PWA in Magento 2.3: Power Your E-commerce with Progressive Web Apps
According to Forrester Consulting, web traffic has been rapidly shifting to mobile, expanding to 52 percent worldwide in 2019.
With the increasing mobile influence over digital commerce, the expectations of today’s tech-savvy customers who demand a fast, light, app-like browsing experiences have also escalated.
By far, many technologies have been developed to redefine the mobile experience and deliver superior customer satisfaction.
Progressive Web Applications (PWA), is the latest buzzword in the IT world. This web technology has gained unparalleled momentum and is arrayed to transform the way consumers and merchants conduct business across mobile devices.
This article illustrates what Progressive web apps are, what are the core features of Magento 2.3 PWA studio, and why e-commerce businesses should opt for PWA in their Magento 2 app development.
Let us get started with,
An Overview Of A Progressive Web Application Technology
Introduced by Google in 2015, Progressive Web Application (PWA) refers to a hybrid of regular web pages and a mobile application. This new application model combines features offered by most modern browsers with the benefits of mobile experience.
What led to the development of PWA?
- Precisely talking about the engagement rate, only 13% of engagement has been reported by mobile web whereas 87% of engagement has been reported by native apps. Though the mobile web offers huge traffic, re-engaging the users is a difficult task. And in case of apps, the engagement rate is higher yet the overall user traffic is less. Thus, the dire need to capitalize on the broad mobile web reach led to the development of PWA.
- Secondly, in terms of the reach, the mobile web performs better when compared to mobile apps. Chrome browser on mobile alone has one billion monthly users. Even if the engagement is low, people prefer mobile browsers to access the internet.
- Thirdly, talking solely about mobile apps, Comscore reported that almost zero apps were downloaded in a particular month in the US. This says a lot about the importance of apps among users. In yet another statistics, 87% of the time spent by mobile users is on native apps while 80% of the user’s time is spent on the top 3 applications downloaded on their devices.
When people are so busy with their top 3 apps, your app might not make it.
This is where progressive web apps come into play.
PWA is a holistic approach which says App + Site that is providing the best experience in both.
In other words, Progressive Web App technology is poised to convert mobile shopping into an engaging, lightning fast experience. Major companies like Pinterest, Starbucks, Forbes, Instagram, Uber, Tinder, Twitter, the Washington Post, and West Elm all released PWAs.
A statistics below shows how a hotel chain, Treebo benefitted from launching PWA for their business.
Implementing PWA can help customers to re-visit your website by offering features like rich offline experiences, push notifications, & periodic background syncs.
Integration of Progressive Web Apps and Magento 2.3
On April 24, 2018, in Las Vegas, Magento Commerce announced Magento PWA Studio which comprised a suite of tools that help merchants to build online stores with app-like experiences.
Later, on November 28, 2018, a newer version of Magento, Magento 2.3 was released, loaded with tons of exciting features as:
1. Magento 2 Multi-Source Inventory (MSI): This functionality empowers Magento store owners to manage their inventory and stocks directly from the Admin panel of the website in spite of the several locations. It helps store managers manage inventory without installing any third-party platforms.
MSI allows merchants to reserve the inventory for high-performing checkouts and eliminates all the re-indexing issues during peak order times. MSI offers a better import/export process to accelerate integration with an external ERP system.
2. Enhanced Security: Magento has added Google ReCaptcha and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) in order to reduce the probabilities of password hacking, attacks by bots.
3. Page Builder: This functionality in Magento 2.3 makes it easy for merchants to create and review the content and render it across several third-party platforms, leveraging the intuitive interface, APIs, and mdrag-and-drop editing tools, and APIs.
4. Asynchronous API: This will enable the users to make a quick request without the need of waiting for the server’s response.
5. Streamlined Magento 2 Payments: This feature will be provided by Magento in the first quarter of 2019. It enables merchants to streamline the risk management process and payments by integrating PayPal, Signifyd, and Braintree. The store owners will be able to make payment balance transparent, synchronize order and payment details at Magento backend, and prepare a report on transaction details.
6. PHP 7.2 Support: The latest version of PHP, i.e., PHP 7.2, is included in Magento 2.3 for enhanced security and performance.
7. Declarative DB Schema: Under the Declarative DB Schema approach, the XML Schema files will be converted into SQL statements. It also permits the database changes implemented on a functionality rolled back to a previous version which simplifies the process of installation and updating of the Magento.
8. Cache Management ACL: The Magento 2.3 version will extend and improve the Access Control List of the cache system. This will empower merchants to control and state cache-related actions.
9. WYSIWYG Upgrade: The TinyMCE has been upgraded from version 3 to 4. Media gallery, widgets, and variables can be defined per website or globally. These can be implemented as plugins.
10. ElasticSearch Updates: This upgrade will enable merchants to integrate powerful search engine capabilities with their online stores. Magento 2.3 supports Elasticsearch v5.
11. And, the Magento 2.3 PWA Studio: This is one of the impressive updates that has been included in Magento 2.3.
Using progressive web apps, Magento business owners can have a website with features of a native application which can be accessed without downloading or installing it.
