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Why Magento 2 PWA is Worth the Investment

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The origin of Progressive Web Apps dates back to 2007 when Steve Jobs first announced that web apps developed in HTML5 using AJAX would be the preferred format for iPhone apps on the App store. But the term “Progressive Web Apps” was coined by designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell much later in 2015 to describe this new yet rapidly growing breed of web applications that could deliver a fast, reliable, and rich user experience.

A Progressive Web App or PWA is a cross-platform application that leverages modern web technologies using TLS, Service Workers, Web App Manifests, and more to deliver a rich, responsive, native app-like browsing experience. The use of PWAs has resulted in massive increases in engagement and conversions for businesses that have implemented it. Trivago, a leading global hotel search platform, saw repeat visits per user jump from 0.8 on their old mobile site to 2 visits per user, as well as a 97% increase in conversions after transitioning to a PWA.

As a Magento 2 store owner, you might be wondering how or if you’d be able to build a Magento 2 PWA store for your business. Fortunately, Adobe has created a collection of tools known as the Magento PWA Studio to help developers and store owners create a PWA version of their website on Magento 2. While Magento PWA studio doesn’t require PHP skills, it does require proficiency with JavaScript, webpack, React, React Hooks, GraphQL, and Workbox. So, there’s a good chance you might need the assistance from an experienced Magento agency to help you build it.

Naturally, the first question on your mind will be, is Magento 2 PWA worth the investment for your business? Well, read on to find out the benefits it provides to decide for yourself.

Five major benefits of using Magento 2 PWA

While native apps can provide a great user experience, they are neither indexable by search engines nor multi-device compatible. Similarly, mobile responsive websites cannot access push notifications or function offline when there’s no internet. PWAs deliver the benefits of both a responsive website and a native app in a single platform. So, you get indexability, multi-device compatibility, access to push notifications, the ability to function offline, and many more benefits that wouldn’t be possible when choosing either a responsive website or a dedicated native app. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of PWAs.

1. PWAs are cost-effective

Finding a good Magento design service isn’t difficult; however, it can cost a pretty penny to build and maintain a truly rich yet fast mobile browsing experience from scratch. So, what about having a dedicated mobile app for mobile users? Unfortunately, that is even more expensive to build and maintain, especially since you need to create a separate app for Android and iOS users. It also doesn’t provide a seamless browsing experience for users that come across your website while browsing the internet on their mobile devices.

Building a PWA for your Magento 2 store can help you kill two birds with one stone. Being a cross-platform application, a PWA version of a website will work just as well on an Android device as it would on an iOS device. So there’s no need to build a separate version for each platform. A PWA website also helps maintain a seamless mobile browsing experience. When browsing your website, all the customer needs to do is click on the “Add to Home Screen” popup to install a shortcut on their home screen, and they’re ready to go.

2. Super-fast page loading

Everyone loves a fast loading website. Many store owners try purchasing cache warming extensions to shave a few seconds off their page load times. But even those extensions can’t do much in situations where the device itself has a poor connection.

PWAs aren’t affected by slow connections the way traditional websites are. PWAs cache content and serve it with near-instant speeds even in limited or no network connectivity using service workers. So your website will run blazingly fast, and your customers will get a mobile app-like smooth browsing experience no matter the device they’re on. Thanks to the Service Workers mentioned before, the webpage will load blazingly fast. All the information is cached and displayed with or without the internet connection. The website will load so quickly that most customers won’t even notice the page loading.

3. SEO friendly

Being SEO friendly is vital for the success of every online business. Unfortunately, having great products or quality content alone is no longer enough. A significant factor in Google’s search ranking algorithms is the usability of a webpage. According to Google, a website should appear correctly in different browsers, be designed for all device types and sizes, and load fast for users with slow internet connections to rank well in their web page usability criteria.

By designing a PWA version of your website, your website will load near instantly, be optimized for all devices, and work in all browsers resulting in a richer and seamless mobile browsing experience. Naturally, providing a better user experience will lead to higher re-engagement, better conversions, and potentially better ranking on search engine results pages.

4. Push notifications

From a store owner’s perspective, a mobile version of a website doesn’t provide the same benefits as a mobile app where you can send push notifications to users, making it easier for them to learn about the latest promotions. Even if you were to design dedicated Android and iOS apps for non-desktop devices, incentivizing customers who come across your website organically to visit the Play Store or App Store and install the app to access your store can be challenging.

PWAs, unlike mobile apps, only require a single click to install and can provide the same level of reach to customers that a mobile app does. There’s also no need to create different versions for different devices. A single PWA will work across all devices and allow you to send out push notifications just as easily.

5. Can work without internet connectivity

A significant point favoring the use of mobile apps is their ability to function without internet access. Mobile responsive websites cannot always operate this way and will require an internet connection to allow browsing. So if a customer comes across your website while on the move and enters a low or no connectivity zone like an elevator, there’s a good chance they would abandon their search when they lose connectivity, possibly costing you a sale.

A PWAs ability to cache content when the device is online and serve it when the device is offline gives it an edge over mobile responsive websites. Your customers will just as easily be able to add products to their carts when they’re offline as they would when they’re online. When the same customer enters an elevator while browsing a PWA version of your website, they could continue adding products to their cart or even initiate checkout while in a no network zone.

6. Manual updates

A downside for users of mobile applications is dealing with frequent app updates. While many prefer to ignore app updates, eventually, most applications require a user to go into the app store to update before they’re able to use it. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, any distractions or stress points in a customer’s journey can contribute to a lost conversion.

Although PWAs behave like native mobile apps, they do not require updates the way native apps do. Each time a PWA connects to the internet, it automatically serves the latest content ensuring the process is just as smooth and seamless as clicking on a link to visit a website.


Now, circling back to our original question, is Magento 2 PWA worth the investment? The answer, as you’ve probably figured out by now, is a resounding Yes! A PWA version of your Magento 2 website will be lighter, faster, and better than a mobile website and far superior and cheaper than a native mobile app.

PWAs are perfect for any business seeking to provide a seamless shopping experience to its users while also increasing conversions and engagement. Increased conversions and engagement will directly boost your revenue, and a PWA will be a great way to future-proof your online business as well. If your store requires access to a device’s hardware beyond basic push notifications and geolocation, a native mobile app might be more suitable for you. But for most online stores, a PWA should serve perfectly as an alternative to a mobile website.

To get started with a PWA store, you can use Magento’s PWA studio if you have an in-house development team that’s capable of managing the project. If not, finding a Magento design company will be a great way to have the task carried out by professionals with proven experience in the industry. For businesses considering re-platforming and migrating to Magento 2, this would be the perfect time to investigate setting up a PWA website and making it a part of the migration project.

About the author


Jan Guardian

Jan Guardian is the Chief Business Development Officer at Staylime, a Magento development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is responsible for developing and leading the sales and digital marketing strategies of the company. Jan is passionate about sales, marketing, and emerging technologies.