Progressive Web Apps For Ecommerce: Only Benefits

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It is predicted today that by the end of the year about 30of the world’s population will be making purchases online. The number of people around the world who shop on the Internet should reach 2.05 billion in 2020 and global e-commerce sales are going to amount to $4.13 trillion. 

Furthermore, those numbers are rising swiftly. In 2021, eCommerce sales will account for 18.1 percent of retail sales worldwide with 72.9 percent of them taken over by mobile eCommerce. 

It has become clear that mobile shopping is confidently on its way to domination in retail, and it is high time to consider creating your own online store or enhancing an existing one with new channels of reaching customers. 

Today mobile users are making up a larger part of Internet users worldwide with 53.81% of traffic and it hints that your online presence has to be guided by mobilefirst approach, too. What’s more, you must analyze your existing digital sales channels in order to adjust their user experience to the market demand. If you are starting your path in eCommerce, then you need to take into consideration current trends and statistics.  

Despite the fact that more than half of web traffic comes from mobiledesktop significantly wins when it comes to conversion rates and sales. The explanation for this can be found if we consider the downsides of using mobile apps and mobile websites.  

First-league eCommerce platforms such as AliExpress, Alibaba, OLX, MakeMyTrip, Flipkart have already released their PWAs and increased conversion and engagement rates.

In retail, loading speed is crucial: just a one-second delay in mobile load times can bounce conversion rates by up to 20%. On the other hand, mobile apps require some hassle in installation what often scares users off. Besides, smartphone users are unlikely to install new apps on their devices. Nevertheless, the revenue on mobile devices has been the big mover becoming 37% in retail and it keeps growing faster than in other industries.   

Using new ways of engagement and attraction customers back is the first concern now custom progressive web app can help you with. 

While developing the first PWA, a cross-platform order calculating application, for our client we’ve ourselves tested the whole bunch of technology’s advantages and now with confidence recommend it to our clients. 

PWAs are equally convenient for companies that are just starting their business online and for those who would like to improve their mobile strategy, and on top of that, eCommerce PWAs came on 2nd place with 55% of the votes in the survey about the businesses that can benefit from implementing progressive web apps. 

So, let’s take a closer look at progressive web application development pros from user’s and marketer’s perspective.  

What modern users want? 

Although some of the needs listed below can look contradictive to each other, that’s what the modern users would like their mobile shopping experience to be like.

Quick access to information
One of the main disadvantages of mobile apps as compared to websites is a lack of comprehensive information. Some surveys suggest that users are eager to switch from apps to sites when browsing, researching, or purchasing with smartphones.

Among top reasons for leaving apps for mobile sites are the desire to browse directly from the source (40%); familiarity of the mobile site (38%); need to broaden the search (38%).

Moreover, the average mobile shopping session consists of 6 visits of an app and a mobile site, 50% of which are switches between mobile sites and applications.

App-like experience
When using the mobile web, users are looking for a convenient user experience that doesn’t depend on Internet connection, loading speed with a possibility to come back later and continue from the point they had stopped before. All these downsides of the mobile web are addressed by PWA technology.

Fast load and seamless user experience
More than half of users claim to get frustrated if a brand’s mobile site loads slowly. Google affirms, that 53% of users will abandon a site if it requires more than 3 seconds to load! And once loaded, customers expect them to be speedy and responsive.

Slow loading frightens customers off dramatically and progressive web applications can resolve this issue as their average loading time is believed to be 0.5 sec.

Simplicity in use
People switch not only from mobile apps to sites, but they also do that vice versa as well. Mainly because mobile apps are easier to navigate (47%), buy from (40%), or finalize the purchase (37%).

Quick engagement
Today people get easily annoyed by the need to take additional steps while using mobile phones in general and shopping in particular. Encouraging your customers to install the app requires them taking an extra step and visiting the AppStore or Play Market where they are in addition exposed to competitors’ apps.

