According to Statista, in 2017 there were around 2.31 billion smartphones connected to the Web; this number is still growing and in 2020 it will probably reach almost 3.0 billion. So if you think about it for a moment, you’ll realize that the scale and potential of mobile reach are enormous. And so is the opportunity for PWAs.
Nowadays, mobile technology plays a huge part in shaping the future of digital channels. It also plays a very important role in the wave of e-commerce. Over the last few years, it has changed not only the dynamics of purchases by consumers, but also their habits and the way they shop. I-Want-To-Buy-It moments are almost always influenced by mobile, although a rather small percentage of them is accomplished via mobile. Why? I will try to explain it a bit later.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that ecommerce is growing every year – but it’s growth is not as dynamic as 2-3 years ago, and it’s becoming rather stable. The situation is quite the opposite when it comes to mobile commerce; growth is accelerating every year and according to BI Intelligence it will reach over $600 billion in 2020 (almost 2x more than standard PC Commerce).
But according to a report by Business Insider, in 2015 only 15% of online purchases were made via the Mobile channel and 85% via Desktop. This is a huge discrepancy, especially considering that the same report claims that, on average, U.S. adults spend 59% of their time on a mobile device and 41% on desktop.
So the questions is: what’s wrong with modern mobile commerce?
Well the answer is trivial – it’s not modern enough.
Shops aren’t well suited for mobile – they are slow, bulky, and have too much distracting content. It’s 2017 and a high percentage of shops don’t even have Responsive Design.
They are not stable during high peaks – if you have ever tried to buy anything during, for example, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you know what I mean.
They are not effective with poor internet connections or lie-fi. For example, in Nigeria most mobile users are connected via 2G, so cutting down data usage for those users can really improve their user experience in general.
E-commerce front-end development takes lot of time & effort and not every company can afford a well-built and precisely tailored e-commerce shop – which slows the industry.
You will say “What the hell is this guy talking about? Many retailers have super nice mobile apps which you can use to buy and browse their retailers’ products”.
Yes, you are right! But…
Recently on their conference, Google announced that the era of mobile apps will end soon and that mobile apps are not good investments at all. Research shows that only 1 in every 10,000 mobile apps is profitable, and the acquisition cost of a single user is 10x higher on a mobile app than on a simple web app.
Quick question: How many apps of retailers you buy from a lot do you have installed on your smartphone? Not a lot? Zero?
That’s why Google predicts PWAs are the future of mobile and we think they can also be the future of mobile commerce, solving its most problematic pain points.
PWAs combine the best things from the mobile and web approaches:
- Mobile web reach which is 3 times higher than on Apps. It is way easier to launch an internet browser and look for info, a product you need, etc., than to download a particular app, install it, launch it, and so on.
- Mobile app engagement which is 20 times higher on mobile apps because of push notifications and a smoother, more friendly user experience.
Now imagine you enter your favorite fashion brand web app via mobile, and it’s as smooth and user-friendly as their mobile app on Itunes store or Google Play. You can even save its icon on your smartphone’s home screen as you would do with a mobile app. But wait – that’s not all!
It’s also super fast and offline ready, meaning you can browse and make purchases even without an internet connection. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? ????
This technology is still pretty new and rather in the early stages of development, but some huge e-commerce players have already benefited from it. For example, AliExpress increased the conversion rate for new users by 104% with their new PWAs.
PWAs for sure won’t kill the mobile apps market entirely, as Google predicts, nor will they replace website apps, but they will certainly decrease the gap between them, and solve many challenges of m-commerce.
How do you think PWAs will develop in the future? Share it with us below or Tweet us!
Image credit : Nikita Krushko