PWA or mobile application – what’s better?

26.03.2019 Angelika Siczek
Undoubtedly, mobile applications have a perfect UX (user experience), but they also have their limits from a business perspective. The Progressive Web App not only lets them go, but it also creates new habits among users. So what’s better for e-commerce, PWA or mobile applications?
Today, a mobile, user-oriented system is a must. There are over 4.5 billion mobile users, which is more than the number of users using PCs. Despite their differences, PWA and mobile applications can build trust and customer loyalty, which in turn impacts your revenue. Below are the four main differences.

The download of the application process

Mobile applications need to be downloaded from a special App Store. For users who already use the website, this is an additional problem and a distraction from shopping. When you visit the App Store or Google Play, your customer is confronted with applications from other e-commerce brands, and it is not your goal to show them.
PWA has a button to add a shortcut to the home screen that perfectly mimics the mobile application. You can easily transfer it from the website to your phone or tablet. This reduces the costs for customer acquisition and saves time. In addition, Progressive Web App runs in the browser. So you can use links to store products and share them with your friends. These links work equally well in any browser and in any operating system.

The cost of production and maintenance

The mobile application is a way to create and manage. E-commerce businesses need to publish separate applications for each operating system and next update them separately. You also need to pay app stores for their advertising among users.
PWAs are embedded in the website, hence the cost of maintaining them is much lower than mobile software. Updates are automatic because they go directly to the back end of an e-commerce store.

Business model

Mobile applications are covered by a commission for distribution through the app store, which can reach even 30%. This price can be too high for many online retailers. These stores also control the release date and update, which makes it difficult to plan new products and promotions.
PWAs are commission-free because they work on your website. The update is free at all times, which simplifies the planning and control of the business.

User Experience

Mobile applications often consume a lot of memory on the user’s device. This is unacceptable for mobile phones that have a limited capacity. The installation process takes some time and the user has to wait. The conversion rate for users migrating between devices also decreases as applications integrate with other platforms at a lower level than the PWA.
PWA weighs far less than mobile software. For example, PWA Twitter weighs 0.6MB, compared to a 23MB Android application. Progressive Web App installs in the background, which does not break the use of the website. It also looks the same on all devices.

The best solution for the e-commerce industry

Even though the mobile application has a broader set of features, PWA is driving purchases that are user-friendly for mobile devices and are part of the mobile-first trend. Therefore, the development of this technology is progressing rapidly and new solutions and features are becoming visible from day to day. Many e-commerce and social media companies are already using the Progressive Web App. And here comes the most traffic from smartphones and tablets. PWA is also supported by the Google Indexing Engine (which favors mobile solutions), which provides an additional benefit in finding the page through browsing.
Progressive Web App has all the features of the application you need in your e-commerce store. From GPS location to off-line and full screen to cross-platform integrity. The development of this technology is progressing and works well and quickly despite the use of the browser. It mimics all the benefits of the application, which result from its simplicity and transfer it to a more universal grounds. PWA is the ultimate future of e-commerce.
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