Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Progressive Web App Feature: Trivago

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a new way to deliver amazing user experiences on the web–and in particular, on the mobile web. And, that’s exactly what Trivago, one of the world’s leading hotel search engines, is doing with their PWA.

Here’s The Situation
“We’re a technology company, and we’re passionate about using the latest methods and tools to improve our services,” says Tom Dwyer, Project Lead for PWA and Front-End Developer at Trivago.

For Trivago, one of the latest and most significant shifts in tech is the rise of smartphones, especially in emerging markets. It’s already the case that more Trivago users access the service on mobile than on desktop computers. So, the move to dive into the deep end of mobile was a no-brainer for Trivago.

Once Trivago set their sights on mobile, the next question was…what’s the best mobile tech out there to reach as many people as possible while providing a fast, seamless experience? The answer, as Trivago found, is a PWA.

Dwyer has this to say about Trivago’s PWA: “Just as we now no longer accept websites constantly reloading while we browse for fresh content, mobile users who experience the seamlessness of PWAs will quickly come to expect sites to just work, regardless of flaky Wi-Fi or poor mobile reception.”

The PWA
The PWA itself is nothing short of impressive when you consider its functionality, Lighthouse scores, and overall user experience. The PWA lets users browse and book travel arrangements–just like their native app–but with all of the ease and speed of a website. From a usability standpoint, they chose to keep the same look and feel as their website, which I think is a smart move as it helps users who are already familiar with the site navigate and book very easily.

Co-founder and managing director at Trivago, Rolf Schromgens, summed it up nicely when he said, It combines, on one hand, the discoverability and accessibility of a website with the functionality of a native app,”

The Numbers Speak for Themselves
Trivago’s PWA is now available in 33 languages in 55 countries. They’ve seen more than 500,000 people add the app to their home screens for full native app-like accessibility, and engagement ffrom those users has increased by 150 percent. Thanks to the increased engagement and re-engagement (thanks to push notifications!), Trivago has experience a 97 percent increase in clickthrough rates to hotel offers with the PWA.  

In addition to these amazing numbers, Trivago’s PWA also scored fairly well on Google’s Lighthouse Audit.    

From the results above, it’s clear Trivago’s PWA struggles in two of the five Lighthouse Audit categories, Performance and Progressive Web App. So, let’s take a closer look into those results. Under Performance, while First Contentful Paint and First Meaningful Paint are both only 2.12 seconds, this PWA’s Time to Interactive (how long it takes a page to become interactive for the user) is 11.58 seconds–way too long for Google’s standards. And, the Progressive Web App score sits in that orange category for two big reasons: the page loads too slowly on a 3G network and the PWA’s service worker doesn’t prompt the user to save the PWA to their homescreen.

With some things to work on, this PWA isn’t perfect just yet. Nonetheless, Trivago searchers now have access to a lightning fast, frictionless mobile web experience. The shift to a PWA was a no-brainer when it comes to keeping their users happy, and as an added bonus, it’s also helping Trivago continue to lead the pack in adopting and integrating the latest mobile tech.

Try out Trivago’s PWA for yourself (make sure you’re on mobile!) and let us know what you think.