Progressive Web App Vs Native App: What is better for business?
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Confused about choosing a perfect medium for engaging mobile audience towards your business? Well, here is a comparison between the two leading solutions for businesses to woo mobile users i.e. Progressive web apps vs Native Apps. This is certainly going to help you find the more suitable one your business. Being said that, it is indeed a prerequisite to target mobile audience. If we go with the data trends, there is going to be a one-sided dominance of mobile devices in near future as far as Internet usage is concerned. Smartphones are fascinating devices that are forcing eCommerce giants to take the mobile web seriously. Mobile is changing the equilibrium of eCommerce from a computer-oriented to a mobile-first world.
Online interaction with potential customers is easier in this mobile-age than it was ever before. PWA or Native apps are trending in the eCommerce industry. Specifically, the way mobile is becoming a digital pioneer & expanding the scope of eCommerce to an incomprehensible extent. So many businesses are diving into mobile commerce, even the ones making a transition from offline to online business.
Why your business needs a Progressive Web App or Native App?
It is always said that any business needs to reach its target audience on its convenience for sales conversions. As a business, you can’t ignore the interest of people in mobiles. It is rather a platform to penetrate your audience. Mobile compels you to incorporate a strategic shift and emphasize the exponentially growing number of mobile users.
To reach mobile users, you need to adopt PWA or get a Native App or even both if your budget is sufficient enough. These are the two most effective platforms for engaging mobile users. I would assume you know the popularity of native mobile apps in the eCommerce industry. If not, you were definitely not living on earth.
Progressive Web App is a capable solution that stands neck to neck with the native apps in many aspects. To put it in a better context, many popular brands like Alibaba, Flipkart, BookMyShow, Forbes. Your presence for reaching mobile users through PWA and Native app.
Did You Know – 53.6 % of the online traffic on the eCommerce platforms is coming from mobile.
If you have to figure out what’s better for your business, now is the time. As the mobile-first age arrives, you need to adapt your business online and choose a platform that suits your business better.
Progressive Web App vs Native Apps
Mobile App is a basic necessity these days. The surge of mobile connectivity also has a preposterous impact on eCommerce landscape. Even though native apps evolved much earlier than PWA, yet it managed to create ripples in juxtaposition to the future of native apps by few people. But it is not the case in practical implications because the native apps are way too different when it comes to rich and diversified functionalities. So it needs to be understood that PWA is not a rival to native apps. Both have their own pros & cons, merits & demerits for a business.
Native apps are created to perform specifically attributed set of tasks on smartphones. On the other hand, the Progressive web app is more of an enhancement of a website. Progressive web apps transform the webpages into an intuitive application that feels like an app without being one. This transition involves a nicely though out tweaks for the website that make the website responsive and interactive to surf on mobile browsers. PWA is not an actual app like the native apps are, it is a website application that resembles app in many ways.
It is an obvious tendency of human beings to feel attracted by vivid and interactive designs and PWA vs Native App. Progressive web app captivates people with rich and fluent user interface and takes the user experience to a much higher level. This increases the chances of visitor conversion in process. Here we will provide a detailed comparison between PWA vs Native App from the perspective of the business. You can surely figure out the appropriate option for your business using these aesthetic differences discussed below.
Native Mobile Apps demands double work
Native apps are developed separately for iOS and Android, the two most popular mobile platforms. There is a predicament for businesses to create separate variants for both platforms to get outreach for all kinds of mobile users. Even though, Android is the most extensively used mobile platform across the world but the users of iOS are also in significant proportions.
Ignoring any of these two group of mobile users is going to hurt your business eventually. Apps meant for Android are much different from the ones prepared for Apple’s iOS. So you need to work separately on both. This doubles up the effort required in the development of a native app for both iOS and Android platforms. So, your business ends up investing twice the effort for developing native apps covering all the mobile OS.
PWA is more convenient
Progressive web apps are websites that are developed on an intuitive framework. So you do not need a hefty investment for developing PWA for business. Developing PWA is not restricted to abide any strict guideline just like any other website. Progressive web can be accessed through most types of mobile browsers. PWA features are more or less the same as native apps. Although, expenditure of business is just a small proportion of what you need to spend on native apps.
Benefits of PWA outweigh the cost of Native apps
Building a progressive web app is cheaper than developing a native app. In the case of the native app, you have to create two separate applications for the iOS and Android platforms. This means you need at least two versions for iOS and Android, and the resources to maintain and update each version.