Custom PWA can significantly improve the user experience: being basically websites, these apps feel almost like native and enable installation via adding a thumbnail to the home screen. It is simple, quick and ensures customers’ come back.

Avoiding new mobile apps installation
Numbers say that on average users download 0 apps per month which means that it won’t be easy for you to get them, too. One of the reasons is that they are saving storage space. Usually, PWAs require under 1MB of space and simply resolve this problem. For instance, AliExpress PWA is only 0,6 MB.

Striving for consistency
It is worth mentioning that the technology is widely known now especially for providing a superior user experience in a cost-effective way.

PWA’s UX is the same across all devices and displays and enables better performance on every browser. That’s an additional point to the omnichannel approach and design consistency.

Why global marketers create PWAs?

If big brands are benefiting from this ‘new’ technology, then why aren’t you? Such first-league eCommerce platforms as AliExpress, Alibaba, OLX, MakeMyTrip, Flipkart have already released their PWAs and increased the conversion and (re-)engagement rates.  

In the group of issues global brands are aiming to solve with PWA launch are: 

  • High bounce rates due to slow mobile page load and the checkout process 
  • Low engagement and number of mobile-app downloads 
  • Large size of mobile apps 
  • Mobile web engagement difficulties
  • Frustrating and unsatisfactory mobile web user experience
  • Difficulties with building mobile applications
  • General performance issues
  • Poor connectivity 

Without digging into numbers too deep, it is said that some of the most popular PWAs have increased the conversion rate, decreased loading speed and made an experience more performant that resulted in mobile revenue lift. 

What can PWA help you with?

Considering the advantages of PWA for the biggest eCommerce platforms on one hand and smartphone users on another, it would be unfair not to talk about your possible benefits from developing a PWA for your business.

Robustness, high speed, and engagement
These are the three main characteristics of a right PWA, stated by Google, the technology developer. There is no waiting time thanks to service workers. When ‘installed’ to the home screen, it works instantly and seamlessly having their content always updated. Today’s PWA possesses all the features that once have made native mobile apps popular: push notifications, working offline, smooth user experience, loading on the home screen, etc.

Better positioning results
Your PWA will be searchable and discoverable, so all contents can be found and shown through search engines. All PWAs are SEO-friendly – it is confirmed by statistics saying that over 90% of the investigated URLs have an average SEO score of 85% (80% for eCommerce PWAs).

If we talk about sharing, then anything ‘inside’ from any page the app can be copied and saved via a direct link from your app and opened directly later on. This option increases traffic on the website and ensures re-engagement.

Reduced development budget
A sufficient PWA can eliminate the need for expensive native mobile apps. Progressive web apps are cross-platform and omnichannel which means they might meet all your and your customers’ needs and give you what you need most – one-click purchases.

If you give your customers what they need via a mobile site, then a mobile app will not be needed.

Instant updates
PWAs are connected to the eCommerce backend and allow you to update the information according to rapid market changes almost immediately.

Cost-effective business model
Retail companies that sell physical goods can’t always pay up to 30% marketplace commission and give all the control over publishing and new versions release to application stores. In contrast, with PWAs you are in charge of the process and control everything without overpaying.

In addition, it excludes the demanding and time-consuming procedure of getting approvals by either AppStore or Play Market and reduces time-to-market.

Great opportunities to reach customers
Even though PWAs are cheaper to create, it doesn’t mean they are deprived of important eCommerce and upsale features. You will be able to announce sales, inform about new arrivals, provide personalized offers and promotions based on on-site behavior via your application.

Progressive web applications are now seen as the new standard for mobile-first solutions and taking to account all benefits, it’s no surprise big industry players are turning to progressive web app e-commerce. The lines between apps and mobile sites continue to blur and this technology is able to bring quick ROI without sacrificing a smooth app-like experience, state-of-the-art design and engagement tools that lead customers to the action you desire the most – a purchase.

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