Progressive Web Apps provide a great proposition towards improving the online User Experience (UX) and engagements in a value for money budget and hence, becoming the perfect match to market any business.
While this technology might be in its relatively early stage, its adopters have been rising at a very steep pace due to the impressive results earned by those who’ve already tried it out.
Let’s look into what Progressive Web Apps are, the advantages they hold for businesses and how to make the most of them.
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
A Progressive Web App can be described as a modern technology that combines the best of mobile websites and applications to offer the superior most user experience.
In essence, Progressive Web Apps make mobile web browsing feel as good as the experience of navigating through a native mobile app, without having the restriction to download one from the Play Store or App Store.
PWA comes with the capabilities of fast load times, great user navigability and built-in intelligence to capture user behaviour and preferences to tailor a personalized experience.
Let’s look at them in detail.
9 Benefits of PWA in Marketing Your Business
Due to their advanced capabilities and great functionality, PWAs invariably bring to life, a lot of advantages for their adopters. Here’s how building a PWA can lend your business its competitive edge –
1. Gain A Wider Reach
In spite of the large-scale penetration of native apps today, not all individuals prefer to download multiple applications on their cell phones or other tablet devices. This could be due to multiple reasons including the motivation to avoid using up storage space.
PWAs by design, come with the advantage of reaching out to those prospects as well, offering them with a superior experience without forcing them to hit download. As a fact, even if your business does have a native app already, PWA could help you to cater to the remaining audience.
If we are to look at the results, the PWA of Starbucks had a file size that was 99.84 per cent lesser than its native app. That allowed all its users to free up to 148 MB on their phones, which led to much higher traction on their PWA.
2. Improved Customer Experience
In today’s age of limited product differentiation, customer experience is one aspect where companies can score a great a chance to stand out. If we are to go by the numbers, as many as 81 per cent of the buyers today tend to make their purchase decisions only after engaging in some initial research online.
This obviously indicates that their web experience is something that can have a great influence on their purchase decision. Moreover, there’s been a shift of massive web traffic from desktop to mobiles since the advent of smartphones. In light of this reality, progressive web apps offer a much-improved customer experience, similar to native apps when compared to regular websites.
Its layout can be designed to be extremely responsive, offering seamless navigation and a great over User Experience when compared to a desktop website on a mobile device.
In terms of a technical construct, they offer a much higher speed, automatically augmenting the engagement and conversions. In fact, with a PWA, Forbes was able to slash the load times on their page by 2 to 10 seconds per page.
By design, PWAs offer greater web security to customers, which plays a very critical role while transacting, sharing sensitive data. Moreover, PWAs consume much lesser data, which turns out to be an added advantage.
It’s for these benefits of improved user experience that Ali Express, a company from the stable of Alibaba debuted with a version of PWA for their web presence. The results obtained by them post this investment was incredible. Post implementation of the technology, they witnessed a conversion rate of 104 per cent for new users, with two times more pages visited and 74 per cent increase in time spent on the website. – Source
3. Develop At A Lower Cost
One of the main reasons as to why most businesses are unable to develop an app in spite of the marketing benefits relevant to their business is the high cost associated with the building one.
Progressive Web Apps step in right here, easing out the budget constraint and unfolding a chance to enjoy benefits similar to native apps at a significantly lower cost. Moreover, unlike the backend code that needs to be tailored separately for iOS, Windows or Android apps, PWAs work on across all major browsers, eliminating these additional costs greatly.
4. Works Offline Or In Poor Connectivity
PWAs come with an advantage of being accessible even with the lack of Internet connectivity along with poor intermittent connectivity. It allows users to store it on their desktop and even access the information saved from their last online engagement.
This largely contributes to an increased level of browsing activity and the retention of the brand in the prospect’s mind.
5. Index on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
The first step towards generating more business online is actually getting discovered. It’s due to this reason that companies all over are talking about and significantly investing in SEO.
Much like all regular websites, progressive web apps allow access through their own unique URLs. This promises that they can be indexed on the SERP. In fact, this indexability is a huge advantage of PWAs over their native application counterparts.
6. Distribute Via Third-Party Locations
The fact that PWAs can be accessed with a URL and makes it very easy to amplify the reach and engagements. One can seamlessly link their PWA with all their existing marketing pursuits or communication in order to increase the traction.
For instance, the link can be used to navigate a person to the PWA from social media channels, SMS or email campaigns. In fact, they can be even launched with a QR code.
