As the penetration of the internet has reached an all-time high level, technologies like the Progressive Web Apps (PWA) that bring together the web and mobile apps closer are increasingly getting popular. As eCommerce stores are now embracing progressive web apps, they are enjoying enhanced customer engagement and footfall in their stores.
To stay ahead of the rat race among eCommerce stores, faster loading speed, communication and easier access to products are the most important aspects that online stores should ensure. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) has been the proven web technology with all these advantages. Before we explain further why online stores should turn to PWA development, let us give a look at the definition and basic characteristics of this technology.
Progressive web app (PWA) is basically a hybrid solution bringing together the best of the website and a mobile app. The basic aim of this hybrid approach is to provide users an app-like experience while they are still just using a website. When the user clicks on the URL on a browser, it instantly leads the user to an app instead of opening the URL on the browser just like any regular website. When the user lands in the app interface, he enjoys a native user experience just like any other native mobile app of the OS platform.
With the progressive apps being increasingly sophisticated and feature-rich, it is now hard to differentiate the experience from that of any native app. From faster loading speed to the engaging user interface to the reliable performance, in all respects, PWA offers a solution that gives the best of mobile apps while the user accesses the website on the browser.
From the above explanation, it is quite clear that PWAs really came as a futuristic web technology with a lot of ease, performance-boosting attributes and a whole new promise of delivering a better user experience. Now, let us explain the key benefits of Progressive Web Apps.
Unlike the native mobile apps that are hard to discover compared to the websites featuring in search engine list, PWA being accessible through the browser enjoys a really wider reach and great accessibility. With the user base of major modern browsers exceeding billions, PWA is likely to offer the wildest scope if reaching the web audience.
Compared to the native apps, websites always lacked direct communication channels like push notification messages. PWAs in spite of being quintessentially websites in the strictest technical terms behave like native apps in many respects. Like native apps, it can send push notification messages to users that help a business communicate with the audience directly.
Heavier native apps require Wi-Fi connection for downloading and generally, every website requires unperturbed network connectivity for access. This is where the promise of PWAs seems to be really important. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) once opened can be opened again and again even without an available network connection. As soon as the connection becomes available, the page gets updated with any changes occurred in between. This becomes possible because of the advanced cache technique used by PWAs.
In this age, we are all conscious of the importance of bigger storage space and screen real estate. As mobile app users are increasing, we cannot leave much storage or screen space for unused apps. PWAs pinned on the screen occupy lesser storage space compared to any native app. This makes it a low-footprint solution compared to the native apps.
Though native apps are always handy and offer unmatched access to content and services, they pose real challenges as far as maintenance is considered. Native apps built for separate mobile platforms require consistent investment and development input through the entire app life cycle. In contrast, PWAs are built like websites and can be accessed as apps across all platforms. This makes PWAs much easier for maintenance and upgrading.
The biggest draw for the PWAs is the superior end-user experience resulting in steady user engagement, better brand appreciation and higher scope of business conversion. Offering a much more user-friendly interface and superior user experience PWAs helps to garner more business conversion than regular websites or mobile apps.
Now that the principal advantages of the PWAs for businesses are well explained, it is time to focus on the key question we have begun with. Does the PWA approach offers some special benefits to eCommerce websites and online stores? Whether you are a Magento Development Company or a Woocommece developer, you cannot sidetrack from this question.
Well, here we would like to have a look at some of these advantages.
Thanks to the push notification messages delivered by the PWAs, updating the customers of an online store about product arrival, new promotions and offers became extremely easier. Even if your customer is not a frequent or regular one, you can offer him a native-app like a user experience and ensure better user engagement.
Thanks to the PWA architecture an online store can literally load in an instant irrespective of the network condition or strength. This prevents the online store from suffering due to the downtime. Such a reliable performance and smooth shopping experience help an eCommerce store to enjoy easy competitive lead.
Most online buyers now prefer browsing and buying products through mobile apps because of the smooth and user-friendly native experience. PWA based online stores working much like the mobile eCommerce stores provides a superb mobile shopping experience.
With so many advantages under its sleeve, PWAs are likely to enjoy an edge over the native eCommerce mobile apps or traditional browser-based online stores. In the time to come, we can expect more eCommerce businesses and online stores to jump on the PWA bandwagon.
WRITTEN BY: Jeegnasa Mudsa
Jeegnasa Mudsa is Executive Director at CMARIX Technolabs Pvt. Ltd. a leading eCommerce development company with 15+ years experience. A blend of true Engineer and…
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