Marketing without considering user experience (UX) is a bit like trying to hit a dartboard in the dark.
With Google’s implementation of the Mobile First index, whereby a brand’s mobile website is to be the default listing in the Google search results, it is clear that designing a great mobile user experience should be a top priority for every business.
If your website was initially designed for desktop, but is responsive to mobile devices, this is sufficient to meet the needs of Google’s mobile-first index. However designing with ‘mobile-first’ is better i.e. you consider and design the mobile user experience before the desktop version.
If you are already embracing mobile-first or want to take your existing online experience to the next level, Progressive Web Apps offer an exciting (and cost effective) new way to engage with your consumers.
What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?
A PWA is a website that looks and behaves like a native mobile app. It combines the features of web browsing with an intuitive app like experience, without the barrier of needing to visit an app store and having to download an app.
The term ‘Progressive Web App’ was coined by designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell in 2015. Google have paved the way for PWAs, but in addition to Google Chrome they are now also being supported by Opera, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Samsung Internet browser is showing commitment to PWAs and Apple are also joining in with service workers (a key component of supporting Progressive Web Apps) being available in Safari 11.1 for iOS 11.3.
Why are PWAs so important?
Many brands like the idea of having a native mobile app. Features such as an intuitive and user-friendly digital interface, push notifications, offline availability and easy access from the mobile device home screen are appealing. However, the user acquisition and retention challenges of native apps are often too much of a barrier.
Native apps operate in an extremely competitive market. There are currently over 3.6 m android apps available on Google Playstore1, growing at a rate of 1,300 apps per day with an estimated 197 billion app downloads in 20172 In Q4 of 2017 alone 19 billion apps downloaded were from the Google Play Store.
Even if your app does successfully get downloaded, retention rates are very low. 80% of apps are deleted after one use, with the average app losing 77% of its Daily App Users (DAU) within the first 3 days of install, and 90% within the first 30 days after download3.
For the user, if the cost of having an app (mainly the precious disk space it needs) out-ways its value, it will just be deleted.
With these challenges in mind, here is where Progressive Web App technology can provide a welcome solution. Providing an app-like experience but without the need to download from an app store.
What are the benefits of Progressive web apps? 4
Is a PWA right for my business and my customers?
A Progressive Web App is particularly relevant if you have (or have considered developing) a native app and/ or your customers want to do any of the following via your website:
What is the cost of a Progressive Web App?
The biggest advantage of developing a Progressive Web App is the cost saving in terms of app development and maintenance. Average customer acquisition costs may be up to ten times smaller compared to those of native applications.6
The technology for PWAs is free, just you need a skilled developer to build your website as a PWA and to include the relevant components.
Who is using a PWA and what impact has it had?
George.com, clothing brand part of Asda Walmart saw a 31% increase in mobile conversions after upgrading their site to a PWA.
Other results included7:
Beauty brand Lancome increase conversions8 by 17% with new PWA, they also saw:
Travel company Carnival Cruise Line wanted to provide personalised and engaging communications for its customers without fighting for attention in the inbox. The company achieved 24% opt- in to push notifications with a 42% open rate9.
When Google devised the concept of Progressive Web App they worked with several companies like The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Weather Channel, Flipkart, Alibaba, and AliExpress for their app development strategy and helped them build a better mobile web presence.
After implementing their Progressive Web App, AliExpress saw conversion rates for new users increase by 104%. This investment in the mobile web also resulted in conversion rates on Safari increasing by 82%. The new strategy also delivered a much better experience. Users now visit twice as many pages per session, and time spent per session increased an average of 74% across all browsers.
The most successful digital experiences are founded on providing a great user experience (UX). With smart phones being the first connected device to hand for most consumers, the solutions that continue to evolve great UX on mobile devices will continue to gain traction.
Consider contactless payment on the high street, only introduced in the last few years has now become commonplace. If contactless payment isn’t offered during your payment experience, it feels awkward and not seamless.
Combine the on-going consumer expectations for a great user experience with the fact that most of the big name browsers are now supporting PWAs, it is certain that Progressive Web Apps are the future.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve and gain competitive advantage, now is the time to discover if and how, a Progressive Web App could benefit your business.
Find out more
DotLabel are currently working on two exciting PWA projects, one for a luxury global drinks brand and another for a UK energy supplier – we would love to tell you more about these project.
If you would like to find out how Progressive Web Apps can help improve your digital experience and gain you competitive advantage contact us to find out more on 01256 329972