Most online business owners gravitate towards either building a website or a native mobile app. However, it’s often not the best option for them. So if you’re in the business of serving the strategic interests of a client that’s better off with a progressive web app (PWA), then the onus is on you to convey the advantages of the format.
From both at tech and UX perspective, a progressive web app is a hybrid of a website and a native app that makes it easier for businesses to deliver mobile-optimized experiences.
Let’s take a look at some common scenarios where your client would be better off with a PWA and why PWA would suit them better.
Scenario #1: They’re Looking for a Friction-less Way to Keep Users Engaged
One of the major reasons why PWAs are ideal for business sites is that they don’t have to be downloaded.
In other words, you don’t have to make them available on an app marketplace, and users don’t need to install or update them. Instead, you can easily publish them and they become instantly available to end users, with the option of creating homescreen and launcher shortcuts.
No, expecting your client’s audience to install apps from a trusted app store isn’t the hugest ask, but it isn’t tiny, either. Any time you add touchpoints to a conversion process, especially if it’s in a third-party environment that involves “context switching,” you’re going to see significant funnel dropout rates.
So PWAs can be is a great way to deliver a frictionless user experience that enables visitors to begin consuming content, browsing products, and interacting with your client’s business right off the bat.
Scenario #2: They Want to Try Out Push Notifications
If done right, push notifications can be a great way to spike brand engagement. They keep a more loyal audience in the loop with targeted messaging. With PWAs, your clients will be able to try out push notifications without having to commit to a native mobile app. Creating and maintaining a native app requires a far weightier investment than a site. It needs to be coded for each operating system and for different screen sizes.
Plus, updates are often necessary, and you’re at the mercy of the app stores.
What’s more, with tens of thousands of apps in the market, having a successful app is ambitious at best. If people don’t use it every day, they won’t keep it installed on their devices for very long. Which is why PWAs make a whole lot of sense for this client.
Let’s say you’re working with an online store that is trying to experiment with diverse communication channels for shopping cart abandonment reminders. Loyal customers who might not be interested in installing an app could be open to adding a PWA shortcut to their homescreens, and they’d be able to receive personalized pushes with product-specific discounts.
Speaking from the stage at CloudFest last year, Joachim Ritter, a product chief at 1&1 IONOS, talked about the PWA push notification opportunity. “I have a couple of small business apps on my phone, and one of them is a real estate agent who promotes new [properties] that he’s selling – and I’m looking for a house, by the way – so I downloaded this app just for the sake of getting the push channel in place.”
But not every realtor can afford to maintain a mobile app, and not every SMB has realtor-sized media budgets. This is the killer use case that Ritter sees in PWA. “So at 1&1, we are really after an integrated small business experience,” he continued, “and we are looking at PWA to see if [it] can make that push channel for our customers.”
1&1 uses Duda’s technology to power its self-service website builder, so SMBs using the platform are able to benefit from the same personalization and next-generation mobile experience optimization that agencies using Duda enjoy for building client sites and PWAs as a service.
Although notifications aren’t an essential component of a PWA, they help increase user engagement, which could ultimately lead to an increase in conversions.
- eXtra Electronics was able to boost its sales by 100% and witnessed a 4 times increase in its re-engagement by integrating web push notifications.
- Lancome was able to increase its conversion rate by 17% by launching a PWA.
- OLX, one of the world’s largest classified ads businesses, was able to boost its re-engagement by 250% and decrease bounce rate by 80%.
- Carnival Cruise Line achieved a 42% open rate and succeeded in getting its 24% of users to opt-in to the notifications.
Scenario #3: Continuity in UX Across Devices Is a Priority
A web app that meets progressive standards will look and feel the same on any device. App users will get the same experience on their smartphones as they get on their tablets, laptops or desktop machines.
In other words, with PWAs, end users are able to seamlessly and intuitively perform the same tasks without any extra effort or learning curve.
This is a major advantage from your client’s perspective, since it means that they can develop and maintain one simple browser-delivered experience and know that the UX they offer will be consistent.
Scenario #4: Their Target Audience Lives in Places With Limited Connectivity
Here’s a common scenario your client’s target audience likely experiences: they’re riding the subway, viewing your content on a website or app – reading an article, tracking basketball scores, or browsing products – and suddenly lose internet connectivity.
If they were consuming content on a PWA site, they wouldn’t have noticed any difference. But since they’re on a regular website or using native mobile app, they see the dreaded No internet connection message.
So, for instance, they’ll be able to read an article using a PWA without an internet connection, and that data will be synced and updated with the app’s servers when the internet connection is restored. Many businesses are focusing on offline-first apps to penetrate and operate in countries where mobile data is expensive or too slow. The latest reports from Ericsson indicate that there are still some major gaps in this regard, especially if you venture beyond Westeern Europe and North America.
It’s also worth noting that weak internet connections can lead to battery drainage in cases where they’re programmed to consistently ping servers. Konga was able to cut data usage by as much as 92% and eliminate this problem by switching over to a PWA.
Simply put, PWAs enable users to save the pages they’ve already viewed and go back to them even if they lose internet access.
Scenario #5: They Want to Avoid App Marketplace Restrictions
To place your app in the app marketplace, you’ll have to get membership, pay a standard fee, and follow strict submission and code compliance processes. The submission and approval steps can take several days or even weeks, and even after that your app may not meet their benchmarks.
By making use of advanced web development solutions – like Duda’s platform, for example – it’s possible to deploy a PWA version of your client’s website to the internet in just a few clicks. This way, you’re able to release new versions of the app as often as you’d like.
This will also allow your app users to bypass the app marketplaces altogether.
Instead, they can simply install the app to their device using their web browser.
Scenario #6: They Want to Be Extra Mobile Friendly, Affordably
While it’s true that strictly “brochure” websites don’t provide the types of conversion journeys that today’s buyers expect, in almost every case, business websites need very little proprietary advanced tech.
However, in certain situations, client websites could benefit from incorporating native smart device functionality. Maybe there’s a strong use case for your client’s digital presence incorporating audience-submitted images, or asking for directions to a physical location.
For this reason, many businesses end up spending a lot of money to build native apps for Android and iOS platforms, with expenses typically falling in the ballpark of tens of thousands of dollars.
A 2017 survey from Clutch found that 58% of professionals estimate native mobile app development as costing between $5,000 and $20,000 – and that’s just for the primary coding phase of the project, without any research, design, testing, deployment or marketing.
Ongoing maintenance can be a major expense as well, with 72% of respondents indicating that post-launch updates usually cost $5,000 and up.
PWAs, on the other hand, enable you to save money by building websites that work like native apps and bring with them device-native features. As a result, businesses don’t have to invest in maintaining products for too many platforms.
With PWAs, you’re able to provide your clients with mobile-responsive digital presences that improve their user engagement and increase their conversion rates. In addition to this, clients will be able to get the benefits of both websites and native mobile apps without having to set aside a huge budget
To recap the main points we discussed in this article, here are some key aspects of progressive web apps that are especially attractive to many web developers’ clientele:
- Your clients can try out push notifications without committing to a native mobile app.
- They’ll be able to avoid app marketplace restrictions and fees.
- They can effectively target audiences in places with limited connectivity or users who are always on the go.
- They’ll be able to improve user experience, as the audience won’t have to deal with installation or updates.
- PWAs enable your clients to deliver familiar experiences across different devices.
- Your clients will be able to offer smartphone-enabled browsing experiences to their site’s visitors.
Do you agree that businesses can get the best of both worlds by going for a PWA instead of a traditional website or native mobile app? Let us know by commenting below.