• magento pwa

    Magento PWA – What You Need To Know

    Mobile commerce growth keeps increasing, surpassing all expectations. In their 2018 report, eMarketer predicted that by 2022 global mobile ecommerce sales will reach $3,56 trillion. The reality turned out even more impressive: this year, retail ecommerce sales will exceed $1 trillion in the US alone. 

    Currently, mobile commerce controls 73% of the global ecommerce market share, and over the last six months, 79% of mobile users made a purchase using a mobile device. 

    For anyone in the ecommerce business, these are important numbers to know. With mobile commerce rapidly evolving, having a mobile-optimized store is a must. 

    There are many ways to make that happen (through making a mobile version of your store or creating a responsive design), but today we’ll cover a relatively new concept: Progressive Web Application. This technology turns a website into an application that functions right out of the mobile browser, without any installations needed. 

    In today’s article, we’ll take an in-depth look at PWAs: what they are and how they work, what benefits they bring, and if you should get one. 

    So, let’s get on with it! 

    What are Progressive Web Apps?

    First, let’s establish what a PWA is. Progressive Web Application (or PWA) is a web resource that functions as a mobile app. It works from a mobile browser and opens automatically, without needing to install anything. The users can add a shortcut to the site to their home screen (making it seem like an app even more) and even interact with it when they are offline. 

    PWA only works on mobile devices – if a user opens the website from a PC they get a regular version. Many websites you know and use daily use this technology: Pinterest, Twitter, and Uber, to name a few. 

    The concept was first introduced by Google in 2015. For years they’ve been working to make sure the mobile users could get a smooth user experience online, starting by introducing their mobile-first indexing approach. Google stated that web resources should provide mobile users with reliable, fast, and engaging services, and PWAs were a way to make that happen. 

    In 2018, the ability to create PWAs became available for Magento users. Magento released their PWA Studio, which allowed the development and maintenance of PWA based on the Magento store. 

    Alternatively, you can turn your Magento store into PWA using Magento PWA Extension, or a Magento PWA theme.

    If you are interested in the technical side of PWAs, the following video does a great job of explaining everything:

    Magento PWA Benefits

    So, why should you use a PWA for your store? There are many benefits they bring both to you and your customers. Let’s look at some of them. 

    Device-agnosticism

    This fancy term essentially means that your store will have the capacity to work with most devices without requiring any particular adaptations. Your clients can use your store on any device they have, and it will provide a consistent experience for them. 

    App-like experience

    PWAs are a perfect blend of classic websites and mobile apps. They may be used on any mobile device and have the same appearance and feel as native programs. At the same time, you don’t have to worry about paying for the development of iOS and Android apps separately, or about convincing your clients to install them on their phones. 

    SEO-friendly

    Earlier in this article, we’ve mentioned that Google strives to make the Internet more welcoming to mobile users. For that reason they push properly optimized websites (which PWAs are) higher in their search results. To add to that, Magento PWA has SEO features built-in, which allows you to set everything up the way you want to.

    High loading speed 

    Every extra second of loading time costs your store visitors. Slow loading speed is a common problem, especially for Magento stores, since they tend to be heavy. PWAs fix this problem. They load quickly, generally under three seconds, so your clients don’t have to wait even if your store has memory-consuming elements.

    Push Notifications

    Push notifications are a great way to remind your client about products left in their shopping cart, an upcoming sale, or an item back in stock. They could be an important part of your remarketing strategy and even a sales generation tool. 

    Previously, only mobile apps could send notifications to users, but PWAs offer this functionality as well. According to Google, 60% of users allow PWAs to send them notifications. Think of the number of customers you could reach this way!   

    Security

    Magento is a very secure platform on its own, but a PWA brings it to another level. Since it uses HTTPS instead of HTTP, it protects you better from hacker attacks and other unwanted activities.

    No app store requirements 

    Google Play Market and App Store have certain requirements for apps that they check for every time you make a new update. If your app doesn’t meet them, it could be deleted from the store. Since PWA runs straight out of the browser, you don’t have to spend time waiting for your app to be checked, and it won’t ever be banned. 

    Offline Work Mode

    This is one of the strongest features of PWA. If your client previously visited a page, they’ll be able to access it without the network connection. PWA has a cache system that saves every page the user visits, making this possible. 

    For your users, this provides a way more smooth shopping experience, without interruptions during the times when the connection drops.  

    Security

    Magento is a very secure platform on its own, but a PWA brings it to another level. Since it uses HTTPS instead of HTTP, it protects you better from hacker attacks and other unwanted activities.

    Does every device support PWAs?

    This is an important consideration. Not everyone has the access to the latest technology, and you don’t want your investment to go to waste if your clients can’t access your PWA.

    However, you don’t have to worry about it. Most devices will be able to interact with PWAs (around 95%, as of July 2022).

    Here are the browsers and OS versions that support PWAs in 2022:

    • Windows
      • Edge 17 (legacy Edge)
      • Edge 83+ (Chromium Edge)
    • macOS
      • Safari 11.1+
    • Both Windows & macOS
      • Chrome 45+
      • Firefox 44+
    • iOS
      • Safari 11.3+
    • Android 5+ (Lollipop)
      • Android Chrome
      • Samsung Browser

    BroSolutions Take on PWA

    Here at BroSolutions we strive for innovation and like to explore the trends before they become the market’s standard practice. After testing PWAs out, we are entirely on board with this technology and believe that it is the future of web development. 

    More and more purchases are made using mobile devices, so it’s time to focus on the experience of mobile customers. Since many users are hesitant to download the apps offered by online stores, PWA is an excellent solution. 

    For Magento specifically, it also has many benefits (for example, significantly improving its loading speed on mobile devices).  

    If you are interested in PWAs, we would love to turn your store into one. Reach out to us, and let’s make the magic happen!