Digital Marketing

Use Progressive Web Apps to market your business

By Mark Ainsworth

In recent years, social media has become an integral part of most people’s lives. For teenagers and young adults, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are their main source of news and the primary way that they communicate with their social circles, and users will often browse their chosen platforms multiple times a day.

For businesses wanting to reach the key consumer audience that is the 18-34 age group, a social media marketing strategy is crucial. When setting up your social media strategy, you will want to set yourself goals which include things like:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Improving your return on investment
  • Increase sales and conversions
  • Building a strong customer/fan base

All of this is achievable with social media of all kinds, but there is a problem which you need to tackle first – the mobile gap.

 

What is the mobile gap?

Whilst the majority of people look at their social networks and do other personal browsing on mobile devices, research is still showing that there is a huge disparity between how much time people spend using the internet on mobile devices and how much money they are spending when using these devices.

Whilst smartphones and tablets account for 62% of the time users spend on digital media, the gap between usage and spending is still around 49%. Conversions on desktop computers are far more likely than they are on a tablet or mobile device.

There are a number of reasons that this is still the case, including slower mobile connectivity, poor user experience on mobile sites, inefficient and slow sites and low user attention span.

Progressive web apps (PWAs) could be the answer to all of these issues.

 

What are progressive web apps?

Progressive web apps are websites which have the same functions as mobile apps, improving the user experience and making it more fun, without the user having to go into the app store, download and install the app. To reach a PWA, all the user has to do is type in the web address and the site that they reach looks and feels exactly like the native Android and iOS apps on their phones – but without taking up time and space on their phones.

The technology for PWAs has improved markedly in the past months, and newer developments allow internet users to install web apps to their home screen and receive push notifications. Some web apps are even able to be used when offline!

 

Why should you use PWAs?

Studies show that an app loses around 20% of its users for every step needed to take the user from first contact to actually using the app. In a regular smartphone app, the minimum steps necessary would include the user discovering the app, then finding it in the app store, downloading it, installing it, potentially signing up for an account with the app and then, finally, actually using it.

Progressive web apps cut out all of these steps by allowing users to start using the app as soon as they discover it. This gives the app a chance to impress and draw in the user, so that the next time they return they are more likely to install the app and upgrade their experience.

Progressive web apps offer:

  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Higher engagement
  • Usability

Famous sites that have popular PWAs include Twitter and Aliexpress, who have been able to attract huge audiences to sign up and download their app thanks to the impressiveness of their progressive web apps.

 

Benefits of PWAs for social media marketing

Progressive web apps take some of social media marketing’s biggest issues and create simple solutions which work for the user and the brand alike. PWAs:

 

Help you to connect with your audience

Social media is a fantastic place to appeal to and connect with a larger audience, but most social media marketing strategies require a lot of time and energy, and often require the audience to put in some effort themselves. The problem is that internet users today are so spoiled with having everything online provided to them quickly and in one place, that if more is expected of them they will lose interest fast.

Progressive web apps can work offline so that users can keep using them if they lose signal. The apps can be found much more easily by Google than native mobile applications, and don’t need to be installed, so that the user can start exploring straight away.

This means that users can go straight from their social media channel to a product or transaction page without their experience being interrupted, meaning that their interest is held for longer.

 

Develop customer loyalty

A loyal fanbase is the holy grail for any marketer, as there is no better marketing tactic than word of mouth, and no better way to reach a certain audience than through other members of the same group.

However, traditional marketing tactics are well known now, meaning that internet users know when they are being marketed to or used to spread a message, and this can turn them off of the brand altogether.

For this reason, native mobile apps and social media profiles can be difficult to work with, as customers can easily go to it to get what they need and then walk away without a second thought. PWAs offer a better solution as they support push notifications. Marketers are able to use push notifications to send personalised, valuable information to customers, lowering the communication gap between brand and consumer and building trust.

 

Are cost effective

Native apps cost far more to develop than progressive web apps, so it is easier for PWAs to have a better return on investment. A good example of this is Twitter, whose PWA is something that most people have used without even noticing that it is a progressive web app.

Twitter Lite is the PWA version of Twitter, which, when released, enjoyed a 65% increase in page sessions as well as a 20% decrease in page bounces. More engaged users means a better ROI, and progressive web apps excel in engagement.

 

Increase conversion rates

Progressive web apps don’t need to be installed unless the user wants to install them, but they still have full functionality that allows users to sign up, make purchases and so on. A PWA can be installed quickly and easily by clicking the ‘Add to home screen’ button, making it more likely that a user will bother. More than half of internet users fail to install apps from social media, even if they have clicked through to check it out.

As mentioned before, with every extra step in the process, you are giving users more chances to lose interest, so PWAs excel in helping you to convert visitors.

 

Conclusion

PWAs offer a lot of benefits to small businesses – they are relatively cheap to develop, do not “inconvenience” users as they can be used instantly, and can result in increased conversion rates for those who are interested in purchasing from you. What’s not to like?

Here at MaxWeb we specialise in all things internet and sales related and would be happy to talk to you about how we can help you. Why not give us a call on 0151 652 4777 or email info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk to find out more.

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