Performance is vital to the profitability and success of any online venture. That is why brands across industries are implementing a new standard called Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to improve their performance.
This front-end technology supported by Google aims at delivering a high level of performance on any device. This can be achieved by enhancing PWAs with fast and reliable native-app qualities.
Native apps are easier to engage with, while mobile web property has a greater reach since there is no need for users to locate and download a software program from an app store.
PWAs meanwhile, blends the best characteristics of both mobile websites and native apps. This is why many of the world’s best-known companies and brands are adopting them.
The most notable characteristics of progressive web apps include:
Apart from this, they are economical, efficient, and occupy little space on mobile device storage.
And although this new app development strategy is receiving lots of attention, the concept of PWAs remains relatively new to most people.
In order to deeply understand how a Progressive Web App is different from conventional responsive websites, we will look at some great examples of PWAs and their application.
1: Twitter Lite PWA
Twitter needs a little introduction. But with about 80% of users on mobile, the brand wanted to reduce loading times, visitor bounce rates and simply create a more reliable and engaging experience for its numerous users.
The new Twitter Lite app has seen great success since its first launch in 2017. And it is frequently adding new features to make attract even more users. The app is now known as the fastest, least expensive, and most reliable way to access the Twitter social network, which requires less than 3% of the storage space compared to its native Android competitor.
The Twitter Lite PWA creates more than ten million push notifications per day and massively encourages user reengagement over and over again. Google Developers case study reports about 250,000 Twitter members accessing the app directly from their home screens at an average frequency of 4 times per day.
Starbucks aims at providing user-friendly and accessible online ordering to all of its customers. And their PWA offers a similar experience to their existing native app. It supports offline mode and allows their customers to browse the menu, add the items to the cart and customize their orders even without consistent access to the internet. Once online, they can view the pricing specific to their location and place their order.
This PWA’s feature of working without a network connection is great for customers on the go or those from rural areas who may lose connectivity throughout the day or where it is simply less reliable. Starbucks has already seen significant results with their new PWA doubling the number of web users who order each day. It is 99.84% smaller than Starbucks’ existing iOS app, which makes it a number one choice among their customers.
In order to improve the customer experience and implement the latest app technologies, the brand decided to introduce a new high-quality and engaging PWA. And it has received numerous “wow” feedbacks.
The first notable thing is the high-resolution of images and videos, instant web loads (around 4X times faster than the old site). BMW also reports some more impressive numbers achieved after the establishment of the PWA: 4X increase in clicks from the homepage to a BMW sales site; 50% growth in the number of mobile users and 49% more site visits. Impressive right?
4. Forbes News and General Interest
Forbes was one of the first in the industry to implement a progressive web app, having recognized the need to improve the load speed of its website (average render time of 6.5 seconds).
Salah Zalatimo, head of Product and Tech at Forbes, agrees that the decision to launch a PWA for the better delivery of news and general interest content proved to be the right one, and is delivering truly “dramatic” results.
Now the content is visible within three seconds of launching the app and offers a more visually rewarding experience. Forbes has seen a 12% increase in readership while the number of ad impressions per page is now 20% up and there is a X6 higher number of readers reading the articles till the end.
Images, recipes, products, videos— you can find anything on Pinterest to curate and share with your friends. Some years ago with the incumbent web experience generating conversions at the rate of just 1%, Pinterest’s management team decided that something needed to be done.
The goal for the PWA project was to improve UX by making the Pinterest website work faster, in terms of interactivity in particular. The old website sometimes took more than 20 seconds to become interactive.
The Pinterest site was converted into a progressive web app in less than three months, and the result was an immediate difference in performance metrics. The time needed was down from 23 to less than 6 seconds. User engagement, time spent on site, and ad websites’ visits increased.
And Pinterest is eager to continue with development and to stimulate an increased sign-up activity.
AliExpress is a well-known retail division of the successful Chinese B2B platform - Alibaba. At first, the company developed a mobile eCommerce website with the intention to encourage shoppers to download the AliExpress native app for both iOS and Android.
But in spite of the website’s high-quality, impressive design and high functionality, user engagement was poorer than previously expected. AliExpress continued to struggle with the low number of downloads.
Fortunately, it coincided with the emergence of PWA technology, and the company decided that it was the most promising solution. And did right.
Users began to visit X2 pages per browsing session, while the time spent on the site increased by 74%, and the new-user conversion rate more than doubled after the introduction of the AliExpress PWA.
7. Lancôme Cosmetic
Lancôme’s mobile marketing story is similar to that of AliExpress: the L’Oréal-owned famous cosmetics brand noticed mobile conversions to be simply too low in comparison with those involving desktop users.
But here Lancôme did differently from AliExpress and chose to skip the development of expensive native apps and started website redesign, implementing the PWA technology. Already In October 2016, Lancôme was at the very forefront of retail progressive web app development.
Their PWA is really app-like, with the instantly recognizable “hamburger” menu icon, slide-out boxes, and long carousels of product images.
By April 2017, more than 20,000 shoppers signed up for notifications and alerts, with 9% of those tapping on push notifications and then making a purchase.
The 7 progressive web app examples featured in this article, of course, represent big companies’ success stories with the implementation of the technology. However, there are so many more accounts of less-known businesses receiving the same positive results.
It’s fair to say that all the featured PWAs have delivered:
Meanwhile, mobile and desktop users highlight the PWA experience as more fluid and immersive, less frustrating, and more reliable. And, perhaps, the most important notice: it is less subject to the discontinuity and dependence from network quality or always-on-the-go lifestyles.
Techpro Studio’s advice: Instead of choosing between the speed offered by mobile websites and the rich user experience of native apps, you can now offer the best of both and improve the efficiency, profitability, and overall commercial performance of your business.
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