A Beginners Guide to Progressive Web Apps

LiveStyled looks for all opportunities to encourage fans to move from their first interaction with your venue, such as visiting the website or ticket purchase, to your venue mobile app. One emerging technology that assists in this is Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

LiveStyled’s PWA framework is called 'Acquire'. It enables the power of the LiveStyled platform to be delivered using PWA technology. But since this is a fairly new tech, quite a few people are asking...

“What is a progressive web app?”

In a nutshell, PWAs are lightweight web pages or websites, but to the end user, they appear very similar to a mobile app. Because of this, they open up new web-based possibilities that were previously only available to native mobile apps.

“Tell me more…”

The beauty of PWAs is that they incorporate many of the benefits of a native mobile app, such as enabling offline support, push messages, and location services. One of the key benefits is that they take away barriers that put some users off committing to downloading a native mobile app. These barriers include:

Downloading from the App Store

Some users do not want the trouble of visiting an app store to download an app. The beauty of a PWA being web-based is that it’s simple to get to. It’s as easy as clicking a link to open a standard web page.

That link can be added to a mobile phone home screen by bookmarking the site and, when opened, can be viewed in a full-screen mode. Thus it can look and feel just like a native app.

Space is at a premium on phones

Some smartphones have limited capacity when it comes to memory, people are therefore selective and strict about what they deem as worthy of taking up their memory. With a PWA there’s no download, so no precious space taken up on the phone. The additional bonus here is that a PWA can give a taster of the functionality the full app offers, therefore persuading people that the full app is actually a worthwhile download.

“So... If PWAs are so good why wouldn't this just replace native mobile apps?”

We’re not ruling this out in the future, but for now, there is still a place for the traditional website for the user to perform more complex actions such as purchasing a ticket. Meanwhile, native mobile apps are still the best tool for the user to enjoy their experience when they are at the venue, taking advantage of all the unique features that iOS & Android handsets have to offer. And finally, there is the place for a PWA in between the two - to guide the user from one to the other. You can find a more detailed look at the difference between the three technologies on this Medium blog here.

An example of how the three technologies work together could be:

  • After the user has purchased a ticket on the website, they could be prompted to pre-order food and drink using a PWA.

  • The PWA, therefore, hooks the user into an action and encourages them to share their data.

  • Once the user has placed their order, they will be directed to download the native app

  • The native app is then used to redeem the order on the day.

  • The app then targets the user with more relevant products and services

If you would like to learn more about venue apps and progressive web apps please contact us and we’ll happily arrange a time for a quick demo.

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