5 Benefits That Progressive Web Apps Offer Brands Over Native Apps

Websites and mobile applications are beginning to merge. The compound of these two is called a progressive web application. The progressive web app—a website that, when viewed on mobile devices, contains enhanced features and functionality which make it look and feel like a native mobile app—is expected to grow in popularity this year. Website users are growing tired of the latency associated with using most websites on a mobile device, and with newer technologies available to web developers, there’s really no reason anyone should have to put up with slow or clunky user experience on a mobile device. Add all of this to the fact that brands are growing tired of paying Apple and Google 30% of their mobile app revenue, and you can see why we’ve identified progressive web apps as a web development trend for 2019.

But what exactly differentiates the progressive web app from other websites and mobile apps? Understanding this allows brands to decide whether or not to choose a progressive web app over a standard website.


Related reading: Will Progressive Web Apps Replace Native Apps?


Progressive Web Apps are Lightweight and Fast

Progressive web apps (PWAs) can be accessed via your phone’s browser, just like any other website. But, they can also be added to your phone’s app library just like any other mobile app, which allows quick one-tap access to the site. The big difference here though is that PWAs are much faster to load and install than native apps because they require much less storage space on the user’s device. This dramatic reduction in size is achievable because like all websites, progressive web apps mostly reside on a server as opposed to your phone, tablet, or computer, which is where native mobile apps live.


When comparing the Twitter app for all platforms, it’s easy to see the benefit of progressive web apps. The native Twitter app for iOS is 214MB, for Android it is 24MB, and as a progressive web app branded as Twitter Lite, it is only 0.6MB¹.

Tinder, Uber, and BookMyShow are a few other brands using progressive web apps to increase speed and decrease file size:

  • Tinder decreased load time to 4.69 seconds from 11.91 seconds².
  • Uber lowered the site’s load time to 3 seconds to over 2G speeds³.
  • BookMyShow’s progressive web app was 54 times smaller than the Android app and 180 times smaller than the iOS app⁴.

These lightweight progressive web apps function just as well as a mobile app that hogs your phone’s disk space because of the service worker, a script that runs in the background of the device allowing the app to sync with the server, making features like push notifications possible.


Enable Auto Updates And Enhanced Security

Updates are usually a critical part of keeping software and mobile applications healthy and performing at their best. Viruses, malware, performance improvements, other bugs—these types of issues are fixed with updates. Progressive web apps are updated; however, because they don’t live on the user’s device, they are updated by the developer directly on the server. So the user never has to download an updated version of the app. The app updates are seamlessly integrated into the PWA.

Progressive web apps have enhanced security because they rely solely on HTTPS to provide data and updates, a secure protocol that minimizes the risk of security issues.


Increase User Engagement

Progressive web apps can significantly impact user engagement and the bottom line. Research shows that features like push notifications and being able to add your website to an Android user’s home screen, just like you can a mobile app, can help bring users back to your website again and again.

Progressive web apps have helped the following brands increase engagement and revenue:

  • Pinterest increased core engagements by 60% and user-generated revenue by 44%⁵.
  • Trivago increased click-throughs to hotel offers by 97%⁶.
  • Forbes saw a 20% increase in impressions per visit and its users’ session length doubled⁷.


Progressive Web Apps Are Economical

Developers can build and update progressive web apps more quickly than native mobile apps, making them more economical for the brand who’s hiring the web development firm. Just like a website, a progressive web app is built once, and functions across both Android and Apple devices, whereas native mobile apps are built twice… one codebase for the Apple App Store and a separate codebase for the Google Play Store. One version of the web app can be displayed identically and seamlessly across every device, which can dramatically cut development time.


Increase Page Ranking

Implementing SEO strategies allows brands to be front-and-center when people search for products or services online. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing use speed as a ranking signal, and Google announced earlier this year that they’re going to be putting even more weight on mobile site speed in 2019. Therefore, because progressive web apps are quick-to-load, they can help increase your brand’s search page ranking.


We’ll Build Your Progressive Web App

Give your users the speed, functionality, and performance they deserve from your brand’s website. As progressive web app developers, we’ll build a custom PWA for your brand which includes every benefit listed in this article, and more.

Reach out to us through our contact form to inquire how a progressive app will benefit your unique brand.



¹ https://youtu.be/z2JgN6Ae-Bo?t=670

² https://medium.com/@addyosmani/a-tinder-progressive-web-app-performance-case-study-78919d98ece0

³ https://eng.uber.com/m-uber

⁴ https://developers.google.com/web/showcase/2017/bookmyshow

⁵ https://medium.com/dev-channel/a-pinterest-progressive-web-app-performance-case-study-3bd6ed2e6154

⁶ https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/consumer-insights/trivago-embrace-progressive-web-apps-as-the-future-of-mobile/

⁷ http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/03/forbes-rebuilt-its-new-mobile-website-as-a-progressive-web-app/