Progressive Web app is spreading its wing into the web industry. It is making the web user experience a whole lot different for better. A lot of web giants have already made use of the technology with maximum benefit. Now, being such a crucial technology, progressive web app becomes even crucial for startups who are restrained with their resources and hustling to do their best in their industry. Here, we discuss different aspects of progressive web app from startup perspective. Whether they should opt for this technology or not? What are different aspects out of it? How could it help their product?
First of all, lets discuss the current stuff first.
Truth be told, gaining customers for a startup has always been hard and web hasn’t made the task of customer acquisition easier. It does provide a better reach to the customer but fails to provide a matching experience. The user demands to be well served of the service.
As a result, startups turn to native apps, for Android, iOS, windows, etc. Native app serves better to the user, but it has another problem for the startup. The reach to the user is disturbed here. There are too many native apps already out there. Over 3 Million apps are present in Google play store alone. It also involves launching and engaging a native app across two platforms.
Combining all of them, (multiple desktop browsers, and mobile web browsers is a must for most businesses), becomes a costly affair for a startup. It could cost over USD 30000+. Now startups need to ensure that they get better ROI(return on investment) from this investment.
While mobile site visits are high but engagement is low,
Average monthly unique visitors (MM): App (7.0), Mobile web (15.7)
Average monthly minutes per visitor: App (186.9), Mobile web (11.9)
It makes sense for startups to find ways to engage users on mobile website. In addition to engagement improvement on native apps but only few apps dominate. For instance, US users typically use only 20 apps on their mobile, while rest of the apps are abandoned after first usage. Therefore, it becomes very difficult for a startup’s native app to be engaging for the user. Hence, the investment in native app is not so healthy.
Also, majority of smartphone users don’t download new apps in first few month of the launch of the app. Therefore, it makes very difficult for startups’ native to be discovered in the app store.
Consequently, only most loyal users are to be engaged on the native app and the rest on mobile website .
Since, mobile website is the top of the funnel, users should be acquired and retained here. Around 50% of users arrive at any mobile site using search engine. Therefore, making it imperative for startups to have their mobile sites be ranked higher in search engines. Also, Google is moving its search to mobile index first, it implies mobile sites needs to be faster than ever.
Furthermore, load times of mobile website are a key to engagement of their users. According to Hostingfacts, 51% users in US abandon their purchase, due to slow site load. The user pisses off if the website does not respond in first 3 seconds after click. Also, if a website’s load time is more that 30 seconds, it is considered infinite load time. And most websites do cross this limit. Due to which they lose a lot of potential customers.
Most noteworthy, a site speed from 8 to 2 seconds can boost conversion rates by 74%. Now a days, users attention span is also declining.Therefore, it becomes obvious for a business to keep for faster page loads.
If we compare an avearge site that loads in 5 seconds vs the one with 19 seconds experience;
1- The website with 5 second load time has 5% higher ad viewability
2- The quicker website has 70% longer average sessions.
3- The website taking longer time to open leads to 35% higher bounce rates.
Every milli second counts in mobile site loading on customer conversion. Read more here on site load times and conversion rates.
Now, it is quite difficult to improve mobile website performance beyond a limit. Seems like one can keep improving the website speed horizontally. However, the next level improvement is the vertical improvement, which is the Progressive Web App solution.
Progressive web app (PWA) are a key to engagement on mobile web.
If you don’t know about PWAs yet, or have just heard of it, look here. Progressive web apps are growing fast and it is expected to be the preferred choice of companies to engage users beyond native apps. They are app within your browser, displayed as a website. They are not to be looked or downloaded from app stores.
A Progressive Web App is:
●Progressive – Works for every user, regardless of browser choice because it’s built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
●Responsive – Fits any form factor: desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
●Connectivity independent – Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low-quality
●App-like – Feels like an app, because the app shell model separates the application functionality from application content .
●Fresh – Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
●Safe – Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and to ensure content hasn’t been tampered with.
●Discoverable – Is identifiable as an “application” thanks to W3C manifest and service worker
registration scope, allowing search engines to find it.
●Re-engageable – Makes re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
●Installable – Allows users to add apps they find most useful to their home screen and app list right from the website preventing the hassle of an app store.
●Linkable – Easily share the application via URL, does not require complex installation.
Why should startups build a Progressive web app before doing a native app?
●Reaching maximum users before developing the most loyal users & native app for them. (Detailed reasoning given above).
●Since, no installation is needed and the PWA takes less space on home screen, PWAs would be on home screen of most users.
●Development time and investment is less for PWA, thereby making it easy for companies to launch a rich experience to users in first go.
●As updates are simpler for one PWA, startups can focus more on other features in the mobile app gaining loyalty of users faster.
●Any link can be opened separately and viewed for faster access to that app
Seems like one very common misconception about PWA is that they fail when it comes to utilize the hardware access. Opposite to that, progressive web app give more hardware access than thought off. They provide following features, (might vary with browser)
Behave Like a native app
●Home screen installation
On input side
●Pointing device adaption
Access whats around
Access device features
●Camera & microphone
●Network type and speed
●Accelerometer, including compass & gyroscope
Upcoming hardware access
●Ambient light sensor
●Accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope senior access
●Shape detection API
Screen and output
●Screen orientation & lock
Access the system
PWAs will eventually get all functionalities available through native apps and more. In essence, for a startup if you have any product strategy, launch plans, take a look at Progressive Web App and make them your priority lest your competitor will do it before you.Also, you can check out these awesome pwa stats.
Finally, if you could bear me till now, I assume you are really interested in PWA. So, let me introduce you with an Automatic PWA Converter Platform if you already have not heard of it.
You can use it to get Progressive Web App for your platform within few minutes. Most noteworthy, it is a technical-less friendly platform. You do not have to code anything for your Progressive Web App. Furthermore, it is also a plug and play system. You just need to plug generated code into your head tag. So, your PWxway. This especially relevant tutorial How To Use Automatic PWA Converter Platform? might be helpful to you.
Disclosure: Yes, I have worked on this platform and wanted PWAs to be available to everyone easily. You focus on your product, we will focus on your Progressive Web App.