Progressive Web App (PWA) a New Trend in Ecommerce

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What is PWA?

It’s known for a long time now that mobile drives more traffic worldwide, especially in the USA, Great Britain, Germany and Australia. Nevertheless, it is desktop users, who usually spend more time on the site and, the most important thing for merchants, complete the whole shopping process.

The development of a native app for mobile devices seems like a perfect way out. However, in the very beginning of new relationships, such a heavy commitment can scare a customer away. The customer didn’t have the opportunity yet to evaluate the app they’ve got to install, but they already have to spend some time to install it. Furthermore, the memory of a mobile device isn’t limitless: the user must decide whether the new app is worth installing. Moreover, the development of native apps is quite an expensive process, and the possibilities of apps for the re-engagement of the customer are poor.

In 2015, a new kind of apps was developed: a progressive one. It is actually a website that acts as if it obtains the features of a native app. The aim of such an app is to make the difference between a native app and mobile web less distinct. This kind of apps is known as Progressive Web Apps or PWAs.

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Advantages of PWA

PWA offers a number of advantages to a customer and, as a result, to a business owner:

  • No need to install. As we’ve already said above, one of the disadvantages of any native app is that it must be installed. But PWA doesn’t need to be installed because it is actually a website, which gives the feeling to users that they are using an app. The user can be offered to save the site as a bookmark or a shortcut to a home screen. And that’s it. No heavyweight commitment in new relationships. Isn’t it a great advantage of a PWA?
  • No need to update. Unlike native apps, which constantly must be updated, PWAs are updated on the go. PWA gets updated whenever a customer uses it.
  • Speed. Fast page loading is a must nowadays. According to one of the Google’s studies, the implementation of a PWA can decrease the load time for mobile web up to 22%.
  • Performance without the Internet connection. PWA is a website that can work offline. Whenever the device is online, a service worker — a script that your browser runs in the background — caches the information and can show it when the device is offline.
  • Push Notifications. It is an amazing feature of PWAs for marketers to engage with customers. A number of studies prove the ultimate usefulness of push notifications for increasing conversion rates.

PWAs aren’t available in app stores. This thing can be treated both as disadvantage and advantage of a PWA. It may seem as a disadvantage as customers can’t find the app in good old Google Play and iTunes where the apps must be. But at the same time, it seems as an advantage as well because presence among hundreds of similar apps doesn’t promise thousands of downloads. According to statistics, 60% of apps in Google Play have never been downloaded. So we decided to leave this feature in the middle between the advantages and disadvantages of PWAs.

Disadvantages of PWAs

It is impossible to find a thing that doesn’t have any disadvantage. Especially, when it’s something as new as PWAs.

  • Too new. The development of a PWA is going to be expensive and a time-consuming procedure as there is still a lack of implementation examples.
  • Compatibility. For the time being, PWAs are compatible with such browsers as Chrome, Firefox and Opera but not with Safari. However, according to Magento, this problem is going to be solved soon. 

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Examples of PWA Implementation

PWA is quite a new and raw technology. Nevertheless, several well-known companies decided to be the pioneers in its implementation, and now they can share their encouraging results.

For example, AliExpress noticed a 100% higher conversion rates. Infobae, one of the biggest news-outlets in Argentina, diminished the bounce rate on their mobile site from 51% to 5%.

Jumia, a dominant ecommerce company in Africa, and MakeMyTrip.com, a number one travel company in India, suffered from a poor Internet connection. Having implemented PWAs, both companies noticed a great improvement in conversion rates (30%) and a huge increase in the number of visitors.

Mynet, Lancôme and OLX experienced hardship with too slow mobile experience. PWA implementation helped them to overcome this issue. Now, the pages load 4 times faster. This leads to higher rates of conversions and users re-engagement.

These are just a few examples that show the importance of PWAs for the future of mobile web. It is a popular thought on the Internet, that soon PWAs become a benchmark for any site as RWD is now.

Magento is going to announce the first results of PWAs implementation in 2018. Perhaps, it’s going to happen at Magento Imagine Conference this year. If you’re not sure what your Magento store needs right now, fill out our Contact us form and we’ll help you make your business prosper.

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