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Are PWAs Right For You?

Stacy Krzeminski • April 12, 2019

Adobe recently announced the release of PWA Studio or Progressive Web Apps as part of their Magento suite of products.  In a blog post, Magento Senior Director of Strategy Peter Sheldon called PWAs “a seismic advancement in the evolution of the mobile web”. 

The offering within Adobe – specifically the Magento Platform – is “a suite of tools for building online stores with app-like experiences that help merchants solve the mobile conversion dilemma and deliver highly personalized cross-channel experiences…”

So first let’s talk about Apps

Downloading Apps from “the App Store” has become second nature to many of us, and for companies, it is almost seen as an obvious and necessary next step. In a way, it’s kind of like developing a website many years ago.

But, are PWAs right for every company?

Benefits and Pitfalls of Native Apps

Well-built PWAs have fast performance, specialized functions and offline capabilities that make for a reliable, fast, and engaging user experience.  Many feel that they need an App to boost their brand, compete in the market, and, in some ways, increase their Social Media engagement. 

However there are issues with developing ‘traditional’ apps. The development itself can be costly, apps tend to use a significant amount of data, require storage space on the user’s device, and they also have to be maintained for both iOS and Android. Launching or updating apps have to go through an app approval process to be included in the store. As you can see, they can be a handful to maintain.  

PWAs: Blending Mobile Sites and Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications that use modern technologies and design patterns to prvide a reliable, fast, and engaging user experience.

PWAs make for a great solution for brands looking to implement an app into their digital experience.

Speed

First, PWAs are fast. They use a variety of performance optimization strategies and a streamlined architecture to deliver a responsive, cross-channel experience even when on slower networks.

Versatility

PWAs are extremely versatile and support shoppers along their journey wherever they may be. Responsive design strategies ensure that PWA experiences are consistent across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Further, PWAs are also designed to work well no matter the browser, be it Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, or anything else.

Data Conservation

PWAs have been seen to use a lot less data than traditional Apps, improving user experience. Also, they do not need to be continuously updated. The ‘update’ happens ‘on-use’ very much in the way a website is updated: you see the update when you load the PWA.  

Many of us know that App updates can be very data-intensive, and are recommended/allowed only to be completed on Wi-Fi.  PWAs can also release updates a lot quicker and there is no App or Play Store approval needed so any critical issues can be fixed in a much shorter time frame.

Cost Savings

PWAs are cheaper to produce, but not at the expense of less functionality. A business that needs a native app, will require that app to be developed for both Android and iOS devices. Thus PWAs provide a better option to businesses to generate a positive ROI.  

SEO Enhancement

As if these first few reasons weren’t enough, PWAs can also boost the accessibility and searchability of your application. They load fast allowing your PWA to be indexed quickly and provide a great user experience which all add to the success of your SEO strategy. Furthermore, PWAs use HTTPS connections, which not only enhance security, but also boost search authority in the latest algorithms.

Many companies using Progressive Web Apps have seen them contribute to business success time and time again with increased conversions, more time spent on a website per visitor and a boost in the revenue that is generated online.

PWAs definitely have a bright future as more and more companies are now exploring the idea of using them. They are especially beneficial for start-ups and businesses that don’t already have a native app… but want to offer the best Mobile Experience possible. 


Stacy Krzeminski

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Stacy Krzeminski

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