Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are web apps developed using a number of specific technologies and standard patterns to allow them to take advantage of both web and native app features.

What does that mean in simple words?

Web apps are easily assessable (no installation required) and can be shared using a link. Native apps are friendlier to the mobile environment where we can work offline, easy to synchronize and send push notification. PWAs can combine the benefits of web apps and native apps to give a richer experience to customers.

While attending pitching sessions, I have noticed that founders of the start-ups are spending on average INR 300,000 to INR 600,000 to develop native apps even before validation of an idea. The higher costs come from developing apps for both android and ios platforms along with the premium perception that native apps have enjoyed. These higher costs along with the cost of operations make it difficult for start-ups to sustain for longer time in case they are not funded.

Discussing with founders of different start-ups gave me insights that start-ups are the most beneficiaries of PWAs.These web apps will cost somewhere around INR 50,000 to INR 150,000 to develop and can be maintained cost effectively which makes it a minimum viable product (MVP).This will allow the founders to spend their energy and resources on customer acquisition and revenue generation. Once the start-up starts creating revenue or gets funded, the founders can have the liberty of spending more money on native apps if necessary.

The best-known success story is probably Flipkart Lite — India's largest e-commerce site rebuilt as a progressive web app in 2015, which resulted in 70% increase in conversions. The AliExpress PWA has also seen much better results than the web or native app, with a 104% increase in conversion rates for new users.

If you are looking to build a PWA, you can contact us

Following are the other features of PWAs that start-ups can take advantage of:
1) PWAs are discoverable by search engines which makes it easier for start-ups to increase visibility without much marketing spend (SEO and Digital Marketing will do the trick).
2) The installable feature makes sure that we can have an icon in the home screen which gives native app feel.
3) Since it is network independent customers can revisit the app irrespective of the network.
4) The Web Push API will help in sending updates straight from server to app via a service worker, and the Notifications API in generating system notifications to help engage users when they're not in the browser.