Conversion is the holy grail for any eCommerce business. For years, webmasters have made incremental changes, performed A/B testing, improved imagery, provided reviews and even done market research to try and increase conversion rate on site; however mobile conversion has always lagged well behind desktop figures.
It’s easy to see why; when content competes for space on smaller screens there is only so much information you can present to try and secure a sale. Consumers need to be hit with that magic formula of speed, price, imagery, content, trust and reminders in order to reach that final purchase, and on mobile devices this has always proved difficult.
If we think about the evolution of the mobile experience we have seen the following:
- Full size version of the main website loading on the tiny screen. The user can zoom and navigate, however without extreme zooming, navigation is clumsy and usability is awful.
- Separate mobile version of the website. Making menus and navigation simpler but leaving the imagery and content as above.
- Mobile optimised website. Making the navigation, imagery and content larger and more readable on the first smartphones.
- Responsive website. To accommodate different sizes of smartphones and tablets.
- Mobile App. Displays clean, timely, readily available user friendly, easily absorbed content, however this is a separate entity from the main website, often only created when a brand is of a certain size and is usually extremely costly.
- Progressive Web Apps. Optimising the main website to behave like an App on mobile devices.
In eCommerce, it’s important to focus on how your users want to use your website; and on mobile devices this means looking at speed, usability, interaction, reliability and availability. Mobile Apps were designed to overcome these issues and yes, conversion on Apps is usually much better than on standard mobile websites, however this success comes with the cost and demand of developing and running the App, among a number of other elements such as actually getting people to download your app in the first place. Usually, it’s only when a company gets to a certain level that they require an App, but what about those who aren’t there yet?
How do we achieve higher levels of mobile conversion for big and small brands alike without having to develop an App? There are pros and cons of every new technological advance, however we at KiwiCommerce feel like Progressive Web Applications really do overcome most of the issues of previous mobile solutions and present a very real, and very exciting possibility for all brands, whatever the size.
Progressive Web Apps:
- Can be found via the search engines, thus attracting new visitors.
- Prompt the user to be added to the desktop, meaning they are stored as a link on the user’s device, much like an App would be.
- Send push notifications (these can be personalised) to remind users to return and complete a purchase.
- Actually give the appearance of using an App, without the separation from the main website.
- Save time; information is displayed from the live website with a PWA, so there is no need for webmasters to update both App and website.
- Save space; the data is pulled from the website and not stored on the user’s phone, so phone memory is not taken up.
- Are the latest way of providing best user experience; one of the main Google ranking factors.
- Are cheaper than developing an App.
- Work offline!! That’s right, because of PWA’s clever caching of information, users are able to use the PWA optimised website even when they go offline.
We know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. PWAs are definitely the way forward and at a fraction of the cost of developing an App, one of the best ways to increase your mobile conversion.
Want to find out more about how Progressive Web Apps work? Click here ->