About the Technology
Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) were a concept originally unveiled by Google in 2015. They have steadily gained support from developers since then, attracted by the concept of write once, use anywhere.
However the real power for marketers of the PWA lies in how it bridges the gap between traditional websites & mobile apps.
The idea itself is quite simple:
1) A PWA extends out your traditional website to make it adaptive to the device that it is being used on. Fom your PC it works just like any normal website. But on a mobile it can tap into geographic cues, as well as the camera and voice. So imagine how it could adapt to behave differently when the customer with the app walks into one of your shops.
2) It makes your website discoverable as an app by search engines without having to go through a lengthy app-store verification process. This means users can 'install' your website to their devices with an app shortcut. Which increases their stickiness to your brand straight away.
3) As the application is hosted on the web, there is no need for a lengthy install process, which makes the user more likely to engage with it.
4) A PWA can make push notifications as part of the UX. So you no longer have to wait for them to come to your website to see your latest campaign. Once the PWA is installed, you're into a 2-way communication, and able to push straight to the front of their inbox for attention.
Flipkart Case Study
A recent case study from Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce site, decided to combine their web presence and native app into a Progressive Web Application that has resulted in a 70% increase in conversions.
In 2015, Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce site, adopted an app-only strategy and temporarily shut down their mobile website. The company found it harder and harder to provide a user experience that was as fast and engaging as that of their mobile app. But then, Flipkart decided to rethink their development approach. They were drawn back to the mobile web by the introduction of features that made the mobile web run instantly, work offline, and re-engage users.
- Users time on site with Flipkart lite vs. previous mobile experience: 3.5 minutes vs 70 seconds.
- 3x more time spent on site
- 40% higher re-engagement rate
- 70% greater conversion rate among those arriving via Add to Homescreen
- 3x lower data usage
mobile web developers are looking to capture the engagement and lifetime value that we’ve seen in native apps. With progressive web app technology, you’ll have an app-like experience that’s two to four times faster than a native app. What the progressive web apps ultimately provide — and what customers will begin to demand — is improved performance, which, in turn, means faster interactions and higher customer conversion rates.