before.

The installability feature of PWAs has also improved vastly, although the user interface can sometimes be a bit confusing for the user. It does require a close inspection of the instructions. But that can be rectified by investing profoundly in UX Research, UX Design, and UX Writing (or Content Designing). 


Continuous Evolution – PWAs Are the Future

PWAs are on a journey of continuous evolution. In fact, these days, you can bring PWAs to specific app stores. This is if you want to use distribution channels for native apps. 

The ultimate goal for PWAs is to offer feature parity along with native apps. It is truly fascinating to see how close PWAs are to the native apps – a prime example being the case of Twitter. However, the biggest issue for PWAs is the difference in feature parity for iOS compared to other platforms. To truly offer the best in both worlds, PWAs need to be applicable on all web devices. 


Wrapping Up

Overall, it is heartening to see how PWAs are now able to provide most of the major functionalities of native apps. When it comes to accessibility and distribution, PWAs have significant advantages over native apps. The Web is actually a fantastic place now, given the recent progression and adoption of PWAs.

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