Mobile is at the forefront of the customer experience and capturing that revenue represents a tremendous growth opportunity for retailers. Good retailers know this, as they’ve watched the industry change. Since the first iPhone was introduced 12 years ago, the power and convenience of devices has matured, fundamentally changing purchase behaviors and customer expectations. And the web-development industry has caught up.
Providing customers with an always fast, mobile-first experience is the conversion difference that drives hockey-stick growth. With the arrival – on ongoing evolution – of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and PWA (Progressive Web Apps), retailers now have real-world solutions to unleash mobile revenue.
AMPs vs. PWAs
AMP is an open-source framework – spearheaded by Google – that guarantees instant page loads. When launched in 2015, AMP was rapidly adopted by publishers and has now become a strategic consideration for retailers looking to gain an edge.
AMP pages are distributed across all common acquisition platform, including Google, Bing, LinkedIn and a growing group of providers. Loading instantly in SERPs, AMPs grab a users attention, bringing them deeper into the buy flow.
WompMobile’s platform manages more than 40 million AMP pages. On average, we’ve measured a 29% increase in mobile-organic traffic because of AMP. That’s almost 30% more traffic coming into a retailer’s primary buy flow. Why? Because Google provides an SEO carrot by distinguishing AMP pages to users with a lightning-bolt badge – an indication of a great, fast and beautiful mobile experience. And because Google now factors page-load speed as a ranking signal, AMP pages score extremely well.
The typical application of AMP is across a website’s upper-funnel landing pages. For retailers, this usually is a mix of the homepage, product listing pages, product detail pages and articles. And just like that, the pages customers discover in search are optimized to load instantly and garner better real estate in SERP.
PWAs, on the other hand, are primary mobile websites built to feel like conventional, native apps. They integrate native features like push notifications, background sync, offline access, strategic catching and can be pinned to the home screen for easy, one-tap entry.
What benefits do Progressive Web Apps have over traditional apps?
First, there’s no need for an app store and users access the app-like experience by entering the URL or clicking a link in search. While you can submit PWAs to app store, the web is the battleground and PWAs are easily discovered through search, links, social sharing and all the common ways customers discover brands.
Business Benefits of AMP and PWA
Accelerated Mobile Pages optimize the upper funnel and your reach in search. AMPs load instantly, which reduces bounce rates, increase time on site and – as mentioned above – drive more top-of-funnel traffic to the primary website. AMP is no longer a nice to have but a must have for any retailer.
Progressive Web Apps provide all the functionality of a native app with the discoverability of the web. It’s the best of both worlds and ensures your primary mobile website is fast and engaging, while offering users rich features.
The service worker script within the PWA permits background updating and intelligent caching, which following a customer’s initial visit, the site loads instantly. According to Google, some of the baseline features of a good PWA, include:
- Having a service worker for offline capability
- The web-app manifest for add-to-home screen
- Being responsive/ adaptive across all devices and cross-browser
- Fast page-loads on 3G networks
- Snappy, seamless page transitions
Combining AMP and PWA
Being PWA-compliant doesn’t solve for speed. There’s a lot of buzz about PWAs – and rightly so – but you can absolutely build a slow PWA. To ensure performance, AMP should be the building block of any PWA.
The combination of AMP and PWA is a development pattern known as PWAMP or Progressive Web AMP. The pattern combines the app-like benefits of PWA with the guaranteed speed for AMP. Because milliseconds matter on mobile, and the PWAMP combination offers the fastest speeds possible, along with rich, user-engagement features.
The PWA’s app shell features a persistent menu and header – just like a conventional app – that loads AMP pages as the source of the content. Because AMP pages are lightweight, pre-cached and pre-rendered, they load instantly throughout the customer journey.
From discovery in search to checkout, Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps deliver a seamless solution that offers high-performance and a user-centric experience that retailers can trust for steady returns.