Magento 2 Progressive Web Application (PWA)
Nov 07, 2020 by Suman Singh

What is PWA?

A Progressive Web App, or PWA is a modern technology that helps websites create an app-like experience for mobile users. Visitors can access the PWA web via a browser and URL like every other website.

PWA websites are fast, secure, responsive, and cross-browser compatible and engaging user experience. They are able work offline and act like a native app on mobile. In short One app for everything.

The Advantages of Progressive Web Apps:

1. Offline Mode:

Unlike the websites, the progressive web apps can work offline. So, even though the internet connection is unavailable, the users can still browse your products. It increases not only customer engagement but also strengthens the chance of selling the items.

2. No Need to Go to Play Store or App Store:

The biggest advantage of PWA is allowing the users to add the app from the browser to the Home screen. You don’t have to go to Play Store or App store to download it. The developers do not have to submit the progressive web app to Play Store or App Store for approval. So, no download, installation and app updates.

3. Behave like Native Mobile Apps:

Progressive web apps provide you the user experience of a native app while offering the full benefits of mobile websites with dynamic data and database access. So, while using them, you will have the feeling of using native mobile apps.

4. Faster Performance:

Progressive Web Apps are 2 - 3 times faster than mobile websites. Also, they load faster than native mobile apps. It results in delivers a silky smooth user experience and enhancement of the retention rate.

5. Cheaper than native apps development:

The Progressive Web Apps can run on all the devices with different screen sizes. So, there is no need to develop different versions for Android and iOS. It results in a significantly lower development cost.

6. Higher Conversion Rates:

PWAs have a proven record of boosting conversion rates massively. It increase customers engagement and conversion.

7. Push notification feature:

Web push notifications make it easy to re-engage with users by showing relevant, timely, and contextual notifications, even when the browser is closed. PWA supports push notifications, which can boost engagement by up to 88%. This simplifies a customer’s repeat access to your store and increases engagement.

8. Add To Home Screen:

Web app installs banners give you the ability to let your users quickly and seamlessly add your web app to their home screen, making it easy to launch and return to your app.

Few successful examples:
  • 1. The Trivago’s PWA-evolved website reached 150% growth in users engagement and 97% boost in click outs to the hotel offers.
  • 2. The BookMyShow’s PWA solution is 54 times smaller than Android app and (aah!) 180 times smaller than an iOS app.
  • 3. The Tinder PWA case study demonstrates the company’s major bundle sizes reduced from 166 KB to 101 KB where DCL enhanced from 5.46 sec to 4.69 sec.

Why Should We Apply PWA In Magento 2?

The main aim of PWAs is to reduce the gap between magento native apps and web apps. Reliable, fast, engaging experience, increase in conversion rates and strong brand revenue growth are the positive effects you can experience with PWA.

Below are the primary motivations to convert your website to Magento PWA:
  • Online Stores with App-like Experience: Magento PWA provide the same look and feel as the native apps. The customers will feel more attracted and comfortable using the progressive web apps, rather than the typical mobile apps, which occupy phone storage.
  • Easy and smooth access: With Magento PWA on board, the customers no longer need to open a browser to visit your store. Instead, they can visit it right from the home screen of the smartphone, just like a native app. So, everyone can get into your Magento store easier than ever before.
  • Streamline Payments: PWAs can create a massive impact by renovating the existing payment system. They allow you to integrate PayPal, Signifyd and Braintree. So, you can streamline the risk management process and payments efficiently. Also, you can synchronize order and payment detail to make the transaction more transparent.
  • Secure Shopping Experience: Magento PWAs comes with a variety of security features, like Google reCaptcha and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), for preventing password hacking. Also, they utilize HTTP connections and transport layer security, which makes it really difficult to intrude. All these technologies guarantee you secure shopping experience.
  • Offline mode is no longer a problem: Magento PWAs work behind the scenes to retrieve and store the site information, which you can access offline. So, if you face any issue with the internet connection, you can still carry on browsing the store and add products to the cart. In other words, Magento PWAs provide you with an uninterrupted shopping experience.

Many Magento stores have adopted this technology and found their mobile user satisfaction significantly improved, and more to come!

WHERE TO START WITH MAGENTO PWA IMPLEMENTATION?

There is no doubt the decision to adapt PWA is a challenge. However, the gains from PWAs implementation outweigh those costs.

Let’s get to the point.

Step 1: Decide on the method of pwa adaption

Say, you build a new website for your Magento store or redesign the previous version. Then developing a progressive web app from the outset is what you need. In this case, you will be able to adapt and feel the positive effect of all the possibilities a PWA can offer as a whole: AMP, ServiceWorkers, App shell, Web Manifest.

If building a website from the outset is not the case, you can create a simplified version of your website that inherits a few of the PWA technology features. For example, you can choose to adopt an offline booking with your PWA.

Step 2: address pwa adoption challenges

Although all major browsers deliver ServiceWorkers support, it’s a safe choice to add it to your app. Basing on the latest data, ServiceWorker and PWA technologies are supported in the next browsers versions: Chrome (supports 40), Safari (supports 11.1), Firefox (supports 44), Edge (supports 17).

Not all devices support all the PWA technology functionality. Thus, for example, Android 8.0 Oreo had a few support issues. However, there is a solution, a simple software update can remedy the situation.

The app demands access to sensors, Bluetooth (via Web Bluetooth API), GPS, calendar, camera, and contacts, which can cause a customer denial to use the app.

Also, cross-app logins are not supported and some others.

Methods To Convert A Magento 2 Website To PWA?

There are three options of Magento PWA integration for Magento store:

1. Install Magento 2 PWA Extensions:

This is the easiest way to add Progressive Web App features to your current Magento website. Now, there are many Magento 2 PWA extensions from different providers (both free and paid) for you to choose from.

2. Using Magento 2 PWA Studio:

Magento introduced Magento 2.3 PWA Studio to help us develop, deploy and maintain a PWA storefront for Magento 2 websites. It is a set of developer tools that allow for the development, deployment, and maintenance of a PWA storefront on top of

Magento 2.3 and above stores. It uses modern tools and libraries to create a build system and framework that adheres to the Magento principle of extensibility.

3. Using Magento 2 PWA Theme:

Magento 2 PWA Theme is an advanced PWA integration solution, which is based on Magento 2.3 PWA Studio, ReactJS and GraphQL. It includes two parts: an extensive PWA storefront and built-in API to connect this storefront and Magento backend.

Conclusion

It is observable that PWA can make a revolution for any eCommerce website where its users using mobile to do everything online. Symphisys very happy to bring more useful information for you who are truly concerned about their website improvement.

For more information, visit the Magento PWA Documentation site.

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Suman Singh
Technical Lead
Symphisys
Nov 07, 2020