What is the best way to create a PWA for your business? Keep on reading to find out!
Progressive web applications, also known as PWAs, are beginning to transform the online presence of brands large and small. It’s predicted that 2020 will be the year that PWAs truly start to replace websites and native applications. And in fact, many big brands and even social platforms are already using PWAs. Twitter’s default site is a progressive web app, Forbes has a PWA, and so does Disney+, which allows user to one-click stream straight from Windows 10.
Having said this, it is clear that more and more companies are moving to progressive web app technology because of the multiple benefits that PWAs offer, including:
- Their ability to work in offline mode;
- The easy distribution with a single link or a QR code;
- Their faster loading speed compared to native apps;
- The fact that they are indexable by search engines;
- Their light weight which saves a lot of storage space for the users;
- And all that while keeping the look and feel of a native app.
For this reason, today we will show you how easy it is to create a PWA for your business in just a couple of steps. And most importantly, for just a fraction of the cost of native mobile app development! While designing and developing a native app can easily cost thousands of dollars, you will see how a simple PWA can be built from just £11.99 per month.
So, without further ado, let’s look at how you can make the transition for yourself or your business by creating your very own progressive web app.
1) Make your decision
If you want to create a PWA for your organization, the first step that you will have to take is to make some key decisions together with your team.
Depending on the size of your organization you may need to bring together some of your key decision makers and IT personnel to review a move to a PWA. If you already operate a mobile application as well as a standard website, your progressive web app may eventually replace both.
The chances are you’ll consider using your PWA as your main website, as it adds the functionality and user experience of a mobile application, including features like browser notifications, to the SEO-build and content-rich conventional website experience.
One of the benefits of switching towards a progressive web app, as it works on all platforms and devices, is that you can centralise your marketing efforts to one URL. This means that, instead of having to promote both a native mobile app (and convince people to download it) and a website, you will have a single URL for both of them simultaneously.
And, as a consequence, you will only have to focus your efforts on this particular URL. Once your PWA is up and running, you’ll be able to cease marketing and updating an application that you have listed on the app stores.
If you don’t already have a native mobile application, the benefits of a PWA are even clearer. By choosing a PWA you won’t need to invest in mobile development and marketing, or go through the hassle of trying to get approval for an app store listing.
Generally, progressive web apps are faster and cheaper to build – because they don’t need an app store to be distributed, they also don’t require a separate development for each particular app store. With native apps, you would need to spend money both on development and maintenance for each app store.
They are also easier to update, and can be optimized for search engines. Coding and developing a mobile application, and coding and developing a website, usually have to be done by two different teams. A progressive web app can be created by one team, or even by yourself using the Beezer platform – but we’ll get to that later.
It’s worth noting that a poll by JAXenter found 46% of respondents see PWAs as the future, a statistic made a lot more weighty if you consider that only 14% of their respondents believe “native applications will prevail.”
2) Create a PWA with a strategic plan in mind
Once you’ve committed to taking the leap into next generation web technology and the latest in user experience delivery, the next step to create a PWA is to jump into planning and development.
Keep that decision-making and IT team together but pull in marketing too. Let’s assume you are going for the maximum PWA technology benefit and moving solely to a progressive web app, and not a combination of web and mobile applications.
Your new PWA will be the single online destination for your brand. It needs to have impact, be user-friendly, deliver your message and convert your customers. This is actually really easy to achieve with a progressive web app, and you will notice that your engagement metrics are improving because:
- All your traffic and engagement are now concentrated in one place.
- Your audience will be able to use your PWA as a mobile application, except that they won’t need to download anything on their devices;
- They can bookmark your progressive web app, or add it to the homescreen of their phone for fast and easy access;
- Because PWAs can also work in offline mode, content and catalogues can be cached on a user device, which means that your users will be able to revisit at any time.
All you really need to do is decide your single messaging strategy and content structure at this stage. In other words, figure out your copy and how you will monetise your PWA – whether you need e-commerce functionality, want to allow payment for subscriptions or services, or choose to gain revenues from sponsors or advertisers eager to appear alongside your great content.
