Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are an incredibly valuable way to bridge the gap between mobile websites and fully fledged apps, while offering benefits that apps can’t deliver. At their most basic level, PWAs are a shell for your website, encapsulating it with app-like appearance and interactivity, but they go far beyond aesthetics.
PWAs offer app-like functionality, navigation, and methods of customer retention for a more seamless shopping experience.
Benefits of PWAs
Examples of PWA features include:
- Web-based push notifications:
PWA helps to further boost customer engagement by sending push notifications directly to mobile phones. This gives businesses a big advantage as it makes them instantly accessible to a wider audience and unlike traditional marketing methods such as email, it ensures that the messages won’t be lost in a crowded inbox. Furthermore, the threshold is much lower and gives you the opportunity to promote new products or services for peak shopping periods, such as Black Friday or Christmas.
- Increase page load speed:
Back in March, Google announced in the Webmasters blog that it would be switching to mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020. Ideal loading time for 64% of smartphone users is expected to be under 4 seconds. PWAs are known to be superfast because they use modern web development technologies and frameworks. Even better, with the rise in mobile shopping, the apps work offline or with lower quality networks.
- Homescreen short-cuts:
The ability for the user to pin the PWA to their homescreen is also possible. This gives your business the same level of visibility as other native apps and provides users with the convince of launching your app with one touch. It becomes part of their digital/online life, so make sure the icon is easily recognisable and a service people will use time and time again. Additionally, PWAs don’t require further updates as the latest version of the app will always be installed.
- Tech stack flexibility:
Whether developers prefer to use Deity, Gatsby, Vue Storefront or other types of PWAs, their frameworks are flexible enough to work with the tech stack best suited to your business and even include/exclude certain features, without having to completely start anew.
- Reduce development costs and time:
Finally, PWAs eliminate the need for any spending or time dedicated towards development or maintenance as it works consistently across multiple channels and devices, requiring only one team to manage it on a single platform.
These capabilities have been around since the mid-2010s and are fully responsive to different platforms and browsers, so that no customer with a reasonably modern device is left behind.
According to the Think with Google blog, 50% of smartphone users prefer to browse via a mobile site than a standalone app, because they don’t want the hassle of installing the app. Nearly two thirds (63%) are more likely to buy from a site or app if it gives them relevant recommendations of products that suit their interests, and 58% prefer mobile sites and apps that remember them on their next visit.
PWAs for eCommerce
While a PWA can be used with any kind of website, they are especially well suited to eCommerce sites for some of the reasons already listed above.
A PWA can streamline the customer journey with payment request API in providing users with product recommendations and one-tap ordering, as well as easy navigation to the shopping basket or checkout page. This shortens the shopping journey for customer-friendly faster checkouts, a reduced rate of abandoned shopping carts and, crucially, an increase in revenues for the site owner.
Why invest in PWAs?
Returning to our original question – why invest in a Progressive Web App for an eCommerce site?
The answer is quite simple. PWAs are cost-effective and can be deployed across all platforms and browsers, as well as different kinds of mobile device including any relatively modern smartphone or tablet. PWAs have the potential to massively increase customer retention, order sizes and conversion rates – all while reducing the amount of data your website must transmit, which is kinder to your bandwidth.
To find out more about how PWAs could help your eCommerce site do more, contact Spike95 today by sending us your details below and a member of our development team will be happy to talk you through your options.