Mobile consumers have been growing steadily, and it’s expected that more eCommerce sales will be on mobile than through traditional web browsing by 2021. To meet these demands, eCommerce companies need to offer intuitive and accessible interfaces that make mobile purchases quick and. That’s where progressive web apps (PWAs) come in.
What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?
A progressive web app is a website that looks and feels like a native mobile app. PWAs run in the browser, so there’s no need to download the app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store.
PWAs are meant to eliminate a range of issues from slow networks to data limitation or complete lack of connectivity. Websites that meet all the requirements of a PWA leverage the latest web technologies to provide a reliable, fast, and engaging user experience.
Twitter is one example of a progressive web application. Go ahead and log into your Twitter account via your smartphone’s browser. You’re now using a PWA that’s capable of performing real-time notifications, offline notifications, and other app-like functions.
Another progressive web app example can be found in Gmail. Again, log into your Gmail account via your smartphone’s browser, and you’ll experience an app-like experience that allows you to individually select emails, label them, move them between folders, and so forth. You’ll also see new emails drop into your inbox in real-time.
PWAs vs. responsive websites
Responsive websites were the next logical step when mobile became popular. It let companies offer a better experience for mobile users, without the costs of developing native apps. This also means that responsive websites don’t have capabilities like offline support, push notifications, and other native-like features that users expect on their phones. Тhese features can drive customer engagement and conversions, so eCommerce companies may want to consider converting your responsive website into a fully-functioning PWA.
PWAs vs. native apps
Native apps are built to run on a specific operating system like Android or iOS. Developers need to use specific languages like Java or Swift to build the apps, or give up some of the native look and feel with a cross-platform development tool like React native. Once built, the app must be submitted and reviewed by the Google Play or Apple store to make sure it’s up to each platform’s standards. All in, this process can take months. PWAs sidestep all of this because they’re just an extension of your website with newer web features that offer a more native-like experience. You don’t deal with app stores, and the technologies are standard for frontend developers.
Responsive website vs native app vs Progressive Web App (PWA)