UX

When To Consider Developing A Progressive Web App

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - Entando

As online users begin discovering and interacting with brands more on mobile devices and less from their desktops, your business will need to think of innovative ways to engage your customers to keep them coming back. 

For many, progressive web apps have emerged to meet this need to meet users where they are--on their phone. 

Progressive web apps seek to bring the features of a native mobile app, such as push notifications and device hardware access, into the internet browser experience. 

While you may have doubts about opting for a PWA in the place of a native mobile app, there are a number of compelling reasons to do so. A PWA might not be the right fit for every organization. But for many, progressive web apps may be a key to future success. 

Here are 3 reasons why your organization may consider developing a progressive web app.  

1. You want to create online experiences that are truly mobile-first.

In 2020 and beyond, if you aren’t thinking mobile-first when you’re designing UX, then you probably aren’t thinking. By and large, it’s safe to assume that a potential customer’s first online encounter with your brand will come via a mobile device. 

In 2019, 52.2 percent of all online traffic came from mobile phones, according to Broadband Search. In future years, we can only expect this number to continue increasing. 

If your organization truly seeks to create a mobile-first strategy, you will gain a considerable leg up on your competitors. According to the same study published by Broadband Search, 55.9 percent of time spent on websites came from desktop as opposed to 40.1 percent coming from mobile. What this seems to indicate is that while most online users are spending a majority of their time on mobile, more often than not mobile websites aren’t as good at engaging and retaining them as their desktop counterparts. This is where progressive web apps may help you bridge the gap.

With progressive web apps, you’re able to create higher performing online experiences for a lower cost, relative to native apps. According to AppInstitute, progressive web apps load an average of 15 times faster than native mobile apps. This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to create a native app that loads with lightning fast speed, but the research seems to indicate that it’s easier and less expensive to do it in the form of a web app.

2. You suspect that the payoff for creating an “add to homescreen” CTA on your progressive web app will net you a better ROI than distributing a native app to mobile marketplaces like the App Store or Google Play.

This may seem counterintuitive, but when you count the cost of developing a native app and then needing to distribute it across the different mobile marketplaces, it just might not be worth it. After all, you need to manage ratings, reviews, discoverability, and updates across several different platforms. If you’re going to make that kind of investment, you need to make sure that you are attracting enough new users to make it worth your while. 

On the face of it, you could make a strong argument for native apps. According to the ComScore 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, mobile users spend 87 percent of their time interacting with native apps as opposed to only 13 percent interacting with web apps. With a stat like that, it seems like a slam dunk for native apps. 

But it’s not that simple. The same report found that a vast majority of users spend almost all of their time on their top three apps. So it can be very difficult to break into that very competitive space, especially when users are likely to delete apps that they don’t use very often. 

On the other hand, in 2017, Google Chrome improved functionality to the “add to homescreen” banner, which resulted in an astounding 48 percent increase in installs. With progressive web apps giving you the ability to recreate many native app features and functions while allowing you to manage your own distribution and enabling users to easily add the application to their device home screen, your time and resources may be better spent developing a PWA rather than a native app. 

3. You want to create a low barrier of entry for your users.

When it comes to native apps, the barrier to entry is very high. According to the previously cited ComScore report, 51 percent of users download less than one new app per month. Downloading a new native app seems like a big commitment for users, and so they’ll only download apps from brands that they already have a high degree of trust with and when they are fully convinced of the app’s specific value proposition. 

By developing a progressive web app, you can deliver many of the features that users will enjoy without needing to get an upfront commitment out of them. It’s easier to get your foot in the door, so to speak, so that you can prove to your user over the course of time that your application is worth a spot on their home screen. 

With a progressive web app, you allow users to “date” your brand without having to make the commitment of downloading your application to their device. 

 

Build progressive web apps using Entando.

When release cycles take months instead of weeks, your business is left unable to deliver modern online experiences. Development bottlenecks slow your ability to make application updates, keeping you from iterating and innovating. And outdated or clunky UX keeps you from winning customers over and retaining them.

So that’s why we created a platform to help you get your ideas to market faster.

Entando is the leading micro frontend platform for building enterprise web apps on Kubernetes. We want to change the way enterprises think about building their apps, sites, and portals in order to innovate more quickly.

With Entando, you can leverage customized blueprints to quickly create micro frontends and assemble them onto a single page. Then reuse UI/UX components across multiple projects via the Entando Component Repository, saving money and increasing development speed. Scale quickly and effectively with Entando’s custom Kubernetes operator, automating the deployment of scalable, self-healing applications--including progressive web apps. 

Entando is open source with available enterprise support. Begin developing on the platform today, and get a quote to see how our Professional Services team can help your enterprise build better apps, sites, and portals--faster.

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Learn How To Create Better Apps, Portals, & Websites--Faster.

This white paper outlines how your organization can accelerate UX innovation by developing with micro frontends on Kubernetes, as well as how a micro frontend platform can help you execute this methodology more effectively.