Cracking the customer engagement game with Progressive Web Apps

Engaging target customers in the digital world is becoming more challenging with each passing day as the customers are easily switching brands that offer better customer service or customer experience. According to a research by Verint systems, over two thirds of survey respondents stated that they would most likely shift to a competitor who provides better customer experience.   

Paving the way towards engaging the customers and building effective interaction requires is the need of the hour. This requires – one, a mobile-first approach as most users are interacting on the Internet via mobile phones, and two, a customer-centric strategy that offers a 24x7, personalized and collaborative platform to interact. A Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Leveraging the use of Progressive Web Apps seems to be the ultimate solution to achieving greater customer engagement at all times. This can result in better revenue generation opportunities for companies since 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience according to a PWC study.

What exactly is a Progressive Web App?

Progressive Web Apps are special web applications that inherit all the crucial characteristics of native web applications and possess surplus features like offline usability, push notifications, easy accessibility to device hardware, amongst many others, that previously were limited only to the native apps. In its simplest sense, PWA is a mobile application that is delivered through the web and allows a faster, more reliable, and more captivating version of your website or eCommerce site.

To further understand the difference between a native application, a web application, and a PWA, refer to the table below:

What exactly is a Progressive Web App?

Why PWA is so promising and futuristic?

PWAs are definitely the future of the mobile web with deep capabilities to transform the way customers interact and connect with the businesses. Below are the major features and benefits that make PWAs a booming technology, enjoying undivided support from the IT industry.

Why PWA is so promising and futuristic?
  • It is progressive and fully responsive: PWAs work on all browsers and can be adapted to varied gadget screen sizes. It emphasizes web content-first, i.e., separating the presentation semantics from the content wherein the presentation is implemented in one or more optional layers depending upon the browser and strength of the user’s Internet connection.
  • PWAs work offline too: This is a highlighting feature of PWAs. A PWA responds to the user in offline mode too due to Service workers and allows the user to browse through the app even when they are offline.
  • It has an easy app-like interface: PWAs work as native apps and provide the same ease-of-use to customers in terms of interaction, look, feel, and navigation.
  • It enables self-updates: The Service workers levy a data update process ensuring that the information on the app is always up-to-date.
  • PWAs are completely secure: PWAs are served with HTTPS protocol to curb any alteration in content or any delinquency in the displayed information.
  • Allows push notifications: In general, notifications are triggered locally when the user opens an application. In PWAs, the notifications are “pushed” from the server to the user, even when the app is not running, using two APIs: the Notifications API and the Push API. While the notifications API allows the app to display system notifications to the user; the push API facilitates the service worker to manage push messages from a server, even when the user is not operating the app.
  • It is easily discoverable: A PWA enjoys the best of both worlds as it is identified as an “application” by manifest.json file and service worker registration while being easily discoverable by search engines also.
  • Allows simplified installation and sharing: The user can easily install PWA by the “Add To Homescreen” option in the browser menu without the need of using the App Store. PWAs also offer customization options to users allowing them to choose the home screen icon, theme color, or color for the address bar. They are also easily linkable and can be shared via URLs.
  • Leverage of pre-caching: PWAs use the saved data in the cache of the user’s device to manage and optimize offline requests, allowing uninhibited usage and better performance of the app even when the Internet connection is poor or is lost.
  • Better user engagement: Thanks to features like push notifications, PWA allows businesses to personalize their communication with their users by “pushing” relevant notifications.
  • Allows improved customer experience: Features like offline browsing, pre-cached page loading, push notifications, “Add to Homescreen,” etc., supplement customer engagement rates allowing them a better experience.
  • Permitted access to device hardware and sensors: As in the case of native apps, PWAs too can access device hardware like Camera, Microphone, GPS, and other sensors through user permissions.
  • Calming splash screen: In a progressive web app, a splash screen composed of the data in the manifest file like the name, the background color, etc., is displayed if there is a delay in ‘spinning up the site’.

How can you create customized Progressive Web Apps?

Developing a custom-built PWA requires robust industry knowledge and deep expertise in the domain. To give you an outline of the architecture required for creating a PWA, we enlist for you its primary components and considerations:

Progressive Web App

Frontend

The frontend of the PWA is based on JavaScript frameworks, library, and other components and tools for creating dynamic, responsive, and modern user interfaces with better web page performance capabilities.

Backend

Backend technologies like NodeJS, Net Framework, Java, etc., are used for integrating push notifications, multiple databases, and CMS systems.

Cloud Computing

Enabling of PWA management is done through systematic adoption of cloud computing services available in the market like Azure, AWS, Digital Experience Platform, etc.


PWA is unarguably the next big thing in mobile web

Many major brands are increasingly switching to PWAs from native apps, making it the megatrend in the IT industry to watch out for to foster better customer experience and engagement. The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.

For SaaS companies in  From eCommerce website builder giant, Shopify to the popular social media channel, Twitter, dozens are enabling their users to enjoy the benefits of PWA for increased customer engagement and experience.
It’s your turn now to actualize the power of PWA in transforming customer interactions with your online business. Hiring a trusted advisor and expert in the field, like Coforge, to guide you through and deploy best-in-class Progressive Web Apps can accelerate your business growth through best-in-class customer experience.

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