Thursday, October 12, 2017

Common Misconceptions About PWAs: The Technology is Too New

Companies today are constantly looking for the newest, most innovative ways to further their businesses. But sometimes new technology–even when it shows massive promise–is a little scary to take a gamble on. For example, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). When it comes to looking at implementing a PWA–especially when the company already has a native app – they think, “it’s too early for us to do that,” or, “the technology is too new.” These thoughts are valid, and are probably the same ones that you have yourself when new technologies are introduced. Now, let’s delve into some of the common misconceptions that have come about with the dawn of Progressive Web Apps.

“It’s Too Early”
Now, if you are anything like me, you typically wait for the newest technology to be out for a few months just to make sure that all the bugs are out of the system. The good news about PWAs? They aren’t that new. Google introduced PWAs more than two years ago in 2015, and has been constantly working to improve the technology since. In fact, they’ve got an entire section of their developer website dedicated to the technology, implementation, and best practices around PWAs.

“Other Brands Haven’t Caught On”
It’s more than just Google. Big-name brands are seeing the opportunities that PWAs offer, too. Twitter, Lancôme, and Starbucks  all introduced PWAs, and these companies are already seeing incredible results. Since launching their PWA (Twitter Lite), Twitter has seen nearly unbelievable statistics: A 65 percent increase in pages per session, a 75 percent increase in Tweets sent, and a 20 percent decrease in bounce rates.

Unbelievable, right? There’s more:

Lancôme saw a 51 percent increase in mobile sessions, a 17 percent increase in conversions, and an 84 percent decrease in time until a page is interactive.

Starbucks’ PWA is still in beta testing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t making a difference for users already. It only takes up 0.4% (yes, that decimal is in the right place) of the space the native Starbucks app does on your phone.

“My Customers Are Fine With My Current Mobile Experience”
You may assume that your native app is getting the job done, but on average 65.5% of people download 0 apps per month. Wondering why that is? I’d put my money on the fact that you’ve experienced this scenario:

You go to the app store, then scroll around, then get to the search bar, then type in the app you want, then scan through multiple apps–some of which aren’t even related to the app you’re looking for – and then you have the eureka moment when you finally find it. And then you wait for it to download and install – and then two days later you have an update for it that makes you start the download and install process over again.

Notice how many times the word “then” was included in that process? I won’t make you count…but it was used seven times. On the contrary, PWAs can be accessed via contextual activation methods (such as QR Codes, NFC, text, etc.). From there you can choose whether or not you want to install it–and it won’t take up as much space as the native apps either.

So for those of you who are a little hesitant to deep dive into PWAs: Don’t worry, this technology isn’t too new, and it’s definitely not too early. But if you don’t act soon, you might just end up being late.