There is currently no avoiding of one hot topic in e-commerce, namely Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). But what are PWAs?
Technically speaking, PWAs are not even apps, they're web applications that combine the power of traditional web pages with the functionality of native apps. You must awake to the fact that the majority of internet users access the web via mobile devices to understand the need for such solutions.
If you want to reach this mobile target group as a retailer, you have to offer both a mobile website and an app in addition to the desktop version. This goes hand in hand with a considerable development effort.
This is where Progressive Web Apps come into play: they can be accessed via a URL and at the same time provide offline functions. So, PWA can be used as a website and as an app, eliminating the multiple development effort. In addition, PWAs significantly improve the customer experience and help merchants increase their conversion rate.
One main reason why potential customers are leaving a website, is slow loading time, which can also be solved by PWAs, since they store content in the cache. The advantage is that not the entire website must be loaded, but only a part of the content. In areas with poor network coverage, this already leads to a considerable reduction of loading time. The stored content allows to use the PWA completely offline, like a traditional native app. And as soon as the PWA is back online, the content updates. So, the boundaries between responsive websites and native apps seem to increasingly lose ground.
The faster load times in areas with poor network coverage can quickly become a competitive advantage for retailers. Or the other way around: if PWAs are the standard in a few years, traders will not get around using the technology unless they want to fade away.
Many e-commerce platforms now offer the opportunity to develop PWAs, but mostly rely on third-party solutions. Magento has invested with its PWA Studio as the only platform in a separate PWA integration. With the tool, traders and developers can implement all the functions that the future technology offers. Companies that rely on the Magento solution benefit from integration with the Adobe Experience Cloud. Not only can merchants use Magento to develop a PWA for their store, but they can also access Adobe's Analytics, Advertising, and Marketing Cloud. This gives them the tools they need to analyze traffic and customer data, intelligently networked advertising, and effective marketing. Magento’s offer was previously geared mainly towards large companies but now plans to offer tailored and affordable packages for medium-sized businesses in the future, too.
By Daniela La Marca