Aug 29

PWA: A Powerful Tool for Your eCommerce Growth

PWA logo displayed on a screen of a mobile phone.

As discussed in my previous PWA article, Progressive Web Applications really are the best of both worlds. They are the ultimate ROI and revenue boosters that transform every user into a passionate brand advocate. Yet, what fuels the magnetic allure of PWAs?

In the following sections, I’ll elaborate on the fundamental pillars that strengthen the dominion of Progressive Web Apps in the eCommerce arena. From its offline functionality and push notifications to platform independence and search engine-optimized performance, PWS is the definitive catalyst that will propel your enterprise towards exponential growth.

It’s time to dig deep. So let’s get started.

Offline Functionality

A man taking a break from his morning run to browse some smart watches on this favorite webstore.

What Happens When the WiFi’s Out?

Sitting in a dimly lit room, the hum of silence around, a customer laments, “Ugh, I’m so bored! The WiFi’s gone rogue again. I wish there was something I could do without the constant buffering and loading signs.” Glancing at their device, a light bulb moment occurs. “Wait a minute! There’s a website I visited the other day. They mentioned something about still being accessible without the internet…” Excitedly, they tap on the browser icon, navigate to the site, and voilà! “Who needs constant internet when I can shop and surf offline? Technology, you’re the real MVP!”

A progressive web app allows you to stay ahead of the competition by storing crucial data and assets locally, hence allowing users to interact with sites even when they’re offline.

Curious How it All Works? Let’s Dive in!

When you browse a website, it’s as if a silent magician discreetly saves key parts of the show into a “magic box” on your device. Wondering what’s inside this box? It’s a unique storage area known as a “cache”. This is where essential elements such as vivid images, engaging text, and sleek layouts are stored. 

Guiding this entire operation behind the scenes are “service workers”. Picture them as the backstage crew in a grand theater, ensuring everything runs smoothly. When the internet takes a break, these diligent workers fetch the stored acts from our cache, ensuring the show goes on, uninterrupted. Quite the encore, wouldn’t you say?

Embracing PWA technology means stepping into an era of always-on shopping. Customers can seamlessly interact with an online store, regardless of internet hiccups, making it a non-stop shopping haven. Speed plays a pivotal role in enhancing user experience, and with progressive web apps, websites don’t just load, they blaze through. 

A wife shopping for some sportswear on a cold autumn afternoon while her tea is cooling off.

Additionally, in a world where every byte counts, the reduced data consumption is a significant boon. By caching and saving assets locally, reliance on data diminishes, catering especially to those on restrictive data plans. In essence, progressive web app represents convenience, rapidity, and smart data use.

Now, you probably ask, “Yeah, this sounds impressive, but what’s the real business and investment payoff here?

The PWA route is not just about improving user experience – it’s a strategic business move. Investing in a progressive web app means fostering a platform that’s always available to customers and increasing your opportunities for sales even during offline periods. This constant accessibility can significantly boost ROI. Speedier websites translate to higher user retention, and with reduced data consumption, you’re offering an economical option for users, likely leading to increased customer loyalty

According to a study, companies that adopted progressive web app experience a 450% surge in retention rates, and the number of returning visitors tends to jump up to 3x. Which translates to a potential ROI surge that can’t be ignored.

Push Notifications

A girl texting with her friends when a bunch of push notifications inform her about a sale of her favorite brand, new album release and some interesting, new content being posted on her favorite app.

Push notifications are not just pop-up messages – they’re a bridge to the customer. Visualize them as cheeky little messengers, tiptoeing onto your customer’s screen with a wink and a nudge, saying, “Psst, got a minute? There’s something you might want to see!” But, ever wonder why some are greeted with a smile, while others make users play the ‘swipe away’ game? And what’s the secret sauce to these tiny attention-grabbers?

It’s not much of a secret, actually. Well-crafted push notifications know their audience very well, and they are finely tuned to meet the needs of their recipients. Poorly envisioned and executed ones will just lead to customer churn. And the secret sauce? That’s a more complex issue.

From the vantage point of modern customers, the barrage of daily notifications makes discernment a priority. Their desire is relevance, above all else. For instance, a notification about a sale on running shoes would pique the interest of someone who recently browsed athletic wear on your platform. However, messages that miss the mark not only get sidelined but could also cause users to disable notifications or cultivate a negative brand perception. 

Timing is also paramount! Announcing a flash sale only 30 minutes before its conclusion can be perceived as more of an annoyance rather than an advantage. Customers seek sufficient lead time to make informed decisions, optimizing the potential for meaningful engagement and successful conversions. 

