Investing in technology – apps, cloud platforms, and even the company website is something every business knows it needs to do. However, few carry out that mission effectively. In a 2015 study by Genpact Research Institute, nearly 70% of technology spending by US companies was invested in projects that didn’t meet expectations. That means they didn’t bring the promised ROI, didn’t deliver the agreed-on outcomes, or maybe were never completed—and almost $400 billion was wasted.
When one of these digital products is your website, it can feel like opening Pandora’s box to try get it off the ground. There are so many options out there, and so many differing opinions on what to focus on. From brand messaging to functionality, to content management – it can literally touch all aspects of your business. Even if you are able to tackle the major pieces and make everyone happy in the process – it is almost impossible to evaluate the quality of your website.
That is where building your website as a progressive web app can help. A progressive web app is more or less a set of standards for building a high quality website on the modern web.
A progressive web app is a hybrid between a website and an app. This means the site loads and works across browsers, but with native speed and mobile first performance usually only available on native apps. We don’t need to beat the drum that performance drastically impacts user experience and conversion rates, here is some research that proves it.
While today, websites that support eCommerce are most likely to be early adopters of progressive web app best practices, it won’t be long until other verticals catch on. That is because, ultimately, a progressive web app is faster, more accessible, more engaging, and more reliable than a traditionally-hosted website. There’s something to be said for knowing your site will always load, especially when a half-second difference in loading time can represent as much as a 10% increase in sales.
Push notifications drive engagement and add value to your customers, and here is why. A repeat customer hasn’t visited in a while? Ping them! Google, the pioneer of progressive web apps, has collected many case studies citing user benefits of these features. Outcomes range from an 4x increase in engagement to over 100% ROI and sending 60-80% less data to complete the same transaction. In the past, this type of feature was only available on native apps built on Android & iOS, but now that functionality is supported natively by devices within the browser.
Our goal at Crafted is to help clients become and stay part of the 30% minority that actually succeed at investing in technology and improving business at the same time. Depending on the project and business goals, our products can become many things – but more often than not, these days that product is a progressive web app. Through our product design and development process we help achieve key marketing goals:
Increased Conversions from Visitors
Whether you want visitors on your site to “buy something now” or “contact you to learn more,” the site is only good if it works at making that appeal. Many sources will tell you to be satisfied with 5% conversion or less, based on your industry. The cross-industry web conversion average is only 2.35%. These numbers pale in comparison to the results demonstrated month after month by Google, with case study after case study showing double-digit improvements in conversion for businesses around the world thanks to progressive web app features.
Longer Time Spent On-Site
Bounce rate and time spent on page are the metrics that show the health of any website. If a lot of people only spend a few seconds looking before they move on, that’s a situation where the illusion of high traffic might cover up deeper issues. This is especially true for informational or B2B websites. Once visitors come to those pages, you want them to stay and learn more. This could be prevented by slow loading times, a confusing site structure, or the technical failure of the site at a critical moment. Progressive web apps do more to welcome the user, and they do it more reliably.
Last Mile Communications
In 2008, the late Senator Ted Stevens became a meme legend when he described the Internet as “a series of tubes.” As goofy as it came across, it was also a noble attempt to break down the concept of limited bandwidth. The Web seems like a limitless place, but there’s only so much room for information to move at once. In crowded areas and emerging markets alike, some businesses are forced to purchase bandwidth to make sure there’s enough room for their website to keep loading. More often, Internet service providers buy the bandwidth, then sell room “in the tube” to their customers at a premium. Progressive web apps are an elegant way to respond, by simply opting out of the need for a lot of bandwidth. That’s especially important when your site will be used all over the map, like one of our clients PrivateAcre. They started what is basically Airbnb for private land. Ever needed to rent out a field or a few acres of woods? Well, if you do, their progressive web app will support you even while you are there on-site with minimal Internet access.
No business leader wants to feel trapped, working on a fruitless task, or dependent on the whims of others. But when it comes to a business website, that’s exactly the position where some find themselves. A progressive web app might just set you free, provided it’s built right, and someone helps you understand all the fun ways to use it. That’s where we come in. Crafted Labs is a small team of experts dedicated to doing the hard work needed to make life easy in the long run. Let us help you do the same.