Strengthen your brand digitally – with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

Being able to settle into a remote work environment hasn’t been the only important aspect of business continuity, after the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolation and lockdowns have also pushed consumers to carry out most of their responsibilities from their smartphones, be they essential or otherwise. This has pushed many businesses to re-consider how they can make their offerings more accessible, while standing apart from their competition.

Asking the standard questions about heightening sales and retaining customers has always been a topic of interest within businesses. But considering the prevailing economic climate, many new variables have come into play. Being at the forefront of software development in Sri Lanka, this is something that we’ve been observing most commonly in the wake of this pandemic – both from existing clientele, as well as external trends that are redefining the way businesses operate and communicate.

As a result, this invites discussions from a brand new perspective, especially as life is far from returning back to normal even after lockdowns have eased. Add to this the constant tug-of-war between competitors; limitless options have rendered the average consumer spoilt for choice. In turn, this further adds to the necessity of remaining at peak visibility – or else risk losing out to the competition.

So what exactly are Progressive Web Apps, and how do they add leverage to your brand during these unprecedented times?

Enter Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for making a remarkable difference in the way your customers interact with your brand digitally, while enjoying your products and services. A web-based application that looks and feels just like an app that you would download from the App or Play Store, PWAs bring forth many advantages. While a Native app will require download and installation prior to using it, a PWA simply opens on your mobile’s web browser, ready to function as normal. Alleviating these extra steps is beneficial, since many users are discouraged to wait until an app downloads and installs. As a result, this can reduce rates of abandonment for your app, thereby streamlining the journey you take your consumers on, to finally reach your product.

Since regular app updates are also not required, you need not worry about notifying your users to do so, in order to access the latest version of your app. A PWA will always show its most up-to-date version, whenever users access it over the web. What’s more, PWAs have evolved to perform as fully functional apps, now even accommodating features such as accessing the camera, microphone and location, while also facilitating payment gateways. Although Native apps may still be the most suitable option for certain use cases, PWAs can now independently deliver complete app functionality for businesses of every volume and/or sector.

Elevate conversions by shortening the gap between app and product.

Once again, it’s the advantages of PWAs that subsequently benefit business objectives as well. In other words, the lack of downloading an app and always presenting the latest version of it in a single click, are highly resourceful for retaining customers. With app and site abandonment a commonplace issue, PWAs can vastly benefit brands that aim to make their offerings more accessible to their users. The less steps to do so, the better – and users are now aware of excellent service that they will want to return back to. Retail businesses (particularly B2C companies) stand to greatly benefit especially in this prevailing economic climate.

Versatile enough to blend into any form of marketing, be it online or offline.

Thanks to being browser-friendly, this also makes PWAs highly flexible. Sharing them as links via many modes of marketing (both online and offline) such as SMS, email and social media is now easy, while ensuring consistency at all times. This means that clicking on the link will open the latest version of the app over the web, irrespective of device (mobile, tablet or desktop). As a result, this makes marketing efforts more valuable, since the user journey offered (along with the products you wish to sell) are easy and approachable for your consumer.

Resilient enough to function with limited resources.

Unlike their Native counterparts, PWAs are hardy; they can even function with compromised resources, such as poor internet connectivity and older hardware/software. This presents a great opportunity for businesses to tap into markets that may consist of such limitations. Emerging markets in developing countries are regions of interest for local businesses, as well as multinational companies that are looking to expand their customer base. A PWA is ideal for introducing such customer bases to a new product or service, especially in the wake of fluctuating connectivity, older devices and outdated browser versions.

Extends to a wide variety of use cases, across many company sizes and industries.

Now that PWAs are as functional as custom-developed Native apps, it is an ideal option for taking your products and services to the world. In light of prevailing circumstances, PWAs also form easy, convenient and accessible bases to collect subscriptions for services that are delivered via video conferencing or learning management systems, such as workout sessions and educational classes. Therefore, PWAs aren’t only confined to the retail industry, and its extensive range of functionalities make it adaptable to almost any use case out there.

Summing it all up…

A lot of things have changed, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and business continuity is therefore of top priority for organizations of every size and industry. As consumers focus ever more so on digital methods of purchasing goods and services, social distancing is further increasing reliance on smartphones, the web and cloud computing to help millions adhere to their responsibilities.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) present unique opportunities in increasing online visibility, through applications that solely function over web browsers (instead of a typical download and install via the App or Play store).

From reducing steps within the user journey, to offering consistency across multiple device types, PWAs are highly valuable from a marketing standpoint – thereby rendering immense potential to tap into even the most complex business objectives.