In an always-on world like ours, capturing market share from an ever-increasing smartphone audience becomes all the more important. 

While a web-based store helps retailers reach a much broader audience on mobile, it is slow to load and less compatible with smaller-screen devices. Usually, websites only manage to convert 2.3% of visitors on mobile browsers. Meanwhile, apps result in 6% conversion rate, which is nearly 3 times those of mobile web (According to Forrester).

However, consumers only download and use mobile apps from brands with which they have regular interactions. Taking up memory on users’ devices, native apps see low adoption despite their high mobile performance. Plus, a fully-functioning native app requires a high development budget, as it takes extra time and effort to build and maintain.

So how do we address this problem? The answer is simple – Progressive Web App or PWA. 

First things first, what is a PWA?

A PWA is basically a hybrid of web page and mobile application. Unlike traditional apps, they’re developed using Javascript, HTML and CSS. Wondering how that helps you and why you should opt for it? Let’s take a look at the key advantages of PWA for businesses:

  1. Better retention rates – Unlike regular mobile applications, PWAs do not require a long and complex installation process, which significantly improves user experience. Users just download an app directly to their devices without going to the App Store or Google Play. It streamlines the procedure and significantly reduces user abandonment which results in a significant percentage increase of returning visitors
  2. Low development costs – Stores built with PWA save up to 75% of the costs of a native app (both development and maintenance). With PWA you simply don’t have to make a separate native app, it’s enough to adjust your storefront.
  3. Higher engagement – It provides an advanced user experience by combining the look and feel of mobile applications and the best of website performance, leading to a drop in load time of PWA (At least 2-3x faster compared to responsive or m.dot web stores). This faster, seamless and platform agnostic experience results in higher engagement and conversions.
  4. Special functionality –  One of the best features missing from the web, push notification, is made available on the browsers by PWAs. You can make use of web push notifications to communicate with your site visitors in a more personal way and consequently tap into your highest-value audience.

By bridging the gap between web and app, PWAs promise to drive strong revenue growth while eliminating the need to invest in expensive native apps for retailers. With PWAs, retailers can offer the same high-performing experience like native apps for growing mobile audience on web browsers. That’s the reason world-acclaimed brands such as AliExpress, Miles.com, Flipkart, Lancome, and others have already implemented PWAs. 

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