and largest PWA to date
Progressive Web Applications, or PWAs for short, are taking the technology industry by storm. They offer a solution to the many issues merchants, consumers, and developers encounter with omnichannel commerce. PWAs allow sites to present products and information in a consistent, engaging, and quick format that reigns superior to both websites and applications. They act like an application, but can live on mobile websites – thus eliminating the need to download an application from the app store, saving users both time and space.
Why Create a PWA
Merchants can increase user engagement by replacing archaic site functionality with progressive web applications, fully optimizing their sites for mobile use. The current mobile use trends overwhelmingly show that shoppers are spending a majority of their time on mobile devices. However, this trend is not resulting in increased sales from mobile platforms. Despite the turn towards online shopping on mobile devices, most purchases are still conducted on desktops — a major problem for retailers.
“Mobile shoppers spend 39% more time, but less money on eCommerce websites compared to their desktop counterparts,” according MobileOptimized.org. Mobile use also has the highest cart abandonment rate — so it’s not that consumers aren’t shopping on mobile devices — they just aren’t buying.
PWAs: Just Like an App
This is where PWAs come in. Since PWAs act like an application, they’re easier to use than most sites, which may not be completely configured for use on a mobile device. PWAs not only act like an application on mobile devices, but on tablets and desktops as well, creating a consistent user experience regardless of the medium. They are reliable and fast, loading instantly even in uncertain network conditions, which is a major selling point considering “53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load” (Google).
Similarly, 62% of users said they were less likely to purchase from an eCommerce site in the future if they have a negative experience on a mobile site (Mobile Optimized). With PWAs scrolling, clicking, and searching a smooth, seamless processes that happen in a near instant — giving no time for consumers to consider abandoning their mobile shopping spree due to the frustrations that come with glitchy sites. Users can even make purchases and submit orders offline due to the PWAs ability to store content in a cache or queue, completing the order when users come back online.
PWAs: Made for Mobile
It’s fairly well known at this point that e-commerce sites get more traffic through mobile devices than desktops. That being said, I’m sure some of you are wondering why merchants should favor PWAs over well configured mobile sites. The answer? Applications are more likely to hold consumer attention for long periods of time.
When comparing the top 1000 applications to the top 1000 mobile sites, the average visitor spent 188.6 minutes on said application and only an average of 9.3 minutes on said mobile website — a difference of more than 3 hours. This substantial difference further encourages merchants and retailers to adopt PWAs to combat the persistent issue of consumers shopping online, but not buying.
By incorporating app-like functionality in e-commerce sites, consumers are more likely to spend extended time on the site, thus increasing the likeliness of conversion. Consumers can also save the PWA to their home screen, eliminating the need to download a bulky application directly from the app store. Once they are added to a user’s home screen, users can enable push notifications, which allows retailers to continuously re-engage their consumers.