Then, you can plan which fantastic features (think- everything you can do on mobile and web), you can incorporate within your app. Innovative platforms such as Beezer allow you to create a PWA with awesome features, including:
- Live chat – with this engagement tool, logged in members can search for other members, and reach out to them directly so they can start a conversation;
- Appointment scheduling – with this feature offered by Beezer, you give your customers an easy tool so they can schedule and book appointments with your business.
- eCommerce integration – integrating popular ecommerce shops such as Shopify or Woocommerce within your app will help you boost sales and improve ROI;
- Push notifications – while push notifications used to be exclusively available for native mobile apps, nowadays PWAs are equipped with the necessary tools so you can send push notifications and further engage with your users.
- Live Real time updates – another great benefit of progressive web apps for businesses is their ability to update changes in real time. In comparison, changes made to mobile apps require revision from the corresponding app store, but also constant updates from the users.
And these are just some of the features that you can easily add to your app – for more, click here.
Some features are capable of giving a huge boost to your engagement and conversion metrics. Take push notifications as an example of the benefits of these rich PWA functionalities. Retailers have seen as much as a 100% increase in sales from customers arriving via web-based push notifications.
With mobile commerce expected to generate over 50% of all online retail sales by 2021, it is critical for businesses to offer a frictionless mobile experience. Mobile applications are simply no longer the way to that.
Customers need access to your current catalog, updated products and latest news, and they want it all without needing to download or update an application. Think about it – when was the last time you downloaded an application update for any app other than Facebook or WhatsApp? Let’s be honest, nobody really likes updating their app unless they are forced to. And this is one more reason for you to create a PWA for your business!
3) Build and implement your PWA
Now that you’re excited about your progressive web app and have decided on a myriad of PWA-friendly features to reach the utmost in consumer engagement, you are ready to take the next step, and that is – to actually create a PWA for your company.
BUT WAIT! Before you look into hiring web developers or brushing up on PWA coding, consider this – you could create a PWA in a super easy, fun and quick way by using the Beezer PWA creation platform. Our intuitive Drag & Drop app builder platform can help you develop an application with all the functionality you’ve planned at a fraction of the cost.
Because you are going to create a PWA with Beezer, this means that once you are ready to publish, there is no need for time-consuming app store applications and listings. Nor you take the risk of getting rejected by app stores, which is something that often happens – and is especially difficult to comply with because every app store has its own rules and requirements.
You just get your website URL in front of your customers and they can access your progressive web app instantly, with no downloading nor the need to constantly install annoying updates. If you customers are repeat visitors and have your web link, when they click it, you can direct them to your amazing new Beezer PWA.
With Beezer, you can create a PWA in just a couple of hours, without the need to have any development or coding experience at all. As we already mentioned, you can do this without the massive fees that are usually associated with native app development and maintenance. Which is absolutely awesome! To create your progressive web app with our builder, all you need to do is:
- Create an account and start your 30-day free trial without any commitment.
- And start designing pages and components on the spot, just by dragging, dropping, and personalizing your desired element;
- After that, you will be able to publish your progressive web app instantly, without waiting for app store approval like it happens with native apps.
- Just share your web link with all your contacts, social platforms, and marketing channels, and start enjoying all the benefits today!
And one of the greatest things about progressive web apps, especially those built with Beezer, is that you can update them pretty much instantly. Because updates happen in real time, you won’t have to wait to see these changes, and your users will appreciate not having to download yet another update. Change what you need, as often as you want and republish to your heart’s content.
This stands in stark contrast to the world, even the PWA-world, without Beezer. In that world, you’d need to contact your web and mobile development team, brief them on the update, and wait for it to be completed.
And, in the even more antiquated case of updating native mobile applications, you’d have to re-list your application and rely on your audience re-downloading either the app or the update in order to access your amazing new content. Once you update a PWA, your new content is there immediately, for everyone.
This ability for you to publish as many updates as you want, which reach your users instantly, also means that you can start small and simple with your PWA and easily add more and more functionality later.
Not convinced or not quite ready to create a PWA? Discover everything you need to know about PWAs here.