What are Progressive Web Applications and How They Can Promote Mobile Commerce

November 5, 2021by ISETech Insights

The world of mobile commerce is evolving, and there are new tools to facilitate a customer’s online shopping experience. Websites are now more interactive and possess functions similar to those of a mobile application. There are offline versions, downloads for easy access, and push notifications. It is all possible with progressive web applications. They offer a more streamlined user experience which is the reason for their rise in popularity. Walmart, Trivago, and Alibaba have reported higher revenue and conversion rates after their progressive web app. There are more benefits for all types of mobile commerce businesses related to their use that we will look at in this post.

What is a Progressive Web App

It is challenging to define them, but progressive web applications are generally regular websites but function more like a mobile app. They may appear completely normal on the desktop, but when you access them through a mobile device, you will find them to be no different from an app. Many large corporations and mobile Commerce platforms like Pinterest, Uber, Starbucks, and Lyft have progressive web apps. Small businesses are also adopting them because of the convenience they offer to customers.

Progressive Web App

What Makes a Progressive Web App Work

Service Workers

The progressive web app is based on service workers. These are files you can find between browser layers and the network. In terms of development, service workers are HTML and JavaScript code tied together. The program is responsible for taking care of network responses. Dividing the JavaScript code into layers is the first step to turning your website into a progressive web app. You do not need any fancy framework for it.

Application Shell

The user interface has a template called the application shell, and it is necessary for the PWA. When you remove all the content, design elements, and data, you will be left with the application shell. It is stored on the user end and launches with the website. The data is loaded into the shell from the network.

Web App Manifest

A JSON file holds the name, icon, and fullscreen or minimized view for the app. It also contains other parameters necessary for normal functioning. You can identify the app on your mobile screen with the help of this manifest.

HTTPS

All resources for the progressive web app go through the HTTPS protocol. There should be no clickable links leading to an unprotected resource if you want to use HTTPS technology correctly. The browser will not display those links otherwise.

Push Notifications

The progressive web apps can send push notifications, and it is one of the most valuable features. That is why there is an annoying popup when you open a website sometimes, asking for permission. It is better to hold off on the message until the user has browsed the website for a while.

It costs the same to develop a progressive web app to create a website, so why not go for it?

Business Benefits of a Progressive Web App

App-Like Interface

Mobile users are more likely to use a mobile app than a website because of the enhanced user experience. With a progressive web app, the design is more responsive because it combines the look of a mobile app and the functions of a website. The interface is more like an application, too, because a similar approach is used. The faster and more responsive progressive website will have data automation, and database interactions enabled. They are also indexed by search engines and easy to look up.

Quick Installation

It is much quicker to install the PWA, and the download is lightweight as well. The user does not have to go to the App Store or Google Play, which can access directly from the URL. It reduces the chances of abandonment, and the home screen icon is an excellent reminder for users. The interactive service helps mCommerce and eCommerce businesses promote themselves.

Independent Platform

Regular apps have particular prerequisites, such as a specific operating system, storage, and other hardware. The progressive web app can work on any system, and a single program can fit users’ needs across different devices. These web apps are much more responsive and can accommodate any screen size.

Works Offline

The progressive web app can also function without an internet connection. The app relies on cache memory to manage offline requests, and the information is sent to the network when the user is back online. It means mCommerce businesses can provide better functionality and remain connected to their customers at all times. It does not affect the browsing experience for users with poor or slow connections.

Freedom from App Distribution Services

In the competition between mobile apps and progressive web apps, PWAs win when relying on app distribution services. They do not have to fare the worlds of Google Play, Microsoft Store, or App Store. Regular apps are uploaded there and have to go through the time-consuming process of resolving distribution issues. The platform can remove the app at any time without any prior warning.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are a great way to keep users engaged. That is why social media apps are so popular because of the regular pings on your phone. Other than native apps, progressive web apps can also send messages to your home screen. Service workers make all of this possible, and it is much easier to communicate with customers now. You can alert them of sales, promotions, and the arrival of new products. The notification will grab attention and are more likely to be read than an email or a social media post.

Other Benefits

If the reasons we have stated above have not convinced you, then there is more. PWAs offer better security since they rely on an HTTPS protocol. Data transfer is more accessible, and there are fewer data breaches. It also caches text, images, and other web content, which means the user will experience smoother and faster navigation.

The Best of Websites and Mobile Apps

Progressive web apps combine the benefits of websites and mobile applications. The customers have access to more capabilities, and the modern mobile browsers make it possible. The service workers and manifest are great for reminding mCommerce and eCommerce clients to open the page since shortcuts and notifications appear on your screen. 

Many companies have seen a boost in their business ever since they switched to progressive web apps. All types of mobile commerce firms use PWAs because of their versatility. There is an increase in users and pages browsed per session, with a significant decrease in the bounce rate. The web apps are 97% lighter in size, and they bring in more organic traffic. You get more return visitors as well because the mobile commerce business is always in their eye line. 

With progressive web apps, you will have the opportunity to provide an online shopping experience that users will enjoy. The latest web features enhance reliability and increase customer loyalty. They can be installed on any phone, device, or tablet by users worldwide, and best of all, it is possible with only one codebase!

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