Depending on the complexity of the business, native apps consume hefty money on development. The cost of native app development can vary depending upon the requirements of the business Progressive web app is faster to build and update. You can have one single solution that operates across the platforms.
Native Apps Demand consistent updates and debugging
Even after getting your native app for both the popular mobile operating systems, you still need consistent work to make the app better and enhanced for users. App is never perfect. It is not possible to build an app without any flaws or issues. Therefore, you need a team of developers constantly active and working on patches for the bugs and/or issues to release the updated version.
Even if you somehow managed to create a flawless app, you will still need to upgrade it from time to time. Why? It is essential to keep the app compatible with the latest changes made by the platform itself. For instance, Android releases a new patch over its previous version every few months for various reasons including security. It is an essential part of maintaining the relevance of the app for the changes made in the platform.
Progressive web Apps is an interactive website
All the users need is a web browser and a URL. Many of the PWA features are supported by popular browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. This makes it easier for your app to reach a large audience in a short time. You can easily deploy your updates without the need to wait for the approval. This makes PWA is much more convenient for both your business and the customers.
Getting listed & app store optimization
Native apps are placed on the app stores where people are supposed to visit and download the app. A platform such as iOS even charges the developers for creating their app store account. To get the apps to an app market is difficult. The native apps need to optimize the app and comply with the rules and restrictions used by the app stores to prevent poor quality apps from being listed for downloads.
Having your app listed on the app store makes your business more reliable among users. People tend to have more trust in native apps rather than PWA driven web URL. Native apps are not indexed by the search engines for the searches. Users can find the app on respective app stores of the android and iOS. This is a key factor which influences app discovery. You need App Store Optimization for enabling users to find your app faster and with relative ease.
PWA enhances your business visibility on search engines
PWA, on the other hand, works like any website so they can be indexed in search engines. Compared to normal/responsive web page. PWA has increased performance and engagement, helping your website rank better in search results. PWA is an SEO magnet that is easily ranked among the top search results owing to its unique framework. The progressive web empowers the search engine ranking of business tremendously.
To put it simply, the Progressive web app boosts the visibility of your business. You can reach your target audience searching about the relevant solutions on search engines in an organic way. This way, PWA can accompany your new eCommerce venture in the long journey to turn into a well-recognized brand.
Multiple security factors for native apps
Native Apps have the option to build multiple security measures for enhanced safety of your data. If your app requires login, you can implement Multi-Factor Authentication. You can also use Certificate pinning for even more secure communication. Besides, users are more likely to trust an app than a URL, as it needed to pass the App Store’s security requirements before getting published.
A progressive web app is protected by HTTPS security protocols
PWAs are more secure than normal web apps because they are run on HTTPS security protocols. This ensures that no data shared between the client and the server is tampered with from unlikely sources. In a secure environment, customers can enter personal details and credit card information without worrying that it can be stolen.
Download & Installation
Source – The Mobile App Report by Comscore
Necessary to download & install Native app
An average mobile user installs zero apps a month. Part of this is because it requires a certain level of commitment to get to the end of the installation process and use the app. First, users have to find the app in the store and confirm that they want to install it. After that, they have to wait for the download and installation.
Finally, after granting the app permissions, users often delete the app after using it. When users uninstall an app, it is usually the final decision and they might not come back.
No download or installation required for PWA
Progressive web app does not need any download or installation from the users. Any user can simply open the PWA on his browser and that is it, sufficient enough to access the application. Visitors can also bookmark and add the app to their home screen of their mobile with one tap.
PWA can be placed as a home screen icon, in the app directory of the mobile, it can send push notifications, and integrate with the system settings. Besides this, PWA barely consume any space unlike the native apps. So you can use almost an app like environment for user interaction without forcing the user to download anything at all. Just open the URL and access the app. You just have to share the URL with your friends. When there is no installation, obviously there will be no updates.
Performance of PWA vs Native app
Speed & fluency – Compared to a native mobile app, PWA loads much faster. While the native apps use a good chunk of data to work with, PWA has the service workers which operate separately on web pages. These service workers cache certain resources and synchronize the data remotely which even allows it to perform certain tasks without internet connectivity. Like Native apps, PWA also has this option to add a home screen shortcut that makes it instantly accessible without surfing.
