We’re taking a look at some companies that use PWA, focusing on specific industries and then taking a look a some more global giants.

Progressive Web Apps, even though they did not initially take the market by storm, are slowly but surely carving out their place in a variety of industries, proving themselves to be a solid alternative to native apps. PWA can be a dream come true for businesses struggling with the mobile gap (mostly in eCommerce) or the ones that just are looking for a better way of engaging the users (such as the publishing industry). 

For about ten years, mobile apps were the gold standard; however, in spite of their extraordinary potential in terms of UX, they also have some serious drawbacks. The fee that must be paid to Apple or Google is just one of these. An even more important factor is that, as more companies launch their apps, it gets harder to stand out from the crowd and convince the users to check them out. Even if you succeed, most apps are abandoned after being used once or twice. By skipping the app stores, PWA can tell a completely different story. 

eCommerce

Online shops, instead of building new mobile apps, are moving to a much simpler solution. Companies that use PWA can build online shops directly in a browser. 

Let’s check some top companies that use PWA development for eCommerce and what they have gained, according to the TOP 30 PWA benchmarking study.

Learn more in The Beginner's Guide to PWA.

The great shift towards PWAs

Modern online stores and marketplaces are moving towards the new concept of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). This makes the buying and selling process simpler and more accessible for customers. Companies that use PWA don’t need to adjust eCommerce mobile apps to either Android and iOS operating systems or other distribution platforms. Instead, they utilize modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to your customers. It is cheaper than native apps, and is safe and fast at the frontend. It can also work offline.

See how top eCommerce businesses use PWA development for eCommerce and what they gain. The TOP 30 PWA benchmarking study.

We’re going to look at some of the very best companies that use PWA, including online, eCommerce stores, and example from the publishing industrie.

Top eCommerce marketplaces using PWA

AliExpress

Traffic: 666.5M

AliExpress.com is a marketplace offering products to international online buyers. Their mobile commerce is growing three times faster than the eCommerce version. AliExpress decided to build a cross-browser Progressive Web App to combine the best of their app with the broad reach of the web.

Results:

  • 104% more new users across all browsers
  • 82% increase in iOS conversion rate
  • 2x more pages visited per session per user across all browsers
  • 74% increase in time spent per session across all browsers

Jumia

Traffic: 5.6M

Jumia.com.ng is a leading eCommerce website in Africa. In Jumia’s main market, most of the mobile connections are on 2G networks. That’s why users only have intermittent connectivity and visit the site from low-end phones with data limitations. Jumia Travel has enhanced and optimized all the various elements of their PWA experience. The company noticed a huge increase in conversion rates compared with the previous mobile website.

Results:

  • 33% higher conversion rate
  • 50% lower bounce rate
  • 12x more users versus native apps (Android & IOS)
  • 5x less data used

Alibaba

Traffic: 155.6M

Alibaba.com is the world’s largest online business-to-business trading platform serving 200+ countries and regions. After upgrading their site to a PWA, the company saw a huge increase in total conversions across browsers.

Results:

  • 76% higher conversions across browsers
  • 14% more monthly active users on iOS
  • 30% more monthly active users on Android
  • 4X higher interaction rate from Add to Homescreen

5miles

Traffic: 2.0M

5miles.com is a mobile marketplace where shoppers can buy almost everything. They decided to build a PWA to combine the best of their app with the broad reach of the web. The company wanted to re-engage their mobile web users just as they would with mobile app users.

Results:

  • 50% decrease in bounce rates
  • 30% increase in time spent on the site
  • 30% better conversion for users who arrived via Add to Homescreen

Flipkart

Traffic: 258.4M

Flipkart.com is India’s largest eCommerce site. They decided to combine their web presence and native app into a PWA, which has resulted in a big increase in conversions.

Results:

  • 3X more time spent on site
  • 40% higher re-engagement rate
  • 70% greater conversion rate among those arriving via Add to Homescreen
  • 3X lower data usage

OLX

Traffic: 40.7M

Olx.in is one of the largest online destinations for classified ads in India, which provides communities in high-growth markets with vibrant online marketplaces. OLX wanted to re-engage mobile web users, so they looked to PWA technologies to provide a faster-loading, immersive app-like experience.

