How to Implement PWA in an e-Commerce Store?

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Throughout the entire history of humankind, our adaptivity has been the major propellant of progress that allowed our society to develop at a rapid pace and eventually reach the stage of digital civilization. In the business world of the early third millennium, adaptivity largely spells the ability of entrepreneurs to take high-tech innovations in their stride and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. The prize in this resilience test is the realization of big-time aspirations via expanding the clientele and catering to the needs (and even pandering to the whims) of the ever greater number of customers. 

E-Commerce as a totally IT-reliant industry has undergone a series of transformations since its inception, keeping abreast of all digital trends that shaped new business and social reality.

Table of contents

PWA E-Commerce Sites: Making up for Deficiencies of Native Apps

Top 6 Reasons for E-Stores to Go PWA

An Outline of PWA E-Commerce Examples

How to Build an e-Commerce PWA?

How Much Does It Cost to Build a PWA for an E-Commerce Store?

Conclusion

First e-commerce stores were websites where anyone who owned an internet-connected desktop or laptop could make a purchase. The advent of mobile phones ushered the era of native apps that customers could download on their gadgets and enjoy extremely satisfying UX. However, with the exponential growth of various mobile devices, the heyday of native apps is drawing to its close giving way to another cutting-edge novelty – Progressive Web App e-Commerce stores.

The current success of PWA technology stems from the inadequacies of native apps. This software has serious limitations, being honed to run on gadgets with only a certain screen size which leaves a large share of users untapped. Moreover, such apps can be obtained only at app stores – a feature that makes their search-engine discoverability almost non-existent. Small and medium business owners find the high cost of their development forbidding – and you have to build two native apps to enable their usage by both iOS and Android-powered devices! 

PWA came as the solution to these and a number of other issues sporting remarkable benefits for users and e-commerce ventures. 

PWA‌ ‌vs‌ ‌Native‌ ‌App:‌ ‌How ‌to‌ ‌Choose‌ ‌the‌ ‌Right‌ ‌Mobile‌ ‌Applications

Multi-Programming Solutions as a seasoned Progressive Web App development company offers you a list of undeniable assets of PWA sites after reading which you will never ask questions like “Should I build PWA for e-Commerce?” 

Flexibility

This is the major boon that attracts proselytes to the PWA cause. After building a PWA, your ability to reach out to your potential users won’t be hindered by the device type, its operating system, or screen dimension. Being a website at its core, PWA can find its way to the widest public possible.

Size

PWAs weigh twice as less as native apps, which is sure to appeal to users whose gadgets are overcrowded with apps of different kinds taking much of the random access memory volume.

Performance

Thanks to the employment of service workers, PWAs load in no time. These silent assistants cache resources, perform synchronization with a remote server, handle offline requests, and do dozens of other things that essentially speed up the agility of PWA.

Offline Operability

Unlike regular websites, PWAs can function in an offline mode. How is that possible? Well, service workers do work miracles! One of the numerous perks these event-oriented scripts usher is the ability of PWA users to run them even under conditions of poor, intermittent, or no internet coverage.

SEO-friendliness

However hard IT experts might try to enhance the discoverability of native apps by making the most of APO (App Store Optimization), they fall utterly short of PWAs. The latter are indexed by search engines and consequently can be found through a simple Google search – the preferable site detection method practiced by users today. 

Publishability

To let your native app find its way to the virtual shelves of app stores, your product has to undergo a meticulous and prolonged quality control procedure to get a respective permit. Once you eventually get one, it has to be renewed with each new version (or update) of your app. And should we mention the mandatory registration charge levied by app stores for uploading your app? With a PWA, the merchandise of your e-Commerce store can be made available to consumers within seconds needed to employ a browser and URL.

There is one more important boon for e-store owners. E-Commerce entrepreneurs don’t have to build PWA from scratch or look for a template source. When you have a regular site, you can easily transform it into a PWA e-Commerce WordPress, Shopify, Magento, or any other platform-based online shop.

Timely discerning the plethora of perks this technology offers, many blue-chip companies launched a PWA that substantially added value to their business. 

pwa by mps

You may not realize, but plenty of e-Commerce behemoths leverage PWAs to substantially bolster their business stats.

