Consumers’ attention has never been spread so thin. To capture it, retailers must set themselves apart from the competition and offer buyers an impeccable customer experience. From an e-commerce perspective, this entails a fluid, super-fast and responsive online experience. This is where PWAs come in. Let’s take a look at what PWAs are, what their benefits are for your B2C business, and why you should make the switch.
What is a PWA?
A PWA, or Progressive Web App, is a type of application software delivered through the web, that offers users an application-like experience directly in their browser. These web applications work across all platforms, browsers, and connected devices – even those deemed “obsolete”. PWAs are dynamic, fast-loading sites with full-screen mode, push notifications, and replicate the user experience of a native application.
With PWAs, you can enable users to access high-performance platforms that are optimized for their devices while adhering to the “mobile first” ethos.
The benefits of PWAs for B2C commerce
1. Super-fast site speed to keep your shoppers engaged
With research showing that shoppers now expect pages to load in just 2 seconds and 40% stating that they will wait a maximum of three seconds before abandoning a retail site, speed must be a top priority for e-retailers.
PWAs can speed up the page load time by up to ten times, keeping shoppers on the e-commerce website for longer, reducing the bounce rate, and thus increasing the conversion rate. As an example, Asda’s clothing brand George switched their site to a PWA and saw impressive results:
- Their average page load time was 3.8x faster
- Their bounce rate was divided by 2
- They saw a 31% increase in Conversion Rate
- 20% more pages were viewed per visit
A quicker site loading time significantly reduces cart abandonment and increases client engagement.
2. Become mobile-friendly in a mobile-first world
On average, most people spend upwards of 3 hours a day on their mobile phones, and Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile purchases will represent 42.9% of ecommerce sales by 2024. This data speaks for itself: e-retailers need to ensure their mobile platforms are as high-performance as their desktop ones.
Moreover, mobile-friendliness is a key factor across all search engines when determining how to rank websites. This means that the more responsive and mobile-friendly your e-commerce site is, the better your SEO ranking will be and the more organic traffic you will gain.
A PWA is a mobile-friendly solution in and of itself, as it can run on any browser on any device. Despite PWAs not actually being native apps, they are able to function like them, preserving the appearance of the website no matter the browser or network strength. As a consequence, search engines are more likely to index these websites on the SERPs.
In short, PWAs make it easier for your consumers to find you.
3. Optimize your Performance
PWA also tops the list of benefits for retail businesses thanks to performance optimization. Progressive web applications are responsive and use little data. As a result, consumers will pay less to load a page. This prevents a crash or unexpected slowdown by reducing the server’s overall load.
Thanks to a PWA, the overall performance of websites is enhanced. The user experience is never hindered or slowed down by PWAs, even during times of high traffic.
So not only do PWAs improve performance, that improved performance in turn enhances user engagement. When Twitter launched their PWA, Twitter Lite, they saw some amazing results when it came to engagement, including:
- 65% increase in pages per session
- 75% increase in Tweets sent
- 20% decrease in bounce rate
4. Remarketing with push notifications
As PWAs act like real apps, they are also able to send out Push notifications and gather data. This allows retailers to reengage their existing customers by sending push notifications about discounts, special offers, or new products that are relevant to them. Using this strategy ensures a higher delivery and open rate. The pages that users have visited, the number and length of their sessions, and their location are all taken into account when determining how these offers are presented to them. And shoppers love it when they can access the information with just a tap on the screen.
Retargeting is key when it comes to building customer loyalty to a brand, thus increasing not only the conversion rate but also the average basket size.
5. It reduces development budget and time
Developing a PWA generally costs 3 to 4 times less than a traditional app and their maintenance cost is also 33% lower. As PWAs are built like webpages, retailers can have one single codebase for various platforms, not just the two popular platforms. Instead of developing an app from scratch, merchants simply need to configure their current website with help from tools such as Google Lighthouse.
With native apps, if you want to publish your app on both App Store and Play Store, you’d need two versions of the app. This goes without saying that you’d have to pay more and wait longer for your app to be developed. So not only do PWAs cost significantly less than native apps, but their time-to-market will also be much better, thus maximizing ROI.
Let’s recap the benefits
- PWAs are super-fast and help keep your shoppers engaged
- They allow you to become mobile-friendly in a mobile-first world
- A PWA will allow you to optimize your performance
- Thanks to push notifications, you can reengage your existing customers and build brand loyalty
- PWAs are quicker and cheaper to develop than native apps
Making the switch to PWA
So, as shoppers increasingly turn to mobile purchasing, developing a PWA seems like an obvious must for B2C retailers. Not only will it ensure that the customer experience is optimal, it will also keep them engaged for longer, increase conversions, and build brand loyalty.
To accompany you in this transition to PWA, Front-Commerce provides an incredibly quick front-end built on the PWA standard. Front-Commerce is a cutting-edge solution that keeps you one step ahead of the competition. Thanks to our front-end, unlock all the benefits of a high-performance PWA and discover just how much your customers love it.
Interested in discovering the ROI of implementing a frontend PWA? Get in touch and we’ll calculate it for you for free!