[Guest post by Pravya Pavin]
Progressive web app came into being in 2015, decoding and connecting every loophole in the functioning of websites and apps and turning it into an amazing thing called a ‘web app’.
PWA is an amalgamation of all the best features of websites and native apps. With its dynamic capabilities, it has made online experience smoother and easier. Almost everyone has internet access in their mobiles now, making mobile the unanimous choice to browse the internet. When websites couldn’t deliver the desired user experience, apps were invented to give a richer experience. The expectation have just skyrocketed ever since. The complexity of satisfying the needs of the user has grown exponentially over the years.
The industry which has benefitted the most out of PWA is the ecommerce industry. To start with, people are skeptical while shopping online. From touch point to transactional communication, if there is any lag, the user starts getting annoyed. Flaky network is a big put off, making the user want to go away from your site or even worse, search for better options online. Here you have just lost a prospective client with probably no fault of yours.
Most of the E Commerce industries have an app, giving users a better experience than the website. Though it loads elements of your app faster than that of a website, the necessity to download the app (killing your phone space MB by MB) is cumbersome. Half of U.S. smartphone users download zero apps per month ! Even if users install it, 80% of apps are deleted after one use. Which meant that even when apps gave a better experience, people did not end up using it. Apps not only consume space, they are not easy to discover. Its right then that PWA shone its heavenly light and came to the rescue.
There are many characteristics of PWA, let’s take some main ones and see how they have changed that way the marketing world now functions.
Connectivity independent and fast page load
Users tend to waver if the connectivity is in the verge of dying. Users need immediate interaction with the page and PWA gives user a splash page. The app shell creates a frame that is present throughout, which makes the users perceive that the page has already loaded (anything is better than a blank screen!). By keeping all the minimal things and eliminating the rest, PWA gives faster response than that of a native app. Better the page load, more time the user spends on you page.
With the proliferation of internet dependent things and the disturbing rate at which a page loads is all in the past now. We can now function with limited and wait for it… No internet connection at all! Yes! PWA with the help of service workers, make it possible to browse and get a better UX than you ever thought of. What’s more, it automatically keeps loading new things whenever there is good connectivity, hence giving a better experience when you browse with no connectivity.
Updated on use – The more times you use the web app, the experience keeps getting better for you. Ever waited for dresses to load on an ecommerce page? Well, now that’s never going to happen.
Discoverable – Unlike apps, web apps are discoverable. Now search engines can easily find your content, all thanks to service workers. Content on apps don’t show up on appstore search results.
Re engageable – With push notifications functioning on PWA, it is now possible to to engage and re target users back to your page. It now has become easier to remind and sent alerts to the users regarding upcoming sale, cart abandonments, new collection etc.
Installable and Linkable– PWA can be easily installed in 2 easy ways, by website prompt or manually adding it. One can add it to the homepage without ‘downloading’ it per say. It looks like an app icon but it isn’t one. Any page or screen can have a direct link which can be easily shared.
New reasons to build a PWA
Though these characteristics have amazed everyone, Google was secretly working to make it even better. In the 2016 Google summit, the 2 flaws web sign in and payment API were added. 54% users will abandon your site, just because they have to go through the registration form. 92% users will leave a website because they have to re set the login information once they forget the username or password. To improve conversions and to reduce frustrated user experiences, Google came up with Web sign in.
Credential management API which was launched in Chrome 51, provides interface between site and browser for easy sign in across all the devises that the user uses.
Web sign in API
It not easy to remember numerous passwords. No one has the time sign up on a site, fill all the details, wait for authentication and so on. To reduce the burden, websites started including a ‘Google sign in’ button. What can be more authentic than google itself, isn’t it? By signing in with your already existing Google account, the website can automatically access your Google id, name, profile URL and your email address making it easy to sign in without any fuss. By integrating Google’s user centric APIs, it secures your login and helps to take intended action easily.
But here again there are many option like google sign in, facebook sign in etc. So, now the dilemma lies in remembering which one you used the first time around. To avoid all these confusion, users can now be auto signed in every time the user opens the web app.
Once you sign up on a website and save the credentials, it automatically saves it and opens your account even when you open the website on another device. The credential management API saves the credential API and automatically authenticated and signs you up on different devices without typing a single alphabet.
Payment Request API
Would it be hassle free if you could just continue with the payment without writing down your card details? Well that is now possible. With payment request API, you only need to write down your CVV and the rest is taken care of once you click on saved card. No more searching for your card number, no more writing down the same thing all over again in the checkout forms during any online transaction.
Difficulty of mobile keyboard typing cannot be ignored. You type one letter and end up pressing another. Though there is autofill for the rescue, you still had to write down your card number and so on. But now, all you have to do is tap and conform.The only thing that you have to type is your 3 digit CVC. For now, Chrome supports only credit card and Android Pay. 3rd party payments apps will find their ways soon.
Web Push Notifications
With service workers ruling the game now, web push notifications are thriving. Once the users allows to receive notifications, they will be pushed out prompt and timely notifications, which engages users from 1st touch point, generates repeat traffic and drives sales. And what’s more, notifications are sent even when you are not present on the browser on desktop, mobile and tab. With Chrome 56, it is now possible to make notifications visually attractive by adding a banner image as part of the content of the notification. Now you can let the image talk for you; it’s one more way of attracting users to your website.
Let me show you why progressive web apps is now more than awesome –