The objective behind the inclusion of PWA Studio in Magento Commerce was to facilitate merchants and UX developers to deliver a reliable, innovative and engaging experience for their customers, in turn, delivering high mobile conversion rates and boost sales.
Key Features Of Magento 2.3 PWA Studio
Before you hire Magento 2 developers to integrate Magento 2.3 PWA studio in your e-commerce, have a look at the core features:
- It provides special tools to personalize your content and for adding local preferences.
- It provides developer tools for rich feedback, fast prototyping, helpful debugging, and, increased productivity.
- It offers intuitive user experience along with the CMS theming and innovative commerce.
- Create and handle all channels and user experiences via one code base, one deployment, and one app.
- It helps you drive opportunities for extension resellers with a modularized component architecture.
Key Reasons to Use Magento 2.3 PWA for your e-commerce business?
With m-commerce driving more online sales, masters of Magento have chosen to shift their gears towards adding advanced trends like progressive web application to its platform.
While the native apps providing frictionless user experience, customers find it annoying to install apps which occupy their device space. However, PWA, unlike the native-apps are quicker to deploy and eliminates the need to undergo lengthy approval processes.
PWA is further gaining popularity as it works like a complete replacement of a native app solution that would work well on your mobile browser. When you add the app by clicking on the prompt that appears after a few seconds of using the app, you can choose to add it on the home screen of the mobile browser. When you launch the app in browser it even hides the browser UI controls and appear as native app. It offers reliable performance on the browser which is at par to the native app solutions. Fast-loading capabilities ensure that visitor get a splendid experience while browsing through your web app.
The graph below shows how progressive web app differ from the native app and responsive website.
Source: Data via OneNorth
With the PWA in Magento 2.3, retailers can tackle such situations and can help store owners overcome their multiple challenges in their e-commerce. Let’s have a look at the major reasons why merchants should opt for the Magento PWA for their e-commerce businesses:
1. Faster Browsing: Progressive web application helps Magento 2 stores to let the customers interact with the stores faster. There has been seen a great increase in the conversion rates.
2. Cross-platform compatibility: PWAs run swiftly on almost all the widely used mobile platforms including browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. The single web code base in PWAs is enough to run across multiple platforms, including the desktops. This eliminates the need to develop and maintain apps across different platforms. Moreover, the updates to the PWAs can be delivered real-time just like a website.
3. Instant “App” Gratification: As it is immediately discoverable and usable via the browser, PWAs eliminate the need to install or download an application before use.
4. Push notifications: Push notifications are important messages sent as notifications to keep your customers informed about the latest deals, updates, and offers. They help in real-time contextual and personalized communication. Push notifications can increase your customer engagement by up to 88%.
5. Rapid Re-Engagement: PWA in Magento 2.3 allows the users to have repeat access without the need to open the browser and type in URL. It gives excellent navigation tools on the bottom of the screen for app-like look & feel.
6. Responsive design: Providing smooth user experience across different devices facilitates Magento 2 store owners to improve the customer experience. As per Google, websites with responsive web design will rank better in Google search results, thus putting PWA into effect, can help your website rank higher in Google searches.
7. Offline support: Apart from the brilliant online features, PWA provides amazing offline support. For instance, implementing the PWAs allow customers to browse different products of your e-commerce website and add them to the cart without Internet connectivity. However, it is important that your customers had visitors the pages previously. The customers place orders offline, on getting connected to the Internet, the order will be processed.
8. SEO-friendly: As progressive web apps are highly reliable and engaging, the chances of visitors staying on your website becomes longer. Moreover, as per Google’s other announcement where it states the mobile version of a website would be indexed first, it becomes necessary for the Magento commerce owners to have a mobile-friendly version that would perform well in rankings.
9. Installable on the home screen: The PWA in Magneto 2.3, like a native app icon, can be added to a smartphone’s home screen. This feature lets the users simply click the icon and visit the particular website directly. As it eliminates the need of going to the browser and then to the website, this increases the time spent by the user on the application. Thus, it eventually results in an increased conversion rate.
Should you go for Magento 2.3 PWA Studio?
The fast app-like experience provided by the PWA Studio in mobile commerce improve the search engine optimization, drive huge conversion rate and increased the website performance by 50%. Magento 2.3 PWA Studio effectively helps merchants to save loads of time, effort, and cost.
Magento 2 PWA Studio Project provides a set of modern tools:
- PWA-builderpack: It includes main development tools for creating a Magento PWA.
- Venia Storefront: It helps to create Magento storefront by utilizing PWA Studio tools.
- Peregrine: This tool renders UI components for designing a Magento PWA.
Apart from these Magento 2.3 PWA studio also provides powerful libraries to the developers:
So, now that we know how Incredible Magento 2.3 PWA Studio is, so the answer is definitely yes!
Wrapping it up
PWA is the future of eCommerce. It facilitates e-commerce merchants with unprecedented opportunities. Implementation of PWA in Magento 2.3 has revolutionized the eCommerce experience for many e-commerce giants.
If you want to set-up a Magento 2 website or you are looking to migrate to the upgraded Magento version, feel free to consult our experienced Magento Development Company.