PWA, AMP or PWAMP, which one is good for your business?

It is the age of the mobile user. Mobile devices, tablets and gadgets allow users to do more and do it on the go. In many countries, the number of mobile internet users has long surpassed desktop and in others, it is at par.

Here are some recent mobile statistics that will be of interest to you.

  • Almost 4.4 billion people were active internet users in January 2019, of which 3.5 billion were social media users.
  • More than 50% of all video streaming comes from mobile.
  • Consumers spent 90% of their mobile time in apps in the US.
  • Since 2011 mobile internet has grown 504% in daily media consumption.
  • In the first quarter of 2019 alone, smartphones accounted for 65% of retail site visits, translating into 46% of online shopping orders.
  • If the first load speed is more than 3 seconds, then more than 53% of users drop off.

As mobile usage and users grow globally at a rapid pace, the numbers mean that businesses have to rethink their digital strategy to not only be mobile-first but make mobile a central part of their customer journey.

For eCommerce, the conversions are very high when shoppers use phones to research, shortlist and ultimately buy a product.

One critical aspect of mobile user journeys is page load speed and seamless user experiences. This has led tech giants to come up with many new technologies and tools that help businesses optimize user journeys.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and PWAMP are a result of this new trend that drives faster, better and quality browsing experience regardless of the device.

But many businesses are now confused as the pros and cons of each of these and which one is right for them. Here’s taking a look at all three:

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have been all the buzz in the past couple of years. They are touted to be the next big thing in digital commerce. PWAs are simply web pages or apps that look and behave like a mobile app with similar interactions and navigation.

PWA technology combines design concepts, features, Web APIs, service workers to deliver the best of the web and mobile. Think of them as a more advanced kind of web apps with additional features of a mobile app. Further, PWAs have features that are supported by modern browsers, offering customers seamless navigation and smooth shopping journey.

For example, if you access Flipkart or the Forbes website on your mobile browser, the experience is similar to opening a mobile app. But it is in fact the PWA.

Reasons for high adoption rates of PWAs

  • Progressive web apps combine the benefits of native apps user experience along with the advantages of the mobile web. As a result, PWA stores run seamlessly both as web pages and native apps.
  • Research shows that eCommerce shops that built using PWA can save up to 75% of the cost of a native app. PWA simply doesn’t need a separate native app.
  • PWAs enable incredibly fast downloads. For example, Uber PWA is only 50 KB that is barely noticeable in terms of storage space. The app loads instantly, no matter how fast or slow your connection.
  • Since PWA uses headless architecture, it separates the front-end and the back-end eCommerce. Thanks to this, you can add PWA to any eCommerce platform within a span of just three months by using APIs.
  • With the help of faster load times, PWA also reduces the load on the server. This means your store won’t crash or slow down during peak traffic.
  • PWAs are known to increase the conversion rate, engagement and overall profitability.
  • PWAs provide offline access, which means the store is accessible in no network or in a flaky network.
  • The app responds smoothly to user interactions with seamless animations and no janky scrolling.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP were introduced back in 2015 by Google to deliver a user-first format for web content. Basically, AMP is a stripped-down version of HTML pages, a web component framework and a website publishing technology. Websites that are optimized for AMP,  come up faster in search and have a better rank. They also convert more mobile visitors into customers.

Did you know that the AMP project was initially launched out of a collaboration between Google and Twitter?  Put simply, AMP is an open-source project that was designed to provide faster mobile pages on slower connections.  AMP takes pages that are already mobile-friendly but loads them quicker by stripping them down to the basics. 

Other than Twitter, some of the early adopters of AMP include WordPress.com, Pinterest and Linkedin.

Advantages of using AMP

High speed and lower bounce rates: Since AMP uses a stripped-down version of HTML, JS and CSS, it provides lightning-fast speed. This means happy users and fewer chances of people leaving your site owing to poor speed.

Visibly highlighted by Google in search results

Currently, AMP is popular across the world. AMP results are displayed by Baidu, Sogou and Yahoo Japan. Many publishers across the world including the Times of India and Slate use AMP to improve their organic search results. The number of domains using AMP has crossed 31 million early last year.

If your website has adopted AMP,  then it will appear with the lightning symbol in Google’s organic search results.

Better conversion and click through rates.

It is no secret that website performance is key to customer retention and conversion, especially mobile shoppers who look for the next best alternative if your site takes too long to load. AMP continues to gain momentum across the world for its ability to deliver fast experiences over mobile devices.

Better and flexible ad support

AMP mobile pages trim down all the extraneous content from a page like pop-ups, forms, social sharing buttons. The AMP web page is 6x lighter in terms of the code used. AMP-optimized web pages can be designed to show ads in the most user-friendly and flexible format. Ads displayed from third parties are loaded quickly to catch user attention. Ultimately this leads to better ROI on ad-spend and more satisfied users who get the answers they want, instantly.

PWAMP

A portmanteau of progressive web apps and AMP, Progressive Web Amp or PWAMP is a brand new way of leveraging the power of both. Developers use AMP components to build PWA experiences on their websites or apps in multiple ways.

There are three ways a developer can implement this combination:

  • AMP as a progressive web app: Using AMP but with limitations.
  • AMP to a progressive web app: A smooth transition between the two.
  • AMP in a progressive web app: Reusing AMPs as a data source for your PWA.

To see how an AMP can be reused within a PWA, view this demo magazine called The Scenic.

Which is better for your business? PWA, AMP or PWAMP?

There is no right answer to this question. In some scenarios, an AMP alone may provide the speed you need but it has usability and navigation limitations. PWAs with their fast loading, reliable, secure and engaging features are already the preferred choice for eCommerce stores.

But you don’t have to choose one or the other. eCommerce shops can have the best of both worlds by using PWAMPs to provide a blazing-fast first load speed along with a frictionless, mobile-like and engaging user experience.

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