Progressive web apps
In the most simple sense, PWAs are mobile apps delivered through the web. This technology allows PWAs to deliver an app-like experience on your browser. It feels like a native app due to the use of an app-shell that provides app-style navigations and gestures. Since progressive apps are built on the web, they are not tied to specific devices. A PWA displays seamlessly and identically on all devices, including desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever comes next.
What’s more, service workers enable a Progressive Web App to load instantly, regardless of network quality. In other words, this web app is designed to work offline and in areas of low connectivity. With the help of pre-caching, it stays up-to-date, serving the user with the newest content upon launch. Similar to an app, the user is able to save the PWA to their home screen to access it at any time. Making it installable, without the hassle of downloading it from the app stores.
While native mobile apps provide the highest quality user experience, they come with friction for both the user and the developer. One of the biggest differences between PWAs and native apps is the presence of the “app store middleman”. For Progressive Web Apps, this middleman is completely taken out. For app developers, no app store means you are no longer restricted by iOS and Android’s rules and guidelines. A developer will not have to go through an approval process, allowing the app to be used as soon as it’s ready. There is also no need to manually update the app, as the revised app version will instantly and automatically be available to everyone.
From the perspective of the end user, they are able to access the PWA without having to download it from an app store. Instead, a PWA is linkable, which means anyone can launch the app straight from a URL. You can share it on social media, email, text message, online ad, or link it to a QR code, and the user will instantly be immersed into an app.
By removing all this friction, it will be much easier for users to have access to the app. As the diagram below shows, with every step of the native app download process, 20% of users are lost. Consumers find it tedious having to find the app in the app store, wait for it to download, and worry that it’ll use up all their storage space before they can start using the app. Because PWAs drastically reduce the amount of steps they need to take (essentially making it a one-step process), there is a much higher chance of people actually using the app. In fact, we use 4x as many websites as mobile apps, resulting in a much larger potential user base with a web based app.
PWA v MOBILE APP
PWAs are a hybrid of native apps and mobile websites, but how do they differ from responsive websites? Unlike “old school” mobile websites, PWAs are fast. Note that 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. PWAs load instantly, regardless of network state, and provide fast-to-respond interfaces. This eliminates their dependence on the network, as mobile websites do, ensuring an instant and reliable experience for users. A PWA also updates in the background, so users never need to wait for new content to load.
In addition, traditional mobile websites focus on static information, while PWAs are able to provide users with dynamic functionality.
PWAs offer an immersive full-screen experience, allowing customers to place mobile food orders, participate in a loyalty program and contact a business. It can also re-engage users with web push notifications, similar to native push notifications
Reward your best customers to increase repeat visits and lifelong loyalty.
Get more positive reviews to improve your online presence and get found.
Keep users up to date with events, specials, and announcements.
Integrate with third-party services to streamline your processes.
Engage your users with easy event promotion. Add upcoming & past events.
The “Website” feature allows you to easily integrate a web page into your app; all you need is a website URL.
The “Mailing List” feature is a great way to gather contact information from app users so that updates and special offers can be communicated easily and efficiently.
The “Image Gallery” feature is a easy way to display images inside your app. Create a custom gallery through the dashboard or pull in existing galleries from Flickr, Picasa or Instagram!
The “Fan Wall” feature is a forum that allows users to connect over their shared adoration for your business.
The “YouTube Channel” feature allows you to display your business’ YouTube channel in a clean, accessible format right within your app. All that is required is a custom URL for your YouTube channel.
The PDF feature allows you to display PDFs through your app. This is commonly used to showcase flyers, menus, and even reports.
The “Email Form” feature is a great solution for generating customer feedback, taking appointment/reservation requests, and gathering info from users.
The “Social” feature allows users to sync their Facebook and Twitter accounts within your app. It is also a great tool for seamless activity sharing and tracking.
Push notifications inform users on new information related to the app, providing valuable and relevant updates, even when the app is closed. They have a wide range of customization options that can increase user engagement.
Keep track of users and interactions to see how well your app is performing. Make adjustments along the way to deliver the best possible experience to your users.