Push notifications for Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

The power of web push notifications combined with PWA Push notifications: a refresher Push notifications are small, simplified messages that ask the recipient to take a certain action or provide a certain value. With web-based push notifications, you can reach visitors who are or were on your website directly on their mobile phone or device, […]

The power of web push notifications combined with PWA

Push notifications: a refresher

Push notifications are small, simplified messages that ask the recipient to take a certain action or provide a certain value. With web-based push notifications, you can reach visitors who are or were on your website directly on their mobile phone or device, without the need for personal information or an app. Being able to reach your visitors without any effort leads to increased engagement. This can lead to more sales, brand awareness and improvements in your marketing funnel.

Over the years technology has advanced significantly, making the way to various types of digital communication tools that are available to all types of organizations. As a result, the demand is huge and push notifications take different forms, among other things. Although push notifications are coming from native apps, we see trends moving towards Progressive Web Apps (PWA). In this blog, we explain how push notifications are used within a PWA, what advantages they have and what are the differences to native apps.


Features of push notifications

While push notifications themselves don’t sound very extraordinary, they can add serious value to your business. For example, you can use push notifications in such a way that they positively influence the way the recipient thinks and feels. Progressive web apps allow users to take advantage of app-like features such as improved performance and user experience on your website. Combined with the ability to add fully automated and segmented push notifications, this offers general benefits, from improved engagement and marketing to higher conversion and brand trust.


Push notifications for progressive web apps


Progressive Web Apps explained

The best practical examples of PWAs can be found on Google as the concept was created there. YouTube, Twitter and the Chinese retail giant Alibaba serve all mobile traffic through PWAs.

You can launch a PWA from the browser and install an icon on the home screen just like a native app. The PWA is extremely fast and offers the possibility of working offline or in slow networks. Unlike a native app, you don’t have to download the PWA, so the PWA is always up to date. A PWA also helps a lot with SEO-Best Practices, which leads to a higher Google ranking. Google offers tools for testing whether your PWA is good enough. Loading times and security (an HTTPS connection is required) are particularly important.

In terms of maintenance, a PWA means less work. Usually you maintain the website plus two apps (Android and iOS). With a PWA, the content is now served from a single platform. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about app store requirements and possible geographic restrictions.


How push notifications work in Progressive Web Apps

Push notifications let your Progressive Web App go far beyond the browser and are an incredibly useful way to get in touch (again) with your website visitors. Web push notifications are used for simple tasks like notifying a user of upcoming sales or events. They display an icon and a few lines of text that the user can click to open and go to a specific destination on your site. You can also incorporate action buttons into automated notifications so that the user can interact with your website or web app without having to return to your page.

Web push notifications use a “ServiceWorker” to wait for “push events” provided by your push notification service ( CleverPush, for example). As soon as an event is triggered, the notification is sent to the user’s device, even if the browser is not active. Push notifications are sent directly from a server to the web push service and contain the information the push service needs to send it to the correct recipient.

If visitors of your website or web app allow notification messages in the browser, the ServiceWorker wakes up briefly to register you as a “subscriber” of the website in question so that you can receive push notifications. This registration trip can vary from place to place.


The Value of Push Notifications to Browsing Experience and Engagement

You are undoubtedly already monitoring and optimizing the customer journey of your website visitors. Combined with Progressive Web App technology that makes your page accessible quickly and offline, this is a really strong foundation. To enhance that experience, push notifications that are timely, relevant and accurate help drive conversions and engagement.

You have precise control over when you want to show your visitors something that is meant for them, such as a confirmation, an update or a discount at the desired time for example. This will make visitors feel more personally connected to your company and the information you want to share with them. The chance of attracting returning visitors is enormous and your brand awareness increases significantly as a result. Hence, we see web push notifications as a great addition of value for higher user engagement.


Progressive Web Apps vs. Native Apps

We all know the Android Playstore and the Apple App Store where you can download apps. A mobile native app can also be downloaded from these stores and was developed with a specific programming language for a specific operating system. The app is installed on the user’s operating system such as Android or iOS so that the app device can call up certain functions. The technology of the app is similar to that of a PWA, but ultimately they are very different technologies.

Push notifications in native apps are also different from a PWA. Within the app, these are often notifications about updates, news, marketing or transaction notifications. You will only receive these notifications if you have installed the app and activated the notifications or granted authorization for them. The push notification operation of a PWA, however, is different. Depending on the usage, these notifications generally don’t focus so much on continuous updates, but mainly add value to the marketing funnel by getting visitors and customers involved in the brand or business. The main difference remains the operation of web push notifications on iOS, where native is the precursor so far.

Ready to go? In that case, we hope that we have been able to answer some of your questions and that you will soon benefit from the information provided.


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