Mobile technology is redefining the online consumer experience. A few years ago, the constant proliferation of mobile users was overlooked by many brands. Today, mobile users can no longer be ignored, since they represent over 52% of all internet traffic. Brands need to understand the latest trends in mobile marketing to effectively reach customers. Many brands are investing in progressive web applications (PWAs).
When looking at the industry today, many different conferences and events now focus more on how PWAs can help change the way business is done on the internet. We can collectively see a massive trend unfolding in this direction.
I think PWAs are going to revolutionize the mobile user experience (UX) in the months and years to come. Here is why and how.
What are progressive web apps?
A progressive web app is a hybrid between a mobile app and a mobile website.
In the most basic sense, PWAs are just normal web pages. However, they are designed to mimic the functionality of mobile applications. From a user’s perspective, it may appear that they are interacting with an application rather than a web page.
PWAs also use sophisticated application programming interfaces (APIs) and can operate across multiple platforms. They can even work offline.
Key Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
There are a number of reasons why businesses are developing progressive web applications to improve customer engagement. Here are some of the biggest benefits.
Although a growing number of consumers are using mobile devices to access the web, they are not as interested in mobile websites.
Here are some mobile engagement statistics from Google research:
• The average bounce rate of a PWA is 42.86% lower than that of a similar mobile website.
• Mobile sessions on PWAs are increased by almost 80% on average.
• Brands using PWAs notice pageviews increase by almost 134%.
• The overall commitment is 137% higher. Some brands have increased engagement even more, up to 400%.
• Average PWA load time is only 2.75 seconds. That’s about eight times faster than an average mobile landing page.
But what impact do PWAs have on conversion rates? Higher engagement wouldn’t be relevant if customers didn’t meet your conversion goals.
PWAs also lead to increased conversion rates. Google Developers reports that the average PWA increases conversions from 52%. Some brands have increased their conversions a lot more. One case study developed a new PWA for its mobile users and found conversions more than doubled.
Offline accessibility and security
Many PWAs are accessible offline. It might not be the most important benefit, but it is probably the most impressive.
How is it possible? The PWA caches the information and the app can store it on the device for later use. Features are more limited, but users can still benefit from them.
Unlike traditional mobile websites, with PWAs all data must be transmitted over HTTP.
Customers don’t need to download the app
One of the biggest problems with traditional mobile apps is that customers have to download them. Most people don’t like having dozens of apps on their mobile desktop. They typically use an app multiple times when they need it, and then delete it later. Once the app is deleted, they rarely download it again without a very compelling reason, so brands that rely on traditional web apps can’t expect long-term relationships with their customers.
PWAs solve this problem because they link the benefits of mobile websites to mobile apps.
Progressive web apps could set a new standard for the mobile web experience in 2019
PWAs solve some of the oldest challenges in mobile marketing. If enough brands invest in it, the average return on investment (ROI) of mobile marketing will increase dramatically. This could be a boon for businesses across industries, mobile marketing platforms, and customers who could benefit from lower costs.
While PWAs have many benefits, the most important is that they speed up web page load times. This has a profound impact on conversions and user experience.
Fast-loading mobile web pages are very important in 2019. Customers have little tolerance for mobile websites that don’t load fast. Studies show that the average customer will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load, even if the average mobile web page does not fully load for 22 seconds.
The security benefits of PWAs will also be invaluable for many brands. The financial sector is particularly likely to invest in it. Last year a to study have shown that banking institutions are the most vulnerable to hacking of their applications.
PWAs address these security concerns. They rely on better HTTPS protocols, which means information should be more secure. If financial institutions begin the transition to PWAs, they will hopefully reduce the number of security breaches affecting their industry and improve compliance. This should be especially important for financial institutions that have European customers, as they need to comply with GDPR guidelines.
Progressive web apps are the solution to the biggest challenges of the mobile user experience
Mobile technology has been a double-edged sword for brands in recent years. Consumers are online more than ever. Brands have more opportunities to engage with customers at different stages of the buying cycle as they can reach people who use their mobile apps to make purchases while they are on the move.
However, they faced a number of challenges when trying to reach customers with mobile devices. Customers are less patient, but websites that aren’t well optimized for mobile devices take longer to load. This has significantly hurt conversions for many brands. Security risks are also a concern.
PWAs are the solution to many of these problems. They will make it easier for brands to drive engagement, increase conversions, and improve safety. They can be the saving grace for brands struggling to get the most out of their mobile marketing strategies.