Progressive Web App (PWA)

How PWAs fit well into your startup’s app strategy?

PWAs vs. native apps isn’t a winner-take-all battle. PWAs should be part of a broader app strategy focused on creating a consistent, seamless, high quality experience across all channels, whether it’s a mobile browser, a native mobile app, a desktop browser, or a native desktop app.

In general, PWAs are great for attracting new users, while natively installed apps can be better for delivering the richest experience to loyal, repeat users. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, though, so it’s important to ask some questions about your brand.

Where does your user base come from? If most of your user base already comes from the web then a PWA is a natural fit for your product. Likewise, if you want to increase the amount of users that come from the web, then providing an upgraded web experience with a PWA can be a great enticer.

53% of users will abandon a site if it does not load within 3 seconds on a mobile device.

Sites that loaded within 5 seconds earned twice as much ad revenue as slower sites.

Pinterest saw user engagement increase by 60%, helping to drive a 44% increase in user generated ad revenue. These increases also represented a 2-3% bump over Pinterest’s native app.

Twitter’s PWA provides the exact same user experience as the native twitter app, while using less than 3% of the device storage. This combination of a better, faster, more efficient product has been a hit with users, to the tune of a 20% decrease in bounce rate and a 75% increase in tweets sent.

It’s very clear that startups who provide a fast, user-friendly experience don’t just set themselves apart with happier users, they actually see increased revenues. This is where PWAs separate your company from the crowd.

If your app is experiencing high bounce rates

If you are looking to reduce bounce rate, then the instant experience that a PWA provides can help. By reducing the amount of steps it takes to get into your experience – moving from going to the app or play store, searching for your app, and installing your app, to just clicking a link – you can drastically reduce churn and bounce rate.

Unusual feature requirements

While the web is becoming more powerful every day, there are still a few things, like fingerprint authorization, that are not yet available. Therefore, the most common case where a PWA might not be a great fit is for products that have a technical requirement that is only available on native platforms. Even in those cases, however, it’s worth considering adding a PWA to improve the user experience for new visitors, and then routing them to the app stores once they want to access more advanced functionality.

B2E apps for your employees

For teams building business-to-employee (B2E) apps, distribution and data privacy can be a challenge, and often require a mobile device management (MDM) solution. Since PWAs are browser based, robust application management activities like whitelisting, app wrapping, and DLP required with a native app don’t come into play. On the distribution front, there’s no need to deploy PWAs to an app store, employees can simply download them directly from your website when they need them. And information is stored away from the device, at the browser level, easing data privacy concerns.

What does all this mean for you?

PWAs have broad support across mobile (including iOS support soon), and they’re also beginning to be supported in desktop platforms like Chrome OS and Windows 10.

Microsoft recently announced its intent to make PWAs a first class citizen on Windows 10. It will allow them to be installed directly from the Microsoft Store, show up in the start menu and apps list alongside native apps, and open in a separate window just like a normal Windows app.

Google also recently started improving the PWA experience in Chrome OS. When a user visits a PWA on their Chromebook they will be prompted to add that PWA to their device, just like on Android. Once added, that PWA will show up in the app drawer and open in a separate window.

What does all this mean for you? You can now ship one PWA and have it work just as well for users on a desktop as it does on mobile and tablets.

PWA best practices

Despite all their great advantages, building a fast, engaging, great PWA is still a challenging feat. At Opscale, we have invested our time and effort in building a team, all ready to help startups navigate this complexity.

All those features that are essential to delivering a great experience — optimising bundle size, lazy loading, code splitting, server-side rendering etc. are taken care of to give the project a strong start, so that it won’t be difficult to implement improvements later in the project lifecycle. This all means that the app will only load exactly the JavaScript an individual page needs, ensuring that your PWA can achieve that all important fast load time on the average network.

Our experience in setting up, building and running production ready PWAs for varying app logic and user interface designs have helped us master the latest standards, such as web components, ES modules, ES dynamic imports, and more, which help our apps deliver a great experience built on a modern, reliable tech stack.

We ensure that every PWA project has the modern look and feel that customers expect these days. We utilise material design when running on an Android or desktop device and iOS design when running on an iOS device, guaranteeing the user will be familiar with your UI. We also utilise the latest best practices to ensure that all your animations will be smooth and fast, even on lower end devices.

Whatever your industry or brand, PWAs can provide higher user engagement, lower bounce rates, and ultimately more revenue by providing a better experience for your users.

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