magento and pwa

In early 2018, Magento announced PWA Studio, designed to help developers constructs Progressive Web Apps for their Magento website. Magento and PWA is a powerful combination that can bring many benefits to your online and offline business. Here are five ways your Magento ecommerce site can benefit from PWA technology.

1. You Can Take Advantage of Mobile Commerce Without the High Cost

Mobile commerce is on the rise as customers spend more time on their phone than ever. In fact, an average person spends more than five hours on the phone per day. Mobile commerce accounts for more than half of retail ecommerce sales in 2017. According to Forrester’s The State Of Retailing Online 2017 Report, mobile app’s conversion rate is higher than desktop, mobile browser, or tablet.

However, the time and cost of mobile app development are high. Developers have to build different versions for platforms such as iOS and Android, then go through many steps to get them published and updated. Competition in the app store is tough as well, with over three million apps in Apple App Store and two millions in Google Play Store. For many businesses, developing apps can be quite the investment without a guaranteed ROI.

Building a PWA for your website is an excellent way to engage with your customers on mobile without the high cost. Instead of working on an app from scratch, you can use tools to modify your current website into a PWA. In addition, you only have one code base for all platforms and skip the hassle of publishing them in app stores. You write it once and it can run anywhere.

2. Customers Can Access Your Website Across Device and Platform

PWA is written in the languages of the web – HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This means that your customer can access your app as long as they have a functioning web browser. As of now, popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge all support your PWA.

As building PWA saves you time spent on developing and publishing, it also saves your customers time on downloading and installing. There are many steps to install a native app: searching in the app store, downloading, installing, then granting access to or accepting the terms and condition. On a mobile device, your customers can easily add your app to the home screen with a few taps with app manifest.

PWA still runs in a browser process, but once the customers add your app to the home screen, the browser UI is removed. Furthermore, a PWA also takes up much less space than a native binary app and shows up in the customer’s app directory. Your customers can enjoy the immersive, app-like experience of your store without much effort. Your website, your app, is essentially an URL that can be loaded and shared on any device regardless of the platform your customers use.

3. Your Magento Website Loads Fast and Works Without the Internet

Akamai’s Research in 2009 showed that online shoppers expected a website to load within two seconds. Data from Google showed that one-second delay could cause the conversion rate to fall by 20%. Fast loading website helps you stay ahead of the competition.

According to Magento Lead Front End Architect James Zetlen, PWA focuses on speed and can minimize network traffic through a variety of functions. During the first page load, a very small app shell with key resources is served. This app shell contains all the necessary components of your app, such as core architecture and UI. It’s loaded very quickly, decreasing the time to get the First Meaningful Paint. In addition, these components are cached – stored in the local device after the first page load. During a subsequent launch, instead of loading everything again, your app only needs to retrieve new data.

At the heart of PWA are service workers, scripts that run separately from the web page and intercepts all network requests. With service worker supported, your browser can cache deserialized requests. Without the Internet, service workers can notify the user and load the traversed section of the store in response to AJAX requests. No more dinosaur – Even in unstable network condition, customers can access your catalog and continue shopping.

One of the requirements of service worker is secure connections. With PWA, web traffic is served over HTTPS only, making your page load faster than non-secure connection and protect data between client and server.

4. You PWA is SEO-friendly

To increase conversion, it’s important that your customers can easily find you on the Internet. When you turn your Magento site into a PWA, it gives users immersive experience of an app while maintaining the robustness of the web. Unlike a native app that is hard to discover outside the App Stores, your PWA is still a web page, crawlable and indexable. PWA is optimized for mobile and high-speed site means better ranking results.

On the other hand, PWA is treated as a Single-Page, Javascript application, and there are some issues with the way Google crawls and renders a Javascript page. As a result, in addition to normal SEP practice, consider using Fetch as Google to test if Google can crawl your site correctly. In addition, make sure to use rel=canonical for multiple URLs when serving contents from various resources. Avoid using the hashtag (“#”) in your URL as Google will ignore everything else after it.

5. Keep Your Customers Engaged with Push Notification

Service workers can also help with another must-have function of a business: sending push notifications. When a visitor signs up for notifications, the service worker’s push manager will handle the visitor’s subscription with a unique token/ID. It has an EventListener that fires when there is a “push” event, sending a notification to the visitor.

Service workers allow background functions without the need to keep the page open or user interaction. This way you can keep your prospect engaged with shipping update, newly arrived products, special promotions, and more. When done right, app push notifications can be a powerful tool to remind your customers of your brand and keep them coming back for more purchase.

What’s next?

Turning your Magento website into a PWA can bring about many benefits for your business. It saves you time and cost developing an app, is accessible across platforms and devices, works with or without the Internet. It is also SEO-friendly and helps keep customers engaged with notifications.

PWA adoption, however, should not stop at frontend. Why not bring the best of both worlds to your physical store? Get PWA POS from Magestore and transform your retailer experience. Book a FREE demo with us to find out.

Magento and PWA: 5 Ways Your Ecommerce Site Can Benefit from PWA Technology
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