Digital acceleration is a trend for the retail industry in 2021, meaning the need for finding new ways to meet quickly changing customer demands.
At the same time, meeting the tendency requires careful consideration. According to Deloitte 2021 Retail Industry Outlook, only 23% of consumers think the industry is trustworthy in terms of safety, and only 5% ranked it as a top-three one for data privacy. That means the importance of finding a reliable tech partner and using safe technologies for digitalization.
What’s more, eCommerce customers prefer to interact with online shops via smartphones. The mobile traffic surpasses all other types, reaching 54.8% of global website traffic in the first quarter of 2021. This situation calls for investing in mobile apps, but the cost of this type of app development isn’t affordable for any eCommerce business.
That’s why industry players have started searching for reliable technology to address the industry and customer demands. In this regard, progressive web apps attract wide attention.
These affordable platforms combine the latest web functionality with a native app-like experience, letting businesses take the desired advantage of the service.
In this overview, we’ll describe what good brings this type of eCommerce web development and explain why it’s worth a try.
What Is Progressive Web App (PWA)?
A progressive web app is a technology that unites the best parts of mobile apps and mobile websites. In practice, it lets customers open your app in a web browser and interact with it as if it’s a native app installed on their smartphones.
By resembling mobile apps as so, these platforms don’t require such a heavy investment and numerous complicated development stages.
Google introduced the progressive web app technology in 2015. These days, the search engine giant still supports PWA web pages. It lets your clients access the Google web page and install the icon app on their phones’ home screen.
That’s why the technology possesses several SEO benefits, including website loading speed improvement.
Besides, progressive apps are a great digital marketing tool. In this regard, the platform possesses several visibility opportunities. Because of that, progressive web app development includes access to smartphone features to improve the user experience.
For example, your eCommerce marketing can benefit from the technology by sending push-notifications and providing offline support to your clients.
Why Does your eCommerce Business Need Progressive Web App Development?
The greatest benefit that progressive web apps bring to eCommerce is the ability to have an app without heavy investment in native mobile app development.
You won’t need to adjust your app to fit different requirements and receive app store approvals, a must-have stage for publishing Android, iOS, and Windows apps. Moreover, you won’t need to invest in app store optimization (ASO). Progressive web apps are SEO-friendly, and your clients will use them without entering app stores.
Your PWA will look like a mobile version of your website, but the cloud-based technology behind it will create a native-like experience for users. This is the shortest way to achieve the needed extent of digital acceleration by maintaining high safety standards and meeting your customers in their smartphones.
Even if your business already has a native app (or any other eCommerce web application), going for a progressive web app will improve the key engagement metrics.
As for the main indicators, businesses investing in the technology get the best results in terms of app size, loading speed, conversion rate, bounce rate, and reaching areas with poor Internet connectivity.
For instance, Twitter decreased its app size by 97%, which resulted in a 20% reduction in bounce rate. In their turn, Starbucks has doubled its number of daily active users with an app that became 99.84% smaller than its already existing mobile iOS app.
5 Key Benefits of Progressive Web App to eCommerce
Safety and efficiency. Progressive web apps rely on HTTPS communication protocol, which lets your customers process their payments without the need to switch between a mobile app and a desktop. Skipping this obstacle will have a positive effect on the key elements of your sales funnel, including retention rate, conversion rate, and the number of returning visitors. What’s more, it addresses the current concerns of retail customers.
Lightweight. Progressive web apps are lighter than native apps, which results in faster loading speed, automatic refreshments, and a greater user experience. It’s easy to find and quick to download, free of lagging, and can work offline. Most businesses using this technology have reduced their app size by 80-99% of the initial mobile app size.
Cost-effective cross-device nature. A progressive web app is compatible with various operating systems and fits the screen size of different devices. This feature is useful for developing an omnichannel business strategy. Given the need to invest in native app development for each separate platform and device, eCommerce using progressive web apps makes the decision with true value-for-money.