Results:

  • 23% less time until a page is interactive
  • 80% lower bounce rates
  • 146% higher CTR on adverts
  • 250% more re-engagement

Konga.com

Traffic: no data

Konga.com is a leading eCommerce website in Nigeria and its largest source of traffic and user growth is provided by mobile devices. Konga wanted to provide all of their web users with the benefits of their app, including performance, the ability to work offline and re-engage without the data cost.

Results:

  • 92% less data for initial load, vs. native app
  • 82% less data to complete first transaction, vs. native app
  • 63% less data for initial load, vs. previous mobile web experience
  • 84% less data to complete first transaction, vs. previous mobile web experience

Companies that use PWA in the publishing industry

We’ve already presented PWA examples from the fashion industry, now we want to present you with the 10 top progressive web apps in the news and publishing industry. 

Worldwide media outlets provide thousands of stories and news articles to their readers each day, many of whom connect only on mobile devices. The PWA standard is a publisher’s dream. It eases readers’ access to the newest articles and allows them to share the hottest of them seamlessly between different touchpoints. This summary of news sites leveraging PWA technology is presented in alphabetical order.

Billings Gazette | US

Billings Gazette is a daily newspaper printed in Montana. It’s one of the most widely distributed newspapers in the US. Their PWA facilitates access to publications, making sites readable even when not connected to the internet. It is one of many advantages that a PWA has over native applications.

Highlights:

  • Can work in offline mode
  • Website design looks like a mobile app

Financial Times | UK

The FT is a renowned British broadsheet dedicated to economy which has international reach. The characteristic feature of the Financial Times is the salmon color of the paper on which it is printed. The same color is used for the background on the website. They have produced a PWA version of the publication to allow readers to consume articles offline and on the go.

Flipboard | US

Flipboard is a personalized application that collects various content from social media, news channels, and other websites. All of this information is then presented in a magazine format which allows users to “browse” shared articles, images, and videos. Readers can also save stories in Flipboard magazines. Thanks to its PWA, users can view previously saved offline content, among other things.

Highlights:

  • Lean and fast PWA
  • Flipboard has a full-featured native application, but a PWA allows them to hedge their bets in terms of user preference

Forbes | US

Forbes is an American business biweekly. The headquarters of the editorial office is on Fifth Avenue in New York. Steve Forbes is editor-in-chief of Forbes, and editor of Randall Lane. ‘Forbes 400’ is a list of the richest people in the world while the ‘Forbes 500’ lists the largest companies in the world. Forbes joined the list of companies that use PWA when it launched a mobile PWA in the spring of 2017 to huge success.

Highlights:

  • Faster load times – new site loads in an average of 0.8 seconds
  • The app increased user engagement by 100%
  • 43% increase in sessions per user
  • 3x increase in scroll depth
  • Ad views up 20%
  • Highly visual content
  • Push notifications specifically for Android devices
  • Story formats in which users can swipe through any kind of content
  • Forbes cut down the average size of its web pages from 2MB to 30KB

Medium | US

The Medium platform is an example of social journalism. It has a collection of amateur and professional content—along with various publications, blogs, and publishers—and is regularly treated as a blog.

Highlights:

  • The web page improved its initial performance score from 26 to 44
  • Page load time decreased from 7 to 4.5 seconds

Smashing magazine | DE

Smashing Magazine is an online magazine and eBook publisher for web developers and web designers. The magazine is available within the European Union. Smashing Magazine covers topics such as coding, design, mobile, graphics, UX design, and WordPress. The Smashing Magazine website is now a full PWA.

Highlights:

  • The main page now needs 2 to 3 seconds to become fully interactive
  • The HTTP/2 data transfer is fast enough on 3G
  • Caching is turned on

Sports Mole | UK

Sports Mole is an online magazine about breaking sports news and has live coverage around the clock. Sports Mole is a site from the team that created the entertainment website Digital Spy. The site covers sports such as football, cricket, tennis, rugby, golf, and Formula 1.

Highlights:

  • Page load is fast enough on 3G
  • Page transitions don’t lag due to network conditions

Twitter | US

Twitter is a popular microblogging online tool launched in 2006. But now we want to talk about Twitter Lite, which is a data and storage-friendly way to use Twitter on a smartphone. It’s a new mobile web experience that minimizes data usage, loads quickly on slower connections, is resilient on unreliable mobile networks, and takes up less than 1MB on a mobile device. PWA has allowed users to access many functions available to desktop users and native users of the mobile application.

