Our Guide to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

What Are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Why Does Your eCommerce Store Need Them?

If you run an eCommerce store, you should consider developing a progressive web app (PWA) for it. They offer a lightweight, performance-focused alternative to native apps. After downloading a PWA, shoppers can use it to interact with your eCommerce store.

But first you may wonder, what are PWAs exactly, and why does your eCommerce store need one?

What Is a PWA?

A PWA is an application that is accessible using a web browser. They are used to bridge the gap between websites and traditional native apps. PWAs look like websites, but they offer the same intuitive and familiar experience as native apps.

Native apps are written in programming languages, such as Java, and are available to download through an official app store, such as Google Play. PWAs, on the other hand, are written in web development languages like Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Some PWAs are also available to download through an official app store, others can be

downloaded directly from web browsers. Both native apps and PWAs are available for mobile and desktop devices alike.

Progressive web app image

Promotes an Omnichannel Experience

You can use a PWA to create an omnichannel experience for shoppers. An omnichannel experience refers to the use of multiple integrated marketing channels to facilitate a seamless experience. Your eCommerce store’s website is a marketing channel. A PWA is another marketing channel.

With a PWA, shoppers won’t have a linear experience. They can browse and select products on your eCommerce store’s website. Shoppers can later use your PWA to pick up where they left off by ordering their selected products.

Boosts Conversion Rates

A PWA can boost your website’s conversion rate. According to Beezer, they offer 36 percent higher conversion rates than native apps, suggesting that some shoppers prefer PWAs over native apps. They offer the same experience as native apps, but provide the functionality of websites.

Improves Security

A PWA offers a secure way for shoppers to interact with your eCommerce store. They have a few basic requirements, one of which is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS is a computer networking protocol that leverages encryption. When shoppers access your eCommerce store via a PWA, all of their data will be encrypted.

HTTPS will encrypt the data that shoppers send to your eCommerce store, such as their shipping information, and it will encrypt the data that your online store sends to them, such as their invoices. You can’t develop a PWA using an unencrypted protocol.

Increases Mobile Reach

You can reach more mobile shoppers by investing in a PWA for your eCommerce store. Users can add PWAs to their mobile devices’ home screen and they can access them by tapping these home screen icons.

Over half of all online traffic comes from mobile, so the fact that PWAs are mobile-friendly is a crucial consideration. Like responsive websites, they can change their layout automatically to provide mobile users with a positive, error-free experience. You don’t have to develop different PWAs for different mobile devices. Rather, you can develop a single adaptive PWA that’s compatible with all mobile devices.

Mobile Optimisation

Streamlines the Checkout Process

If shoppers are abandoning their carts prior to checking out, a PWA may help. You can use it to streamline your online store’s checkout process. A PWA can save shoppers’ information, for instance, so that they don’t have to enter it each time they make a purchase.

You can also include fast checkout options like one-click purchases in your PWA. Features such as these will encourage more online shoppers to check out.

Loads Almost Instantly

If your eCommerce store’s website experiences sluggish speeds, a PWA will offer a faster way for shoppers to interact with it.

PWAs are very fast. According to SimiCart, they are approximately 63 percent faster than mobile websites. A PWA won’t directly affect your site’s load times. Instead, it will offer a separate, faster channel for shoppers to interact with your eCommerce store.

Sends Push Notifications

Another reason to develop a PWA is push notifications. Push notifications are messages sent directly to a user’s device. When shoppers download and install your PWA, they can elect to receive push notifications from your eCommerce store.

They won’t need to be using your PWA to receive these messages. Once opted in, they will receive push notifications directly on their device even when they aren’t using your PWA.

Works Offline

PWAs don’t require internet connectivity. Once downloaded and installed, shoppers can access your PWA regardless of whether they are connected to the internet.

Certain features, of course, require an internet connection. Shoppers won’t be able to communicate with your online store unless they are connected to the internet, nor will they be able to place orders. But you can develop a PWA with offline features like product browsing and account history.

SEO Friendly

PWAs are search engine friendly. Google can crawl and index them just like normal websites. Google will visit your PWA, and during these visits, it will scan your PWA’s content. As long you develop a high-quality PWA, Google may index it.


Easy to Develop

Developing a PWA is easier than you may realise. They use the same web development languages as websites. If you’ve used HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to develop a website in the past, you shouldn’t have trouble developing a PWA.

If you’re not comfortable developing a PWA for your eCommerce store, you can outsource this job. There are software developers who will gladly turn your vision of an eCommerce PWA into a reality.

Contact Trafiki Ecommerce: Progressive Web App Agency

While they are still relatively new, PWAs have changed the way in which businesses interact with their audiences. They eliminate the need for native apps. Rather than developing a native app for your eCommerce store, you can develop a PWA. It will promote an omnichannel experience, boost your store’s conversion rates, improve your store’s security, increase your store’s mobile reach, streamline your store’s checkout process, and more.

Trafiki is a London-based eCommerce agency with years of experience in growing online stores into household names. Arrange a FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our experts and find out how we could help take your business to the next level.

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