The total number of mobile app downloads in 2017 was an astonishing 197 billion and more businesses are now venturing into having an app developed. It is almost seen as a compulsory step for most companies in the same vein as developing a website was many years ago.

The issue with developing ‘traditional’ apps is that they can be costly and often use a significant amount of data as well as storage on the users’ device. This is one of the reasons why Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have risen in prominence and popularity. Many people are only now beginning to find out what PWAs are and this is the reason many businesses are switching from native apps.

There are significant benefits to using PWAs and we are going to show you 5 reasons why Progressive Web Apps may be better for your business.

1. Low Data Usage:

In many developing countries data is an expensive commodity. While places such as India are noticing a fall in the cost of mobile data, it is still pricey compared to developed nations.

PWAs only use a fraction of data usage compared to native apps. Konga, which is a leading e-commerce website based in Nigeria, use a PWA that has resulted in 92% less data consumption, compared to a traditional app, thereby keeping the cost of using PWAs low for the end user. A native app that consumes 10mb of data for instance can be cut to just 500kb with a PWA. This is a massive decrease when your monthly data limit isn’t huge or where buying data is expensive.

In fact, PWAs don’t require any significant storage on the device either. This frees up space for the user and contributes to better performance on their smartphones.

2. No Updates Required:

The native apps that most users have installed on their device update automatically and oftentimes this requires a manual update or a Wi-Fi connection. Updating apps without Wi-Fi can lead to huge data consumption which increases the cost to the user. For example, an update for the Facebook app can be 200mb which, if the user is not using Wi-Fi, is a significant chunk of one’s monthly data allowance. 

PWAs don’t have this problem. As they are similar to websites, the update happens ‘on-use’ very much in the way a website is updated. You see the update when you load the PWA and it doesn’t have to be updated in the background or before you launch it like a native app. It also means that PWAs can be updated a lot quicker and there is no App or Play Store approval needed so any critical issues can be fixed in a much shorter time frame.

3. Costs Are Kept Low:

For companies, the cost of developing a PWA is much cheaper than developing a native app.

A business that needs a native app, will require that app to be developed for both Android and iOS devices, which are present on a whopping 99.6% of all smartphone devices. This can be very costly especially for start-ups or businesses that are eager to see a significant ROI on their native app.

Progressive Web Apps are cheaper to produce but not at the expense of less functionality. Thus PWAs provide a better option to businesses to generate a positive ROI. Developing both an Android and iOS app can cost $20k – $80k while a PWA can be developed for a fraction of this cost at around $6k – $10k.

4. PWAs Are Great For SEO:

It isn’t just the low data, storage and cost that are major benefits of adopting a PWA approach; they can also boost the accessibility and searchability of your app. 

Progressive Web Apps load fast. Uber’s PWA takes less than 2 seconds to load and this has a marked impact on search engine rankings as faster loading sites receive a ranking boost. Your PWA will be indexed quickly too and it provides a great user experience which all add to the success of your SEO strategy. In fact, you can implement PWAs into your existing online marketing plan.

Search Engine Land has a useful guide for PWAs and their effect on SEO as well as handy guidelines for increasing the visibility of your PWA online.

5. They Deliver Business Results Too:

PWAs has so far delivered great results for the businesses using them. As they provide a seamless experience with low data usage and fast loading times, many companies have found that their conversions increase significantly by using a Progressive Web App.

Petlove saw a 2.8x increase in their conversions by switching to a PWA and the average session length on their site increased considerably too. West Elm, a home décor company, also noticed a 15% increase in the overall time that users spent on their site through the PWA and they also experienced a 9% rise in revenue per visit.

Progressive Web Apps have contributed to business success time and time again with increased conversions, more time spent on a website per visitor and a boost in the revenue that is generated online.

The Future of Progressive Web Apps

These are 5 amazing benefits of Progressive Web Apps and what they can bring to a business.

The future of PWAs is bright. While Chrome and Firefox are generally the best mobile browsers to experience the full potential of PWAs, iOS 11.3 has brought Safari into the mix when it comes to supporting Progressive Web Apps. The stick that was often used to beat PWAs i.e. functionality on iOS wasn’t as consistent as Android, is now gone.

More and more companies are now exploring the idea of using PWAs. Especially for start-ups and businesses that don’t already have a native app, this is the right time for you to explore PWAs and improve the way in which customers interact with your company online.

If you know of any other benefits that PWAs bring then let us know in the comments below!

About the Author:

izaak-crook-headshotIzaak Crook is a Digital Marketing Executive for AppInstitute, a SaaS App Builder platform that allows anyone to create their own iOS and Android app without writing a single line of code.