Progressive Web Applications are a true evolution of the mobile app industry. You’re typically used to seeing iPhone and Android Apps that reside in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. So, what is a Progressive Mobile App (PWA)? A Progressive Mobile App or PWA is really a Web technology that has emerged that allows native app capabilities to run through a mobile browser. All of the app like functionality that you may use today, such as;
- Push Notifications,
- Beautiful amazing app like navigation that you’re already familiar with,
- Ordering (Product, Service, and Food),
- Loyalty Functionality,
that really makes people engage with powerful mobile solutions are that are now being driven over to the Web, and lowering costs to the business owner. That’s what makes this technology so exciting. It essentially combines the best of both worlds meaning, Web and App together. It truly is a combination of Web and App and so when you think about it the cost / benefit factor are higher than ever.
So, what is the difference between a Progressive Web App and a Mobile Website? A Mobile Website is really great for customer discovery and to give an initial impression of your business. Additionally, a Mobile App is really great for customer retention, and with the power of the Progressive Web, it blends that into one solution where you can discover new customers and keep them engaged with your PWA to retain them. A PWA can keep them coming back as a customer, and growing your business with the same services you would have included in a native Mobile App. So really, it's all about forgetting the argument of having a mobile Website, and replacing it with a PWA, and only upgrading to a Mobile App, when you need to for specific services that make sense for your customer(s). The PWA can be installed on your phone’s home screen with an icon, just like a native Mobile App.
Google's Thoughts on Progressive Web Apps Above
What’s the experience like? With a properly developed PWA, you can have an identical App like experience with the elegant navigation you expect today from mobile solutions. What’s interesting, and in some cases better, in our experience, there’s no download required of a PWA, as it’s immediately available. This is especially important to know because let's say you're at a restaurant and you go to download a mobile application. If that mobile application has 30 to 50 megabytes and you have low connectivity on your cell phone it could take you maybe three to four minutes to simply download the app. With the PWA you can essentially have access to a Loyalty Program or opt into Push Notifications for special offers within seconds rather than minutes. That's really very powerful. And, to give you more of a visual of what the installation flow is for Native Apps in comparison to PWAs is with Native Apps you have to load up the App Store you find the App in the App Store download and wait and depending on your connectivity with your cell phone may not be the best. This can take a while. Then you install it. With PWAs, you just click on a the “add to home screen,” tap the icon, and it launches. That's what makes this technology just so exciting and so powerful, because it takes all the benefits of native applications, but reduces the friction to the point where you just click on it and use it.
Once added to the home screen, you're able to access the powerful functionality that you are typically seeing in native applications today.
So, what are the business benefits of a PWA? There are quite a few, actually. A PWA will work on any device, not just an iPhone or Android. It will work on a Blackberry, etc. There is no more testing on iPhones and Androids. It just works. The experience will be exactly the same across every single device because it runs through the browser and not on the operating system. If you've noticed there's different animations and experiences for Android apps and iPhone apps and this is now unified. I will say native applications do provide the best user experience possible, but that line is being blurred every single day with the advancements of PWAs.
PWAs can be indexed by search engines so you can have new customers discovering any small business through Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. vs. just the App Stores. Again, a more familiar and unified experience for the user.
When the customer clicks into this PWA they're seeing a very powerful app experience and not just seeing the responsive or typical mobile web site that everyone is used to seeing which doesn't really provide a lot of value to customers, and only shows basic information and has a menu. But with the PWA you're essentially providing that native mobile app utility in a Website which is incredible. Also, as mentioned earlier, there's no downloading, so when you click the icon you're instantly able to take advantage of all of the benefits of native applications, but without the hassle of the App Store. On top of that the PWA is always up to date, and there’s no downloading of Mobile App updates. So there's no updates needed as the app is always displayed and its most recent version, no matter how often it gets updated by the business owner or Mixed Media Ventures.
What's even better is that Mixed Media Ventures is as we continue to advance this technology you'll be receiving improvements constantly, and there's nothing that you have to do, they’re automatic. We'll be pushing those out instantly.
As a take away, everything that really makes a native mobile application great is now being able to be done within a mobile web browser. And, that is what is so powerful about this new technology, it takes all of the headaches that you have to deal with in terms of native app development. In addition to that it's a better user experience for customers as well.
By removing these barriers you’ll increase user conversion. By having someone go to the App Store, waiting for the app to download, installing it, accepting push notifications, you can offer to them PWA instantly with all the same functionality, without the hassle of going to the app store and searching. That will increase the conversions in terms of how many people accept your push notifications or how many people actually save this to their home screen, because they actually have a chance to use it and make a decision on whether or not that they want to use this application going forward. That's just a marketing best practice as you let them test out the application first and then they can make a decision on whether or not they want to come back.
Even if the client, customer, user doesn’t save the app to the home screen, you can still send them a push notification, a feature NOT available on a native mobile application if they delete it from their phone. This is a HUGE value add. Currently this is only available on Android and we are waiting on a service release by Apple for iPhones, and we have a good feeling that it's going to be released with iOS 11 or soon after. This will be a total game changer that will allow push notifications on iPhones via the browser.
In closing a PWA is always accessible, it's always there, and PWAs have technology where you can save the icon to your home screen, and access it at any time. On top of that, it also updates in the background as well, so any time we make changes for you, or any time you adjust your content we'll be able to push out those changes, and the customer won't have to do anything. They won't have to update the App at the App store or any of that which is again very powerful.
With that, it's just instant. The PWA is on your phone, and it’s there. And, that's why it's so incredible
As a business owner, how do you publish a Progressive Web App? Talk to a Media Consultant at Mixed Media Ventures today. We can have a PWA up and running for you in days, not weeks, and have it published to the Web, and connected to your Website, so that you can start offering services customers want, and stay in touch with them more often. You can contact Mixed Media Ventures, by email at [email protected] or this special direct number at 917.740.0010.
What does a PWA cost? Typically they are less expensive and more affordable for small and medium sized businesses than native Mobile Apps. Contact us using the information above, and we'll have a discussion with you about your needs, and provide you with a proposal that might surprise you regarding how affordable PWAs can be.
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