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What’s the Deal with Progressive Web Apps?

  • 5 min
  • December 28, 2016
    • PWAs
    • UX meets CX
    • 2017 trends

First off, let’s go over what a progressive web app is:

A progressive web app, or PWA, uses your mobile web browser to deliver a user experience similar to a mobile app.

PWAs are one of the hot trending topics of 2017 and are becoming an expected part of the most desired user experience AND customer experience. Mobile ecommerce (or mCommerce) is taking over the world, and a responsive platform is what your customers are expecting.

PWAs take mCommerce to the next level by directly relating to responsive design to an app like experience. Navigation is fast, easy, and slick. To get an idea, some examples you can browse right now on your smartphone are Flipkart and Pure Formulas.

 

Is having a responsive website just not enough anymore?

If your website is mobile responsive, you’re already ahead of the game. The number one reason why your customers will drop off mobile and purchase on a desktop is SPEED. In fact, 53% of users will give up on a mobile site if it takes three seconds or longer to load.

Surfing the web on your mobile browser means the pages are re-loading every single click. With PWAs, the browser acts as a mobile app, meaning the page never reloads and never re-renders itself. It’s like an app, but running in a mobile browser.

The web browser on your mobile device is much more powerful today than it was a few years ago, and you can do essentially everything on a browser that you can do on a mobile app.

 

Why is it called a progressive web app?

By definition the word progressive means “happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.”

That’s just what a PWA does. It’s a website that is responsive, meaning it can adapt to a number of devices regardless of screen size, and the website progressively adapts to the technology of whatever device it’s being viewed on.

 

So, why wouldn’t you just build a mobile app?

For a few reasons:

1) Mobile apps are extremely expensive to build, and even more expensive to maintain.

2) There’s a real estate issue. Unless your customer is a frequent shopper at your ecommerce store, chances are they won’t waste the space on their mobile device or tablet to download your app.  Not to mention, why would you want to waste the energy creating an app when your website becomes the app on a browser? It’s a no-brainer.

 

How will I know when a PWA is right for my business?

PWAs are new to all of us, so it’s tough to say if they are necessary for every ecommerce site at the moment. A PWA might be a good move for your ecommerce site if you have content that is constantly updating, such as prices or supply chain. Your website will need to be quick to update. 

 

Related Posts: 

2016 Ecomm Forum Recap 

5 Reasons Why mCommerce Will Take Over The World 

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