Many companies know that the world has become more mobile and there is money to be made by incorporating mobile into a digital strategy.
However, the cost and time associated with designing an app has held some enterprises back. This is where a Progressive Web App (PWA) may prove a valuable option.
A PWA is basically a mobile website that has been designed to interact with the user like a native app would.
This means the design is responsive, able to adjust to any device – smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. It also has the ability to work offline or with poor network connections. It can also provide the user with the security benefit of HTTPS, just like a regular webpage.
PWA’s can be installed on a user’s home screen quickly without the need for downloading and installation such as with a native app.
As well, a PWA can update itself in the background and push notifications to users, which increases engagement with customers.
One of the major advantages of PWAs is they are relatively easy to design so the cost is low. They can also be up and running much more quickly than a native app.
Additionally, they can help connect with new customers for the brand. User of native apps tend to be loyal customers of the company already. Because a PWA is a website, it can reach a broader audience online, including from search engines.
Because they are websites providing an app-like experience, businesses can avoid the lengthy approval process of app stores.
It is also easy to update and modify, because it is basically a web page, there can be new additions made as technology progresses or as the browser adds more features.
There are some limitations to PWAs including their inability to interact with other apps on the device.
As well, because it does not go through the app store, it won’t benefit from the marketing and promotion done in the store.
While it is able to work on all platforms, it has mostly been favored for Android devices, as Google has been one of the companies working to promote it.
For those companies who cannot afford the time or effort to design a native app, a PWA will prove a worthwhile option. The PWA has an advantage over a native app as it can be found through search engines on the mobile web. It also allows users to connect with a brand in a way they are already familiar with – an app-like design and interface- and will help businesses retain new customers. In addition, with Google behind PWA development, it is likely to grow in popularity.
Also published on Medium.