Progressive web apps are the answer for growing share of mobile devices in the total number of all devices people use to surf the net. It is a kind of combination of the best web and native mobile apps features, to make them reliable, fast and engaging. Strong Google support, growing community, advantages that both developers and users appreciate, makes it not just a fad, but important direction in nowadays web development.

Progressive web apps checklist

To support developers creating progressive web apps or adapting existing ones to PWA standards, google prepared and published a set of rules with detailed description of all requirements and recommendations. In a nutshell, apps should meet following standards:

  • speed and responsiveness on all devices (web and mobile) regardless of the browser
  • native app experience (performance, navigation, interaction etc.)
  • HTTPS served to ensure high safety standards
  • clear URL structure to make app indexable and linkable
  • service worker API that allows to keep the apps up-to-date and run offline or on low quality connection
  • manifest.json file with app description for easy app “installation” without using any store
  • push notifications and other user engagement features

As we can see from the above principles, PWA are highly user-oriented. Their goal is to provide the best experience possible and deliver required information in a quick way. But what are the benefits of implementing such apps in business?

Progressive web apps for business

Due to its features, PWA can be a great solution for e-commerce or publishers, where quick purchase process and availability / readability, is a must. But these are not the only sectors in which such solution can be applied.

  • creating one multiplatform app instead of many native counterparts is definitely cheaper and less time consuming. What is more, further development is also much easier. Remember that PWA are made using HTML, CSS and JS – most popular tools nowadays, so it won’t be a problem to find a team of experienced developers
  • just like standard web applications, progressive apps have an URL structure, so they are fully linkable and indexable. You can easily apply all SEO techniques and analyze user’s behavior without additional (extra paid) tools.
  • user can install such apps on his device with just one click, there is no need to redirect to store and begin download and installation process. It definitely reduces drop offs.
  • PWAs allows to keep users engagement by fully functional push notifications, just like in native apps.

Of course, there are some drawbacks, for example: you can meet some difficulties and limitations if you want to implement bluetooth, NFC, proximity sensors usage etc. or gain access to camera settings, contacts or geofencing. That makes them not an alternative for native applications in every case.

Does it really work?

Ok, we briefly described the theory, but does it really make a difference? As we can see on Aliexpress case study at some point they found out that mobile became the most important platform and they need to figure out how to ensure the best experience and turn “non-app” clients into app users. Implementing progressive web application allowed them to increase the conversion rate for new users by 104% (overall), time spent per session by 74% and 2x more pages visited.

Aliexpress - progressive web apps

Click here to find more PWA related case studies and success stories.

My friends should read it!