Alibaba

Operating in 200+ countries all over the planet, this China-based B2B venture started its global presence relying on a mobile app that was soon supplemented by a native app. However, the company was quick to spot that their installation rates were dissatisfactory. After revamping their site into a PWA, Alibaba witnessed a monthly increase in the number of both iOS (14%) and – especially – Android (30%) users. And when they managed to integrate push notifications with PWA, this wise move brought about a 400% surge in interaction rate and 75% boost of conversions.

AliExpress

Launched by Alibaba-group, this marketplace evolved into a powerful rival to eBay with its 660+ million monthly users due to the astounding success of its m-Commerce app. Aspiring to emulate this accomplishment on the web, the company created a cross-browser PWA solution which turned out an incredibly astute move. AliExpress has reported a double-fold soar in the number of visited pages and an over 100% rise in total conversion rates (for Apple devices, it is 82%). Moreover, users spend 75% more time reviewing e-store pages.

FlipKart

Having over 250 million monthly users, FlipKart is the number-one business venue in the consumer-rich market of India. While displaying robust progress, the company was painfully aware of the local limitations it faced, the major of which was the poor quality of internet connection. When around two-thirds of your users have access to 2G internet only, it is natural that the slow loading time will hamstring all expansion aspirations.

 

Once FlipKart forsook its mobile version and completely switched to PWA in 2015, people started to spend thrice as much time on their site. This index eventually translated into a 40% growth in user engagement and a 70% increase in conversion rates.

Pinterest

The company’s statistics manifested the puny 1% of native app conversion, so launching a PWA was a matter of survival. This move resulted in a 40% increase in time spent on the site and an almost two-thirds boost of user engagement. A pleasant perk to these encouraging indices was a 44% growth of ad revenues.

Lancôme

This beauty business brand owned by L’Oréal had to reconsider its mobile engagement strategy that yielded only 15% conversion rates, which was rather poor in comparison with 38% displayed by its regular website. Embracing PWA helped to enhance conversion rates and decrease bounce rates by almost the same number – 17%.

Now when you see how beneficial for your e-Commerce business creating a PWA can be, let’s consider how you should go about it.

Examples of Progressive Web Apps

To transform your e-store into a PWA, you should follow a foolproof algorithm.

  • Start with an application shell. An app shell is the minimal JavaScript, CSS, and HTML necessary for your PWA to guarantee users a satisfactory interaction with UI. Moreover, it ensures the fast and reliable performance of the app's dynamic content and rules out the necessity to load it from the internet with every new visit to the PWA.
  • Implement a service worker. This network runs in the background, determining the source of content downloading (cache or server). Of course, you will require an HTTPS server to implement it and register it only in supporting browsers after the page is loaded, but once it is done your PWA will be able to function offline.
  • Create web app manifest. This file is a repository of all PWA-related data (name, icon, splash screen, etc.).
  • Include push notifications and add-to-screen function. These are essential features that provide a native-like UX and drastically increase user engagement. You can implement them with the help of the service worker and push API.
  • Test it. You can’t make sure your software works well unless you test progressive web apps. In case any bugs or malfunctions are spotted, you should deal with them right away.

The described procedure only looks a cakewalk. In fact, it is a no-nonsense job that should be entrusted only to seasoned experts in the field, who will be able to deliver a top-notch product at a reasonable price. And speaking of the price…

Creating high-quality software is never a bargain-price venture but in the case of PWA, it is considerably cheaper than it would be if you opt for a native app. The final sum you will have to fork out is conditioned by two principal criteria: the complexity of the project and the location of the developer.

Typically, to build a primitive PWA, you will have to allocate between $1,000 and $10,000. The medium complexity PWA will cost from $10,000 and $25,000, and a feature-rich product will push the expenditure up to $50,000. The cost largely depends on the hourly rates charged by developers in different regions. But going for the lower rates would be a mistake since software produced by such vendors is unlikely to meet your quality requirements. On balance, developing companies from Ukraine offer the best price/quality ratio, so commissioning a PWA from them is a safe investment.

The e-Commerce actors of today have to go all lengths to reach out to a maximum number of consumers. With this goal in view, transforming the e-store into a PWA is sure to give satisfactory results – both in terms of client engagement and boosting your revenues.

PWAApril 29, 2021
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