Highlights:

  • 65% increase in pages per session
  • 75% increase in tweets sent
  • 20% decrease in bounce rate
  • loads quickly on 2G and 3G networks
  • Minimizes data usage. Data saver mode downloads only the images or videos users want to see
  • The PWA is only 600KB over the wire vs. 23.5MB of downloaded data needed to install the native Android app

Read the full case study

The Weather Channel | US

The Weather Channel has been forecasting since the 1980s and now serves people all around the world across many platforms. The Weather Channel is a top 20 site in the United States. On mobile, The Weather Channel pushes vital information to their native-app users. Weather.com wanted to notify its users about weather changes immediately. The progressive web app fits perfectly with this as it allowed the introduction of push notifications in a browser.

Highlights:

  • 80% improvement in load time
  • Availability of the PWA – 62 languages + 178 countries
Read the full case study 

Zuperkülblog | DE

New on the market, Zuperkülblog is a blog about art, film, design, and photography.

Highlights:

  • Page load is fast enough on 3G
  • Page transitions don’t feel like they block on the network
  • Responds with a 200 when offline

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Five more massive global companies that use PWA solutions

We’ve focused on the eCommerce and publishing industries but businesses in all domains and of all sizes have recently moved over to PWA solutions to offer better end-user experiences and improve business results. Here are 5 more huge global companies that use PWA solutions.

Pinterest

Pinterest implemented PWA because the platform was looking to engage mobile users who were suffering from a poor UX delivered on smartphones and reluctant to making signups. 

PWA allowed the implementation of features for adding the app to the home screen and sending push notifications. It took three months and ended with astonishing results. Time spent by users on the site was up by 40% compared to the old mobile web experience, while user-generated ad revenue increased by 44% and core engagements by 60%.

Trivago

Trivago is another of the companies that use PWA to improve experiences for mobile users and take advantage of the rising wave of mobile traffic. Native apps weren’t optimal for users on-the-go as they often need to save their mobile data and thus are not very keen on downloading stuff to their smartphones. 

A Progressive Web App was the way to go. It provided offline features, push notifications, and home screen shortcuts that enable the performance on the level comparable to native apps. User engagement increased by 150%, approximately 500 000 people added Trivago to their home screens, and the user retention grew from 0.8% to 2%.

Spotify

With the aim of providing the best possible user experience to listeners, Spotify also reached for a Progressive Web App. The streaming platform killed two birds with one stone: it took care of listeners, providing them with a fast-working and easy-to-use app, while avoiding the limitations imposed by the closed environment of mobile technology. 

Uber

As a car-sharing app, Uber is strongly associated with mobile usage. However, as Madhur Chadha, Senior Product Manager stated on the blog, desktop users’ needs are just as much of a priority as mobile ones. 

“Since rolling out m.uber.com, we observed that 30 percent of riders primarily request trips on a desktop computer as opposed to on a mobile device. According to our research, riders who wanted to plan their travel in advance also tended to use and appreciate the desktop experience.”

Madhur Chadha, Senior Product Manager, Uber.

Uber’s efforts in searching for a way to improve the web experience focused mostly on speed and accessibility. The end result was a resounding success. 

“Leveraging tried and true platforms like the web has helped us reach a wider audience, including people who may live in regions where network access is slow or where phones based on older technology are more common.”

Madhur Chadha, Senior Product Manager, Uber.

Starbucks

Starbucks decided to go for PWA in spite of already having a mobile app. Its ordering system was developed in 2015 but PWA seemed to offer broader accessibility, which was especially beneficial in emerging markets. However, it needed to deliver UX on the same level as a native mobile app not to lose the existing users. 

It was not an easy task, as the menu had to include various modifications and customization options displayed to consumers as fast as possible, even when they had no internet connection.  The PWA, with the implementation of caching, delivers on that promise. The customers have been given the option to browse and customize their orders offline and, while they are online, can view pricing specific to the location they’re ordering from and place their order. 

SEO-for-progressive-web-apps

* This article is a compilation of three texts from the Divante blog, originally written by Kaja Grzybowska, Aleksandra Kwiecien, and Ola Mazur. It was updated in November 2020.

Kaja Grzybowska

An experienced journalist writing for Wyborcza.biz, biznes.onet.pl, NewConnect.info and Inwestycje.pl. Previously was a managing editor of Interaktywnie.com, a website dedicated to technology, advertising, digital media and economy.

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