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The PWA 3 minute read
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January 29, 2021

What is a PWA?

Kevin Gorjan
Kevin Gorjan
Technical Lead for PWA at Vaimo
The PWA

PWAs (Progressive Web Applications) are a way to give you a high-performance site and also enable your business to reach customers in many new ways. But what is a PWA? This article defines PWAs and how your business can benefit from this technology.

AN INTRODUCTION TO the PWA

If apps and the web had a child—it’s the PWA. At its core, the PWA helps businesses build web applications that look and feel like native mobile apps but use web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. They are incredibly fast, can be added to a smartphone’s home screen, send push notifications, and even work offline.

The PWA starts as a standard web page in a browser, but as users explore the page, they receive the prompt to Add to Home Screen. Once the user approves this request, the PWA appears on their home screen. PWAs can even be configured to hide the browser UI controls (such as URL toolbar) so that they look just like native applications.

PWAs offer reliable performance on par with native apps. One major problem is related to load time: 53% of users bounce from websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. The PWA solves this issue and guarantees that users can access your site.

The PWA removes friction and simplifies the user’s journey through background content updates, push notifications, and by effectively using the browser cache and storage. The use of caches allows visited sites to function offline. After the first visit to a website, the users can rely on a fast app-like site that works even on slow networks.

Mobile Commerce & the PWA

An important reason for the increasing relevance of PWAs is that mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic in overall reach. While conversions remain a sore spot for mobile commerce, they are increasing over time. For example, mobile conversions increased by 47% year-on-year during Cyber Week and amounted to 39% of all conversions in 2020. From this, it’s clear that mobile commerce is here to stay.

However, users are changing how they make mobile purchases. App usage is declining, with 53% of worldwide shoppers using a retailer’s mobile website rather than their app. Consumers want the most engaging experience on mobile, directly from their browser, without downloading an app. This desire from consumers is spurring the move to PWAs.

Want to figure out if a PWA is right for your business? At Vaimo, we have successfully launched sites using this new technology. Contact our team for more information

Final Intro to PWA & Headless-1

the Business Benefits of A PWA

A MODERN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Modern customers don’t want to find and download an app. They also don’t like slow load times. PWAs solve both problems while outperforming native apps. In addition, PWAs have offline capabilities and app-like functionality. If the client loses their internet connection during checkout, they can still use the website, which saves their information. Once their connection returns, the PWA sends the customer a reminder to check out, taking the frustration out of their journey.

Reach

The mobile web audience has soared over the last few years. Today, Google Chrome has 1 billion mobile users compared to 400 million users in 2016. As per Comscore’s report, the mobile web’s reach is 2.5 times more than that of apps when considering the top 1000 sites and apps.

Acquisition

Mobile apps remain difficult to discover compared to websites. For this reason, the web beats native apps with cheaper user-acquisition costs. With more exposure and low friction for onboarding, the PWA attracts more users at a lower price.

Conversion 

The PWA’s seamless frontend stops bad networks from losing customers. For example, Flipkart launched their PWA, Flipkart-lite, which they claim increased the conversion rate by 70% with lower acquisition cost. Even with a bad network, the PWA improves your conversion rate.

Though PWAs can be challenging to explain, there’s a list of things to remember about them below.

Are you confused about which online and offline channels your business should sell on? Read this article to learn more about how you can put the right pieces place for a multichannel or omnichannel experience

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7 PWA Facts and Capabilities to Remember:

  1. The PWA has a single codebase for all platforms.

  2. They have access to most native mobile hardware capabilities.

  3. They send push notifications.

  4. The PWA works as a responsive website or a mobile app depending on the user’s device.

  5. PWAs don’t need to be downloaded or installed, simply visiting the website is enough.

  6. They use in-browser caches and storage, so that they work properly with a poor internet connection or even offline.

  7. PWAs can reach more people compared to native applications and benefits from the Search Engine Optimisation strategy and efforts a business makes

The arrival of PWAs benefits your ability to adopt the best technical solutions fast and improve your customer experience.

 

Final Takeaways

PWAs are incredibly fast, work on a phone’s home screen, send push notifications, and work offline. With larger shifts in mobile commerce and the decline of native apps, PWAs offer your business the chance to reach and convert more customers on your way to a better user experience.

 

About Vaimo

Vaimo is one of the world’s most respected experts in digital commerce on the Adobe Commerce Cloud platform. As a full-service omnichannel agency, we deliver strategy, design, development and managed services to brands, retailers and manufacturers all over the world.

Our sharp focus, broad experience and deep expertise within B2B, B2C, PIM, Order Management and ERP integrations makes us a key partner for driving success in digital commerce. Our 12+ years track record of technical excellence coupled with our proven results in helping our clients succeed with business development, digital strategy and customer experience design is proudly manifested in our status as an Adobe Platinum Partner.

With local offices in 14+ markets across EMEA, APAC and North America and over 500 employees, we provide an international presence that allows us to cultivate close, long-term relationships with our clients.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your company can benefit from PWAs, contact us here.