With cell phones now ubiquitous in nearly every aspect of our lives, technology has revolutionized how we shop. Consumer demand for better and more engaging user experiences, fast load times, quick access to knowledge, and network independence is increasing rapidly and continuously.
There is only one way to curb all these demands permanently: Progressive Web Apps for eCommerce.
Businesses can't ignore the power of combining the immersive experience of native apps with the reach of the internet and the simplicity of access that PWA eCommerce provides them as company owners. Progressive Web Apps are not something to put off any longer.
Whether you go all-in with Progressive Web App eCommerce or start with, for example, ‘Push Notifications’ and ‘Add To Home Screen’ first. Any size business—large or small—should seriously consider the PWA approach.
PWA eCommerce makes it possible for anyone to drastically improve the user experience they provide to their audience today. eCommerce PWAs increase conversion rates — and ultimately improve bottom-line results—with little initial investment and a fast time-to-market.
The definition of PWA in eCommerce
PWA stands for Progressive Web Apps, which are web applications optimized to work on mobile and desktop devices. PWA for eCommerce helps you generate a more user-friendly site by allowing customers to access information regardless of their location or device.
eCommerce PWAs combine the best features of native mobile apps with the convenience and accessibility of the web.
They are essentially responsive websites that have been optimized for performance and user experience, making them ideal for businesses that want to provide their customers with a fast, reliable, and engaging online experience.
Appealing features of eCommerce PWA
Some of the key features that make Progressive Web App eCommerce so appealing for businesses include:
- Add to home screen: A website or app's user interface (UI) can be added to a customer's device's home screen, just as with a native app. This makes it simple for them to locate and utilize your site even if they don't have access to the internet.
- Offline mode: Offline support for PWA eCommerce is identical to offline capability in native apps. This means that your consumers will still be able to access your site even if they lose their internet connection.
- Instant loading: An eCommerce PWA is a web application optimized to load quickly and without fail across a broad range of network connections. This means that your consumers will never have to wait for your site to load, no matter where they are.
- Push notifications: Push notifications can keep your consumers up to date on new items, sales, and other vital information.
How does PWA increase web performance in eCommerce?
For any eCommerce business, obtaining a high level of performance is critical for success. Customers will most likely visit a competitor if they cannot locate your site or if it takes too long to load. This is where Progressive Web App eCommerce may assist.
PWA eCommerce websites are quick, dependable, and engaging, making them ideal for business sites looking to boost their CX, UX and SEO rankings.
There are several advantages to using a PWA in eCommerce for enterprises, including:
1. Enhanced customer experience: The most significant advantage of using PWAs in Ecommerce stores is that it improves the overall customer experience. They offer a more seamless and engaging journey across multiple channels and devices—leaving your customers satisfied with the speed and performance of a hassle-free and engaging shopping experience.
2. Increased traffic: eCommerce PWAs are meant to be quick and dependable, boosting your site's UX and CX as users stay on it for longer. Google favors PWAs for eCommerce and will increase your search rankings above competitors still using incompatible app versions. This ensures that your site comes up higher in searches when users perform a search on their mobile phones or other devices.
3. Improved conversion rates: PWA integration can improve conversion rates because they provide a more seamless and engaging customer experience. As a result, consumers are more inclined to buy on your site, resulting in more significant revenue.
4. Improved SEO: eCommerce PWAs can also improve your SEO performance since they are built to be mobile-friendly and function on all devices. This is significant as mobile traffic rises and search engines are starting to value mobile-friendly sites more.
5. Enhanced UX: PWA eCommerce can also improve your website's overall user experience. Because they're built around the idea of offering a more app-like experience, they help retain users and encourage them to return for more.
Overall, PWAs in eCommerce may help you improve the performance and the customer experience of your eCommerce business. It is an excellent choice to boost website traffic, conversions, or SEO success.
How PWA features improve your eCommerce business?
Not only should any new online store consider making their services available as PWA eCommerce, but so should any existing website. Most eCommerce sites have not yet implemented this innovative technology, giving you a unique opportunity to distinguish your business from the competition.
Businesses must provide their consumers with the best online shopping experience possible, optimizing their website for desktop and mobile traffic. With mobile visits surpassing desktop visits — currently, 60% of internet traffic comes from smartphones — it's more vital than ever to offer a great mobile customer experience. Mobile conversion rates are currently at a low 16%. There is HUGE room for improvement, and with PWA for eCommerce, there is a quick fix.
According to Google, when an eCommerce business converts to a Progressive Web App, they typically see a 20% increase in revenue across the board, with conversion rates on mobile doubling in some instances.
