Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Common Misconceptions About PWAs

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are taking off. Big brands are using them to drive higher conversion rates, faster experiences, and overall improved user experience. Why wouldn’t every company want to gain those same results, though? Well, there are still some misconceptions floating around that may dissuade decision makers from implementing them as part of their brand’s mobile strategy. We’ve discussed the misconceptions about Apple and the newness of the technology, and now it’s time to address the person who matters most to your business: your customer. Below you’ll find some miscellaneous misconceptions that your customers may have about your PWA, and why they really have nothing to worry about.

People Want a Physical App
Apps are appealing–visually and functionally. I’ll be the first to admit that well-made native apps are easy to use thanks to their made-for-mobile user interfaces and easy home screen access. But unless you’re Google or Facebook, chances are that your company doesn’t provide one of the top ten apps–because combined, the two tech giants have seven of the top ten, and playing against those big dogs to win over home screen real estate is rough. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, good luck scrolling through one of the hundreds of categories in the app store. Beyond just that, how many times have you found yourself wishing you had gotten the phone with more storage when that fateful “Not Enough Storage Space” message pops up at the app store checkout? And how many of you are thinking, “I can’t remember the last time I downloaded an app”. You’re not alone. 65.5 percent of people download an average zero apps per month.

If you found yourself checking off any or all of these symptoms in your head, allow us to prescribe you with the realization that maybe the app experience isn’t as seamless as you thought. The remedy? A frictionless PWA–meaning you get all the engagement of a native app without the download, storage space, and or lengthy app store process.

It’s Not on the App Store
Ok, we’ll give you half credit on this one. You won’t find PWAs on any of the app stores–yet. Microsoft recently announced its plans to put PWAs in the Windows Store, which is exciting for companies wanting to displace their current native mobile app with a less bulky PWA. But, if we’re being honest, we actually don’t think this misconception is necessarily a bad one. Think about that friction-filled app store experience we reflected on a minute ago. PWAs take all of that away by allowing users to access them via any tap/scan technology (NFC, QR codes, etc.). The minute or two that it takes your customers to find your app through an app store may seem like nothing, but it’s wasted time to your customer. The good news? PWAs can help cut that time-to-access down to near instantaneous response time.

It’s Not Safe
Some of us have become hyperaware to new releases and wary of the security risks that they present (and rightfully so, with the recent Equifax scare). Let me assure you, PWAs are safe to use. Because they are run over certified servers, they are highly secured. So no need to fret, it’s as safe as any other website served over https.

Misconceptions Managed
Now you understand these misconceptions are just that–misconceptions. Don’t let them scare you away from PWAs, because Gartner analyst, Jason Wongestimates are that by 2020, PWAs will have replaced 50 percent of general-purpose, consumer-facing mobile apps. Take a look into this powerful mobile technology–we have a feeling that both you and your customers will love the results.