Attracts web traffic. Progressive web apps have their own URLs, are available in search engine results, and let your SEO specialists work with their performance. Thanks to this, it’s an effective solution for eCommerce web development. Also, it cuts the app maintenance cost, eliminating the need for creating a separate budget for ASO activities.
Browser-based fully functional app. A progressive web app looks like a native app but is easy to reach as if it’s a mobile web page. At the same time, this feature doesn’t need technical complexity to deliver a satisfactory user experience. Progressive apps don’t use much data and can work even in areas with poor Internet connectivity.
4 Main Attributes of a PWA for eCommerce
Even though progressive web apps look like mobile web pages, they should possess extra native-like functionality to guarantee the required quality level for user experience.
For example, push notifications and app installation are must-have features, while GEO fencing is an optional one. In this section, we’ve collected the key attributes of these apps for guidance if you decide to invest in eCommerce web application development of this type.
Low Development Cost
With a progressive web app, eCommerce should significantly save on app development. At least, because this tool doesn’t need separate creation, maintenance, and promotion for various app stores and platforms. Your web app can use your website as a basis.
Nevertheless, the cost-effective solution should link your website and mobile experience in an elegant manner. The new platform shouldn’t look like a poor-quality version of your mobile website.
The aim of PWA development is to provide a unified platform for several channels a sole team can work with. This means uniting key native app features in a single platform that works smoothly on any device and operating system and is in compliance with your current SEO.
And, of course, the platform should be safe to enter and process mobile payments like a great retail app.
What’s more, your clients should enjoy the user experience they appreciate the most. At least, this low-cost solution should still look nice to you and to them.
This way, you’ll get a cheaper solution for the same quality of service your competitors normally invest thousands of dollars.
Main Screen Installation
Your users should have an option to install the app on their phones. Otherwise, there’s no need to invest in eCommerce web application development.
Generally, people don’t like to download apps from app stores. Especially if they don’t see the true value right away. That’s why progressive web apps should possess all the needed attributes to actually make an installation happen.
The needed button should be easy to find and work smoothly. The aim is to provide your clients with an opportunity to window shop your eCommerce store in their browser as they like and then download your app to proceed with purchase smoothly and conveniently.
Ability to Send Push Notifications
The best thing your eCommerce business can benefit from native app-like traits of web apps is push notifications. You can use this tool for sending discounts, special offers, and promotions.
Even better, you can customize the messages to address the need for eCommerce personalization, the crucial tool for your company to stay competitive, increase revenue, and enhance the services.
For example, you can generate product offers, content, and specific suggestions based on a user’s browsing experience — and notify them in a push notification via an app installed on their home screens.
With push notifications, you can reach users who browse your web anonymously and without leaving any contact details. Web apps don’t require any other actions but to install them on a home screen in a couple of clicks.
Fast Loading Speed for SEO Optimization
You should guarantee your users an exceptionally fast experience. With an appropriate eCommerce web development approach, you can create an app that can load with a second only.
This is possible when you combine the speed advantages of websites and enable caching from their side, making a mobile web page look like a native app.
Another trick behind speed acceleration is the lightweight of a progressive app. By occupying less disk space, it needs less data to load and fills less storage space. Compared to native iOS and Android apps, it’s dozens of times smaller.
Web basis of progressive apps enables their discoverability in search engines. And their great speed characteristics.
Contact Intellectsoft for eCommerce Web Development Services
Our team stays tuned for more news in the retail industry, and we’ll be glad to create a web app for your business with the highest standards in secure payment gateway integration.
From our extended list of retail applications and software services, you can get:
Marketing automation. Update your app on the fly with geolocation and navigation, gamification, content management, push notifications, and social networking.
Mobile users engagement. Let your customers shop online and enjoy an offline-like experience with augmented reality, geofenced messaging, in-store navigation, recipe shopping, and other custom features.
Turning data into revenue. Get a comprehensive software solution that includes POS, smart design, IoT, Big Data analytics, and training.
Interested in getting the details? Contact the Intellectsoft team! Let’s choose and build together the software solution that perfectly fits your exact eCommerce business needs.