AMP vs PWA: What you need to know

PracticalEcommerce podcast breaks down Accelerated Mobile Pages, PWAs and the latest development pattern: Progressive Web AMPs

The web is undergoing a resurgence – a rebirth – that’s dealing with the challenges of a historically unreliable and slow mobile web. The advent of new technologies – led by Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps – offer a powerful new way to guarantee immediate page-loads and to deliver immersive experiences that reach and inspire users. And these new tools (AMP vs PWA) come at the right time, as the mobile web is experiencing unprecedented growth.  Devices are the primary touch point to access the web and represent an untapped opportunity for business growth.

WompMobile’s CEO, Madison Miner, recently spoke with Armando Roggio from PracticalEcommerce to unpack what this all means (AMP vs PWA) and explain how the mobile web can finally drive ROI that rivals the desktop.

Listen to the full podcast:  WompMobile CEO on PWAs and AMPs

Here are some highlights from the podcast, as reported by PracticalEcommerce on May 2, 2018

Roggio: Can you explain accelerated mobile pages and progressive web apps?

Miner: Accelerated mobile pages are a new way to create websites. The technology is a code base with a subset and a superset of HTML along with a validator that confirms that pages that are built using AMP comply with rules that are in place to ensure performance. Basically, they are guaranteed to be fast. They can’t have any dependencies on external files, or anything that blocks the critical rendering path of the page.

Progressive web apps, on the other hand, are technologies that might not work on all mobile devices. For example, one popular PWA component is a service worker. PWAs include service workers, payment requests, app manifests, and app shells — technologies that can progressively enhance a website if the user’s browser supports them and fall back to more traditional technologies if it doesn’t.

Roggio: How can an ecommerce business benefit from a progressive web app?

Miner: The primary benefits are increased conversion rates and revenue. One PWA component that has a direct impact on revenue is the payment request, which is a new W3C-standard browser API to collect payment information. It allows a website to display a prompt to the user wherein the user can share her credit card information that’s already stored on her device without having to type it in. We’ve seen [mobile] cart abandonment from a billing information page drop by about 50 percent when the payment request is added to ecommerce pages. It has a direct impact on revenue.

Overall, the primary benefit of PWAs is mobile conversion rates that rival desktop. All of our clients come to us with the same problem. The majority of their traffic and the majority of their growth is on mobile, but the majority of their sales is still on desktop.

Roggio: For a consumer, how does a PWA differ from a normal web page?

Miner: PWAs provide an app-like experience just by going to the URL. Consumers no longer have to go to the app store, find the app, download and install it, and give it permissions. With a PWA, they can simply go a website and use features that are similar to apps. A PWA can be added to the home screen, it can work offline, and it can process payments quickly and efficiently. It loads very quickly with a persistent header and partial page reloads. From a user’s perspective, it looks and feels just like an app.

Roggio: What about AMPs? How do they help ecommerce businesses?

Miner: Accelerated mobile pages offer two benefits, mainly. First, they increase a site’s discoverability, because Google promotes AMP-enabled sites in search results via the AMP icon. Thus you’ll get more traffic from using AMPs. We typically see a 20 to 30 percent increase in mobile traffic from organic search.

The next benefit is speed. AMPs look and function exactly like the non-AMP versions. But AMPs load much, much faster.

Roggio: Is there a reason to use both technologies on a single website?

Miner: They work extremely well together. In fact, last year at the Google IO developer conference, Google announced a new combination called a progressive web AMP, or a PWAMP. This merges the two technologies. You have a PWA shell that loads in AMP pages and uses the AMP pages as the content sources. You can pre-fetch them and pre-render them and display them instantly. You get all the benefits of AMP.

More about WompMobile

WompMobile is a SAAS platform that converts websites to AMP pages and Progressive Web Apps – helping clients earn more with mobile.We’re trusted by retailers and enterprise businesses that are obsessed with maximizing returns. Our platform services more than 8 million AMP pages and is completely agnostic, working with any CMS, backend or third-party software.