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Your Guide to Magento Progressive Web Apps

By: Nigel Ewart|LinkedIn Profile

Magento Progressive Web Apps

The word ‘app’ has become international. It doesn’t matter which country you live in or the language you may speak. Even if you don’t speak English, you will know the word ‘app.’

Why?

The numbers do the talking. In 2018 there were 205 billion app downloads. That number is set to increase to over 250 billion in the next 3 years.

This explosion in app growth is of course linked to a similar explosion in the ownership of mobile phones and accessing the internet through your mobile device.

So should you develop an app for your business? Good question. The answer depends.

First, consider that developing an app can be expensive. Are there alternatives? A resounding yes!

Enter progressive web apps (PWA).

This article will explain what is a PWA. Further, you will learn what are the advantages of using a PWA and how this relates to the Magenta eCommerce platform.

What is a PWA?

You already know what the letters stand for but what exactly is it? At a basic level, you can think of a PWA as an app that operates directly through the web browser. So that means it is actually a website that behaves like an app.

For all intents and purposes, it has the look and feel of a typical app you might download from the Play store or Apple store.

PWA – Some Advantages

Of course, as is true of most things there are advantages and disadvantages. The same holds true for PWAs. The key disadvantage with PWAs is that their performance will not match an app that is already installed on a device in terms of speed and accessing data that has already been saved.

That said, whether this is a real disadvantage or not depends on the purpose of your website or PWA. For example, playing a game through a website versus a downloaded app will reveal a big difference.

In contrast, buying a product through an app versus a PWA may not offer any discernible differences. Here are some advantages:

1. Everybody’s Friend

If you develop an app, there is only one way a potential customer can access it. They have to go to their respective online store (such as Apple) and actively choose to download it.

Depending on the speed of their internet connection that may take time and requires your potential customer to be quite motivated in order to do that. Second, they need to search for and find your app.

In contrast, if you have a PWA there is no need to access an online store. There is no need to download anything. There is no need to search for your app. Instead they can access your PWA immediately through their web browser. Here is the best bit…

It doesn’t matter whether your customer is using Apple or Android. They can access your PWA through their respective web browser and experience smooth app like performance straight away.

2. Google Loves You

Those three words above are golden. Google has gone to great lengths to promote and support mobile-friendly websites.

Why? Easy, they are user-friendly and more engaging.

Google wants to promote anything that gives life to the internet. Given that is the principle, it is not difficult to see why Google love PWAs.

3. Customers Love You

When you think about it, it isn’t that surprising. Google has got it nailed, they know that user engagement is the key. If people are engaged then whatever you are giving them through your website or PWA is relevant and has value.

It seems that users of a PWA will spend 40% more time on your site. It will attract 50% more visitors from Apple users and lead to 17% more conversions. The evidence speaks for itself. So what is a PWA? It is the future.

Magento Progressive Web Apps

You may already be aware that Magento is a brilliant eCommerce cloud platform. It is extremely flexible and scalable according to your business needs. This tool is being used worldwide and supports $155 billion in gross merchandise volume transacted on the platform.

The latest release Magento 2.3 supports the development of progressive web apps. Given the discussion so far, it is clear why Magento have integrated the use of PWAs with their eCommerce platform.

This is leading to significant success as it is being applied to various sectors. Take for example the massive success experienced by River North Hotel. The web developers report an increase of 300% in revenue compared to the old website.

Here is another real example you can look at in detail using the Magenta platform.

Important Considerations…

Progressive web apps have huge potential. In a world that loves traditional apps, there are still some challenges and considerations when thinking about implementing a PWA approach to your website.

First, you need to decide whether you are going to develop your PWA site from scratch or whether you are going to modify an existing site. There are pros and cons to both but overall if you start from the beginning it will be easier to get your PWA looking and feeling how you want it.

Another consideration is the use of Service Workers. These are scripts that run in the background of the browser but are separate to your webpage. Basically, these are the nuts and bolts of what makes your website more than just a website and more like an app.

Are You Ready to Progress?

Are you ready to make more money? Are you ready to generate more website conversions? Are you ready to create greater user engagement?

If you are, then you are ready to make progress using the Magenta platform and PWAs. In conclusion, what is a PWA? You know the answer already.

You can get started here.

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