Progressive Web Apps: the future of e-commerce?

January 4, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications that aim to provide a native app-like experience to users. Among their many benefits, PWAs have become the go-to solution for many global brands wishing to have a successful e-commerce experience. 

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But why? What makes PWAs so efficient for e-commerce? Today we want to look at the Progressive Web Apps and what this technology can offer to our brands and business online! 

What are the Progressive Web Apps? 

The Progressive Web Apps are web applications built to provide native app-like capabilities while remaining capable of further improvement. 

They are built using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and can be accessed through a web browser like any other website. 

In fact, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) do not need to be installed in the traditional sense precisely because they are accessed through a web browser like any other website. 

However, they can be "installed" on the home screen of a device, which creates an icon that allows the user to launch the app like a native app.

Installing a PWA is usually done through the browser's "Add to Homescreen" feature, which the user can access through the browser menu or by prompting the user to install the app. Once the app is installed, it will appear on the home screen alongside native apps and can be launched by tapping the icon.

It's worth noting that installing a PWA on the home screen does not install the app on the device in the same way that a native app is installed. Instead, it creates a shortcut that opens the app in the browser when launched. However, the app will still function like a native app, with features such as offline support and push notifications.

However, PWAs have several features that make them more like native apps, such as the ability to work offline, receive push notifications, and be installed on the home screen of a device.

Why are PWAs a game-changer for e-commerce? 

In the e-commerce industry, PWAs can be particularly useful because they offer several benefits over traditional native apps and mobile websites. Here are some reasons why PWAs may be a good choice for e-commerce businesses:

  1. Improved performance: PWAs are designed to be fast and responsive, which is important for providing a good user experience. They use caching and other techniques to minimize the need for network requests and reduce loading times. This can be particularly beneficial for users with slow internet connections or limited data plans.
  1. Enhanced user experience: PWAs offer many of the same features as native apps, such as the ability to work offline and receive push notifications. This can improve the overall user experience and make it more convenient for users to interact with the app.
  1. Increased conversion rates: PWAs have been shown to increase conversion rates for e-commerce businesses. This is likely due to their improved performance and enhanced user experience, which makes it easier for users to browse and purchase products.
  1. Better search engine visibility: PWAs are treated as regular websites by search engines, meaning they can be indexed and appear in search results. This can be a significant advantage for e-commerce businesses, as it allows them to reach a wider audience and increase traffic to their site.
  1. Lower development and maintenance costs: A native app can be costly and time-consuming. PWAs, on the other hand, can be developed and maintained more efficiently, as they use the same technologies as regular websites. This can result in significant cost savings for businesses.
  1. Greater reach: PWAs can be accessed on any device with a web browser, which means that they have the potential to reach a much wider audience than native apps. This is especially important for e-commerce businesses, as it allows them to reach customers on various platforms and devices.
  1. Easy to update: PWAs can be updated simply by updating the website. Businesses can make changes and improvements to the app without going through the lengthy app store review process. This allows for faster iteration and the ability to respond more quickly to user feedback.

In summary, PWAs can be a valuable tool for e-commerce businesses because they offer improved performance, enhanced user experience, increased conversion rates, better search engine visibility, lower development and maintenance costs, greater reach, and easy updates. 

If you are considering building an e-commerce app, it may be worth considering a PWA as an alternative to a native app.

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