Creating an app-like experience on the web

Who doesn’t love a good app? Whether it’s to keep track of the latest football scores, listen to music, check on the stock market or place a bet, you take a look at anyone’s smartphone and you’re guaranteed to see a wide range of apps from a seemingly never-ending list of categories.

We bet that checking your mobile phone is the first thing you do in the morning, probably before even speaking to your other half, and then it is the last thing you look at before you shut your eyes for the night. This reliance and love for our mobiles just show how important it is for your business to be in the spotlight of this incredibly receptive audience via their mobile in as many different ways as you can.

In this article though, we’ll be exploring the importance of creating an app-like experience within the mobile browser.

Consumer expectations have drastically changed

With the incredible growth in the mobile market, there are many businesses taking advantage of this surging popularity in mobile apps, recognising the need to appeal to today’s ever-increasing mobile market they’ve shifted their attention to concentrate on offering solid mobile solutions.

Mobile is without a doubt one of the largest target market’s businesses are looking to tap into- and why wouldn’t you? 2016 saw mobile usage overtake traditional desktop usage for the first time, putting those businesses who don’t have a mobile presence at significant risk of losing custom to competitors who are meeting the changing needs of the consumer.

Since the early days of the internet, designers and developers alike have been striving to offer the best possible web-based experience when it comes to the mobile user. In any development environment, you’d be hard pushed not to hear the question ‘does this work for mobile?’ at least ten times a day! If you aren’t asking these questions, there is a great chance you’ll be left behind. Looking back, the only way to deliver the perfect mobile experience was to develop an iOS and Android app, but we’re talking about the app-like experience on the web right?

Consumer expectations have fundamentally changed throughout the years due to their time spent in mobile apps, which in reality had a detrimental effect on how the web is perceived when utilising mobile. Everything feels slow, out of place, clunky and in practice, consumers are quick to react to this with a reported 53% of all mobile users abandoning sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. Even the most thoroughly designed responsive websites can’t keep up with consumer expectations.

Marketing has changed

Times are changing and the world is moving along- consumers aren’t as enamoured with the traditional, once highly efficient techniques such as direct mail or magazine advertising anymore, nor are they dazzled by a website that is responsive. Consumers want content that utilises the latest technology and inspires them!

It comes as no surprise that Google has also been taking steps to encourage businesses to embrace the mobile world for years. With updates aiming to reward those websites with positive rankings should they take it in their interest to create an outstanding mobile experience for consumers. The continued algorithm changes showcase that Google is serious about pushing the internet world into a new era.

Their promotion around AMP also shows us that fast loading mobile websites that meet the fast-paced lives of the people of today are important. So much so in fact, that sites utilising AMP are given favour on the mobile indexing side of things, everything Google does further illustrates their desire to ensure a flawless mobile experience is offered to users of their search engine.

And the delivery of the perfect mobile experience has changed

Delivering the impeccable mobile experience that Google is looking for from their search to your site is a tricky prospect though. It is difficult to balance the creation of a landing page that resonates with your audience and entices them into your brand whilst also being fast, agile and perfect for any type of mobile device.

Not so long ago, the solution to this conundrum would have been a dedicated website solely for mobile or a responsive design that replicates the desktop version of your site. However, consumers want everything quicker and alongside interactive features, which are virtually impossible to achieve with either of the former options, they want an experience like their native mobile apps.

A new solution is required to combat the modern consumer, and you’ll be pleased to know that there is one in the form of the Progressive Web App (PWA).

PWAs create an exceptional app-like experience without consumers ever having to leave their browsers. The native app on the hand requires the consumer to first find and install it and a responsive site will never truly tick all the boxes. A Progressive Web App though? It works in exactly the same way as your mobile-friendly website does, but offers some of those awesome features that consumers love about their native mobile apps.

The future is now!

The needs of the consumer alongside the digital environment are ever-changing, so it’s important that your business doesn’t get left behind. Whilst you may already have a traditional website, and perhaps one that is responsive as well, a progressive web app could help to stand your business apart from the rest.

By offering something unique to your marketplace, you’re in a much better position to get people talking about your business, what you have to offer and the incredible experience you are providing when they visit via their mobile or tablet will seal the deal.

There is an abundance of great features that come as a standard with a PWA, and in turn, will highlight how progressive you are compared to the competition. From reliability even in uncertain network areas, incredible load speed and the app-like feel with an immersive user experience, huge corporations such as Twitter, with their mobile.twitter.com PWA, are already embracing the technology on offer and enjoying fantastic results.

Users of PWAs are encouraged to pin the app to their home screen, making it easy to access later and continue to use regularly, whilst the fact that they use caching to maintain offline functionality means that, unlike traditional websites which will stop working altogether when the internet connection is lost, your PWA will continue to function.

The app-like experience on the web is the future and is only going to continue gaining momentum as the needs of the mobile user evolve. By embracing the great features of the Progressive Web App now, you have the opportunity to put your business ahead of the game and lead the way when it comes to providing an unforgettable mobile experience.

 

Leave a Comment.