The fact that they instantly load in seconds post clicking on the exact URL with no delaying steps in the middle such as visiting a store, hitting download, accepting permissions and so on helps to avoid people spilling out of the funnel. This way PWAs help to retain most of the users.
Customers Being Lost Every Stage Of The Consumer App Funnel (Source)
7. Feature-rich PWAs
One of the most beautiful features handed out by progressive web apps is the option of sending out push notifications. With PWAs companies or bloggers can successfully direct their audience to revisit their page by sending out notifications, which are much more likely to be read than emails, messages or logging in again.
Moreover, in addition to visiting, the consistent communication can contribute to increased brand value retention in the mind of the users.
According to InfoQ, eXtra Electronics, an ecommerce company from Saudi Arabia, used push notifications in order to retarget existing customers and visitors on their PWA. As compared to the results they obtained from email marketing earlier, this helped them earn a 4x increase in engagement, 12 per cent increase in click-through rates and 100 per cent increase in sales.
8. Easily Accessible Contact Information
When trying to gain local SEO advantages, having information crop up at the earliest makes all the difference. PWAs, due to their agile load times, enable the critical information any user is looking for to filter out the fastest.
This automatically motivates the user to stay on the PWA and navigate through the pages due to lack of frustrating delays in loading. This often results in increasing number of calls and visits to a local business.
9. Eliminate Submissions To App Stores
Submitting and getting an app listed on the App Store or Play Store calls for abiding by certain rules and guidelines in addition to expert skills. Since PWAs can be accessed simply without downloading activity of any sort, they exempt the developers to undergo the time-consuming process of app store submissions.
Moreover, when the applications undergo updates, it’s not always simple. However, in case of the progressive web apps, the update process is very seamless and doesn’t require a user to take any action or update.
With all these advantages, it’s a lucrative prospect to upgrade your mobile website into a PWA.
4 Actionable Steps for Businesses to Get the Most from PWAs
If you do consider building a PWA for your business, there are certain things you must keep in mind, in order to gain the maximum from your transition.
Here are some of them –
1. Push Messaging
Push messaging is known to have very high open rates. You could use their power to offer incentives to your customers, announce upcoming events, new blog posts, or share latest company news. PWAs allow push notifications just like native apps, making this possible and easy.
As per a study conducted, as many as 60 per cent of visitors who downloaded a PWA gave permission to send push notifications – a marketing benefit you wouldn’t want to miss.
2. Power Of Updated & Accessible Content
Customers come to any website or app to look for something. In that sense, the content that you display must cater to their needs and be placed at the right points. The more easily customers are able to find relevant information on your PWA, the higher is the likelihood of them providing you with business.
Moreover, it is important that you ensure that the content is updated regularly. If there’s anything that has been published to the benefit a user recently, it should be visible on the PWA.
Agile & Dynamic Content Updating Process on PWA (Source)
3. Leverage The Loyalty Programs
A great way to ensure existing customer retention and increased sales is by rolling out loyalty programs.
PWAs are very well compatible to support loyalty program schemes.
4. Ensure That It’s Built Right
Lastly, but most importantly – if you’re building something, it’s imperative to ensure that the task is well executed keeping the necessary fundamentals in mind. In that sense, you must make sure to choose the right PWA developer to build yours. A few technical specifications you must make sure are followed include –
a. The content is crawlable
b. The URLs are clean
c. The canonical URLs are specified
d. It is responsive in design and compatible with all devices
e. Your page load speed is optimized
f. It works well in all browsers
g. It is annotated with Schema
h. Served via HTTPS
Having these fundamentals taken care of ensures best benefits in terms of search engine ranking and user experience.
We’re quickly adapting into a business world that’s exceedingly moving towards being powered within the palm of one’s hand. With the Internet and smartphone revolution, there has been a massive shift in the way all trade and commerce is conducted.
Whether we are to look at e-commerce, business transactions or co-ordination of processes across the globe, everything is quick in getting shifted online. Alongside this development, mobile phones or handheld devices are becoming the dominant tool to access web locations.
In such a scenario, to stand out amidst the immense competition, every business needs to offer its targeted customers with the best experience possible. With so many easily accessible options for every single commodity or service, a customer stands at the advantage to pick the best possible choice. Hence, progress-oriented businesses always endeavour to continually improve their customer’s experience and provide them with the best.
Much like everything else, if you wish to make most out of them, you’ll need to ensure the right development fundamentals are followed and your marketing tactics utilize well, the myriad advantages they offer.