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Progressive Web App (PWA): The new standard for B2B websites

For B2B companies, a Progressive Web App (PWA) is a simple and effective way to provide high-performing (mobile) websites. No app development, no download, no installation is needed.

Current market dynamics and a shift in user habits lead to a very high focus on mobile use and user friendliness of websites. This has resulted in two particular trends that have gained a lot of traction in recent years: responsive websites and Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

This article will answer the following questions:

  1. What is the difference between a mobile website and a Progressive Web App (PWA)?
  2. What are the benefits of a Progressive Web App?
  3. Why should you consider a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

What is the difference between a mobile website and a Progressive Web App?

The current standard for mobile is a classic website with a responsive design that can be accessed via (mobile) browser. Some B2B companies, however, additionally offer native apps. These have to be developed, maintained and supported separately for different operating systems (mostly iOS and Android).

In terms of customer loyalty and user experience, (a.k.a. a high conversion rate) native apps have a clear advantage. However, mobile websites have a higher reach because their content can be indexed (and thus displayed) by search engines.

A hybrid of both approaches is a Progressive Web App (PWA). It provides a (mobile) website with its content accessibly for search engines. However, it has the look and feel of a native app that enables intuitive navigation and better performance.

Intershop Progressive Web App (PWA)

What are the benefits of a Progressive Web App?

A PWA is fast

A big advantage of the PWA is the fast load of content. So-called service workers enable efficient caching. At the same time, relevant data is updated in the background. This makes it possible to recall and cache resources in advance, manage offline requests and much more. A PWA is up and running in an instant and can even be used offline or within unreliable network conditions.

A PWA needs less space

You don’t need to download a PWA via an app store. Therefore, users don’t need to install and use another app. This eliminates the time-consuming download of an installation package. In addition, a PWA requires much less storage space than a native application. The Twitter PWA, for example, is only 3% the size of the comparable app.

A PWA exchanges less data

With a PWA, the contents of a website are only cached locally on the smartphone. This data minimalism is also consistently continued in use. This is an important factor, especially when taking limited data volumes into account.

A PWA sends push notifications

When users are not on your website, it is difficult to make direct contact. PWAs allow you to send push notifications. As with native apps, they can provide users with information and offers to motivate them to interact. Learn here how easy it is to create push notifications in a PWA.

A PWA looks like a normal app

A PWA can be accessed from any browser, regardless of the operating system. It can also be easily added to the home screen (at least under Android). After that, the customer experience is comparable to this of native apps.

A PWA needs no App Store

The user doesn’t have to search for the PWA in the App Store. You just use the regular URL of the website or online portal. Due to this, no certification process is required, neither do updates require confirmation from the App Store.

A PWA has more reach than native apps

PWAs are simply called via an URL. This provides two advantages over native apps: On the one hand the content can be found by search engines, on the other hand URLs can be shared more easily via social networks. A bonus: Google rates fast loading pages better!

A PWA provides better conversion rate

 PWAs have a great conversion rate because they enable popular native app functionality, a very good user experience but also speed. Navigation within the PWA is consistently smooth. This is crucial for user retention. More than 40% of the users abort the process if a loading process takes longer than 3 seconds. With every additional second, the conversion rate drops by an average of 7%. Take a look at pwastats.com to find out how businesses benefit from a high conversion rate while having a PWA in place.

A PWA has less development effort

Instead of developing separate native apps for Android and iOS, the advantages of all applications are combined in one PWA. You don't need special App developers. Intershop's PWA is Open Source. Everyone can contribute.

 

Why should you consider a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

There are many good reasons to implement a PWA. Customers are offered a convincing mobile experience. At the same time, companies benefit from more ready-to-pay users and lower costs for development or user acquisition. This results in a better return on investment.

Used correctly, a PWA is the ideal basis for a successful mobile commerce strategy in B2B. Do you have a special request? No problem, a PWA can easily be extended with additional features - such as a QR code scanner to easily re-order consumables of a machine.

Intershop offers a PWA as standard storefront in its B2B commerce platform. Do you want to see how it looks like? Here's a click-through demo: Intershop PWA Demo Store