You’ve heard about several businesses migrating their online platforms into a progressive web app, but should you follow the trend and do just the same?
Wait, what is a progressive web app anyway?
Before we fully head into showing you which progressive web apps are now made available this year, we thought it would be best if you had a bit of background about what it is really all about.
Technically speaking, a progressive web app (PWA) is a type of mobile application that is delivered through the internet. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
How is a progressive web app all that different from a normal app?
You’re familiar with installing apps on your phone, right? Depending on whether your mobile is on Android or iOS, you will have to visit either the Play Store or App Store in order to add applications on your device.
However, with a progressive web app, it’s different. In fact, it skips all those previous steps. How is that even possible, you ask?
As we mentioned above, a PWA only needs a steady internet connection for it to work. That means you don’t have to install it locally on your phone in order to have it up and running.
Basically, it’s a website that looks, acts, and feels like a mobile app. It’s built on a highly responsive interface that works with the end user’s convenience in mind.
Why should you use it?
Aside from delivering added convenience as its main form factor, you have to consider that most people browse the internet through their phones nowadays. With your business website optimized to cater to mobile users, it will help entice more clients to favor your site over your competitor’s.
Other than that, initiating a progressive web app is a great option for your business because:
- It’s a cheaper alternative over having a specific mobile app made.
- It’s an efficient solution for your business website.
- It’s an engaging experience for your prospects (since it is also available offline).
- It’s a data-saving option for mobile users.
The real cherry on top when it comes to using a progressive web app is that it enables you to freely design what you want in your application. You don’t need to follow certain restrictions or have it reviewed by app stores either.
On top of that, you will get to send push notifications to your web visitors too, re-engaging them with what your brand has to offer. Through it, you can increase client retention and perhaps, even build stronger client loyalty in the future.
What companies or businesses have already put progressive web apps to use?
You’d be surprised to know that a lot of big names in the industry have already acclimated to the use of progressive web apps. Among the many, here are:
As a hotel booking business, Trivago makes use of a PWA as a means to help clients select the best prices when it comes to hotel accommodations. Apart from offering the app for free, they also have it set up to aggregate hotel searches, display accommodation details, as well as deliver push notifications.
Thanks to the multilingual support that comes with their app, Trivago’s services have been made available to over 55 countries worldwide. Now, that definitely has expanded their market reach!
With the use of a PWA, Trivago has not only done that, but they were also able to improve user engagement and boost their click-through rate as well.
Being one of the many trending apps available online, Pinterest enables its users to compile and save images according to a category of choice. This allows clients to easily gather up pictures that can be used as inspiration for crafts and other projects.
Previously, with only a website in use, they had a very low sign-up rate. However, thanks to the availability of progressive web apps, Pinterest has successfully increased its conversion rates.
PWAs have also lengthened the time users spend on their app, boosted their ad revenue, and at the same time, increase their client engagement.
As a highly popular dating app, Tinder has made the decision to launch its very own progressive web app as of late. Their main intention behind this was to keep themselves updated with the current market trends.
Since the PWA version is much smaller in size compared to the native app, it has attracted more users to prefer it. Although it took Tinder at little more than three months to release their own version of a PWA, it allowed them to deliver the Tinder core experience to more users with just a fraction of their investment.
Based in Hong Kong, 9Gag is a unique type of social media platform dedicated to the uploading and sharing of various content including but are not limited to images, memes, videos, etc.
With the use of a PWA, they have enabled these functions, as well as the other features (that were only available in the native mobile app) on their website.
This has further expanded their network all over the world, gaining them users in the US, Germany, France, UK, and Brazil.
Originally hailing from India, OLX is known as an online classified ads app that aims to provide a readily accessible marketplace for both online sellers and buyers. Most items they have on sale are used, so it allows end users to purchase products for cheaper.
The native app that comes with OLX has a chat option which allows buyers and sellers to negotiate for product prices. However, their business website did not. OLX wanted to change this, so they opted for the use of a PWA.
