What exactly are PWAs, and what are some of the biggest Progressive web app benefits for your organization? In today’s article, we will be responding to these and more exciting questions about the latest tendencies in the apps’ world.
The Increasing Global Mobile Penetration
It is no secret that the use of smartphones in our daily lives has been consistently increasing over the last few decades. According to Statista, the global smartphone penetration rate is projected to reach a mind-blowing 45% in 2021. This means that almost half of the entire world’s population will own a mobile device!
With this astounding statistic in mind, it is not surprising that more and more businesses are starting to see the importance of having an app to reach their audience. However, if mobile apps were on the rise just a couple of years ago, the current tendency is taking another direction – towards PWAs. Today, we will see the top 10 progressive web apps benefits, and what makes these apps so unique in the market.
What is a Progressive Web App?
At this point, we all have a decent understanding of what a regular mobile app looks and behaves like. Before you are actually able to use it, first you need to go to your App store, download it, and install it on your device. Then, you have to register or syncronize your account. And the chances are, it will occupy an important chunk of space on your phone, possibly causing you to delete other apps on the go.
As opposed to that, a progressive web application (PWA) is essentially a website that looks and behaves in the same way as a mobile app. This means that there is no need to download it from a third-party App store and go through a long and tedious installation process. Instead, users can quickly and securely download it directly on their phone. Additionally, PWAs can:
- Be added to your smartphone’s screen;
- Send push notifications to the user’s phone;
- Access the hardware of mobile devices;
- Work seamlessly in any browser;
- And even work offline!
Yes, you read the last point right. Previously a feature only available to native apps, PWAs can also run on mobile devices in an unstable connection, or in the absence of any connection at all. Thus, closing the gap with native apps that existed PWAs made this feature possible.
And now that we understand what makes PWAs so unique compared to regular mobile apps, let’s see some of the best progressive web app benefits for your organization!
1. No need for Digital Distribution Systems
As we already mentioned, regular mobile apps require a particular digital distribution system in order to be used. Or, put simply, businesses will need to upload their app to an App store, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Samsung Galaxy Apps, or Huawei App store, among others.
You get the point; a third-party involved in the distribution process is an obligatory requirement for mobile apps. However, this also hurts the user experience for potential customers as well. If people want to use a certain app, they will have to go to their device’s corresponding App store to be able to download it and use it.
For this reason, one of the biggest progressive web app benefits for both businesses and users is that there is no need for a third-party distribution system. Instead, users can just access the PWA quickly and directly on their mobile device, and they can use it in their browser without any download at all, or they can save it to their homescreen (the PWA equivalent of downloading it, taking up far less device space than a native app) and access it via an app icon that looks identical to any other app.
Furthermore, removing external distribution systems significantly reduces user abandonment, and improves overall user experience.
2. Little to no Development Costs
Building a regular mobile app from scratch is usually associated with high development costs. In fact, an average minimum app development project can reach up to 10,000$ for a single app! A price that can skyrocket even further in the case of a complex functionality implementation.
Progressive web apps, on another hand, can cost 3-4 times less than a native mobile app. Because PWAs do not require multiple versions across various devices and App stores, the development costs are greatly reduced. In fact, a single progressive web app meets all the requirements across different platforms simultaneously – which reduces both development and maintenance costs.
Additionally, platforms like Beezer offer the possibility for businesses to create their progressive web app at an even more reduced pricing, without any coding nor any development costs.
With Beezer, PWAs can be built with an intuitive Drag & Drop interface at a fraction of the regular cost for these type of apps.
3. Keeps the Look & Feel of a Regular App
Next on our list of top progressive web app benefits is that PWAs maintain the look and feel of a native mobile app while providing users with the full functionality of website performance.
Nowadays, users tend to prefer the look and feel of a native app to browse as it is can operate offline and is more mobile-friendly. However, they still want the functionality of a regular website with dynamic data, database access and the availability of all desktop features.
For this reason, progressive web applications are great because they combine an advanced user experience with maximized website performance. In other words, they offer the best of both worlds with the most efficient technologies from each side.
4. PWAs can be used Offline
Our list of progressive web app benefits continues with something that we briefly mentioned beforehand. And that is, the fact that PWAs have the capability to fully operate even if there isn’t a network connection.
This means that, compared to a regular website, progressive web applications can actually function in compromised networks, making them much more convenient. Detailed information and the apps’ features are stored via built-in service workers cache, allowing users to access them even if they don’t have an internet connection.
Because all the data is saved automatically when the user access their PWA online, they can always go back to it later in offline mode. This capability is especially helpful for retailers who want potential customers to continue browsing their product catalogues even if they are not connected.
And last but not least, if a user using the app in offline mode visits a page that he hasn’t visited before, you can actually show a custom offline page instead.