Furthermore, while the allure of frequently reminding customers about your brand is strong, it’s vital to tread carefully. Overloading users with too many alerts can quickly shift from being informative to intrusive. Lastly, granting users autonomy is key. Every notification should come with an easily accessible opt-out feature, emphasizing the customer’s control over their digital interaction with your brand.

Push Notifications and ROI 

A mobile view of an important ROI graph placed next to reading lasses, coffee mug and newspapers.

Now we’ve arrived at the main point. The part that makes our financial hearts flutter  ROI! Ever chuckled at the thought of your carefully crafted emails banished to spam dungeons, while push notifications are out there, partying like rockstars on users’ screens? Let’s dive into this fun fest!

  • First up, higher conversion rates: 

Push notifications don’t just appear – they make a grand entrance. Combine this with their laser-focused relevance, and it’s no wonder they ramp up conversion rates. In fact, more and more eCommerce owners are reporting that push notifications amplified their conversions up to 4x! Picture this: a customer gets a ping about a stellar sale or a can’t-miss offer, and bam, they’re diving straight into action.

  • Moving on to loyalty & retention:  

Crafting notifications with just the right content? It’s like sending your customers a virtual hug. The outcome? They’re not only sticking around but also becoming your brand’s loyal cheerleaders.

  • Then there’s the treasure trove of data and insights: 

Each response to your push notification is a breadcrumb trail revealing customer preferences, buying habits, and all those nitty-gritty details. Perfect intel to fine-tune your marketing game and product lineup.

  • And the cherry on top? Cost-effective marketing: 

Think of push notifications as the frugal gourmet of marketing. Less spendy than traditional ads and way more direct than emails, these notifications slice through the digital clutter like a hot knife through butter.

At the end of the day, I’d have just one question: Are we still contemplating the power of the push?

Platform Independence and UX

Clothing store's digital storefront displayed on various big and small devices.

In the ever-evolving digital realm, two key factors that consistently take the limelight in discussions about eCommerce are platform independence and user experience. The integration of Magento 2 and Progressive Web Applications beautifully exemplifies this merger, offering retailers a unique blend of technical flexibility and enhanced user engagement. But, what is platform independence? 

In essence, platform independence refers to an application’s ability to run and offer consistent performance across different operating systems, devices, or browsers. When software is platform-independent, businesses can seamlessly cater to a wider audience without the limitations of device or operating system restrictions. 

In the world of ecommerce, this is crucial. And the reason is simple: online shoppers come from varied backgrounds, using an array of devices – from desktops and laptops to smartphones and tablets. To offer all of them a consistent shopping experience, platform independence is indispensable.

UX and Platform Independence Are Intertwined

Wondering why? The answer lies in the ever-decreasing patience of the modern consumer. A shopper does not care if your store is running on a Windows server or is built for iOS. They care about ease of navigation, speed, and consistency. 

The better the experience, the higher the chances of conversion and brand loyalty. They expect to see the same product availability, cart items, and even personalized recommendations (more about AI and Personalized Product Recommendations is in our Linkedin post), clear product categories, a swift search function, and a hassle-free checkout process regardless of the device they switch to.

Platform independence, ensured by tools like Magento 2 and progressive web apps, inherently enhance UX. It provides consistent, unhindered access to the online store and ensures good retention and conversion rates.

Embracing platform independence brings: 

  1. Increased Sales Across Devices 

Making the store universally accessible across various devices, attracting more traffic and a wider customer base. This broad reach optimizes sales and minimizes drop-offs, ensuring all shoppers enjoy a consistent experience regardless of their device choice.

  1. Cost Efficiency 

Rather than investing in multiple store versions for various devices and OS, simply use a unified version that functions across platforms. This results in substantial cost savings in development and maintenance.

  1. Enhanced Customer Retention

Consistency in user experience, which platform independence assures, is pivotal in building trust and loyalty among customers. A consistent and seamless shopping journey increases the likelihood of repeat purchases. Over time, this customer retention directly impacts the bottom line, offering a more significant ROI compared to constantly acquiring new customers.

  1. Higher Conversion Rates

Speed, ease of navigation, and consistency – cornerstones of a good UX that platform independence facilitates – directly influence conversion rates. When customers find the shopping process intuitive and hassle-free, they are more likely to complete their purchase. Improved conversion rates are a direct booster to the ROI.

