Determining if a Progressive Web App is Right for Your Business
As smartphone revenue potential continues to grow exponentially – with 60% of all eCommerce account traffic coming from hand-held devices – businesses that adopt a mobile customer experience (CX) are able to stay ahead of the curve, and building a Progressive Web App (PWA) can be an effective way to do so. Since a user’s experience is enhanced based on a browser’s capabilities while using a PWA, it’s a responsive way to design an application that your brand could benefit from, plus it’s more cost-effective than a native app.
To address commonly asked questions about determining if a PWA is right for your business, we spoke with Georgiy Slobodenyuk, Software Architect at Absolute Web.
Q: What kind of business is a good fit for a Progressive Web App? And are there any that are not?
A: PWA itself is a loose collection of technologies to enhance the user experience of websites. Not every feature of a PWA must be used to get some kind of benefit. Businesses that have field workers heading out into regions with poor internet connectivity may benefit from offline browsing. Businesses that deal with location-specific inventory, in-store pickup, or just customer location can benefit from location services. Businesses that have highly bespoke requirements for checkout experience or product purchasing/configuration would benefit from adhering to a combination of PWA technologies. A poor fit would be any business jumping to conclusions and demanding a PWA without a consideration of the value gained with said approach.
Q: Is there value in incorporating select features of a Progressive Web App, instead of going all in?
A: Absolutely. As in any project, the scope should be determined based on the value of optional components. As PWA is not a solution to all problems, it’s important to consider PWA features with other optimizations given the implementation time and budget constraints.
Q: Do I need to hire special talent to develop and manage a Progressive Web App?
A: Generally, many PWA features are approachable without a steep learning curve to an experienced frontend developer. However, there are a few paradigm shifts with respect to offline support, service workers, server-side rendering, etc., that can take longer to understand for those with a frontend background. At the very least, consideration should be given to consultation with a professional before hard plans are made.
Q: Is launching a Progressive Web App more expensive than launching a native app?
A: In most cases, a native app will require a larger budget and time investment. The price of course depends on the native and frontend web team’s strengths. Depending on browser support requirements, PWAs may require more time investment, depending on the user-base and expected browser statistics. Many features won’t work and potentially need to be patched or “polyfilled” to support older browsers.
Interested in exploring if a PWA is right for your business?
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