Progressive web apps (commonly known as PWAs) are the next big thing in the eCommerce world and are quickly replacing downloadable apps. In fact, seven out of the top 10 eCommerce websites deliver PWAs to their billions of customers. But why are PWAs the way of the future? For customers, they give a better user experience. For online businesses, they give greater conversions at a lower cost than native apps. At InteractOne, we recently wrote a blog post about the rise of PWAs that you can read here. But what are the specific benefits of PWAs for eCommerce pharmacies, have they worked in the past and how can you add one to your existing site? Read on to learn all of this and more.
Benefits of PWAs for the unique eCommerce pharmacy world
PWAs may be the future of every type of website, but there are a few unique reasons that PWAs are especially beneficial for online pharmacies.
- Customers can manage and refill prescriptions more easily. On a PWA, it’s extremely easy for customers to order medications and prescription refills. They can do it in a few seconds with one push of a button, from the comfort of their couch. Plus, adding a “Favorites” feature that allows customers to see their frequently-ordered medications on one screen (rather than having to search for them repeatedly) has shown to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- You can engage with your customers more easily through push notifications. Push notifications on a PWA allow you to notify customers about what medications they need to take and when, inform them about valuable offers and promotions and give them useful healthcare tips (such as how to stay healthy while traveling).
- PWAs help prevent drug abuse and encourage authenticity. Unfortunately, many medications today are sold online illegally. However, with a PWA, it’s easy to maintain records and prevent drug abuse because every order is documented with a prescription. Plus, if there’s a counterfeit medication, it can easily be traced back to the manufacturer. This leads to customers being able to trust you and rely on you for quality medication.
- PWAs are cost effective. In general, PWAs save companies money. Because PWAs run in a browser, they’re less expensive for eCommerce companies to build and support than a native app. Plus, PWAs save developer time and simplify the process, which leads to significant cost savings for companies. Additionally, the commitment to a PWA is less for the user too. When using a PWA, customers aren’t forced to take the time to download a native app or have it take up memory space on their smartphone. The browser functionality eliminates that commitment. In the long term, PWAs are generally easier to maintain with simpler updates and require less of a commitment from all parties involved.
Have PWAs worked for pharmaceutical companies in the past?
Yes. There are numerous case studies from the past few years showing that PWAs work wonders for pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies with an eCommerce business.
In 2017, a pharmaceutical company called BePHenomenal had a slowly-loading, ineffective website — but they had big dreams for a much better site. That’s when they hired a partner to help them create it.
Before changing to a PWA, the company website’s load times were slow. It took more than 11 seconds before the content was visible on the page. After the PWA implementation, however, the site took less than one second to load! In addition, the site’s performance went from a 26 to an 88, the accessibility standards went up to 100 and best practices went from 67 to 92.
How can you add a progressive web app to your existing site?
To begin, it’s important to build a few functions that make your eCommerce site feel like an app. This involves enabling HTTPS, configuring your web app manifest and creating your service worker — but this is extremely the simplified explanation.
To pull this off successfully, you have to get into the nuts and bolts of your website and what you want from it. As you might have guessed, this can quickly become overwhelming. We recommend working with a development firm to seamlessly add a PWA to your existing site.
If you’d like to further explore the benefits of adding a PWA, we’re here to help. Contact us today to meet with one of our expert consultants.