The Need of Progressive Web App & Comparison With A Native App

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Extensive smartphone availability and better internet penetration have made online businesses flourish like never before. There was a time when brands ignored the steady increase in the number of mobile users. Today, this can not be ignored as mobile users account for 51 percent of total internet users.

Companies today are leveraging mobile marketing to improve customer experience and boost conversions. The development of Progressive Web Apps is an important step towards this. So what is a PWA and how does it differ from a mobile website and a mobile app?

In this blog, we will answer everything about PWAs, their need in the mobile-driven world and the benefits of developing one for your existing business before moving onto the comparison with a native application.

What is a Progressive Web Application?

A Progressive Web App is a hybrid of mobile app and website. It runs on the browser and there is no need to download it from the app store. It contains web pages just like a website, however, it mimics the functionality of a mobile application which makes it desirable for businesses.

PWAs are gaining popularity because responsive websites lack mobile capabilities. Due to this businesses are not able to market properly and engage directly with customers. If your business runs solely on a website and you are looking to maximize the reach to mobile users, consider availing PWA development services. With PWA custom application development, businesses can develop native-like web apps saving the exorbitant costs of mobile app development.

Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

There are various reasons why companies should develop PWAs, some of them include:

a)- Native Experience

A Progressive Web App is developed using web technologies (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) just like a regular app, however, it gives a user the experience of a native app. It can access most of the device’s native features including camera, GPS, push notification, etc which is a limitation of mobile websites. With an integrated and seamless experience, apps users get a native app-like look and feel.

b)- Better Engagement

While there is a continuous increase in the number of mobile users, statistics reveal that users are not much engaged on mobile websites. The average bounce rate for instance is 42 percent lower for a PWA than a mobile responsive website. Businesses that implemented a PWA recorded up to 80 percent increase in user mobile sessions, 154 percent overall increase in engagement and 85 percent faster app load time. Thus, developing a PWA ensures firms of better customer engagement and more selling opportunities.

c)- Enhanced Conversions

Along with higher engagement, a business desires to have maximum conversions as well. With a PWA, a company can send in-app/push notifications, personalized emails and build engagement on social platforms with mobile marketing tools boosting the conversion rate. It has been proven that PWA development helps in improving website sales rates significantly. Google developer reports state that the average PWA increases conversions by 52 percent. With more sales, online businesses can invest more in mobile marketing.

d)- Offline Accessibility and Security

PWAs have offline accessibility as it can cache information for later usage. It serves a user with text stylesheets, images and other web content even before a web page loads completely. Compared to traditional mobile websites, progressive web apps provide added layers of security as it uses HTTP only cookie/JavaScript readable cookie along with auth/CSRF tokens. With offline access and enhanced data security businesses overcome the limitations of websites.

e)- Better Page Load Speed

Customers have a short attention span of 2-3 seconds and hence it is important to have a fast loading solution. Studies have shown that the average mobile webpage load time is nearly 22 seconds which is not what a business would ever wish for. Since PWAs use cache data in the background, users get fast page load speed compared to a website. This enhances customer experience every time a user visits a web page. Moreover, Google’s latest algorithms value it which enhances the opportunities to land on the first page.

Native App vs PWA: Which is More Suitable For Your Business?

A native app can be installed on a mobile device but can’t be accessed by a browser. These apps are called native because they are written in the language of the operating system of the device the app is installed on. Because a mobile website has its limitations and does not provide a native experience to a user, developing a native app apart from the existing website may be a suitable option for a business. By developing native apps, organizations can reach more customers, enhance customer experience and improve brand reputation in the online space.

A business can choose to develop a PWA or a Native app as per its requirement, budget, target audience and other factors.

1. Installation

Native apps require installation on the device after which it is accessible to a user. A PWA on the other hand can be accessed from a browser/link. Users can bookmark the link, add to the home screen, and share it conveniently.

2. Development Time/Cost

In the case of native app, businesses would need to develop separate apps for each platform (iOS and Android) which may not be budget-friendly for a lot of startups and SMBs. Moreover, developing multiple apps takes a significant amount of time. Contrary to this, a PWA can be developed using a single codebase that can run on multiple browsers. Additionally, since code is written only once, it also saves businesses from exorbitant costs and time.

3. Functionality

While PWA can access most of the device features, it can not access a few functions such as proximity sensor, ambient light detection or smart lock. However, it supports features like GPS, mobile payment, push notification, camera access, etc. Before availing of Application Development Services, businesses should consult with developers about the capabilities they seek in a mobile/web app.

4. App Distribution

A Native app is published on multiple platforms including Apple App Store, Android Play Store and third-party app stores like Windows Store and Amazon Store. Publishing on diverse platforms requires the app to pass certain requirements and pay a monthly/one-time fee as well. Contrary to this, a PWA bypasses all such hassles as it can be accessed by a browser and shared over a URL.

5. App Discoverability

Native apps are published on multiple app stores and the more discoverable an app is, the more it will be installed by users. To enhance app discoverability app owners should have an effective app store optimization strategy. PWAs on the other hand can be indexed directly on a search engine just like a website. So if you are looking for a web-only strategy, then surely PWA can be a preferable choice.

Bottomline

To enhance conversions, traffic and user experience, firms need to develop an effective mobile marketing strategy. The selection between PWA and native application should be based on one’s business goals, target audience, budget and recommendations of a Web Application Development Company. For an organization that is looking to supplement website traffic, Progressive Web Apps are a preferable choice. However, if the goal is to acquire mobile-only users, then native app development is a good choice.

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