Since its introduction in 2015, many businesses and companies have fully embraced the technological advancement that the progressive web app offers. Also known as PWAs, this innovation significantly improves the user experience and, in turn, helps businesses reach new customer bases. With these apps, many businesses that may have struggled to reach customers have turned themselves into success stories to be proud of. If you’re looking for a way to provide an app-like experience to your customers, this article will show you what PWAs are, how to use them, and what they can do for your company.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

They're are essentially a website that looks and behaves like a native app. Simply put, they harness the latest web capabilities to deliver native app-like experiences to users.

The major goal of this technology is to bridge the gap between native apps and the web. That’s why they can be easily added to smartphone homescreens, send push notifications, and allow tasks to be completed offline.

Benefits of Using a PWA

Below are the many benefits of using this type of app for your online store. They are:

·      Great Instant Performance: Online shoppers love a fast-loading site. So much so, in fact, that approximately 53% of online shoppers would leave a website that fails to load within three seconds. Progressive apps load faster - almost instantly - offering a much better user experience. With this type of app, you’ll see improved average site sessions and visibility, and decreased bounce rates of up to 35%.

·      Increased User Adoption: Having to download an app adds another step to the shopping process, which can decrease conversions. One of the best benefits is that users don’t have to download anything - they simply visit the web link and accept the prompts that follow. This makes it much easier for them to go ahead with making purchases.

·      Improved SEO: Since they’re based on the internet, a progressive app makes it much easier for search engines to discover the contents of your eCommerce store. This is especially true of big search engines like Google and Bing. The content on these can be easily linked, shared, and ranked by the search engine.

·      Increased Conversion Rates: A great user experience often leads to increased conversion rates, so it makes sense that using a one of these apps can lead to more sales for online retailers. Businesses have recorded between 17% and 76% increases in conversion rates and a 53% improvement in visitor engagement.

Challenges of Using a PWA

While they have many advantages, these apps come with their own challenges. Being aware of these can help you make sure that you’re deploying this great eCommerce strategy correctly. Below are some of the challenges you should consider:

·      Limited data storage

·      Zero iOS Push notifications

·      Difficult iOS installation

·      Limited SEO advantages

·      Limited features

·      Direct download is not available

Progressive Web App and Ecommerce

What’s the Difference Between a Native App and a Progressive Web App?

Although PWAs and native apps seem very similar, each technology is actually quite different. You should know what these differences are before deciding which one will work better for your online store. Some of the key differences are:

·      Native apps must be downloaded through an app store, while web apps don’t need to be downloaded at all.

·      Progressive apps are easily accessible while native apps are sometimes less so.

·      Web apps can be updated automatically, but native apps must be updated manually by the owners.

·      These apps are easy, quick, and cost-effective to develop; native apps are not.

·      Progressive apps have URLS that are shareable and indexable; native apps don’t, so they won’t show up on search engines.

·      Native apps attract commissions of up to 30%, depending on which app store you use; web apps don’t have any commission charges.

Things to Consider for eCommerce

As a business owner, you have to consider many things before making any business decision. The same applies to PWAs. If you’re thinking about implementing an eCommerce progressive web app for for your online retail brand, here are some things you should think about:

·      The size and type of your business will determine which type of app will work best for you.

·      If you have a massive budget, native apps may be a better option.

·      If you don’t have much time and want things done quickly, these apps are a good choice.

·      If your customers are mostly Android users, then this type of app may suit your business better.

In addition to all the above, you should also know that your site will have to fulfill some baseline criteria to qualify as a progressive app. This criteria include:

·     Your site must have HTTPS for maximum security for data transmission.

·      A Web App Manifest is mandatory as it contains all the metadata needed by the device.

·     The site must have Service Workers which are “javascript proxies”

Consistency is a huge element of eCommerce best practices. With the reliability that these apps offer, it’s no surprise that there have been amazing success stories with certain PWA eCommerce examples like Alibaba, Twitter, Walmart, and Trivago. These businesses were able to double their conversion rates and grow their revenues quickly by implementing these apps.

Grow Your Business with a Progressive Web App!

As an eCommerce business owner, you have a lot to gain from using an eCommerce progressive web app. When you online store takes less than three seconds to load, it significantly decreases bounce rates and increases conversion and customer engagement levels. With the enhanced user experience, your customers can quickly and efficiently make their purchases.

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