This post is broken in 2 parts…
Part I: Native vs PWA vs AMP
PART I: Native vs PWA vs AMP
Let us first go down memory lane to understand why and how the PWA and AMP technology came into existence, keeping in mind the eCommerce industry…
If you are already aware of what the PWA and AMP technologies bring to the table as against Native mobile apps, you can skip Part I. You can move directly to Part II where the question “Can AMP and PWA be used together in a mobile first eCommerce application?” is answered.
Native apps have for long enjoyed the innate features provided by the device and its OS due to the natural access to the device and its accessories. The overwhelming enhancements that devices have undergone, have helped mobile apps to bombard the end user with humungous facilities that have in turn resulted in driving unbeatable engagement with the users.
The downside is that mobile apps have for long been subjected to the monopoly of the app-stores in many ways including erratic approval/rejection behaviour, monopolized monetization of the in-app purchase model, and more. They have also faced the wrath of the user in the face of shortage of device memory, when users do not think twice before deleting an app from their device in order to free some memory. There have also been production level issues like the wastage of effort to create the same app over multiple platforms, repetitive and cumbersome app-store deployment process and update-lag issues that come with every version upgrade, difficulties in the discovery of the app on the app store search, etc.
PWA or Progressive Web Application
Progressive Web Apps claims to overcome most, if not all, of the issues inherent in a native mobile app. A PWA is a website based on the mobile-first design approach aimed at giving the end user the experience of a mobile first ecommerce application over the browser. In other words, PWAs are optimized mobile-web pages that deliver app-like functionality.
One of the USPs of a PWA is that it is accessible on the user’s device without requiring any download or installation from the app stores.
PWA brings many advantages to the industry…
- Single, platform-independent development effort
- No need of app-store deployment
- faster transition between pages,
- complete app-like interface,
- ability to send push notifications,
- offline content accessibility,
- access to device camera, accelerometer, etc.,
- easy upgrades
- searchable on the world wide web
Few of the downsides of the PWA are…
- it cannot access some of the innate device features like the device Contacts,
- it cannot provide in-app purchase,
- not available on the app-stores to compete with similar apps deployed there.
(Although Google has come up with Trusted Web Activities or TWA for publishing Progressive Web App to the Google Play Store.
PWA adoption is increasing among mobile first eCommerce applications as they enable businesses to effectively engage and convert customers through the app-like, high performance experience that they provide to online businesses on the mobile-web.
The expectation of FAST loading web pages soon got replaced by that of INSTANTLY loading web pages. This gave birth to the concept of the AMP and are now recommended for all publishers targeting mobile users…
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages
The primary benefits promised by an AMP are:
- instantly delivering mobile friendly pages,
- advantage of good mobile SEO and therefore increased mobile traffic,
- improved ad view due to fast loading AMP ads,
- higher click-through rate as a result of being featured on the Google search top stories carousel.
This leads us to a critical question…
Can AMP and PWA be used together in an mCommerce app? Continue reading about this in Part II of this post.