Progressive Web Apps are set to revolutionise
mobile commerce – are you ready?

Posted by Screen Pages on 15/02/19

If you’re an eCommerce vendor, mobile commerce is more important than ever.

  • 93% of internet users browse the internet from a mobile device every day
  • According to Forrester, mobile commerce continues to grow and will contribute up to half of overall retail sales growth by 2022
  • Most emails are opened on mobile
  • More smartphone users start researching products or services on a search engine according to Google

Despite the above, merchants continue to struggle with lower conversion rates and engagement from users on mobile devices.

Apps however account for over 80% of Mobile Time according to comScore and mobile apps continue to outperform mobile sites. Case in point: ASOS Chairman Brian McBride recently announced that their app drives 50% more transactions than their website, with users buying more; staying longer; returning more often.

According to leading app provider JMango360, the reasons for this are as follows:-

Apps deliver better mobile user experiences

User experiences are the single most important factor in desktop and mobile-based purchasing decisions. For example, a one-second delay in page load times can result in a 7% loss in conversions.

This means that a page that takes over 7 seconds to load will lose you half (49%) of your potential business.

When it comes to eCommerce, this makes native apps a natural choice. Apps are different from mobile websites in two key ways.

First, they’re stored on a user’s device. Second, they’re developed for a specific operating system (like iOS or Android) therefore making the most of the features that operating system has to offer.

These advantages mean native apps load faster, work more intuitively and offer extra features like push notifications. All of this improves consumers’ experiences, helping you win their business more effectively.

Apps convert better

Mobile devices drive 62% of all eCommerce traffic. That’s a massive opportunity… But when consumers use mobile websites, they end up abandoning their carts up to 97% of the time.

Having an app fixes this by dropping cart abandonment down to 20%. Apps don’t just help you convert a lot more business, they also drive hordes of interested customers your way, making it really easy to benefit from high conversion rates

Apps increase user engagement

As previously stated, 80% of mobile time is spent using apps. Put simply, this means you can’t have any real mobile engagement without an app.

This is especially relevant for eCommerce businesses. Retail apps get opened more than any other app type, at 17.5 launches a month. Marketing statistics can be misleading at times, but here, it’s clear that consumers love using (and returning to) mobile apps.

Mobile app users make more repeat purchases too. With apps users spending 30% more and viewing 4 times more products than they do on websites. This is confirmed in multiple studies – like the bol.com one where web app consumers beat the control group by 30% in terms of spending.

It also helps that push notifications are opened up to 90% of the time, compared to 10-20% for e-mails (depending on industry).

Apps improve SEO

Modern search engines index app content alongside website content when determining your SERP position. This means that having an app, indexing it and syncing it with your site gives you a strong search engine boost.

Without an app, it will become almost impossible to be on page 1 of the mobile search results – and with an app, you’ve got double the chances to rank highly. Today, app indexing is available for both Android and iOS apps. Google recently announced that it will even index locked content inside apps, conferring even more SEO benefits to app owners and developers

So why not build a mobile app?

The reality is that not all businesses have the resources required to deliver and support mobile apps effectively due to the fragmentation of the smartphone market.  There are so many different smartphones available on the marketing running different combinations of operating systems and browser that it is virtually impossible to offer an app that works consistently across all devices.

This is where progressive web apps come in. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are web applications that load like regular web pages or websites but can offer the user functionality such as working offline and push notifications, traditionally available only to native applications. PWAs bring together the best of website and mobile app functionality to provide a fast, reliable and engaging experience that can increase conversion rates by upwards of 50 percent and drive strong revenue growth for brands.

Magento (an Adobe company) recently announced PWA studio, a suite of tools for building online stores with app-like user experiences which enables merchants to offer reliable, fast and engaging mobile shopping without having to build apps.

Magento merchants will be able to offer customers the following:-

 

  • a consistent shopping experience, irrespective of the device and browser
  • a reliable shopping experience irrespective of their connectivity
  • push notifications to drive customer engagement
  • the ability to keep apps on their home screen without the hassle of an app store and installation/upgrade process

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