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How Progressive Web Apps (PWA) can help to scale your business

What is Progressive web application


In short, PWA is a combination of a regular site with application functionality. When using a desktop browser, a progressive web app remains a regular site, but once opened on a mobile device, PWA turns into a hybrid of the website and application.


In practice, it looks like this:


Step 1. The user enters the site and receives a notification with a proposal to add it to his home screen.


Step 2. If the offer is accepted, a site icon will instantly appear on the main screen of the device. In this case, you will safely bypass the usual steps when dealing with apps - searching in stores and installing them, as well as checking with antivirus programs (PWA applications run on a secure HTTPS protocol). Checkmarks for saving time and security!


Step 3. After installation, PWA creates site cache. This solves two problems: it speeds up the download and makes the site available offline. Thus, the site can be used even without an Internet connection.


Innovativeness of the PWA technology makes it easier to interact with the target audience with minimal effort from the user side.


Significant advantages of a PWA site


Instant installation on the device. If the user likes the site/blog - just clicks "Add to Screen" and gets a shortcut to the desktop of the device to use it any time he wants.


Cross-Platform. The pages of the PWA site look the same on the screens of any devices with any operating system and run regardless of the installed browser. This indicates a reduction in software development costs: no more need to create a separate product for each operating system.


Minimum space occupied in device memory. “Heavy” applications slow down the device and can cause panic attacks on their owners. PWAs take up very little storage space (12-15 kb), so this problem will be solved. 


Automatic updates. There is no need to follow the regular update of the application so that the user always sees the latest relevant information. Website content is updated automatically whenever the user enters the website.


Work offline. As far as you are online, PWA synchronizes data and updates it in the device’s cache. When there is no connection, the information is retrieved from there, so you see content that is current at the last moment of going online.


Push notifications. Information about events, promotions, and updates instantly appears on the user's screen in the form of push notifications. This improves user experience and helps companies increase conversions.


PWA Development


Do you already have a website and convenient applications in the Google Play market and/or App Store? If yes, consider implementing a progressive web app. You can do it in several ways.


Ready-made solutions


Some of them are even free. Like plugins or the Gatsby static site generator,  which can transform an existing site into PWA. These options can be good for small sites with a small amount of dynamic content. 

Just be sure to consider the pitfalls you can face in this case. Plugins are only suitable for sites created on WordPress, and Gatsby’s option may require pretty deep code knowledge. 

It is also important to clarify that in both of these cases, verification and testing by specialists is likely to be required. After all, the larger and more complex the site, the more errors can occur during its automated transfer.


Custom development


If the plans are more ambitious and you want to implement a progressive web application in an online store or on a corporate website, the best option would be to turn to professional software developers. 

You will definitely benefit from this since in this case, a software engineering company will provide qualifications, experience, and responsibility. Which are the best guarantees of the success of your project?


The development of PWA will not create difficulties for a specialized software house. It does not actually differ from the creation of a regular website, and in some aspects is even much easier. Here are several factors that confirm this.


  • No need to create additional APIs - when developing a PWA, a single code is used
  • No need to create a mobile version of the site or worry about adaptability - PWA works absolutely on any device
  • PWA concept has the most flexible and convenient user interface, and therefore it takes less time to work on the design


Business Benefits of PWAs


PWA features are uniquely capable of optimizing the conduct of any business. The breadth of user coverage, offline access, ease of installation and use, cross-platform development, and the increased download speed of information - these factors have a positive effect on the conversion and site traffic. So, this solution is suitable for almost any type of business.


Healthcare


Many health care providers try to be as patient-oriented as possible. The development of a specialized PWA for patients can help. The main tasks that the use of a PWA can help solve:


  • Information support - provide real-time information about the possibility of making an appointment with a specialist or about the availability of drugs, and maybe arrange a sightseeing tour of the floors of the clinic directly on the screen of users’ smartphone


  • Medical services - enable patients to access medication information and their doctor’s instructions


  • Focus on a healthy lifestyle - remind patients of important points - taking medication or checking sugar level


The use of PWA in the field of healthcare can significantly improve the availability and quality of medical care, ensure public awareness, and improve the management of the healthcare system as a whole.


Hotel booking


Progressive web apps in the field of hotel reservation rightly claim to be one of the most convenient software solutions. Both for users and business owners. Among the main functions should be highlighted:


  • Mobile web accessible with a smartphone - even if there is no Internet connection, the guest can view information about available rooms


  • Push notifications - inform customers that for the dates they are interested in, the price for booking rooms has been reduced 


  • Track customers access and activity - receive instant feedback from the client immediately after his check out from your hotel


Education


The effectiveness and efficiency of the education sector can also be greatly increased, thanks to the use of PWA technology. What do users get?


  • Simple, attractive layout and use on any device - students no longer have a binding to a specific time or place in order to gain new knowledge, a smartphone or tablet is enough to get acquainted with the materials of the last lesson


  • Access to content even on minimal resources - the battery charge or low bandwidth of the device is no longer a hindrance to learning new information. PWA features ensure maximum performance anyway


  • Increased engagement - PWA’s smooth flow keeps user attention and promotes engagement


E-commerce


This industry, perhaps, benefits even more from the use of PWA technology. The statistics on the use of mobile gadgets for commercial transactions on the network is growing from year to year. PWAs have one undeniable advantage over mobile sites - they load several times faster and can work offline. Thus, PWA can significantly increase conversion and the total number of loyal customers.

Dozens of successful examples all over the world speak for themselves. Among the most famous companies are AliExpress, 5Miles.com, Flipkart, Lancome, and others.


Despite the relatively recent appearance, a progressive web app technology occupies a worthy place on the software development market. The main merit of a PWA is an increase in user interaction with the interface (UX), which means an undoubted benefit for your business.


For many software houses, creating a PWA is already a software engineering standard. Soon, the availability of a PWA will become a must-have for any serious business.

Investing in PWA development today will provide an opportunity to attract the maximum of the target audience and make its interaction with your company as efficient as possible. Which means increase competitiveness and take a worthy place in the niche that you have chosen.


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