Progressive web apps (PWAs) are quickly becoming a top choice for businesses looking to build a fast, responsive, and feature-rich web presence. They are a type of web application that can be accessed through a web browser and offer a user experience similar to that of a native app.
In today’s mobile world, businesses must optimize for mobile browsers to reach their customers effectively. 79% of internet users access the internet mainly on their mobile devices and this number is expected to further grow. Unfortunately, mobile web users tend to have higher expectations and less patience than desktop users.
PWAs help bridge this gap by providing an app-like experience on the mobile web. Features like fast load times, push notifications, and offline access make mobile browsing easier while engaging users.
Transforming user experience:
At their core, PWAs are web applications that leverage modern web technologies to provide users with a seamless, app-like experience. PWAs work like native apps, but instead of requiring a user to download them from an app store, they work directly from a web browser, so they take up minimal memory on a smartphone. Pre-caching allows the app to stay up to date, so the most recent version is available when a user opens it.
PWAs leverage advanced web technologies to deliver faster load times and smoother interactions. Users can install PWAs on their devices directly from the browser without going through an app store, hence eliminating the friction of traditional app installations and ensures a quicker onboarding process.
It also eliminates the need for separate development efforts for different platforms. A single codebase can serve users across various devices and operating systems, streamlining the development and maintenance process.
What makes PWAs most attractive is its offline accessibility. Users can access content and perform actions even in areas with poor or no network connectivity, enhancing the overall reliability of the application. PWAs can send push notifications to users, re-engaging them and keeping the application at the forefront of their attention. This feature is particularly valuable for businesses aiming to boost user engagement and retention.
PWAs represent a significant leap forward in web development, offering a compelling blend of performance, accessibility, and engagement. By embracing the power of PWAs, businesses and developers can enhance user experiences, reach wider audiences, and stay at the forefront of the digital landscape.
Market landscape and use cases:
More businesses are recognizing the benefits of PWAs and choosing them over native apps or traditional websites, which is leading to an increasing user base who appreciate the improved mobile experience offered by PWAs. It is experiencing success across various industries including e-commerce, media and entertainment, financial, healthcare and education.
Twitter’s PWA, Twitter Lite offers a streamlined version of the platform that loads quickly and performs efficiently even in low-network conditions. Flipkart embraced PWA to deliver a fast and engaging shopping experience, resulting in increased user retention and conversions.
Washington Post’s PWA provides a seamless reading experience, complete with offline access and push notifications for breaking news. Starbucks’ has launched a PWA for online ordering. It is available without a network connection and has helped the company double online orders, with desktop users now nearly equaling mobile users.
With its PWA, Pinterest has reduced the size of its app’s core bundle from 650 KB to 150 KB and decreased the interaction time from 20 seconds to 5.6 seconds.