What are PWAs and how are they revolutionizing ecommerce?
PWAs allow merchants to give their consumers fast, best practice, app-like experiences on mobile, and responsive experiences on desktop, all via one single platform.
Historically native apps have been the answer for merchants who wanted to create a smooth UX for customers on mobile because they are faster and reside on users’ home screens.
However, native apps can require a large initial investment, to create and maintain, because of all the permutations of mobile devices available, not to mention the fact that they cannot be indexed by Google.
With the right combination of features, PWAs can benefit your business because they:
- Work across all devices
- Can be stored on home screens like apps
- Are cheaper to maintain than an apps
- Don’t require approval from the app or play store
- Work offline like apps
- Can be added to any ecommerce platform
- Load at least 2-3 times faster than responsive sites
- Are 80-90% lighter than apps
- Can be indexed by search engines (unlike apps)
So, if you’re looking to improve your conversion or UX, and you want a fast site that ranks better than your competitors in search engines you should definitely take a look at Progressive Web Apps.
In April 2020, a leading importer of fresh produce in the Middle East called ABK Ltd commissioned Screen Pages to build Keakado.com, its first direct-to-consumer ecommerce site, supplying fresh, organic, quality groceries direct to customers’ homes.
The site was built as a PWA to ensure that customers received an app-like experience on mobile devices, but also that all-important UX on a desktop through one single platform.
Since the site was launched in August 2020, it’s seen the following results:
- 15-20% conversion
- 73% traffic from mobile devices
“We chose Screen Pages because of their integrity and consultative approach. We are very proud to have created one of the first PWAs in the Middle East and we look forward to seeing how our customers enjoy this exclusive experience.
Screen Pages has been instrumental in helping us create a website that is fully responsive while being tailored to the unique requirements of our business and country”
About Screen Pages
Screen Pages is a full-service ecommerce agency that focuses on delivering leading-edge ecommerce solutions for merchants and companies interested in digital transformation and online growth. Our clients include FMCG, fashion, lifestyle, and B2B brands with an appetite for growth and innovation. Learn more about Screen Pages.
Why brands everywhere should be taking up PWAs
No matter what direction you go with your ecommerce store, one thing is clear before the last year and more so as we move forward: speed is critical.
Speed for purchase, load times and more, are the elements that will drive ecommerce into the future. And we have seen many iterations of this with AMP pages and true apps. But as app stores become increasingly expensive and AMP pages lose their luster (somewhat), we now have PWAs emerging to take the mantle up.
We have always heard PWAs referred to as an ‘app-like experience’ but I think this doesn’t quite capture it. Because what a PWA really is, is a new use case.
App-like doesn’t give it enough credit. PWAs are for mobile AND desktop. The biggest hurdle is getting users to download the app. Sure, once they do (and assuming they turn on notifications) you are golden and have a chance to remarket them and draw them to that fast experience time and time again. But that is becoming rarer. App download, specifically for shopping apps, is low unless you are Amazon.
So, we need to use PWA tech as a lower barrier to entry to increase users and in turn, increase conversions. And time and time again, we hear from so many tech partners integrating their tech with merchant PWA stores, and finding out just how much of a boost the PWA was for the merchant.
Among our team, we find a ton of value in a non-eCommerce PWA, for example, https://www.covid19india.org/. Our development team is located in Hydrabad and uses this site regularly, as do many across India. While the site is focused totally on data, it has become critical for so many with the surge of Covid cases in India to understand what is happening in an analytical way. And with so many data sources feeding this site, you would expect a laggy experience. But no, this site is strong and fast, getting people what they want to know immediately.
Back to ecommerce PWAs for a moment; the biggest thing to consider when evaluating and implementing a PWA is your strategy is whether your catalog is stable enough to allow for offline catalog shopping? Will your UX today work with PWAs?
For the latter, PWAs have become an exercise in simplification and unification. If you choose to use the same experience no matter the device, then you have to simplify and fully embrace the mobile-first mentality and create cleaner funnels. The potential benefits are great, and all it will take is a leap into the future.
As ecommerce specialists, DotcomWeavers is committed to creating engaging user experiences with seamless backend functionality, powered by Adobe Commerce and Magento systems. Our team has decades of experience building and running ecommerce businesses for ourselves and our clients. Learn more about DotcomWeavers.