Since more and more Internet users are turning to mobile phones to browse and shop, the need for speed (no pun intended) increases greatly.
According to Statista, mobile eCommerce sales worldwide will reach an estimated 2.32 trillion US dollars by the end of this year. This means marketers need to keep pace and provide an excellent customer experience in every situation possible.
PWAs are the current big thing when it comes to providing the best UX possible. By combining all the good things native apps and traditional websites have to offer, they are said to be the future of eCommerce. In addition to that, they will enable developers to work with more ease, and marketers to increase the ROI.
But first — let’s find out all there is to know about the PWAs and the toolset that enables developers to make the transition: the Magento PWA Studio.
What Is PWA?
Progressive Web App (PWA) is a hybrid between a mobile application and a traditional website, which combines the best of both worlds for significantly improved user (and customer) experience. PWA feels like a native app but delivers successfully through all the smart devices alike.
PWAs include a variety of new features (hence the term “progressive”) that enable customers to shop on the website as they would via phone apps — only faster, easier, and in various conditions in which regular websites and apps would not work well, or at all!
PWA Features Compared to Native Apps and Traditional Websites
These are the key differences between PWAs and native apps, with the comparison to the traditional websites accessed via computer.
No Installation Required
Installing a traditional app includes many steps before actually making use of it.
To purchase the desired product, customers first need to:
- Visit the app store
- Find the app
- Install the app
- Accept Terms and Services
- Create their account (sign up)
Only then can customers proceed to browse and buy the items.
To manage it all, people need a stable Internet connection, time, mobile memory space — and patience.
With PWAs, you can eliminate these five steps; it only takes a Google search, and customers can use your PWA store right away!
Users can opt for adding the PWA to the home screen and set up the push notifications — while remaining fully functional through all the browsers. The Add to Homescreen feature enables users to visit the website directly, without prior Googling.
Users Don’t Deal With Updates
PWAs update automatically and don’t request permission from the user — or take up additional memory. All the information on the PWA is up to date and ready, thanks to Service Workers that provide the data update process. Sometimes, a native app won’t even work before you update; with PWAs, updates are not the customer’s concern.
Works Faster than Traditional Websites — Offline and Online!
PWAs load very fast when compared to traditional websites, and every time customers visit the PWA, it works even faster, and stays just as responsive!
This occurs thanks to the device caching feature; once loaded, the data is cached and makes the PWA work just as well when the Internet is slow. The app will continue to perform even without the Internet connection, although the actions will be limited to what is previously cached.
Device-level caching minimizes the amount of data retrieved, making the PWAs more customer-friendly than regular websites. As we mentioned, native apps need to be downloaded, which requires more storage space — unlike PWAs.
Apps are specially developed for different platforms and operating systems, and websites often require special tweaks to be able to function as well on mobile phones as they do on laptops and desktops. PWAs are just as good for each customer, on every device or browser.
In terms of navigation and interaction, PWAs closely resemble a native app. This makes them simple and more intuitive than classic websites.
PWAs use HTTPS protocol: connection is encrypted, so no one can mess with any of the customers’ data. This is also good for SEO and boosting the SERP, indexing, and makes the shop look more trustworthy in the eyes of the customers. Not many of them will proceed to shop when a big, red pop-up warns them the website is not safe.
Unlike apps, PWAs provide links that can easily be shared.
Magento PWA Effects: Where Customers, Developers, and Marketers Meet
PWAs are developed for eCommerce businesses, where they solve many problems for the customers, store owners, and developers all at once. It is said that PWAs are the future of online sales and that the PWA features will become the standard, as more and more success stories make their way onto the market.
Magento PWA Studio
To enable the transition to PWA for the Magento 2 eCommerce websites, developers established Magento PWA Studio. It is a set of tools for agencies and developers that allow them to control the code, theme, structure, and technologies used to maintain the website.
Magento’s PWA Studio consists of these components:
- React JS (peregrine) — for the front-end application code
- Webpack — for interaction with Service Workers
- GraphQL — specifies the pieces of data requested, thus making the app run faster
- Venia storefront — a demo theme that displays the current features
PWA Studio allows developers to keep working within the framework they know best — whether they work with React, Angular, Vue, or something else.
If agencies decide to introduce the PWA, they won’t need to pay for the developers to learn how to work with Magento. Magento would become a “headless” app, and the front end could be anything from WordPress to one that is custom made.
Magento PWA Studio is available on GitHub, where contributors improve it daily.
The current version of Magento is challenging to work with. It is complicated and slow — especially for developers since they can’t use caching. They would also need to know various advanced, complicated technologies just to make Magento usable.
Magento PWA Studio would enable developers to detach the front end completely. That way, they can use the stack that’s fast and interactive to build the front end they prefer on top.
How Does Magento PWA Affect eCommerce?
Introducing the Magento PWA made a huge difference for the marketers who decided to implement these changes to their websites.
- What makes PWAs unique are push notifications — this reminds customers about the products in their cart and on their wish lists, alerts them when sales and special offers are active, and more. This reduces cart abandonment and increases conversion rate.
- One of the similarities to websites that make PWAs great for marketers is their crawlability. Search engines prefer safe websites (HTTPS) and may rank them higher on SERP.
- Since PWAs are optimized for every device, marketers save a great deal of money by not having to employ different developers and create different versions of the website for every device and OS there is. his also makes the updating process faster and less annoying for customers.
- Responsive design reduces the frustration of lagging websites and crashing apps for customers and that way decreases bounce rate; shoppers are less inclined to give up on the purchase.
Google May Emphasize PWA Mobile Sites in Mobile Search
Fast loading pages are what users love — and Google too.
As we mentioned, PWAs load faster due to their memory-saving capabilities; fast-loading pages sometimes have a lightning bolt sign next to them in a mobile SERP.
This bolt means that the website in question is AMP — Accelerated Mobile Page.
These pages signal that they are very lightweight, faster, and more engaging.
PWAs and AMPs work great together and complement each other:
- AMP pages can have PWA features (such as Service Workers)
- PWAs enable more interactivity and engagement — if you make the entry point of your website an AMP, you will fix the problem with slow first-time loading
- Use AMP as a data source for your PWA to reduce the back-end complexity
Ways Magento PWA Improves Customer Experience
The keenest fans claim that PWAs represent the best current practices for any interactive website, especially eCommerce.
All the good points mentioned earlier make PWAs essential for spotless online shopping experience: he simplicity and speed of an app, saving time and storage, accessibility online or offline, and never thinking about updates or safety again! It will perform just as well on iOS, Android, any browser or device. The simple Add to Home button acts like an app, without the memory-consuming activities.
Examples of Amazing Effects of PWA Implementation
PWAs have been around since 2015, and more and more websites from various industries are transitioning to the Magento PWA as a way of selling online.
Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter Lite, Tinder, Google Maps — all of them rely on PWA technology and have achieved huge successes since the implementation.
Some of the most notable case studies also include:
- The Washington Post — 23% increase in returning mobile search users
- Lancôme — 17% increased conversions
- MakeMyTrip — 160% increase in shopper session;
- Trivago — an increase of 150% of people who added their PWA to home screens.
The way we shop online goes through many changes every day, the most visible ones being responsiveness, speed, and multiplatform experience.
Marketers who care about increasing the conversion should take notes and look into transforming their existing online shopping websites. The ones who already use Magento can convert to PWA easily to address these needs better, by using the Magento PWA Studio. It has helped marketers skyrocket sales.
Want these results for your business? Feel free to contact us, so we can transform and improve your website infrastructure with Magento PWA.