Progressive Web Apps – Why You Should Be Using Them

19 March 2017


Progressive web apps bring together the functionality of mobile apps and the best of the web. According to Google (the ones who came up with the name) Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, are designed to deliver an app-like experience with the latest capabilities that the web offers. They offer marketers and businesses a way to connect with users in an easy and efficient way.

This has led many businesses to wonder if they should concentrate on building a mobile-friendly website, an app, or Progressive Web App.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps have been made possible thanks to the latest advances in internet technology. For example, more and more browsers support HTML5 and recent developments in JavaScript have boosted the functionality of PWAs.

What are Progressive Web Apps? According to Google, a PWA should have the following functionality:

  • Progressive. Because the app is run in a browser, it works for every user irrespective of the browser they use.
  • Responsive. The app looks and functions the same on desktops, smartphones, and tablets. They will also work on whatever is next.
  • Connectivity independent. PWAs work offline and on low-quality networks, boosting their functionality for the user.
  • App-like. It looks like an app and works like an app.
  • Fresh. Service worker updates mean that the app is always up to date.
  • Safe. HTTPS makes the environment secure and prevents tampering with the app.
  • Discoverable. Search engines are able to find them and PWAs are identified as apps in internet searches.
  • Push notifications. Push notifications allow you to re-engage with users.
  • Installable. PWAs can be kept on users’ home screens and don’t have to go through an app store to install the app.
  • Linkable. Apps are easily shared via URL.

If you are a marketer, how can you use PWAs to increase your share of the market and interact with users effortlessly?

Why Use Progressive Web Apps

More and more internet users are using mobile platforms to access the internet and look for information. In fact, recent studies show that around 60% of all internet searches are done using smartphones or tablets. So, PWAs have an enormous potential to boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

When should you use progressive web apps for your business or marketing strategy?

One way that PWAs will make your users’ experience more enjoyable is if you want to show regular updates on your app. This is extremely useful for showing real-time data like changing prices, inventory levels, or even the weather.

If your website has regularly updated content that users may check every day would be another reason to develop a Progressive Web App. This can give your audience the chance to browse data offline.

Even if your website doesn’t update regularly throughout the day, a PWA will probably benefit your business. Here are some reasons why every brand can benefit from using Progressive Web Apps:

  • Users don’t have to find your app in their app store and even if they have your app installed on one mobile device, it may not be accessible on all the devices they use. PWAs are multi-platform.
  • PWAs provide a faster web experience for your customers and this, in turn, will increase your revenue.
  • The give your web customers an offline experience when using mobile devices. This can help your customers save on data usage and they can continue to use your app when they have no network or Wi-Fi connection.
  • Progressive Web Apps are fairly easy to develop and give your brand a more professional look. In fact, they are far less time-consuming and take fewer resources than developing a stand-alone mobile app.
  • Send push notifications to boost a user’s web experience and boost engagement. 

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