PWAs play their trump card: the ability to deliver blazingly fast and slick “app-like” experiences in the mobile web browser using open web technologies. It's an intriguing proposition for online merchants faced with an existential shift of traffic from desktop to mobile devices.

Progressive web Apps promise to solve two problems at once: they offer improved performance and usability, and thus promise to have a big impact on mobile web conversion rates while also alleviating the need for merchants to invest in developing expensive native apps.


PWAs Are Built With Open Web Technologies :

It’s key to remember that PWAs are an evolution of open web technologies. The technological difference between a PWA and existing responsive web design (RWD) is that PWAs are built 100 percent using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. The secret behind PWAs lies in a new set of APIs that have been recently added into web browsers themselves called “Service Workers.” Service Workers allow JavaScript to run in the background of the PWA and process important functions such as predictively pre-loading content, sending push notifications, and synchronizing and receiving data. While there have been some concerns about ubiquitous browser support, SEO rankings and support on desktop, these perceived drawbacks are quickly being addressed, which means that PWAs are:

• SEO friendly:

PWAs aren't like conventional sites as the pages progressively adapt as the user navigates and performs actions. Essentially, pages rarely reload, hence the URL stays constant. Luckily, all the major search engines have mechanisms of crawling the JavaScript of a PWA site just as they would a conventional responsive site. The key is maintaining good SEO practices such as using canonical URLs and maintaining a crawlable site map.

• Desktop friendly:

PWAs aren't exclusively for the mobile web. In fact, desktop browsers support Service Workers too, which is important as PWAs can and should be developed responsively to support varying screen sizes across mobile, tablet and desktop.

• Coming to Safari:

Apple recently announced that development for support of Service Workers on the Webkit engine (on which Safari is based) has started, so in the near future PWAs will work not only on Android phones and desktop browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera, but on iOS phones and MacBooks too.

Why PWAs Will Be Preferred by Consumers :

With PWAs , mobile web users now get to experience :

• Faster browsing:

PWAs are much faster to interact with as well as provide smoother scrolling and transitioning of pages as the experience “progressively” changes thus removing the need for pages to “reload.” Early adopters such as AliExpress have seen 100 percent jump in conversion rates since making the switch. Google even provides a testing tool (Lighthouse) so you can benchmark your PWA's performance.

• Instant "app" gratification:

PWAs are instantly discoverable and usable via the browser, thus eliminating the need to download or install an app before use.

• Push notifications:

An exciting proposition for online marketers is that PWAs support push notifications in the browser, extending the opportunity for marketers to send real-time, contextual and personalized communications with a simple “one click” opt-in directly from the PWA site.

• Offline usability:

PWAs can detect the state of the mobile network and thus developers can design them to be tolerant of poor network conditions. For example, a PWA may proactively pre-fetch catalog content to ensure an uninterrupted and usable product discovery experience during those 60 seconds when the commuter train enters a tunnel.

• Rapid re-engagement:

Just like a native app, a PWA can be “saved” to the home screen (on Android devices), allowing for rapid repeat access without the need to open the browser and type in a URL. Furthermore, PWAs operate in “full-screen” mode, hiding the browser URL bar on the top and the browser navigation tools on the bottom for a native “app-like” look and feel. The emergence of PWAs isn't a small change and and it will take time to make this migration. All businesses must investigate PWAs.

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