Your website is likely too slow and not intuitive enough that it’s hurting your bottom line. If you want to drive increased growth and sales, then you should consider adopting a hot new progressive development philosophy that combines well known performance optimization techniques, user experience intuitiveness, and modern web browser capabilities.
Big businesses are already in on the newest insider secret to increasing retention and conversion rates in 2019. Behemoths like Google, Twitter, and Forbes have swiftly employed this new methodology: which has directly correlated to a 50 to 100% increase in user retention and conversion rates for those corporate giants. AliExpress saw a whopping 104% increase in new user conversion rates after adopting this architecture. Twitter saw a 20% decrease in bounce rates and a 75% increase in Tweets.
When the big players adopt a philosophy of approach, we call this “best practice”; when it happens for a length of time, it’s called a “standard”. No matter what you want to label it, they know something you may not know, and it’s critical you get on the bandwagon immediately.
I am not talking about anything new or ground breaking here. It’s not like you haven’t been told performance and user experience make or break your web application’s effectiveness. Google has been pushing page speed improvements by making it an important pillar of good search engine optimization for a long time. So what’s changed? This narrative has finally evolved into an actionable agenda, a defacto standard to adhere to that you can follow and reap the rewards of higher conversions and increased engagement.
If your developer hasn’t been telling you that you need to think about pushing the bar on page speed and testing new and intuitive UX, then you need to have a serious chat with them or consider getting a new web application developer. If they have been telling you and you haven’t acted, then consider getting your ears examined. However perhaps they just haven’t been able to relay the solution to you correctly in a way that makes you understand how to implement your course correction. In that case, we’re here to help. If you have a happy synergy with your developer and you are constantly working on speed and user experience improvement, then kudos to you; you’re on the right path. This article may arm you with new insight to bring to the table at your next meeting.
I rarely agree with most words and phrases that are adopted as industry jargon. For me, buzz words and hot industry terms rarely describe the true nature of what they are actually trying to convey. The phrase ‘Progressive Web Application’ is no exception for me. Yes, it’s progressive thinking: I agree with that, but it’s not like it’s a new type of web application. It’s really the same old points we’ve been hammering for years combined with some new techniques and sprinkled with the wide availability of very cool browser technologies. If I was in charge of creating hot industry phrases, I would call this ‘Progressive Development Philosophy’ and strive to make it an ever-evolving agenda of high standards that directly tackles putting more money in your bank account. Setting misnomers aside for today, we will stick with the buzz word everyone is talking about: Progressive Web Application or PWA.
PWA Architecture: A Synergy of Performance, Reliability, & Engagement
Performance. Tinder’s PWA is 90% smaller than their native Android App: the load time reduction decreased from 11.91 seconds to 4.69 seconds. PWA architecture is all about optimizing page load time which will lead to noticeable improvements in customer experience, conversion rates, and sales revenue.
Reliability. Uber’s PWA approach was designed to be fast even on 2G: it takes less than 3 seconds to load on 2G networks. PWA architecture gives the user a path to follow by preloading and storing content in the event of unplanned or planned, lack of, or slow internet access. Even with no internet access at all, a PWA will fully load and present specified no-or-slow network functions without delays or impacts to user experience.
Engagement. Trivago saw an increase of 150% of people who add its PWA to their home screen. Increased engagement led to a 97% increase in clickouts to hotel offers. The PWA approach includes defining your application’s minimal required interactivity and embracing interactive features including adding your brand’s icon to the devices home screen, utilizing push notifications, and prefilling important form information such as name, address and payment details.
A Priority on Mobile
Progressive Web Apps are developed to work on mobile then optimized for desktop, instead of the traditional route of architecting desktop first. This means that sites developed with a PWA approach will function on mobile devices with no bugs or issues that may have arisen from being adapted from a desktop first methodology.
Not Your Average App
- There are no installation requirements, no ‘app store’ approvals, and updates and maintenance use the same tooling as traditional web applications.
- Adding the app icon to the devices home screen is device ubiquitous and (is) instant: no account or login required.
- Push notifications can be strategically utilized. All modern mobile browsers now include a push notification function.
- Access to the device’s location, 3D acceleration, accelerometer, gyroscopes, camera, and photos is available even when the device is offline.
- An instantly served user interface that looks and feels like a native iOS or Android application.
- SEO. Your app will be crawlable and indexable like regular web content. Users search and come straight to your application: no installation required.
The Writing is On the Wall
- Pinterest rebuilt their mobile site as a PWA and core engagements increased by 60%. They also saw a 44% increase in user-generated ad revenue: and time spent on the site has increased by 40%.
- Carnival Cruise Line improved conversions from push notifications, achieving a 24% opt-in rate and 42% open rate.
- Petlove’s PWA resulted in a 2.8× increase in conversion and a 2.8× increase in time spent on site. Using Simplified signup and auto sign back in were utilized because 2× more users go to checkout already signed in.
Bridging the Gap
So, how do you bridge the gap between what you have now and taking advantage of the PWA approach?
Refactoring your existing website is an option. Consider moving to a PWA architecture to be like a redesign initiative. Talk with a UX expert who understands PWA’s and can help you drill down to the features and functions your users expect.
Tips for a successful refactor conversation:
- Bring to the table all your experience and knowledge of what user experiences have and have not worked.
- Perform a UI audit and determine what is minimally required for a successful conversion or interaction.
- Review any existing data about user interaction. If you have one, include how your users are utilizing your native mobile app.
- Bring any architectural documentation you may have.
- If you don’t have an existing application or are utilizing/outgrowing an aging platform, then a complete re-architecture may be suitable for you.
Factors to consider when having a re-architecting discussion:
- Are you using a microservices approach?
- Do you have an API in place?
- What 3rd party API’s are required for your application to work?
- Are you currently using a CMS (WordPress) or hosted platform (Shopify)?
- Are you a victim of vendor lock-in?
- Are you a native mobile app only company?
- Everything in the successful refactor conversation tips mentioned above.
Expert web application architects are out there and, if they are good, they are already in the mindset of the PWA philosophy. If you have questions about anything you read in this post, feel free to reach out.
This blog is the first of a series about the advantages of Progressive Web Apps. If you or someone you know doesn’t take advantage of PWA architecture contact M5K for a free and fun consultation.
About M5K: M5K builds custom web software solutions for start-ups and enterprises worldwide. With over 15 years experience working with clients and corporate enterprises on large-scale productions, our elite team of programmers and software generals execute bulletproof web applications with precision.