PWAs, or Progressive Web Apps, have been around for a little while now. But only recently has the idea of marrying PWAs with ecommerce brands come to the forefront.
And it’s about time.
We predict that within the next five years, the vast majority of ecommerce brands will switch over to a PWA. Why? Because PWAs provide a faster, sleeker experience that is optimised – from the get-go – for the user. And an optimised user experience can only lead to one thing: more sales.
Read on to discover why PWAs are the future of ecommerce.
What is a PWA?
First things first, let’s dissect what a PWA actually is. A Progressive Web App is a hybrid of a website and a regular app that you would download to your phone. It looks and feels like an app, but includes the online SEO capabilities and coding opportunities of a website.
The majority of brands have a mobile-friendly version of their site, and several have an app that works in conjunction to – but separately – to their website. Think of ASOS, Nike, Next and Zara – great websites and great apps.
The difference is that with a PWA you only need one platform. It does away with the need for a separate website and app entirely. A user can visit a retailer’s website on their phone or tablet, and then be given the option to install the website onto their device right then and there. There’s no need for the user to go into their App store to download the PWA separately.
What are the key benefits of a PWA?
The most important feature of a PWA is speed. Compared to regular websites, a PWA loads incredibly quickly across all devices. It achieves this speed by only loading page elements as the user scrolls onto them, rather than loading a whole page as soon as the user lands on it.
By using this technique, all of that delayed loading time and stuttered scrolling users can experience with traditional mobile-friendly websites is done away with. So not only does a PWA make the site speed faster, it also makes the user experience smoother.
The second most important feature of a PWA is convenience:
Easy to install
Compared to most apps, a PWA is incredibly fast to install and takes up far less space on the user’s device. All the user has to do is hit the ‘add to homescreen’ button that appears when browsing a website on their device, and that’s it!
A PWA can also be accessed offline – no connection to the internet is required to browse the site. This gives users a reliable and stable experience regardless of their network conditions – perfect when your coverage at home is a little patchy.
The super-smooth speed of a PWA will naturally increase the amount of time a customer will want to spend on your site. Slow sites suffer from high bounce rates – who wants to wait for a category page, product image or video to load? In contrast, a website that presents all page elements lighting-fast will keep users onsite for longer.
Not only that, but the ease that a PWA can be added to a user’s device also offers opportunities for increased engagement. Merchants can send notifications via the PWA directly to shoppers’ devices, popping up with relevant discounts or latest product arrivals. This reminds customers of the brand’s existence, encouraging loyalty and increasing sales.
If you’re looking to upgrade or redesign your online shop front in a way that is quick and cost effective, then PWAs are your answer. PWAs are compatible with most web technologies – including Abode Commerce/Magento 2 – meaning the time it takes to develop is much faster than a native app.
The code behind a PWA means the retailer only has to build one site that works across all devices. Meaning you don’t need to create a website and an app and tweak code on your website to make it mobile-responsive.
This means less time is required to build, test and change elements of your store.
Converting to a PWA
PWA is a frontend ecommerce solution – meaning it can be hitched up to your existing Adobe Commerce or Magento 2 website with little-to-no backend development time required. So, if your primary concerns about your existing website are speed and increasing customer engagement, or if you’re looking to redesign your storefront, then a PWA is the perfect solution.
Want to find out more? Get in touch with the Fluid Commerce PWA team today.