The last year has gone and proved that mobile web is the future, with 53% of all internet traffic in the world coming through mobile phones in 2018. Businesses, big or small, can no longer ignore the mobile web if they want growth in their business, and providing the user with a fast and efficient mobile experience should be at the top of their priority list to ensure brand recall, conversion, and sales.
But there is a host of problems with the mobile web, or at least how it is traditionally operated.
The problem with Mobile Web
There’s a reason app traffic beats mobile web traffic – 53% of all mobile internet traffic has come through apps in 2018 – and that reason is the way websites are traditionally designed.
For one, they are harder to access than apps, you have to put the exact URL in a browser, and if you don’t know the exact URL you have to go through a search engine. That’s a whole lot more pages to get to the desired point.
Also, Mobile web works very inefficiently in low or no data situations. But if you are surfing the web on your smartphone, chances are you are on the move, and in that case, data connections will fluctuate. But a longer page loading time can cost you valuable web traffic; Google reports that 53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Most companies combat this problem with introducing native apps. As app technology grows, the saturation point is approaching fast. App retention is becoming a problem due to space crunch in phones; think about how many times you have had to delete a previously downloaded app to make way for a new one. As a result, most apps end up being installed and then abandoned, without being able to provide the company any long-term engagement.
What can be a solution to this impasse?
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Enter Progressive Web Apps or PWAs.
What are PWAs? Well, the one-line idea would be – a website that behaves and interacts like your mobile app, but doesn’t eat up your phone memory and data like apps do. It combines the best of both the web and the native app experience to give you a mobile surfing experience that requires no installation, is fast, works in low connectivity situations, and majorly boosts conversion rates.
Here are some of the features of PWAs.
• Responsive and seamless experience – they load like native apps without the address bar and fitted to your screen, so the users see a lot more of your brand and that boosts brand recall and engagement. Navigation and interactions are app-like, hence a lot easier and hassle-free. Plus, they fit any form; desktop, mobile, tablet, or any form yet to emerge.
• Can be saved on your home screen – This is one feature that makes PWAs great for re-engagement. They can be saved as an icon on your home screen and can be accessed without the hassle of app store installations. Also, since this is just an icon, it takes up a lot less space than any native app.
• Works offline – PWAs have the option of storing pre-cached content on part of websites; so they can be accessed even when the connectivity is poor or even totally absent. With both mobile web and apps, you’ll see an ‘you’re offline’ sign. Not with PWAs.
• Push notifications and easy re-engagement – PWAs have great interactive options like push notifications and easy linking. Updates of new products or articles will appear on the user’s notification bar, much like FaceBook notifications, even offline. Also, they have in-built options for sharing on social media platforms. If a new social media platform becomes popular tomorrow you don’t have to add it to your website separately as it is the case with traditional web, they are automatically sharable to every platform as it is.