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Should You Invest in Progressive Web Apps for Your Startup?

Business.com / Software / Last Modified: June 28, 2018
Image credit: Bakhtiar Zein/Shutterstock

Discover how progressive web apps can help your business improve its customer experience.

Let's assume you're leading an e-commerce startup that sells furniture online. Your selling point lies is that the furniture is made from recycled wood. Now, you need to create a website, app or something similar that will help you sell your furniture.

For any startup, the main goal is to build business and clientele. Entrepreneurs usually do it by capitalizing on disruptions in the market early on in their business's existence.

As Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, once said, "The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company." 

Startups tend to evolve their ideas into apps and websites to solve perpetual issues. It is highly important for them to garner audience attention during the early stages. Also, grabbing the audience's attention through the proper channels is important. You can't ask your viewers to consistently use your mediocre website or an app. An amazing experience is a must. Your viewers are your judges; they're your future, and you need to deliver a first-class service to them at all costs. 

Now, you might wonder, "How can I possibly deliver the best experience at a reasonable cost?"

The answer is here, and the answer is simple – progressive web apps.

As fancy as it sounds, progressive web apps (PWAs) are the future of both the web and apps. It combines the best of both worlds and gives you the ultimate experience of an app on the web. These apps load quickly – even on fragile networks – send push notifications, provide a full-screen, app-like experience and can be iconized on your home screen.

Not sure if PWAs are as beneficial as they sound? Let's look at some stats.

  1. By building a PWA, the company Garbarino’s conversion rate increased by 27 percent, visitors returned by 13 percent, page views increased 35 percent, and they saw a decrease in their bounce rate by 9 percent.

  2. An average post takes 400 milliseconds to load on The Washington Post's website. This is an 88 percent performance improvement over their traditional mobile website.

  3. In 2016, users downloaded around 149 billion mobile apps to their devices, and these numbers are projected to grow. In 2021, several app downloads can reach almost 353 billion.

  1. On average, PWAs increased time on the site by 137 percent when compared to mobile websites. 

These are just a few stats that show the effectiveness of PWAs. They have been evolving and capturing the web market since 2015.

What makes PWAs so popular?

Imagine that you're in a location with poor network reception. You're in dire need of accessing an app but you can't, thanks to the poor reception. However, there's a web app that works perfectly in the poor network. It works exactly as the mobile app would and uses five times less data while giving you an amazing user experience.

The popularity of a PWA comes from its ability to cater to customers. Businesses want happy customers, and with consumers reliant on using mobile devices and technology when making purchasing decisions, utilizing progressive web apps can fulfill customer demands. 

What exactly is a PWA, and how does it work?

PWAs are an extended version of native apps. It gives you the exact feel of a native app, it lets you send push notifications, it's highly responsive, but everything happens over a browser. You don't need to install the app on your device to use it.

How is a PWA crucial for a startup's growth?

Every startup requires software, a website and a compatible native app to support operations. The hassle to get everything in line is exhausting. Plus, the high expenditure to develop, deploy and maintain everything individually is unbelievable!

PWAs are simple. It takes less time to develop, less time to deploy, and it's less costly in terms of maintenance. It not only saves on financial investment, but it also saves crucial turnaround time, which is highly important in the success of a new business. 

Huge audience reach

Here's an interesting thing about PWAs: They're compatible with all platforms. You don't have to worry if the user is an Android or iOS user. This platform independence frees you in reaching a considerable audience. Plus, consumers can view your services from virtually anywhere. 

Supports marketing efforts

With PWA, new doors open for alternative marketing efforts. It allows you to be creative with your consumer approach, unlocking avenues for business growth. You can use push notifications to further enhance this experience.

It is especially important for e-commerce startups

Progressive web apps can be a boon to e-commerce startups. The linkable feature of PWA has helped e-commerce websites capitalize on conversions. As mentioned earlier, the offline feature, push notifications, quicker-loading pages and home screen icon have proved to be game-changing features.

Perhaps the biggest example is Twitter. Twitter Lite PWA became the official mobile website for users in April 2017. The cached data and smaller data size resulted in 75 percent more tweets, a 20 percent drop in the bounce rate, and a 65 percent increase in pages per session.

A PWA re-engage consumers

Fifty-three percent of mobile websites are abandoned if it takes more than three seconds to load. The case is similar for native apps. Progressive web apps have been the answer to such situations.

Consumers are interested in staying updated about products, posts and news without much hassle. Push notifications constantly re-engage them. Ask yourself: "Are you more likely to read a company's email newsletter or a push message?" 

Summary

PWAs are the future. Now that you're aware of how PWAs can increase user engagement, sales and visibility, have you created a PWA for your business yet? If not, it's worth considering. 

 

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