Mobile internet traffic share had grown to 52.64% in 2017. This year it will grow further. So as an e-commerce marketer it makes sense to consider it as a major revenue stream for your business. However, it is not easy to make people download your mobile app and keep them on their devices forever. Progressive web application (PWA) is apt should you want people to have uninterrupted access to your app.
PWA has gained traction in recent times, thanks to its underlying technology where a user gets the experience of the mobile app with the benefits of latest web features. Users don't have to have an app stored on the device forever to be able to access it. Irrespective of being a web app, the PWA could send push notifications, work offline, or access the hardware of the device.
All leading browsers support PWA save for a few. Even those browsers that don't will allow a visitor to surf the site. It is just that the application user won't be able to access advanced web features such as notifications. Having said that, these browsers are committed to bringing support for PWA in their upcoming releases.
Why consider PWA for your e-commerce?
Let's understand why PWA is so important for your e-commerce today in the light of a few benefits offered by it to the e-commerce user.
Offline access: Smartphone growth has exploded way ahead of the internet. Today, most people own smartphones. But not always do they have access to the internet. There could be some black connectivity pockets. Since PWA supports offline capability, your e-commerce visitors would still be able to access your site. Building such an e-commerce site for PWA is relatively easier than a full-fledged mobile app.
Insane speed: These apps perform slick on the mobile, defeating mobile apps in terms of speed. The overall experience is seamless on PWA as it has a very light technology working in the background. You don't have to download and execute heavy installers. Just download a relatively small amount of data and start using the PWA site.
Best of both worlds: The PWAs feel like an app and offer website like features. As people have become comfortable over a period of time, they prefer apps over responsive websites. They want to believe that they are accessing a mobile app. However, they want to lock their storage space for apps that they won't be using on a daily basis.
Freedom from stores: Few marketers find it difficult to go through the app publishing process for Play and/or App store. With PWAs, they can bypass the store formalities completely and yet deliver a app-like feel to their users.
Unified experience: Having the same PWA available on all mobile platforms gives the same experience to every user. Also, the same feeling is experienced by the users when they return to the web for searching, evaluating, and buying products. Pushing new updates becomes easy as well without having to worry about the fragmented updates and hence experience on different platforms.
PWAs are a great way to offer app-like experiences of quick load time, slick experience with ease of website management and not having to worry about Play and App store regulations and processes. This is a step further from responsive website towards mobile app without compromising convenience of development.