Progressive Web Apps

Why multichannel progressive web up is the best way to deliver a gift certificate

E-gifts is a growing market and is a part of a "must have" e-commerce effort for brands and shops. Using m-PWA 2.0 tech allows for simple and efficient delivery of e-gifts and of all further marketing communications.
We have done a very simple thing for a made-to-measure suits brand Indever - increased comparable sales by 50% in less than 3 months. Mobsted multichannel PWA system was used for sending gift certificates to recipient's mobile phones. It starts with SMS. This SMS contains a personal link to an e-certificate and leads into the m-PWA 2.0 based mobile app. The m-PWA stack is used to save a certificate and to return a recipient to actually claiming it. Sounds more complicated than it is.
Connecting PWA to Your IT systems is a challenge
Let us assume that you already know what people buy as gifts to others in your business, most of the time it is either money or a specific product pre-paid by a gifter. Also, let's assume that you either have a paper-based gifting system or allow sending gift certificates into emails.

The next major question is how certificates sent and redeemed. If you are using some popular software for a business backend, chances are there is a gift certificates module inside or there is some external pre-integrated system that can be used.
The major challenge is to integrate PWA with your IT systems. PWA platform has handy visual API constructor for that
So the major challenge with starting on a PWA road is to integrate it with your current IT systems. To make all easier you need to look for a system, which is straightforward to integrate or has pre-built API connectors to your existing backend software. For example, PWA making platform has an API constructor built in, where you can visually create and reuse connections to data about your gift certificates.
Delivery and saving the certificate with the multichannel PWA
A progressive web app can be delivered via a smart web link, so sending a text SMS or an e-mail to the recipient with that link works. However, the only SMS guarantee is that the link will be opened from a smartphone and fast. E-mails are clogged and are not always viewed from a mobile. Mobile messages are opened 98% of the times, comparing to e-mails at 23%. So to make sure the e-certificate was seen it must be delivered to a mobile device. That's the first step.

The next step is to make it super easy for a recipient to SAVE the certificate. That's where the beauty of a multichannel PWA approach kicks in since an e-gift certificate is a micro web app after all. An e-gift recipient can add it to smartphone's home screen with just a few taps, or ... use a favorite instant messenger to do that. It is so much easy that PWA apps can get 5-10 times more conversion comparing to native apps from app stores.
Our statistics show the following distribution of people's choices when saving a multichannel progressive web app to the mobiles:
Around 51% choose to add it to their home screens, 32% save it in a messenger, such as Telegram, Viber, Facebook, the rest come back to find an initial invitation in SMS or e-mail. Giving people a choice of channels (ways to save) makes them remember it better and as a result - people find the certificate much faster when they are ready to remit.
Reminders and upsell functions in a multichannel PWA
It is a fact - not all gift certificates are remitted. On one hand - money stays with the company without serving the recipient. On the other hand, a possible new customer is not gained. We think that a new customer is more important. And that's where the second beauty of a multichannel progressive web app kicks in - the ability to Push reminders in a mobile channel preferred by each user. For example, if a user chooses a messenger - then an auto reminder will be sent there. If a user adds an icon, a reminder will automatically go through web push technology.

It is also possible to use the same user choice of a channel as a marketing notification channel. For example, sending a list of goods that fit in the amount of money on the certificate with the offer to buy something else. Notifications of Sales can also be delivered later to all people, who opened a mobile channel via saving an e-gift.
Alternative gift certificates aggregators
There are ways to spend less though on doing your electronic gifting. For example, a cohort of mobile apps will gladly offer your products for e-gifts, but you do need to share revenue with them. Also, most such aggregators require something to be installed by either party, which does not go well with users anymore, due to overloaded phones and attention span. You need to make sure there is nothing to install on either side. Making sure nothing needs to be installed is the main objective of the PWA approach in general and the multichannel PWA in particular.
Making sure nothing needs to be installed on a customer's side is the main objective of PWA approach
You also must consider the fact of the "last moment competition" and can cost you a customer, while using such aggregators, when a gifter can be lured away by all other offers in the aggregator app. So participating in these systems for new traffic makes sense, but routing customers who already know your company into your own mobile gifts system makes a better sense.
Various micro issues
You must make sure you gift certificates look awesome and are easy to understand. The technology can only be as powerful. No perfection of a progressive web app in e-gifts will substitute for easy to understand information within the certificate. It makes sense to use systems such as Mobsted PWA app builder with its visual tools to speed up making and all the changes needed to make your certificates look good.
Also, you need to make sure that only the cellular phone number is used for SMS delivery and landlines are avoided. There are services which can validate phone numbers with a single API call.
The conclusion
Making e-gift certificates is an important channel to increase sales and acquire new customers. Using the new technologies behind mobile multichannel progressive web apps can make delivery, remittance and further marketing efforts around electronic gifts much more efficient. The reasons are - PWAs are easy to receive, to save and allow for a greatest user base penetration comparing to other mobile technologies. There is no doubt that general PWA principles will be impossible to avoid for e-gifts in the upcoming years.
I don't think I need to persuade anybody that sending gifts to a mobile phone is a "must have" in our Mobile First era. The goal here is to provide a viewpoint on the pros, cons, and obstacles of using a mobile progressive web app for that.

Don't hesitate to share your thoughts, ideas, and cases with us.

Alex Burlitsky
Chief Editor, CEO, Founder