At Magento Live UK, the company announced that they are working together with Google on Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). What exactly does it mean for retailers, and is it somehow important?

What is PWA?

PWAs connect the responsiveness and speed of apps with the instant access of the mobile web. It answers directly to mobile-first approach.

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Main benefits of PWAs

Reliable and Fast – When launched from the user’s home screen, service workers enable a Progressive Web App to load instantly, regardless of the network state. By pre-caching key resources, you can eliminate the dependence on the network, ensuring an instant and reliable experience for your users.

Engaging – Progressive Web Apps are installable and live on the user’s home screen, without the need for an app store. They offer an immersive, full-screen experience with help from a web app manifest file and can even re-engage users with web push notifications.

There is an AliExpress case study – the ability to deliver an amazing user experience helped them improve conversions for new users across all browsers by 104% and on iOS by 82%.

What does it mean for retailers

According to our eCommerce Trends Report mobile was the #1 investment for eCommerce Managers in 2016 and has remained the most important investment for 2017.

Nonetheless, mobile abandonment rates still exceed 80% and conversion rates are much lower than on desktop.

Native apps have consistently shown higher mobile conversion rates, but few merchants have the ability and budgets to force consumers to install another app. This is why PWAs could be an interesting solution. The client is using your website but when their browser recognizes this is a PWA website, you can add this to their home-screen and they can use it as a standalone app.

Magento will collaborate with Google to bring native PWA capabilities to the full Magento Commerce community in 2018.

By replacing responsive websites with PWAs, retailers can offer a faster, application-like experience, seamless checkout and payment processes, and higher engagement through push notifications.

Another plus is that PWAs get a SEO boost from Google as they encourage us to use this technology.

As Google said, early adopters like WeGo, Forbes and AliExpress have already seen significant reductions in page load-times, increases in site visits and double-digit increases in conversion rate.

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