Book Image

Progressive Web Application Development by Example

By : Chris Love
Book Image

Progressive Web Application Development by Example

By: Chris Love

Overview of this book

Are you a developer that wants to create truly cross-platform user experiences with a minimal footprint, free of store restrictions and features customers want? Then you need to get to grips with Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), a perfect amalgamation of web and mobile applications with a blazing-fast response time. Progressive Web Application Development by Example helps you explore concepts of the PWA development by enabling you to develop three projects, starting with a 2048 game. In this game, you will review parts of a web manifest file and understand how a browser uses properties to define the home screen experience. You will then move on to learning how to develop and use a podcast client and be introduced to service workers. The application will demonstrate how service workers are registered and updated. In addition to this, you will review a caching API so that you have a firm understanding of how to use the cache within a service worker, and you'll discover core caching strategies and how to code them within a service worker. Finally, you will study how to build a tickets application, wherein you’ll apply advanced service worker techniques, such as cache invalidation. Also, you'll learn about tools you can use to validate your applications and scaffold them for quality and consistency. By the end of the book, you will have walked through browser developer tools, node modules, and online tools for creating high-quality PWAs.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)

Real-world PWA examples

Flipkart, the Amazon of the Indian sub-continent, embraced PWA as soon as the term was first mentioned. In many ways, they are the poster child of doing a PWA the right way.

Flipkart's consumer market consists of customers almost entirely on poor mobile connections. Their mobile devices have limited storage and may or may not have a reliable 3G connection. In fact, 63% reach the site via 2G. A client application experience that loads quickly and works even when the network is absent gives Flipkart a business advantage.

The Flipkart PWA ( was created by a small team of engineers in 42 days, a small investment on their part that has paid huge dividends by increasing conversions by 70%. These are just some of their published key performance indicators:

  • Users time on the site with Flipkart lite vs previous mobile experience, 3.5 minutes vs 70 seconds
  • 3x more time spent on site
  • 40% higher re-engagement rate
  • 70% greater conversion rate among those arriving via the Add to Homescreen feature
  • 3x lower data usage

Over 50% of the Weather Channel's mobile usage comes from the web. Reaching consumers around the world is a priority. The web offers a reliable channel to reach everyone, which often means lower powered devices. Re-engagement and the delivery of timely information, such as storm warnings, was also very important.

The Weather Channel ( created a PWA, implementing push notifications to deliver experiences matching their native application. This upgrade enabled their team to reach 178 countries and deliver weather forecasts while improving their load time:

  • This PWA is now available in 62 languages and 178 countries
  • 80% improvement in load time
  • Based on this successful global test, the team will expand the PWA to its U.S site in 2017

Lancôme ( rebuilt their mobile web presence as a PWA and increased conversions by 17%. As they tracked mobile web usage, passing desktop, Lancôme saw their conversions drop. After considering a native application, they decided investing in the web was the right way to go.

They determined customers were not likely to download a native application, nor use it often. They knew a web presence would have to be done right, as doing so could generate more rewards. They decided to rebuild their web presence from the ground up as a PWA.

Overall benefits:

  • 84% decrease in time until the page is interactive
  • 17% increase in conversions
  • 15% decrease in bounce rate
  • 51% increase in mobile sessions

iOS improvements:

  • 53% increase in mobile sessions on iOS
  • 10% decrease in bounce rates on iOS

Push notification benefits:

  • 8% of consumers who tap on a push notification make a purchase
  • 18% open rate from push notifications
  • 12% increase in conversion rates on recovered carts via push notifications

If you are worried about browsers that do not support PWA technology yet, take note of the iOS statistics. Lancôme is not alone; almost every company embracing PWAs have reported similar improvements on iOS. Later, you will see how to polyfill caching and the Add to Homescreen experience in your applications to achieve similar results.

These are just a few samples of major brands that have adopted PWAs and reported benefits. There are many more smaller businesses also improving because they are building web experiences customers want to use. The great thing is you can start enhancing your existing web site today using examples from this chapter.