Now, with a PWA on board, their site’s loading speed has increased, and they have gained added monetization thanks to their rising click-through rates. On top of that, they have managed to decrease bounce rates as well.
As an internationally famous coffee chain, Starbucks is not one to be late in the game. They, too, have had a progressive web app made for their business so that their clients could continue to browse their menus, customize their orders, and manage their shopping carts even though they were offline.
After a PWA was implemented for their use, Starbucks has experienced significant growth in their website users. This, of course, eventually leads to better customer loyalty and revenues.
Owned by the Alibaba Group, AliExpress is a popular e-commerce site that caters to a variety of products. On their site, you can purchase all sorts of supplies with just a click of a button.
However, with tough competition in the industry, they had to find ways to make their brand stand out. That’s when AliExpress implemented the use of a progressive web app. With it, they were able to boost their conversion rate, along with the number of pages each user visits when they log on.
Just like OLX, Flipkart is also an e-commerce site based in India. A few years back, they have resorted to keeping their business only accessible through an app. However, soon enough they realized it wasn’t as engaging as providing clients with a full web experience.
Now with a progressive web app in tow, Flipkart has brought in more conversions and a higher re-engagement rate with their clients.
Despite already having a custom web design, Twitter wanted to further the user experience that they were able to deliver. To do that, they resorted to the use of a progressive web app.
Once they released a progressive web app, images and other content were able to finally load almost instantaneously. Thanks to that, the number of tweets being sent have increased since then, and they were able to minimize bounce rates as well.
Forbes is known as an American business magazine, which features articles and stories about marketing, finance, technology, investment, and a whole lot more.
The first few stages of Forbes PWA were subjected to beta testing in order to check the effect it had on users. What was the end result? With the help of a progressive web app, web visitors became more engaged on the site, and they spent more time browsing through the articles, too.
What disadvantages come with the use of progressive web apps?
Like all things, PWA has its own set of limitations as well. A couple of these would include:
The app not being available in app stores
Some may see this as a decrease in brand exposure since not a lot of people would become familiar with the app. However, that isn’t always the case. You see, just like websites, apps also need higher rankings in order to be featured in the top list. Also, you have to remember that you still have SEO on your side. With search engine optimization, it’s never too late for you to introduce your PWA to web users.
The lack of certain features
Progressive web apps are what you would call a recent technology, and because of this, it still lacks a couple of functions (such as badging, Bluetooth, geo-fencing, Touch ID, etc.) that a regular app is able to take advantage of. Still, that doesn’t mean PWAs have no more room for improvement. In the near future, these features will most likely be added as well.
Are progressive web apps the future?
There is indeed great potential to be had with progressive web apps, yet the complete success of it will still depend on how it is exposed to the public. While it’s true that the benefits brought on by PWAs are not immediate, you also have to take into consideration how several big companies have already taken the leap and have enjoyed the major benefits that come with it.
As long as PWAs will be continually used and patronized by these corporations (with others following suit), progressive web apps will continue to take flight in the future.
Should you have a progressive web app for your business?
We’ve presented the pros and cons of the PWAs, but in the end, it will still be up to you to decide whether you would like to upgrade your existing custom web design.
Apart from weighing the advantages and what not, you should also factor in your business goals and the vision that you have for your business in the years to come. If those align with what a progressive web app has to offer, then you’ve found the answer to your query.
Do you have other questions about progressive apps?
Why don’t you give us a call or send us a message through our contact details? We have representatives on the line who are ready to assist you with your concerns not just about progressive web apps, but also with custom web design as well.
As a long-standing team of creative professionals, you can count on us to fully optimize your website with the goals of growing your business in mind. Our line of expertise branches out in several aspects as we regularly accommodate various clients who have businesses in different industries, so you can trust us to know what works best. Just tell the Proweaver team what you need assistance with, and we’ll get started on the task at hand as soon as possible!
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