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PWA: What are they?

PWA, for the longest time, has been shifting how the web works and it has managed to amass unparalleled momentum in the IT world. PWA has made the impossible dream of installing web apps on smartphones a reality.

However, the question arises: if PWA is the greatest thing to ever happen, how is it useful for your business?

What is PWA?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are websites that are progressively improved to function like installed, native apps on supporting platforms while working like conventional websites on other browsers.

To break it down: PWA is how you get the best of both the web and apps. Otherwise, you can even define it as a web page that has undergone an alteration that makes it behave more like an app downloaded from the Play Store or App Store. It begins as a normal web page in the browser and as the uses explore, they get the prompt if they would like to “Add to Home Screen.” Once the user allows this, the PWA is added to their home screen where it looks no different than your other apps. When you open from the home screen, it can even conceal the UI controls on the browser and look like an app!

Yes, you can say it functions more like a glorified bookmark. As mentioned, PWA is the bridge between the web and the app, especially when creators have always been eager for the web to be at par with native apps. In fact, PWA is the solution for all those users who bounce from websites that takes more than 3 seconds to load. 

Basically, it is about eliminating interference and making it easier for users to get to what they want.

How Important is it For a Business?

PWAs look great in writing, but how beneficial is it for your business? PWAs are reliable, responsive, secure and engaging. Here’s a closer look at these characteristics:

  • Reliable

PWAs launch and give users meaningful content regardless of network conditions. Offline functionality depends on the application—some functions are entirely offline while others show important placeholder data letting the user know that they are offline. Whatever the situation, the application doesn’t crash or become unresponsive.

  • Responsive

PWA can adapt to various screen sizes and orientations, which ensures the UX remains great for all users. A good responsive design helps to make sure that your application continues to work with new devices in the future.

  • Secure

PWAs are secure by default. The technologies powering PWA demand apps to be completed over HTTPS to function.

  • Engaging

Usually, native apps have been more engaging than web apps. When there’s an icon on the home screen, it makes it easier to get into the app. The push notifications can help alert the user of meaningful information that demands their attention. With PWA, users can get the same benefits with web apps. 

With such advantages, for many companies, particularly those building apps for internal use, the cost of producing, testing and maintaining apps for various platforms is unrealistic. PWA is becoming the more viable alternative. 

PWAs let you deliver user experiences that rival native apps without needing multiple teams for development, distributions and updates. By concentrating your resources and efforts into creating one app, you can offer your users better UX. Additionally, PWA technologies are promoted by big names like Microsoft and Google. All Android devices are compatible with PWA.

Some PWA Success Stories

There have been many real-life examples of PWA successes. 

The world’s most famous coffee franchise, Starbucks, rolled out its PWA in 2018. The Starbucks PWA has increased daily active users. Orders on the desktop are at almost the same rate as mobile.

The German transnational company specialising in internet-related hotel products and services, Trivago, did the same in 2017. They saw an increase of 150% for people who added the PWA to the home screen, which increased engagement and this improvement led to a 97% jump in clock outs to hotel offers. 

Tinder also launched its PWA in 2017. The team behind the famous dating site saw load times cut down from 11.91 seconds to 4.68 seconds with their PWA. The app is 90% smaller than the Android app. 

Fashion, beauty and home retailer, Debenham, found their user browsing to purchase journey expanding. The PWA delivered a 40% increase in mobile revenue and a 20% increase in conversion. Streaming platform ZEE5 also launched its PWA in 2019 to expand its reach. The PWA is three times faster and it significantly reduced buffering time.

Native apps will not go extinct thanks to PWAs but the case studies speak for themselves. The interest in PWAs for business grows every day.

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