So are you considering a progressive web app for your digital product (website, online store, or a native app)? If so, you must be wondering how it will benefit or harm your business. It’s fair to have this question in mind.
To help you make a sound decision, we bring some positive and negative impacts of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for a business. Tag along to get familiar with them:
Fast Load Time
PWAs are built on the core principle of progressive enhancement that enables the app to load faster. It uses the cache level of the device for minimizing the amount of data required to respond to user interaction ASAP. The app can save data in the cache of the device. So, whenever a user revisits the app, they enjoy the same instant loading. The app smoothly transitions itself to the next screen, and the user doesn’t even feel a thing.
What users love about PWA is they work in offline mode. Even if the device is not connected to the Internet, some of the functions of the app still work. The user can continue browsing like he normally does when the app is connected to the web.
Wondering how this happens? PWAs are powered by a caching system that’s so robust it can handle offline requests. Although these requests are sent once the connection is available, the user doesn’t notice a difference in the experience.
Web Push Notifications
Another fantastic feature of PWAs is “push notifications”. It’s an effective channel for engaging online shoppers. Businesses have been using push notifications to communicate with users for a long time now. It’s like sending them a personal message or reminder to open the app again and make a purchase.
The push notifications of PWAs are similar to that of native apps. They work even if the browser is not running on the user’s device. This has empowered brands to reach a significant number of audiences on the web.
If you are using a progressive web app for your eCommerce store, you will enjoy excellent security. A PWA must be served over HTTPS to offer privacy and security to its users. Once HTTPS is enabled, the communication of the user is protected, and that includes their browser history, payment transactions, and other information.
Progressive web apps are always up to date. Want to know how? The user does not have to worry about downloading or installing updates. The app upgrades itself automatically. As long as it’s connected to the Internet, the user will get access to the most updated content. The user can enjoy a robust customer experience without having to refresh the app.
Save Time and Resources
For native apps to support Android and iOS platforms, more resources in terms of time and effort are required. This makes them expensive to not just build but maintain. However, you have to write one code base, and you can build a PWA. This significantly reduces the cost of developing the app as well as maintaining it.
You don’t have to create separate versions of the app for different platforms. This also means you won’t have to spend resources on publishing or marketing these versions either. Your customers will enjoy an app-like experience and even more without having to go through the hassle.
Add to the home screen
PWAs can be added to the home screen. This makes it easier for the user to install the app on their device. These apps have a similar native app like presence on mobile as well. The user will be able to enjoy the same accessibility and visibility.
With the PWA technology, you can decide how you want the app to appear to the user. You can either choose a home screen icon, splash screen, or theme color. It is totally up to you.
Now that we know much about the benefits of having progressive web apps, what are the potential drawbacks? They are not that many, but a business should still be aware of them.
- The push notifications in PWAs are so far supported on Android platforms only.
- Local apps have more SEO advantage over PWAs.
- Since they are relatively new, limited hardware and software support is available.
- These apps don’t show up in app stores like Google Play or Apple App store.
PWAs have a few drawbacks, but they are likely to subside over time because technology is progressing at fast speed. More support for these apps will be available soon as they become mainstream. If you look at the benefits in terms of more engagement, leads, and user experience, progressive web apps are a worthy investment. They don’t cost much either so it’s worth giving them a shot.