Making the Case for Progressive Web Applications in 2021

Before Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) came into picture, Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone with web apps in 2007. He reversed his decision within a few months as web apps had limitations in terms of performance and functionality. This left brands with just two options. Get a cool web app with limited features and a native app for mobile phones.

Web apps were more secure than third party apps and better than static websites. They lacked the comfort that native apps offered. So, brands were missing fluency in their overall web presence. 

The answer to this became clear when Chrome developer Alex Russel and designer Frances Berriman’s introduced the world to ‘Progressive Web Applications’ in the Chrome Dev Summit in 2015.  

Five years post the summit, PWAs have become the preferred marketing tools for many brands as they are smart, effective, and affordable. They help brands deliver uniform virtual experience across different devices. All this within a single codebase. So, how an idea that was dismissed in 2007 by the thinker himself become so big? 

Let us find the answer and explore more about Progressive Web Applications in this blog.  

PWAs vs Native Applications vs Web Apps: What’s the Main Difference?

Internet is full of resources that highlight the differences between PWAs, Native Applications and Web Apps.  However, the primary differences can be understood based on the following 3 key parameters.  

Web apps are the oldest while progressive web apps are the latest. The difference is inevitable. Native apps and Progressive Web Apps are on par with each other in capability and reliability. When it comes to accessibility, nothing can work as fluid as PWAs, even in uncertain network conditions. 

What Does a Good Progressive Web Application Offer?

A good PWA extends the limited features of your website and combines them with the accessibility of native applications. There are many examples of Progressive Web Applications from day to day life that drive loyalty for brands like Facebook and Uber.  

Customer satisfaction levels have gone up with increased page speed, contextual uniformity, and ease of use. For instance, after launching their PWA, Pinterest saw a rise in time spent and user-generated ad revenues by more than 40%. This is just an example. There are many advantages that optimized Progressive Web Apps offer. The primary ones are listed below.  

Progressive Approach

PWAs are agile. They allow brands to adopt a goal-centric approach and scale feature by feature. Organizations can add or remove features as per their requirement. Modern web APIs and best practices can be implemented independently on PWAs to modify features or assess customer behavior. 

Virtual Experience

PWAs are focused on customer experience. When PWAs are installable, engagement metrics shoot up significantly. More visits, conversions, on-site time and reduced bounce rates are ensured within a single codebase on all devices. Installable PWAs come with push notifications to effectively re-engage customers with personalized content.   


PWAs are fast, responsive and trusted solutions with unlimited extension capabilities. This is an asset for both the brand and their customers as the same experience is maintained with or without connection. A great feature, especially for markets with unstable or expensive mobile data.  


PWAs don’t need to be installed like native apps. They can be found through search engines and launch instantly. Brands also employ custom offline pages with extended functionalities to avoid bounces during network failures. T-Rex Chrome Dino Game is a classic example of a customized offline page in PWA. 

Why are PWAs Needed in 2021?

Google and Microsoft were the first brands to adopt Progressive Web Applications in 2015 and got rewarded with immense success. Next in was Alibaba’s PWA launch in 2016 which increased the conversion rate for new users by 104%. In the next 2 years, brands like Starbucks and Twitter launched their PWAs to improve customer experience, reduce data consumption and develop new markets.  

In 2021, PWAs have become essential as customers want pleasant experiences. They don’t want to solely buy a product or service. They are interested in the overall experience that a brand offers. Customers need a memorable experience and brands want customers to remember them. The case is simple. Brands cannot do without PWAs in 2021.  Be it service brands like Spotify or Digikala, the biggest ecommerce house in the Middle East.    

Employ Virtual Customer Experience with PWAs

Modern prospects bounce off websites and apps within a matter of seconds. Brands lose customers due to lack of speed, comfort or personalization. These are things that a seller should not be worried about in 2021.  Understanding customers is a key asset for success since times immemorial. Now, when the competition is more extreme than ever, businesses that focus on customers are the brightest. 

Progressive Web Applications is the answer to all customer management issues. Not only do PWAs help brands assess customer behavior but also modify the brand’s online presence accordingly. It also enables brands to function efficiently even with a small team and focus on their USP rather than technology.