According to Aberdeen Group, companies with omnichannel engagement strategies enjoy an average of 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue.

Omnipresence is the secret mantra. But back in the early 2000s, building an omnichannel strategy was a complex task. Thanks to the technological advancements, it’s not a pain anymore. Retailers can now run their business on any channel and make themselves available 24/7/365.

According to a report by Statista, by 2021, 72.9% of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via m-commerce, up from 58.9% in 2017.

This statistics says it all! As a merchant, you need to be everywhere! With the world going digital, retailers need to ensure they provide a personalized experience to the customer throughout their shopping journey.

Technology has come a long way that we have forgotten what it is like to use a desktop. Our lives now revolve around mobile phones, tiny devices that we carry around everywhere. Matt Gilligan, Co-founder- SimpleGeo, stated that “Future of mobile is future of everything”. This statement aptly applies to mcommerce. People use their free time, travel time to check shopping websites and apps and shop when they’re free. People standing at a bill counter, shop on their mobile, meaning, they shop while shopping.

Shop on-the-go is not just in trend but also convenient. Over the decades it was evident that Mobile Applications are more user-friendly and provide better, customized customer experience compared to websites. But they are also limited to devices and operating systems and have high barriers to adoption. Recent research by comScore (via TechCrunch) states that the majority of consumers download zero apps per month.

The rise of Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are becoming the thing and are enhancing existing web technologies today. Progressive Web applications are basically regular web pages or websites but can appear to the user like traditional applications or native mobile applications. As of April 2018, progressive web apps are supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari browsers. But it is believed more browsers may need to support the features in the future.

Though Native mobile apps have the plus side of looks and feel and provide rich experiences and high performance, there are many cons to it such as storage space, lack of real-time updates, and low search engine visibility. The web also reaches three times as many people and with this, Progressive Web Apps have features we get from native apps to the mobile browser experience in a way that uses standards-based technologies available to anyone on the web.

Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce site, decided to combine their web presence and native app into a Progressive Web Application, Flipkart Lite, which has resulted in a 70% increase in conversions.

 

 

  • Users time on Flipkart lite vs. previous mobile experience:- 3.5 minutes : 70 seconds
  • 3X more time spent on site
  • 40% higher re-engagement rate
  • 70% greater conversion rate among those arriving via Add to Home Screen
  • 3X lower data usage

 

 

 

 

Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of the web and the best of apps. They are useful to users from the very first visit in a browser tab, no install required. As the user progressively builds a relationship with the app over time, it becomes more and more easy and useful. It loads quickly, even on low networks, sends relevant push notifications, has an icon on the home screen, and loads as a top-level, full-screen experience.

To put it in simple terms, a progressive web app is a mobile app delivered through the web. It functions like a native app that allows for app-style options and navigations. The main difference is that there is no need to download it from an app store. It runs, self-contained, right in a web browser. With the assistance of service workers, a progressive web app is able to load instantly, even in areas of low connectivity.

The advantages of Progressive Web Apps

Responsive – Progressive Web Apps are user-friendly and responsive as they will fit any device! Be it a desktop, a mobile, a tablet, or even something that hasn’t been created yet! Progressive Web Apps feel just like an app. They have app-style interactions and navigation

Reliable – One of the best features of Web Apps is that they don’t depend on connectivity. With the help of service workers, Progressive Web Apps can even work on low-quality networks, or even offline

Fresh – Thanks to service workers, your Progressive Web App will always be up-to-date with the latest updates

Safety – Progressive Web Apps are secured ensuring that no-one without proper authorization can tamper with your app

Engaging — PWA features like Push Notifications make user engagement very easy

Installation — Users can keep the most useful PWAs on their home screen without the trouble of downloading apps from the store

Linkable — PWAs can be easily shared via URL and do not require a complex installation

Industry Progression

Lancôme saw an 84% decrease in time until the page is interactive, leading to a 17% increase in conversions and a 53% increase in mobile sessions on iOS with their PWA. West Elm’s progressive web app saw a 15% increase in average time spent on site and a 9% lift in revenue per visit. Flipkart saw 60% of customers who had uninstalled their native app returned to use the Flipkart PWA. Users of Pinterest’s PWA spend 40% more time on the site compared to the previous mobile website; ad revenue rates also increased by 44%, and core engagements shot up 60%.

Conclusion

On the whole, Progressive Web Apps describe a collection of technologies, designs, and Web Apps that work together to provide an app-like experience on the mobile web. The best thing about Progressive Web Apps is that they work for every user, regardless of the platform, location or network because they’re built with progressive enhancement. Many brands are moving from native mobile apps to PWAs and now we know why! Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but PWAs provide the best of both. Yet another digital innovation to embrace to serve your ecommerce customers better!

Ayshwarya Venkataraman

Ayshwarya is a book lover and writing has become her new found interest. She is a technology enthusiast who likes to shares her thoughts and research on latest technology innovations in various sectors.