Chrome Dev Summit 2018 Highlight: PWAs and ROI

Jillian MacNulty Picture

by Jillian MacNulty | Last Updated: Nov 13, 2018

Just as we expected, PWAs are still the talk of the town at this year’s Chrome Dev Summit. When we covered the 2017 Chrome Dev Summit last year, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) were a popular topic, but most brands were still early in their switch or still in development phases, which meant there wasn’t much ROI to report. This year, those early adopters came armed and ready to share their exciting results. In the first session of the day “Why the Web Matters”, it was reiterated that investment in web performance really does pay off, with U.S. brands that switched to PWAs seeing an average of 10 percent increases in conversions. Lead engineers and product managers at Spotify, Starbucks, and Pinterest took to the stage to share their PWA-fueled results. Spotify Spotify’s original web experience was barely a web experience–you could call it more of a landing page that automatically prompted you to download the app. The Spotify team knew their download was a “hard wall” in the user experience, so they made mobile web an option by opening up player functionality to the web as a savable PWA. Senior Product Manager Matt Rizzo cited a 54 percent increase in one day plays and a 14 percent increase in day 60 active users, and 30 percent of their logins actually came from churned users–proof that PWAs provide increased activation, retention, and reactivation. Starbucks The Starbucks team noticed that the website had significantly more active users (we’re talking 6 million more) than the iOS app users, so Director of Product Engineering David Brunelle and his team knew there was big potential for some business wins if they could meet those web users with a reliable, fast, and engaging experience. Their PWA is 2 times faster than their previous experience, and they’ve seen 65 percent increase in Starbucks Rewards registrations via the web Pinterest Even the Pinterest team knew it–their web experience was horrible. Pinterest Engineering Lead Zack Argyle even pulled up a tweet from a Pinterest user who was hating on the web experience and apologized to her, because they knew their experience was seriously lacking. When the team decided to do something about it, they turned to a PWA to ensure the experience was fast, user friendly, and accessible. With their PWA, users immediately saw 4 times faster to load (6 times on subsequent visits), and the Pinterest team saw a 103 percent increase in weekly users and a 300 percent increase in session duration. There was an over 300 percent increase in weekly users in low-bandwidth areas, and Zack said that performance has directly impacted the company’s bottom line. As Pinterest’s Zack Argyle said, “the future is in the browser”, and these brands are just the beginning of the PWA wave. We’re excited to see what Day 2 of the Chrome Dev Summit brings. Our VP of Enterprise Deliver Tim Butler is there and live tweeting, so feel free to follow along! Want more information on brands seeing results with PWAs, and a guide for how you can implement them in your business? Check out A Marketer’s Guide to PWAs!

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