1. Push notifications to boost user engagement
An eCommerce PWA can send Push Notifications, similar to a native app. Businesses can reach their customers where they are most likely to be: on their mobile devices, resulting in a highly engaging user experience.
Many people choose not to engage because of their busy lives, which is why we need more than just words. Traditional marketing, such as emails, is much less effective since it doesn't grab attention right away. Push Notifications have the significant benefit of showing up directly on customer phones. This means you can engage with them sooner without the strenuous process of harvesting email addresses first.
According to PushPro, approximately 96% of internet users browse the web anonymously, leaving no email addresses or contact information on websites and never creating an account. This is a prominent blind spot that every company aspires to convert into a lucrative sweet spot.
2. Better user adoption via home screen installation
Progressive Web Apps are a cross between a website and a native app. They provide the same functionality as standard apps, with an engaging user experience similar to native applications. Progressive Web Apps can be installed on the user's home screen, making them readily accessible.
According to a recent article by BigCommerce, Flipkart customers who uninstalled their native app re-install the PWA at a rate of 60%. User adoption of any website is aided by quick installations using a PWA, which benefits user adoption and experience.
The threshold for allowing a Push Notification when visiting a website is lower than for signing up for a newsletter service. According to Google, almost 60% of users allow their PWA to notify them, which opens up many more possibilities for promoting goods or services. Industry statistics reveal that web push notifications are opened almost 3x more than email push notifications.
Listed below are some of the primary reasons why such positive instances occur more often:
- Your average smartphone user doesn't often download mobile apps. But, accepting a prompt is all it takes to 'install' a PWA for eCommerce.
- From the user's standpoint, by being placed on the home screen, the website will become a "real" app - not a browser shortcut. This has the same effect as downloading from an app store without requiring you to go through the hassle of working through the entire app store process.
- It is also worth noting that the PWA for eCommerce does not require any further updates after it has been downloaded on your phone's home screen. eCommerce PWAs are continually updated in the background, ensuring that your consumers receive the most up-to-date information.
- In many business cases, site owners report that although consumers rejected their native app download, they readily use the eCommerce PWA.
3. Superb instantaneous performance
Users have continually increased demands for higher speeds, especially as mobile-first and mobile-online usage has grown. According to a recent survey, after only 3 seconds of page load, 53 percent of visitors abandon a website, with conversion rates dropping by 21.8% each second.
*The typical loading time of web pages on mobile devices on 3G networks is 19 seconds, while it's 14 seconds on 4G networks.
According to Google's study, "The Need for Mobile Speed," sites that loaded within five seconds had 25% more ad viewability, 70% longer average sessions, and 35% fewer bounce rates than those that took 19 seconds to load.
Progressive Web Apps offer the smoothest and quickest user experiences possible. It outperforms on-page loads due to the web's speed advantages and client-side caching in a "native style." PWAs can load in under a second, giving them a real "instant" speed feel that engages the user from the start.
Furthermore, Progressive Web Apps consume considerably less disk space on both the business' server and the user's device, which leads to quicker loading times, reduced data usage, and smaller storage requirements.
4. Improved SEO with eCommerce PWAs
Because an eCommerce PWA is web-based, everything is indexed by search engines. Google and Bing may link any material in a PWA together, allowing for sharing and ranking. This contrasts with native apps, which are not indexed by search engine robots. All this means users can be connected to the most cutting-edge digital goods on any device anytime.
By default, fast loading times, reduced bounce rates, minimal data usage, and highly engaging experiences are SEO ranking boosters. It's only natural to assume that utilizing an eCommerce PWA will improve SEO rankings. This is absolutely true if done correctly. Google will favor well-designed PWAs over any other regular website.
Fortunately, you do not have to be concerned about this. PWAs require developers to consider optimizing the site so that the page is indexed correctly, which is simple to accomplish with server-side rendering.
5. Increased conversion rates with an eCommerce PWA
A better user experience leads to increased conversion rates. Customers will easily accomplish their objectives if friction and frustrations are eliminated from an online store.
Ultimately, this is all about delivering a better experience for your customers. The possibilities of what eCommerce PWAs can offer are truly staggering.
This is the perfect time to use these opportunities instead of worrying about how things will change in 2023 and beyond—PWAs provide enormous potential to deliver improved experiences in every area of an eCommerce right now.
