Roger James

I am a tech blogger. I write on trending technologies such as Blockchain, internet of things, AR/VR.

How PWAs can benefit eCommerce?

Progressive web apps have taken the world through a revolutionary turn. PWAs have proven themselves as a quite effective tool for the eCommerce industry. In today’s time, more and more firms are getting into Progressive web app development. 
Here, we are going to talk about:
  • What are PWAs? 
  • Features of PWAs
  • How do they benefit eCommerce? 
  • Some Popular PWAs in the eCommerce Industry
  • Why PWA is must?
So, let’s start!

What are PWAs?

Progressive web apps are web applications that provide an experience that is quite similar to native apps. In simple words, web apps are an upgraded version of web pages that must fulfill specific requirements. 
Moreover, they must be accessible through URLs and they are deployed in and by servers. And it can be said that these apps are a combination of responsive web design and native apps. 
Also, a PWA website can be easily converted to an app in case you want it to be like that. In this case, it will use application shells. These shells are basically the lowest standards of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. 

Features of PWAs

Progressive web apps came into existence in June month of the year 2015. Since then, these PWAs have been taking place in the heart of end-users just because of the various features they have. 
Quick load time
PWAs are created with a basic principle of progressive enhancement. It enables the app to load almost instantly on several repeated visits. Moreover, this progressive kind of apps utilizes the benefit of the device-level cache.  
This cache reduces the amount of data required to quickly respond to user interaction. Modern web technologies permit the app to save data locally in the device’s cache. Hence, it will be directly delivered from the user’s device. 
When a customer visits, again and again, PWAs offer the same instant loading like native apps just by showing cached content immediately and then deliver the rest of the page progressively. 
Offline mode
Whenever the device gets disconnected from the internet, PWAs respond in a different way. It lets users browse and don't say that you can't move further as there is no internet. 
Since PWAs are created by keeping offline first mode in the mind, PWAs have a robust caching system that handles offline requests and sends them as soon as the internet connection gets back. 
It is quite helpful as PWAs are able to provide offline functionality in order to achieve a high level of performance instead of the worse network connection. 
Web payments
PWAs has an emerging web standard that simplifies and secures online payment for customers. To fulfill that, web payments remove the requirements for customers to fill in checkout forms just by reusing the stored address information and payment details. 
As the standard is already maintained in the browser, PWAs utilizing web payments can offer a consistent checkout experience for all the end-users. Moreover, flexibility owned by these apps permits businesses to provide a wide range of payment options that can work for any browser or device. 
Web push notifications
A crucial feature that was lacking in the web for a long time, push notification, is now available on the browsers with the help of progressive web apps. Push notification is the most impactful medium to engage online shoppers. 
With the help of PWAs, small businesses can use web push notifications in order to communicate with their website visitors in a more personalized manner. A good thing about these push notifications is that they look like native app notifications. 
It means that they should work even at the time when the browser is not operating on the user’s device.            
Add to the home screen
This add to home screen prompt is used to make it quite simple for users to install PWAs on their devices. Once a user accepts the prompt, the web app will have a native-like presence on the home screen. 
With the help of this Add to the home screen, web apps have the same visibility and accessibility as a native app has.  
Moreover, PWA technology permits you to decide how your web app appears to users.  

How do they benefit eCommerce? 

PWAs help you to get rid of Device Restriction
Progressive web apps are mostly written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It simply means that it has a web connection and users can easily access PWA using various web browsers. 
Moreover, all the major browsers such as Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari support PWAs. 
Another interesting advantage of PWA is that it can save the user’s time as it needs not to be installed on the user’s device to make use of it. Furthermore, PWAs can be readily placed on the home screen with just a few taps. 
Progressive web apps occupy less space as compared to native apps. Also, it can be easily found in the app directory. 
They help you to provide offline mode and Reduced PLT
The Google data has suggested that if there is a delay of even one second in loading time, it results in the decrement of conversion rate by around 20 percent. If we talk about ideal cases, then your eCommerce website should take a maximum of 2 seconds to load in order to attract and retain online shoppers.                                              
Require fewer resources
PWAs need a little space in the internal storage. With the help of this unique property, it is saved from deletion whenever the issue of low space occurs in the user’s smart devices. 
Moreover, it is quite easy for app developers to update the PWA with new features. In other words, we can say that PWAs can save both time and money by demanding lesser resources. 
To an eCommerce website, a progressive web app serves as a supplement. PWAs have special capabilities of promoting a website in a more effective way. 
They help in increasing the SEO friendliness of the website
Progressive web apps are quite helpful as they help your eCommerce website to secure their place in the top SERPs. 
It is simple to achieve this goal. You just need to convert your existing Magento 2 website into a PWA. The reason behind this is that PWA gives your customers an app like an immersive experience at the time of acting as an indexable page. 
In simple words, we can say that PWA serves the purposes of both an app and a website. It can be easily optimized for mobile and takes lesser time to load. In a way, PWA helps your eCommerce website to get a better ranking.  
Furthermore, a website with good ranking ultimately has good visibility and good reach to the potential audience. 
Not only this, but PWA also enhances the discoverability of your website by taking advantage of a thriving mobile platform. 
They send push notifications for enhancing engagement
Push notifications have immense use in enhancing the customer engagement rate. Whenever users give their consent to get notifications, the Push Manager feature starts to send push notification. 
App notification provides real-time updates to users. And these updates can be related to receiving orders, shipping status, promotional offers, and new arrivals. 
Correct use of push notifications can help you in retaining customers and enhancing the brand value. PWA notifications act in a similar way as app notifications do. 

Some of the Popular PWAs in eCommerce Industry

HobbyCraft
Hobbycraft is the largest retailer of arts and crafts supplies in United Kingdom. Recently, they have launched a Progressive web app just to ensure that customers could place orders at a higher speed. 
Alibaba
We just cannot ignore Alibaba when we talk about eCommerce. It is the world's largest online B2B trading platform. Recently, Alibaba has initiated its progressive web app and it has seen the advantages that come with it. 
After launching PWA, alibaba saw that mobile activity of its customers has increased by 76%.  
Forbes, Washington Post, and Flipkart Lite are some other PWAs.  

Why PWA is a must? 

Here are some stats and facts that support use of PWA in eCommerce. 
  • Best western River North Hotel sees 300% increase in revenue with new Progressive Web App.
  • Treebo launched a PWA and saw a 4x increase in conversion rate year-over-year. 
  • Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort increased its black friday conversion rate by 53 percent because of its progressive web app’s speed and notifications. 
  • Uber’s PWA was designed to be fast even on 2G. The core app is only 50k gzipped and takes less than 3 seconds to load on 2G networks. 

Wrapping Up

I hope that now you are quite clear about progressive web apps, their features, and benefits to the eCommerce world. 
In case you are planning to create a progressive web app for your eCommerce website, then you can contact various eCommerce development companies present in the market. 
Not only this, if you are using the Magento eCommerce website and want to boost your business, you can convert your eCommerce website into a progressive web app. It will definitely improve the functionality, loading time and other crucial aspects of your website.

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