What is PWA?
Progressive Web Apps, or PWA, is a type of web application that allows the installation of a website (social media, eStore, blog) to the device as an app. That way it helps to manage all processes of the platform in the easiest and most effective and efficient way.
Here are some advantages of using PWA. It allows you:
- to install useful extensions (as retargeting or remarketing);
- to add many functions for the more convenient functionality of your website (to work even without Internet connection, to use location, camera and microphone if necessary);
- to download the necessary elements quickly and reliably (to work much faster than with a traditional website);
- to interact with the platform from different devices (both PC and mobile);
- to download it right from your website (no AppStore or Google Play);
- to save your budget (PWA development and support is about 60 % cheaper in comparison with traditional app);
- to save your device’s memory (weight about a couple of Mb)
Disadvantages that can disappear as soon as an app will develop:
- don’t support push-ups on Safari;
- no Touch ID;
- limited Bluetooth features
PWA and eCommerce
As shown in many types of research, over the pandemic crisis in 2020, the growth of purchases from mobile devices showed historical records and surpassed forecasts by several years. Therefore, it matters to shift your business to customers’ phones and tablets as well and provide them the best experience they ever had.
How PWA makes difference for retailers?
After installation and launching PWA leads to a greater number of conversions, orders, and revenues because of:
- Easy installation process for users (see below).
- You can analyze the frequency of orders for a particular client and send him/her reminders to interact with your brand in advance. It is so important, especially for industries like Beauty, Education (courses, trainings, workshops etc.), Cleaning, Auto, Sport and Health.
- You’ll have an opportunity of additional benefit from advertisements sent by using push-notifications.
- By notifying the client about promotions or order status changes you’ll lead to more frequently purchases and engagement with your website.
- You’ll be able to use loyalty cards using QR codes in the app.
- Customers are able to select products out of the Internet, and when it appears, the data is automatically loaded (means transaction made).
- You’ll be able to send notifications about the status of ordering services (Car / hotel / table booked).
The most successful brands that use PWA
Twitter, Uber, Telegram, Starbucks, Forbes, AliExpress, L’Ancome, Aviasales, Tinder are implemented PWA to their websites and take an advantage of so many “likes”, comments, and conversions, of course, just by adding such a tool to their platforms.
How PWA makes difference for customers?
Firstly, it’s much easier to make an order from a mobile website and through an app:
- push-notification about a product (sales, special offer, invitation etc.) appears on their screens;
- one-click installation on a device which takes them to your mobile-website;
- users that turned to customers make a purchase through the app.
Secondly, many stores make special offers only for app users. Thirdly, there is no need for an Internet connection, so they can make an order everywhere at any time.
How to connect your eCommerce web store with PWA?
There are several steps you should follow to create an eCommerce PWA in order to improve your financial and engagement metrics as well as user experience:
- Start with an application design. By using the minimum of coding you’ll create a user-friendly interface and, so, guarantee a satisfactory users’ interaction platform.
- Implement a service worker. It’s required to deal with cache or server. Once it’s done, your PWA will be able to function offline. HTTPS server is required to provide right installation to browsers.
- Create web app manifest. Add data related to items on your website – name, favicon and etc.
- Include push notifications and add-to-screen function. You can implement them with the help of related API. These are essential features that drive all PWA processes.
- Test it. As in the case with any product, especially with software, you should test all features of it in order to avoid unpleasant and unexpected issues with users which can lead to great customer churn and revenue decreases.
Pricing of implementing a PWA to an eCommerce store
High-quality software implementation cost depends on the complexity of the project, the features required and the time given. Usually, to build a basic PWA, you need less than ten thousand budget. The medium complexity PWA will cost from a couple of thousands of dollars, and a feature-rich product will push the spending up to five thousand.
The eCommerce store owners have to transform their approaches and processes to reach out to the maximum possible number of consumers, brand value, and revenues. Redesigning the eStore into a PWA-based platform will ensure retailers that they’ll meet the right results – both in terms of client engagement and boosting their revenues.
Progressive Web Apps are still in their beginning, but now it’s time to take your chance: to understand methodologies and perspectives and see how well it works on your own website. Today you can do it to your competitive advantage, but it seems like before long it will become a widespread feature of all eStores.
To avoid additional spending, eCommerce companies can choose PWA solutions that are already proven in the market in the beginning. This approach can be about 3/4 cheaper than building a PWA independently from scratch.
Finally, retailers need to follow industry researches to know what to expect from an emerging market before it becomes a global trend.