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5 benefits progressive web apps have over native mobile apps

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4 minute read

Mobile devices are the main generators of internet traffic, inspiring developers to pay more attention to the development of mobile software solutions. Storage management and low-internet connection performance are major concerns when it comes to native mobile apps, and since the market shifted to mobile devices, an alternative had to be found in order to retain mobile customers. With the development of Progressive Web App (PWA) technology, users are provided with an app-like user experience but with a wider range of improvements in comparison to native mobile apps. Although some browsers might restrict the use of certain resources like different sensors or geo-location, developers are making constant breakthroughs to cross that bridge.

Here are the five benefits of PWAs:

Reduced development costs

One of the most important features of PWAs is that they operate across all platforms and operating systems through the same build. With a native mobile application, developers need to work separately for Android and iOS platforms and for different types of browsers. This makes the development process longer and more costly, especially when you take into account adding new features and other updates. By building a single web app that works with all internet browsers and operating systems, the development and maintenance costs are significantly lower. In addition, the cross-platform nature of PWAs provides universal customer experience, which allows for consumer retention even if they decide to change mobile platforms. 

Storage space

Imagine a customer landing on an AliExpress mobile page with the intention to order a product that’s on sale for a limited time only to find out they have to install a mobile app to use all of the features properly. They would have to jump to the App store, download the app, install it and then use it by which time, the special offer could expire or the product could be out of stock. 

Furthermore, installation of an app requires storage space which could also be an issue if there are already have many apps installed on the mobile device. With PWAs, a customer can enjoy the full app functionality without the need to install the app. Even if they decide to place the app icon on their home screen, thanks to service workers, they have the same usability benefits without the need to install additional resources. As an example, George at Asda retail brand reports four times faster load time since their shift to PWA, which means less server space need, and the customers can access the page faster.

Higher conversion rate

When dedicating resources to the development of an app, it’s only natural to expect a reasonable return through a higher conversion and re-engagement rate. According to the case study that was implemented by Flipkart after their implementation of PWA called Flipkart Lite, the company experienced a 70 percent increase in conversion and a 40 percent higher re-engagement rate. Furthermore, the ecommerce giant also reported that the visitors stayed on their platform three times longer since the inception of the new technology. The only figure that went lower was the bandwidth necessary to use the app, with 63 percent of users reported to access the app via the 2G network. 

Improved online visibility

According to research, an astonishing 94 percent of the overall App store revenue originates from just 1 percent of the uploaded apps. Furthermore, on average, mobile users download zero apps on a daily basis, which means that users don’t spend too much time browsing for various apps every time they wish to accomplish something online. The alternative would be investing into content marketing which could be done cheap by hiring a content agency like uk.bestessays.com or some other service, but that’s not a long-term solution. 

What if, instead of content marketing or developing a native mobile app and hoping to fall into the one percent group of apps that actually generate profit, businesses focused their efforts on PWAs, which allow them the use of SEO tools in order to increase their online visibility. Simply put, PWAs are essentially web pages with an app-like feel and features which make SEO implementation a natural course of action. Adding in the fact that users can also share URLs seamlessly, it’s logical to expect a higher organic share rate.

Offline availability

One of the major concerns that revolve around mobile apps is low bandwidth or no internet connection. Although there are some native mobile apps that will work offline, most will simply send the “No internet connection” message and leave the user hanging.

When it comes to PWAs, instead of leaning on AppCache for offline data, services workers enable a reasonable user experience even without an internet connection. Server workers are basically scripts that browsers run in the background, unrelated to webpages. They provide users with enough static resources for seamless use of application features even during offline periods. Ecommerce website Jumia reports a staggering five times less data usage since they shifted to PWA option.

There’s not much difference between PWA and native mobile app user experience in terms of what can or cannot be done. In the meantime, reports on PWAs from all sides claim improvement in revenue, retention, low-internet usability, load speed and multiple other aspects compared to native solutions. Therefore, it appears that PWA is the future of the mobile app market.

Michael Gorman
Michael Gorman
Michael is a highly skilled writer and professional proofreader based in the UK. As a PWA enthusiast, he has been working on his personal and professional improvement, providing quality content for clients around the globe.
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