Progressive Web App is the name developers give to a group of technologies and features which aim to make a user’s interaction with a web page a little more seamless.
Progressive Web Apps enable websites to mimic some of the behaviour you would normally expect from native apps on your mobile or tablet. They’re basically websites that function just like mobile apps.
Why create a Progressive Web App?
With a mobile app, you can often lose customers along the way – a person needs to find your app in the app store, download it, install it, and then open it.
With a Progressive Web App, a person can start using it immediately. No searching. No downloading. No installation.
Progressive Web Apps are fast, reliable, engaging, they increase usability, they come without the complications involved in maintaining a mobile application, and they can have a dramatic and positive impact on your KPIs.
People can view your website offline
Perhaps the biggest feature of Progressive Web Apps is the ability to view a website offline. Of course, a person has to have visited the website beforehand in order to store the information on their device – it’s not entirely magic!
We recommend that your website is set up to cache pages once a person has visited, but it’s also possible to pre-cache almost any content.
Ideal for users with an intermittent Internet or mobile connection, this has the benefit of super-fast subsequent page loads – the browser will load styles, scripts, and images directly from the person’s device without making a request to the server.
You can make your website ‘installable’
You may have noticed that some websites give you the option to ‘Add to home screen’.
This is what we mean when we say you can make your website ‘installable’ – doing this takes the bookmarks / favourites feature of your web browser to a whole new level.
Customers will be able to open your website directly from their device home screen and be greeted with a custom splash screen while the website loads.
This is perfect if you have a website which users visit frequently. It makes it more user-friendly, and makes it that bit easier to access.
You can theme a person’s browser
Recent advancements in browsers have enabled web developers to allow people to install web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications, and even work offline.
Perhaps the best feature of all is the ability to choose the colour of the browser address bar.
This is such a simple concept, but it can really help improve the look and feel of a page to have it surrounded by a complimentary on-brand colour, and it subconsciously improves the customer browsing experience.
Progressive Web Apps get results
Google has reported success stories of brands around the world who have implemented Progressive Web Apps.
- Alibaba.com, the world’s largest online business-to-business trading platform from China, saw a 76 percent rise in conversions after it upgraded its mobile site to a Progressive Web App.
- Lancôme, the French luxury perfume and cosmetic house, saw a 53 percent increase in session length and a 10 percent bounce rates drop amongst iPhone users.
- The Weather Channel, an American TV channel, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, saw an 80 percent improvement in site load time.
Want to learn more?
As you’ve seen, Progressive Web Apps can improve branding, customer experience, website usability, and have a big impact on KPIs such as conversions, load time, bounce rates, and session length.
If you’d like to know more about how a Progressive Web App could help your brand and your website, then we’d love to help.