Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps: The next step in your digital transformation journey post COVID-19

The rise of smart devices along with the recent pandemic has significantly revolutionized the business landscape. The technological advancements in customer experience has enabled organisations to acquire, engage, and retain the customer with ease. Customers today look at their smartphones as the go-to device for almost everything. Industries such as Services, Retail, Travel, and Food have already adopted mobile marketing and engagement as a part of their digital transformation strategy. The pandemic has certainly accelerated the need for digital, with many organisations revisiting their strategies with digital transformation as their top priority.

While mobile marketing, development of native apps, and omni-channel customer experience have been around for quite some time now, the rise of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) certainly promises to catapult transformation to another level.

What are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)?

Progressive Web Apps are apps that combine the best of the web, with the best of native apps. It basically means that PWAs are web-based experiences that look and feel like native apps, but don’t require you to download them from the app-store or play store. The benefits of PWA are immense as it delivers high functionality on the web without any user’s on-premise storage dependency.

How are they different from native apps?

According to Gartner, consumer app fatigue is forcing application leaders to re-evaluate their approach to mobile web versus mobile apps. Progressive web apps aim to disrupt the mobile app paradigm by bridging the gap between web experience and native app functionality. It provides the user with the best of both worlds. Due to technological advancements and a fast-paced generation, customers, today, prefer speed and convenience over brand loyalty.

Think of PWA as a cloud-based solution, and native app as an on-premise application. Rather than downloading a native application that resides on your storage, requires good internet connection, and is dependent on your hardware for optimum performance, you get an application on web that is device-agnostic. You don’t need to download it on your device. PWAs are more than just web apps. They can be leveraged across disparate channels to deliver a true omni-channel experience.

Liberty from Third-Party Dependence

One of the key benefits of PWAs is that they don’t need to rely on a third-party marketplace. The developers are free to publish anything at any time without having to create multiple versions of codes for different OS instances.

Cost Efficiency

PWAs can be created with basic coding expertise such as HTML, CSS and Javascript. This enables organisations to save cost on expensive resources hired for specific programming language expertise to build native applications. Since it is built as a web-app, handing it over to other teams, change in management or project teams, or revamping the app completely in the future becomes much easier.

Speed

Since PWAs are hardware and OS agnostic, it delivers consistent performance across devices even if the customer’s device has bare-minimum hardware compatibility. This along with caching abilities allows PWAs to load faster.

Requires Less Data

PWAs send less data at initial page loads and also leverage caching capabilities. They don’t need to constantly ping servers to access data. This enables users to access PWAs with minimum data.

Faster Development

As the tools needed to create PWAs are not as complicated as their native brethren, it is easier to fix issues, update, and improve UI/UX on the fly.

Organisations need to embrace the technological advancements in customer experience to become completely agile and flexible in order to scale, and meet increasing customer demands. Revisiting your enterprise mobile strategy and replacing some of your existing native apps with PWAs may serve as a dip-stick, and prove beneficial in the long-run.

By Preethi Menon, VP & Head – Practices, Clover Infotech

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