Cost effective mobile apps with progressive web application
There has been a new buzz in the web application or even the application market in general. This buzz is about Progressive Web Applications. The question that arises is, what is a progressive web application. The question which follows this one is What are the probable Progressive Web Application benefits that one should go for such a newer technology or niche maybe? Can I really develop cost effective mobile app with progressive web application?
Well, in this blog we will be discussing this in-depth and in all the possible relevant details.
What is a Progressive Web Application
A Progressive Web App or PWA is literally the usual web application albeit with modern capabilities. The major Progressive Web Application benefits include easier URL accessibility, super search engine optimization from the day of launch, easily deployed servers and superior user experience among others.
In the following sections, we will first try and understand what it takes to become a progressive web app, the difference between a PWA and a native mobile app and finally a look at certain common examples of Progressive web applications.
What does it take to be a Progressive Web Application
For a mobile app to be considered a PWA, it should have the following set of Progress Web Application benefits.
User and Platform Agnostic
The most primary of the progressive web application benefits, a PWA allows a user to access the app from any platform or browser without any hassle. Thus, whether it is iOS or Android, Safari, Chrome or Firefox or Opera, a progressive web application will open seamlessly across.
Another progressive web application benefit lies in the fact that it is compatible with all screens and systems. Thus, unlike usual web applications, there are no different versions for different devices. A PWA adjusts quite effectively.
Independent of the Network
Whether you are online on an active fast speed internet, getting barely any signals, one major progressive web application benefit lies in the fact that it will still work! Of course, loading new pages will be a slight concern but what had been opened or got loaded during the time of an active internet connection will well be there.
Like an App
Just like any good app, a progressive web application will also provide an app-shell model to provide the user with effective navigation and social interactions
Fast in Updation
Another major progressive web application benefit is that if there is a new technology or upgrade in the market, the PWA will have it! So much for fast updates.
Secure to use
Powered with HTTPS, and end to end encryption as required, a PWA offers complete privacy and security to the user.
Thanks to the W3C manifests, and highly optimized backend SEO, a PWA is easily discover-able across all the search engines.
High on Engagement
With all the push notifications, in-app notifications, SMS and email streams and a lot more, a progressive web application offers a super engaging platform to the users.
Be a Keep App
The biggest progressive web application benefit, which one can say is more like a prerequisite for the developing firm is that a PWA sticks to the user’s phone. It is the kind of app which will, in many cases, come auto-installed on the user’s phone or laptop.
Shareable and Linkable
A progressive web application needs to be enabled for URL sharing and should not have any complex installation.
A Progressive Web App vs a Native Mobile App
The biggest difference lies in the hardware platform being used and the compatibility of the PWA or the Native mobile app with that. When we have a native app, for instance, there are a lot of hassles surrounding which platform to choose and how the application would thus end up missing out on a certain part of its customer base. In addition to this, there are multiple other challenges about how to best monetize the application, whether to go for just a website or an app would make more sense, then comes the entire size consideration, the search engine optimization bit and a lot more. In this section, we will draw a comparison between a progressive web app and a native app to understand the typical progressive web application benefits at the offer.
The Code and Hardware Differences
The App Store Web Browser Conundrum
It is a really tough job to ensure that your app gets installed. Yes, we understand that the memories of phones have been increasing and hence there is more storage space than ever and people keep installing new apps every month. But, are you okay with taking all those risks. Not all of us come with deep pockets after all! Also, in addition to just the development cost, the cost for the marketing of the app is overwhelmingly high too. However, another major progressive web app benefit comes into play here.
A PWA has the potential to be modified and converted to suit any native app experience. Plus, they offer a full range of functionality in browsers too, totally agnostic to which divide they are being accessed upon. Also, a PWA comes with the option of “adding to the home screen” which creates a direct shortcut to the application without having to download the app. This means, the extra storage space which an app install would have resulted in, gets negated too! While you will always have the option to decide between a Progressive Web Application and a Native app, if you are someone with a bit of cash crunch and looking at something amazing in that, a PWA seems the more logical option to go by.
Putting things simply, native app development is an old concept. Progressive web application development is pretty new. Hence, if we are talking about the tools that are required to make a native app, they are plenty! For instance, there are Apple’s foundation frameworks or Google’s UI framework. In addition to this, there are several hacks and quick fixes which have been developed for easier development. The same isn’t as true for progressive web app development though.
When it is about the monetization options that an average Progressive web app has at the offer, they are plenty. For instance, one can go for push-notifications, ad integrations, google ad sense, or even let out a part of their property for sale. These options are a lot compared to a native app. However, given the time since their inception, native apps have been better enabled for third party payment integrations. For a progressive web app, on the other hand, a dedicated payment system needs to be created.
Lighter Application Size
Search Engine Optimization
We have discussed the search engine optimization bit of the apps in our previous blogs. We had, in those blogs enumerated all the possible steps to ensure that the app stays in trends. However, search engine optimization takes time and so, having a website to boost SEO always helps.
This is another major one of the progressive web application benefits. A progressive web application can be accessed and sued from anywhere. It is pretty much everywhere on the search engines too. Thus, the additional SEO steps for a native app were to be done by default for a PWA. Also, since writing content for a website is easier the results and optimization are faster too!
A Few Example of Progressive Web Applications
BookMyShow is another web application which has dwelled in progressive web application benefits. The firm, first incorporated the concept in 2017 when it replaced its usual website with it. The result was that not only did the PWA improve upon the bounce rates but increased the overall conversions too. The ticket booking experience improved while one did not have to necessarily download the app onto the phone. All that needed to be done was to log in to the website on any device and voila!
Forbes turned to a progressive web application to get the benefit of improved engagement rates and push notifications. The logic being, not everyone wanted to download the paid Forbes mobile app. Thus, through a progressive web application, Forbessaw a 43% increase in the number of sessions. In addition to this, there was a 20% increase in the impressions. Oh yes, the app did not have any engagement prior but push-notifications enabled that!
OLX, an online classified platform focuses on the progressive web application benefits surrounding its mobile app. The firm mainly worked on improving the bounce rates on its app. In addition to this, OLX also worked upon using push-notifications to drive engagements. The result was that within a year of using a progressive web app, OLX saw a 250% increase in re-engagement with an 80% decrease in bounce rates. The CTR of its app ads also saw an increase of roughly 146%.
Pinterest, an application which has been used commonly by creative people all around the globe invested in a PWA too. The Marketing team at Pinterest fell that the website experience was slow and barely 1% of the visitors were converting into sign-ups and app installs. The Progressive Web Application benefits that they experienced post their investment were, however, really significant. For instance, there was a 40% increase in the overall session duration per user with a 44% increase in the revenue generated through ads. The CTRs showed an increase of 50% and the overall engagement increased by roughly 60%
A French luxury cosmetic brand, Lancome had been facing issues of fewer conversions from its mobile site despite the heavy traffic being generated. This seemed like a huge downside since the app was sticking on the phone but it was likely not being used as much. The firm then invested in trying out the progressive web application benefits and made the necessary investments. This helped them to not just increase the engagement rate but also the conversions.
For instance, the firm saw a 17% increase in conversions, a 15% decrease in the bounce rates and about 51% increase in mobile sessions.