In our opinion, the PWA (Progressive Web App) is the new mobile first for many website and online shop operators. Are you reading this article on your smartphone? In all likelihood, yes, because smartphones are now an integral part of life for more and more people, regardless of age, and it’s hard to imagine life without them. Or how else are you going to find your way to the nearest restaurant in a foreign city?
Logically, websites or online shops must also be optimized for mobile operation. When Google recently announced the end of the desktop crawler by March 2021, even the last person realized that the watchword is “mobile first“!
At the same time, smartphone users spend less than 20% of their usage time in the browser, preferring to use apps instead.
FUN-FACT: Average user: 80 apps on smartphone, uses 30 regularly and spends 85% of the time in just 5 apps.
Does this mean that it’s not enough to just optimize your website for mobile, but ideally you also have to develop an app?
No, that’s not true most of the time, especially in e-commerce. This is because users increasingly use web apps when the user experience improves and they offer the identical behavior as a native app.
This could become possible with the Progressive Web App (PWA). We show you here which features and advantages it has compared to native apps, web apps or hybrid apps. Just not sure what exactly the terms mean anymore? Don’t worry, first a little overview of the current approaches of mobile apps:
A Progressive Web App, much like the Hybrid App, is an extension of a web app that has been enhanced with native app functionality and content. You could also say it’s a blend of a responsive website and a smartphone app. So you have access to web and app functions. Compared to the hybrid app, the focus is more on the web functionalities rather than on the packaging for the app stores. The PWA is characterized by the following features:
Not convinced yet? Here are a few more PWA facts.
To determine your DevApproach, it depends a lot on the requirements you have for your digital project. If it is to be as cost-effective as possible, hybrid, web app or PWA are recommended. The following table offers you a first orientation.
In the field of e-commerce, e.g. for your online shop, it is definitely advisable to have a website, as for customers the Google search engine or marketplaces are the No.1 point of contact for product research. In addition, the development of a PWA is also perfectly suited for e-commerce thanks to the advantages mentioned, such as the notifications.
Curious how PWAs are applied in e-commerce? There will be another article on this soon. So stay tuned!
After the comparison and the closer look at the PWA we have the following recommendation: If you want a traditional app where app features like gamification elements play an important role we advise you to use the cross-platform approach. Compared to native apps, this offers a good compromise between performance, development speed and cost. Are app features not that important to you, but you want to mobile optimize your web app and at least have the option to add app features later? Then we suggest the PWA approach. By the way: On pwa.bar you will find links to current PWAs ranging from Starbucks, BMW to NASA.
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