6. eCommerce PWAs allow innovation and reduce development costs
With an omnichannel, multi-job strategy, businesses are already developing, maintaining, and marketing up to four systems:
- A responsive website
- An Android app
- iOS applications
- In some cases also, a Windows 10 native app
A Progressive Web App for eCommerce eliminates the need for any platform other than the PWA website's development, maintenance, and marketing. From a creative standpoint, this allows you to service all channels from a single platform created, maintained, and serviced by one team.
You can considerably optimize your product's cost and time-to-market by changing to eCommerce PWAs while providing the same (possibly better) user experience and functionality to all clients and maintaining a multi-channel strategy.
The user feels that PWAs are faster, leaner, slicker, and more efficient. From background loading immediately to their home screen to full-screen browsing, immediate page loads, and limited device storage usage. The user's experience is far superior, the tasks are easily completed, and they will gladly return in the future — whether or not a highly engaging push notification initiates it.
PWAs are perfectly built for eCommerce
To be considered a PWA, a site must fulfill the following three baseline criteria:
- PWAs must be served over HTTPS to guarantee a secure and safe environment, as well as the transmission of data.
- a PWA must have a Web App Manifest, a JSON file that contains all the metadata the device needs to know about the page to install it on the home screen. The JSON file contains information like colors, icons, fonts, and landing page URLs.
Before eCommerce PWAs, online applications were unable to provide Push Notifications or operate in an offline mode due to browser restrictions. With the aid of Service Workers, these capabilities have been unlocked.
A Service Worker is a Google technology that controls network requests programmatically, allowing you to create offline experiences and deliver fast response times. You can also run tasks in the background, allowing you to send and display push messages even when the browser is closed.
In 2015, Alex Russell introduced the phrase "progressive web app." He recounted a discussion he'd had with Frances Berriman in which they "compiled the qualities of a new type of application" due to the progressive and powerful evolution of contemporary browsers.
In addition to the above 3 minimum requirements to classify as a PWA for eCommerce, Russell and Berriman created the below set of 'attributes' that a web app should adhere to if it wants to qualify as a PWA.
1. App-like – The user will enjoy an authentic native app experience in terms of speed and user interaction.
2. Connectivity independent – A PWA for eCommerce does not depend on network availability. Users can access the app while offline.
3. Discoverable – Unlike native apps, a PWA is identifiable as an "application" and allows search engines to find and index it.
4. Fresh – The PWA will not need further updates and is always up-to-date. It is convenient and saves the user’s time and resources.
5. Installable – Users must be able to install their favorite apps without needing an app store.
6. Linkable – Users can easily share a PWA via URL; the actual URL structure makes the pages available for marketing purposes.
7. Progressive – A PWA in eCommerce works for every user, no matter their browser choice, because it's built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
8. Re-engageable – eCommerce PWAs allows marketers to quickly re-engage with visitors through features such as push notifications, which were only available for native apps.
9. Responsive – PWA should work on any size device: desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
10. Safe – Always served via HTTPS.
The 'attributes' in this set are all about user experience and how we use the web: safety, speed, engagement, and sharing. However, the first three characteristics we mentioned at the start of this section can technically define a Progressive Web App.
Closing off with PWA examples to inspire you
PWA for eCommerce is making massive performance waves and delivering excellent results for businesses just like yours.
- For example, Alibaba saw excellent benefits from the 'Add to Home screen’ feature:
- 400% higher interaction rate
- 76% higher conversions across browsers
- 30% more monthly active users on Android, and
- 14% more monthly active users on iOS
- Forbes.com experienced a +100% increase in engagement
- AliExpress saw a +74% increase in time spent on site
- Best Western Hotels achieved +300% increased revenue
And the list goes on and on, proving again that eCommerce PWAs live up to the hype and deliver all you expect from them.
PWA is the acronym for Progressive Web Apps. PWAs are web apps that use manifests, service workers, and other web-platform features—served over HTTPS only— in combination with progressive enhancement to give users a shopping experience on par with native eCommerce apps.
Simply put, a PWA is an eCommerce website with all the benefits of a native app. They give you a more engaging, more reliable, and super fast version of your eCommerce store or website. PWAs can do everything that native apps can do, but better and faster. eCommerce businesses looking to improve their store’s SEO and UX performance use PWAs to achieve better metrics, sooner.
To be considered a PWA, a site must fulfill the following three baseline criteria:
1. PWAs must be served over HTTPS to guarantee a secure and safe environment, as well as the transmission of data.
2. a PWA must have a Web App Manifest, a JSON file that contains all the metadata the device needs to know about the page to install it on the home screen. The JSON file contains information like colors, icons, fonts, and landing page URLs.