What is a PWA and how could it help my ecommerce business?


PWAs or Progressive Web Apps were introduced by Google back in 2015, they’re a clever combination of the best features of mobile apps and mobile sites. Whilst mobile sites have proven themselves less reliable and native apps require a heavy investment, PWAs deliver fast, engaging and reliable web experiences for users by taking ordinary HTML and JavaScript and enhancing it to provide a first class native-like experience for the user.

As well as a quick and intuitive browsing experience, PWAs incorporate features that were previously only available to native apps such as push notifications and offline functionality as well as making requests for geolocation tracking and camera use seamless. 

What are the benefits of Progressive Web Apps?

  • PWAs are quicker to build and therefore significantly cheaper than developing (and maintaining) a native app. 
  • PWAs are extremely fast, and offer a great experience for users as they can even work offline or on slow networks. With slow speeds being one of the main reasons shoppers abandon their sessions, it’s clear to see the appeal of a PWA. In fact Alibaba.com increased their conversions by 76%* after upgrading their site to a PWA.
  • Increased flexibility, especially when working on Magento 2.
  • PWAs work for every user and device, making them instantly accessible to a wide audience without the drawback of taking time and storage space to download a designated app.

So why is it important to upgrade to a PWA now?

Good question! Well, in 2021 72.9%** of all retail ecommerce is expected to be generated via mobile or m-commerce, this proportion has grown year on year as more and more customers shop on their mobile devices. While previously, businesses chose to focus on a native app, now the benefits of PWAs make it a great option for businesses to gain the same functionality and results. 

PWA results speak for themselves

Google has published multiple case studies on the results some large ecommerce retailers have experienced after upgrading their sites to PWAs. 

For instance, Asda’s George.com*** saw a 31% increase in mobile conversion, 3.8x faster page load time, 2x lower bounce rate, 20% more page views per visit and 28% longer average time on site for visits from Home screen. Furthermore, we completed our first PWA Accelerator for Swoon which improved their site’s page load speed by 70%!

If you’re interested in discussing how we could work with you to upgrade your site to a PWA, then please get in touch

If you’d like to read more about our first PWA website for Swoon, you can read the blog.

*Alibaba case study: https://developers.google.com/web/showcase/2016/alibaba  
**Data from Statistica: https://www.statista.com/statistics/806336/mobile-retail-commerce-share-worldwide/
***Asda case study: https://developers.google.com/web/showcase/2018/asda-george?hl=en