5. They Save App space
One of the most important progressive web app benefits is that they are significantly ligher compared to native mobile apps, which you have to download on your smartphone. In fact, the weight of a PWA can be up to 90% less than the one of a regular app!
For the user, this means that he will not have keep yet another app that is consuming all of the space on his smartphone. From my own experience, some mobile apps are so heavy that I often have to delete a few others just to keep a single one.
6. Faster Loading Speed
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest progressive web app benefits is improved performance and faster loading speed. Compared to mobile apps and even regular websites, PWAs cache and serve images, text, stylesheets and other content with a very efficient underlying technology that allows them to maintain optimum speed.
After all, speed is key when it comes to great user experience and better conversion rates. The goal is to become interactive in less than 3 seconds, otherwise you risk losing your visitor to a faster running website or software that offers similar content.
Other progressive web app benefits concerning faster loading speed include:
- Reduced server load, preventing your app from crashing or slowing down during intense traffic;
- Google’s mobile-first indexing highlights the speed of your PWA and its seamless performance;
- Getting a clear advantage in front of your competitors with better user experience;
7. They are Indexed by Search Engines
Because progressive web apps can be shared with a unique URL, they can actually get indexed by search engines. From the perspective of the organization, this means that you can actually improve the SEO of your web app and collect more organic traffic from Google.
Native mobile apps, on the other hand, are not indexable by search engines. This means that users will never be able to stumble on them by simply browsing the Internet on their mobile phone. They will have to purposefully go to the App store and download the app on their phone. Naturally, this will result in less traffic to your app if it’s not a PWA.
Which is one of the most important progressive web apps benefits that mobile apps simply don’t offer.
After all, it takes much more effort and work to convince people to download your mobile app as opposed to simply sharing the URL with them. And of course, they can discover your progressive web app from Google proactively.
Some of the best Search Engine Optimization practices for PWAs include:
- Use server-side or hybrid rendering to make your content crawlable;
- Provide neat URLs without any unnecessary fragment identifiers;
- Design your progressive web app with multiple devices in mind;
- Monitor your website & provide a sitemap via Google Search Console;
- Measure regularly the performance and the speed of your page load;
8. Push Notifications
Next on our list of progressive web app benefits is their capability of delivering push notifications.
Push notifications are those messages that pop up on your mobile device every once in a while, and it is usually a particular mobile app that triggers them. However, this functionality is not exclusive to regular apps.
Progressive web apps also offer push notifications, and they are particularly efficient for business owners that want to advertise new content, or send a reminder to their users.
In fact, according to some statistical studies, more than 60% of all PWA users allow their web apps to send them notifications. As a result, businesses can significantly increase their conversion rates by promoting their products and services. Additionally, push notifications are displayed on the top of users’ mobile devices, which increases the possibility of attracting their attention.
The ability of push notifications to grab attention is very powerful, compared to other promotional tools such as newsletters, emails and blog posts. In today’s dynamic and highly competitive world, it is becoming more and more difficult to attract the attention of your audience. And PWAs can definitely help with that!
Furthermore, companies like Beezer allow you to plan and schedule push notifications ahead of time, reaching your audience in the right moment with the right message. You can use this feature to:
- Give instant discounts;
- Promote special offers;
- Announce new product launch;
- Or simply send a reminder.
The opportunities are endless!
9. Improved Security
Just like regular websites, progressive web apps rely on HTTPs protocols to ensure data safety and minimize the risk of experiencing security issues. This particular protocol allows for a better authentication of the accessed website, and helps with the protection of privacy and data integrity.
This translates into enhanced security for your PWAs, and yet another positive example from our list of progressive web app benefits.
10. Little to no Updating Issues
If the so far presented benefits weren’t enough to convince you of the value that PWAs provide for both organizations and users, here is another one. Progressive web apps have a particular functionality that enables them to update automatically, without notifying nor constantly requesting permissions from users.
Which, I think we can all agree, can be a little bit annoying sometimes. After all, users simply want a fully functioning app, without necessarily knowing everything that happens behind the scenes.
Well, they will not have such an issue with progressive web apps. They practically update themselves every time a user visits them, providing a new look and improved features without the necessity for human interaction.
Of course, you can still send a push notifications to let users know that an update will happen. However, it is optional, and there will be no need for the user to download and install batch changes.
11. Member Login
If you are using a PWA platform like Beezer, you can also incorporate a Member login feature to have a better control over who uses your app, and what pages they choose to see.
With Member Login, users can register with their email address in order to access your app. And this is yet another one from our list of progressive web app benefits, as it provides an additional layer of security for your users and organizations.
I hope you liked our article on the top progressive web app benefits for your business! You can start building your first PWA today by going to Beezer.com, and registering for an awesome 30-day free trial!