  1. Optimized Marketing Spend

With platform-independent stores, you can streamline your marketing efforts. You no longer need device-specific campaigns. Instead, a unified approach ensures that every marketing penny spent yields maximum returns, irrespective of the user’s device.

  1. Insights and Analytics 

A unified platform allows you to gather holistic insights about your customer behaviors, preferences, and shopping patterns. These consolidated insights, devoid of platform-induced biases, enable better decision-making and strategy formulation, which can further improve ROI.

  1. Future-Proofing the Business

The digital landscape is ever-evolving. By investing in platform independence now, you are essentially future-proofing your business. And preparing to cater to new devices and technologies as they emerge, ensuring sustained returns without recurrent massive overhauls.

Performance and SEO

Neat working corner with a laptop displaying Google Search Console result that show prefect mobile performance and accessibility score for an eCommerce website.

In the digital marketplace, two silent giants dictate the rhythm of e-commerce success: performance and SEO. Like a stage set before a grand performance, these elements prepare the ground for every online vendor’s show. Performance ensures that once the curtains lift, every act flows seamlessly, captivating the audience. 

On the other hand, SEO is the maestro behind the scenes, ensuring that the right audience is present and engaged. Together, they craft an experience that not only draws customers in but also entices them to stay for the encore.

In the bustling digital bazaar, modern customers aren’t just looking – they’re feeling! Every extra second a page takes to load, it’s like a video buffering at the climax – an instant mood killer. It’s not just about speed, though. Imagine being in a vast library where all genres are mixed up. That’s the maze of the internet without good SEO

For the savvy shopper, a quick-loading, well-optimized website is a beacon, guiding them straight to what they crave. It’s the difference between shouting into a void and having an intimate chat. 

Magento 2 and PWA don’t just improve website performance, they create trust, an invisible currency in today’s world. As every cafe-goer knows, trust is returning to the place that gets your complex coffee order right. So, in the grand theater of e-commerce, performance and SEO are the stars, ensuring the audience, our dear customers, stay hooked till the end, perhaps even prompting an encore. 

After all, in the e-commerce ballet, it’s the seamless dance of user experience that often leads to the grand finale – the purchase.

SEO, the Silent Puppeteer 

A girl holding her mobile phone that has a wallpaper of a PWA logo and googling the term SEO.

Ah, the thrill when the spotlight’s on you and the applause is deafening. That’s the ROI glory you aim for. And with Magento 2 synergizing with PWA, standing ovations are more frequent than ever. All you need now is a good set of best SEO practices to seal the deal. 

  1. SEO: The Show-Stopping Lead

In today’s crowded digital theater, SEO is your ticket to the spotlight. Magento 2 offers a robust SEO suite, but when it waltzes with the nimble footwork of progressive web apps, it’s a performance Google can’t resist. I have worked on many eCommerce websites and know for sure that there are some enhanced SEO strategies that can increase organic traffic up to 200%.

  1. Engaging Encores

A PWA-powered site doesn’t just end the show; it demands a repeat performance. With the adaptive staging of Magento 2, users are treated to a seamless experience every time, turning casual visitors into die-hard fans. After all, a 1-second improvement in page load can hike conversions by 7%.

  1. Loyalty: Your Backstage Crew

Loyalty isn’t just about return visits; it’s about turning customers into your backstage supporters. With Magento 2 and progressive web app’s lightning-fast and user-centered performances, you’re not just attracting an audience; you’re building a community of brand evangelists.

  1. Insights: The Director’s Notes

Each click, each interaction, is feedback. It’s like a review from a critic, helping you refine the next act. Magento 2 provides the analytics, showing you which moves dazzled and which need a tweak. With eCommerce analytics, you can achieve up to 25% increase in sales.

  1. The Showstopper – Thrifty Grandeur

Embrace the magic of Broadway without the hefty price tag. Magento 2 and PWA together are like crafting a world-class performance on a community theater budget. The ROI? Well, brands that have optimized their progressive web apps have observed up to a 50% decrease in bounce rates, ensuring that the applause just keeps coming.

And as the curtains draw, and the lights dim, if you’re left pondering, “Is this blend of a progressive web app and Magento 2 the game-changer my business needs?” I’d say, why wonder when you can dance your way to success?

Magento and PWA logo displayed on two laptops and two man having a business meeting in the background.

Next to my keen interest in progressive web apps, I am passionate about Magento architecture and eCommerce-related topics, so feel free to give me a ping on LinkedIn. I am always up for a good discussion or a brainstorming session. 

About The Author

Milos is the CEO of Lobbster and a proficient Magento Solution Architect.