If you’ve heard of progressive web apps (PWAs) you’ve probably also heard that they deliver amazing user experiences.

They are reliable, fast and engaging — but what exactly are they? And how can they benefit small and medium businesses?

Progressive web apps, according to Wikipedia, are “web applications that use the latest web technologies. Also known as Installable Web Apps or Hybrid Web Apps, they are regular web pages or websites, but can appear to the user like traditional applications or native mobile applications.”

In short, PWAs live on the user’s home screen, and you control how it’s launched and how it appears.

PWAs make it possible to re-engage with users using push notifications, which a number of ecommerce sites are using to increase engagement and sales.

PWAs can be installed without the need for an app store, and with so many customizations, you can easily use them to increase conversions and boost your customer engagement.

Are PWAs just another trend or are they the future?

All About Progressive Web Apps and How They Can Benefit Your Business

PWAs are not simply a new trend, but rather becoming the norm nowadays. There are no boundaries or rules with these web applications, and you don’t need an app store either.

This means there is no need to download anything, as they simply work directly from your browser.

Since progressive web apps install and live on the home screen of the user, it gives them an immersive full screen experience which allows you to re-engage users with the help of push notifications.

Push notifications are a great way to engage directly with your users in real-time. They can opt into communications from a website or product and receive updates instantly.

PWAs also load very fast, so they will be a great addition to a user’s web experience. It’s common knowledge that visitors quickly scroll away when a site takes too long to load, which is why fast loading times are essential. You want to make a good impression, and fast loading data is the key.

The trend is also shifting from traditional apps that have to be downloaded from an app store and then installed, to apps that are simply present in a user’s web environment.

Fast loading times, great performance and an app-like user experience with all the benefits it offers — what more can you ask for?

What does the PWA mean for your business?

Presently, PWAs are fast becoming the standard. With PWAs, your business can enrich your users’ mobile experience, offering them an improved way of connecting with you.

There are many benefits to using PWAs for your business, including the following:

  • Apps are more discoverable
  • PWAs offer a browser-based program with the benefits of an app
  • Improved performance
  • Increased engagement, and
  • Great conversion rates.

What does the PWA mean for your business?

PWAs provide a seamless transition from search to site and they load almost instantly. In short, this can be the difference between a sale for your business, or no sale at all.

Keep in mind as well that apps normally have to be downloaded, and according to a recent study, around 60% of apps never get downloaded.

With progressive web apps, there is no need for downloads. This improves visibility, as users don’t have to go through endless clicks to get the app on their home screen.

PWAs also provide you with the best of both worlds. It creates a browser experience that has all the features of an app — offline use, home screen access, push notifications and device API use (camera, location, and more).

PWAs work in full screen mode, too, so they use the full power of the device and is nearly indiscernible from a traditional app.

In terms of performance, slow-loading apps are a thing of the past. A recent Kissmetrics study showed that “a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.”

Your PWA can go even faster with tools such as instant app pages, application shells, and service workers. Even more interesting is that progressive apps can beat native apps by more than half when it comes to speed.

Here are a few case studies:

  • Forbes’ PWA loads in an impressive 2.5 seconds. This has led to a 10% increase in impressions per visit.
  • Flipkart’s PWA drives 50% of their new customer acquisition. Around 60% of their visitors has previously uninstalled the native app to save space.
  • OLX enjoys a 250% increase in re-engagement with push notifications. They also now have an impressive 146% increase in click-through rates on ads.

Increased engagement is something that most businesses can benefit from. You want as many people as possible to view your app content, so making the app readily available without having to go through an app store first is a great benefit to have.

benefits of PWA

You want anyone to use your app, no matter what platform they are using — which is why PWAs are ideal.

Even major publications like The Washington Post have started using PWAs.

AliExpress increased their conversion rate with a staggering 104% when they introduced their progressive web app. The result? Double the page visits per session and a 74% increase in time spent per session across all browsers.

Increased engagement can ultimately lead to increased conversions. Did you know that every click a user has to go through in order to make the actual purchase, can reduce conversions by as much as 20%? That’s a lot, especially for large businesses.

By removing as many barriers as possible and speeding up your app’s deployment, you can increase customer conversions and ultimately your bottom line. Make sure it’s easy for a customer to purchase or take a specific action and you will definitely boost conversion rates.

PWAs are definitely becoming the new standard in web and mobile user experiences. They significantly boost your conversions, reduce load times, and have all the great benefits of native apps.

If you are not already using PWAs for your business, perhaps it’s time to see what it can do for your bottom line.