Usage under poor network or offline – PWA is enabled to process requests even if it has no internet availability. Thanks to the service workers, PWA manages to save the tasks and later updates them when the internet connectivity is re-established.
Battery consumption – PWA consumes more battery than Native Apps. The reason is simply that PWA is operated under a browsing app and has no direct control over battery consumption. The consumption is therefore dependent upon the latency of the browser. On the other hand, the Native app directly performs under the operating system which allows them to calibrate efficiency and power consumption.
Features of PWA vs Native app
PWA is developing gradually along the line of native apps, but still, there is a limit to its functionalities in comparison to native apps due to its dependency on the internet browser :
- Push notifications: Having push notifications increases the chance to re-engage an interested user. Native app allows building functions from scratch or even using third-party integration if need be. Though PWA is also enabled to send push notifications with the help of service workers it is not able to use API on iOS due to enhanced security parameters of the platform.
- Geofencing: Geofencing is helpful in development as it allows developers to create virtual boundaries for functions. If the user tries to cross the boundary, the app triggers programmed actions. When combined with push notification, Geo-fencing provides an excellent option to reach and engage mobile users. Although this is a feature that is only available in native apps.
- Payment transaction: In this aspect, mobile apps and PWA are both equally capable. Through interaction with NFC chip or other hardware-based digital payments are restricted for PWA on iOS platforms.
- Interaction with other apps: Native app has the ability to make calls, keep user logins, use of the calendar and various other ways that can be done by accessing other apps. This process requires the permission of the user before anything else. PWA lacks this feature.
- Other smart features: PWA cannot access the device of the user or utilize other functions that can only work with the help of sensors of the mobile.
What is better for your business?
Both the native app and PWA are very capable and bring an array of features to the table. But nothing is devoid of flaws or bugs and these two apps also have their share of flaws too. Your business must analyze the various intricacies involved in managing the medium of outreach it chooses for interacting with target audience. By taking it non-seriously, you are going to end up in a complete disaster.
While choosing a medium between PWA and Native Apps, you should consider the aspects each option excels in, and how they fit in with your vision of your app.
PWA suits your business if
- You are setting up an eCommerce business – PWA does not require its users to download anything and allows a number of ways to start interacting with users. As a new eCommerce enterprise, it is challenging to convince users to download your native app. With PWA you don’t need to force users to download app to start with.
- Your business has budget-constraints – PWA is fairly cheaper to develop and does not takes as much time or effort for maintainence. As a small business, this makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
- You want online transition for your offline business – For offline businesses, it is the time to mark their presence on the online landscape because it is immense and keeps growing with each day. PWA helps such offline business in their online transition as they don’t have to put a rigorous investment right away.
- Your target audience has a poor internet connection – Yes, the ability to function without a fast internet is a big factor too. PWA has this ability to operate under poor connection speeds without any compromise at all. If a business has a target base located in the exterior regions or rural areas, PWA should be their only hope to succeed online.
The native app suits your business if
- For Branding – Any big brand name has to have its own presence on the app stores as it is essentially considered a key to reliability It surely develops a trust for the brand amongst people.
- For enhanced accessibility to device hardware – Mobile is a multi-functional and highly equipped gadget. Only native app allows your business the luxury to utilize those smart features such as Geo-fencing, GPS sensors, storage space, system settings, etc. The access to such features gives an edge in creating better user experiences and intuitive use of UI/UX
Every business ultimately needs to penetrate its target audience. As a business, you need a medium to reach the mobile user. Native app and Progressive Web App are the two most dominant platforms for developing mobile outreach. where you can find most of your target audience.
Do not undermine the strengths and weaknesses of your business, especially while making such important decisions. Your business needs to set up for challenges lying ahead. These two service platforms provide a hefty asset to grab advantage of the mobile revolution. They work along with a few respective limitations which you must consider in detail.
When you adopt PWA or Native app, you provide a seamless user experience for engagement with the mobile users. But both operate on concept and origin distinctive of each other having their benefits as well as flaws respectively. In fact, there are plenty of examples where eCommerce brands are using both native apps as well as PWA.
If you wish to leverage the mobile web for your business expansion, you can know better by this helpful webinar by the tech expert from Magento & Cedcommerce respectively.
Before implementating PWA, there are a certain aspects you need to consider as a business. Here is a webinar which enlightens those factors you need to keep in mind when you make the transition to PWA.
“Considerations before implementing Magento PWA for your business”