What is Magento PWA and Why It’s The Future of Ecommerce

Tired of sluggish online stores?

Magento PWA (Progressive Web Application) might be the solution you’ve been looking for.

This cutting-edge technology combines the best features of websites and mobile apps, creating a faster, more seamless shopping experience. In this post, we’ll explore how Magento PWA can enhance your e-commerce site, making it more efficient and user-friendly.

Let’s dive into the details and see why Magento PWA is making waves in the e-commerce world.

What is Magento PWA?

Magento PWA is a technology that enhances Magento eCommerce websites by providing a mobile app-like experience. It combines the best features of web and mobile applications, such as fast loading times, offline access, and push notifications, improving user engagement and conversion rates.

At the heart of this technology is Magento PWA Studio, a comprehensive suite of tools for developing, deploying, and managing PWA storefronts on Magento 2.3 and later versions. Let’s break down its core components:

  • PWA Buildpack: This set of tools helps developers with project setup, configuration management, and extensibility, ensuring a smooth development process.
  • Custom React Hooks: These pre-defined hooks simplify state management and data handling, making it easier for developers to manage their applications.
  • Venia Theme Package: An out-of-the-box Magento PWA storefront that serves as a reference or starting point for developers looking to build their own PWA storefronts.

Magento PWA Studio is compatible with Magento 2.3 and later, making it a viable option for most modern Magento 2 businesses. It provides a range of tools and libraries to help developers set up their environments, build custom components, and create Magento 2 PWA extensions.

As part of the Adobe ecosystem, Magento PWA Studio adheres to Magento’s coding standards, ensuring seamless integration and consistency. Being an open-source project, it invites community contributions and customizations, allowing for continuous improvement and innovation.

Additionally, Adobe offers extensive documentation, guides, and API references, making it easier for developers to work with PWA Studio and leverage its full potential.

5 Benefits of Magento PWA

magento pwa benefits

From lightning-fast load times to improved user engagement, Magento PWA brings a host of benefits that can elevate your business to the next level. Let’s explore some of the key advantages that make Magento PWA a game-changer in the e-commerce world.

1. Enhanced User Experience and Performance

One of the standout benefits of Magento PWA is its ability to deliver an enhanced user experience and superior performance.

Traditional websites often struggle with slow loading times, which can frustrate users and lead to high bounce rates. In contrast, Magento PWA offers significantly faster loading speeds, ensuring that your customers can access your site quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, Magento PWA is optimized for any device, providing a seamless experience whether users are browsing on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. This cross-device compatibility means your customers will enjoy a consistent, high-quality experience no matter how they choose to shop.

Another major advantage is the app-like interface and functionality. Magento PWA brings the look and feel of a native mobile app directly to your website, without the need for users to download anything.

2. Cost-Effective Development

Another benefit of Magento PWA is its cost-effective development, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to optimize their budget.

By using a single codebase for both web and mobile experiences, Magento PWA eliminates the need to create and maintain separate versions of your site for different devices. This unified approach streamlines the development process and reduces the complexity involved in managing multiple platforms.

Additionally, maintaining a PWA is easier compared to juggling separate websites and native apps. With everything in one place, updates and improvements can be implemented more efficiently, saving time and reducing the likelihood of errors.

This not only simplifies the developer’s workload but also ensures a more consistent user experience across all devices.

3. Improved SEO

pwa in magento

Magento PWA offers substantial improvements in SEO, making your online store more discoverable and accessible to potential customers.

Unlike traditional mobile apps, PWAs are indexable by search engines just like standard websites. This means that your PWA can appear in search results, improving your site’s visibility and attracting more organic traffic.

Additionally, the mobile-friendly design of Magento PWA is highly favored by search engines. With an increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, having a site that performs well on smartphones and tablets is essential.

Search engines recognize this and rank mobile-optimized sites higher, further enhancing your SEO efforts.

4. Increased Conversion Rates

Magento PWA significantly boosts conversion rates, helping turn more visitors into paying customers.

One way it achieves this is through push notifications, which keep customers engaged and informed about promotions, special offers, and updates. These timely reminders can drive traffic back to your site and encourage purchases.

The “Add to home screen” option is another powerful feature that increases visibility and encourages repeat visits. When users add your PWA to their home screen, your store remains just a tap away, creating a constant presence that can lead to more frequent interactions and higher sales.

5. More Reliable

Magento PWA offers enhanced reliability, ensuring your online store performs well under various conditions. By reducing server load, it improves site stability, particularly during high traffic periods.

This means your site can handle more visitors without slowing down or crashing, providing a consistent experience for all users.

Advanced caching technology is another key feature, enabling faster content delivery. This ensures that pages load quickly and efficiently, even during peak times, maintaining a smooth and responsive user experience.

Moreover, Magento PWA offers offline access, allowing users to engage with your site even without an internet connection. This feature ensures that customers can continue browsing and interacting with your store, regardless of their connectivity status.

How Does A PWA Work In Magento 2?

Features

With the Magento PWA solution, your website will have a complete package of PWA-rich features. PWA highlights:

  • Lightning-fast speed
  • Like-app performance
  • Offline mode
  • Low data storage
  • Add to home screen

“Add to home screen” is a powerful function of PWA. It enables a like-app interface for end-users. This function works for both Android and IOS.

Android

For Android devices, users access the PWA store on browsers like Chrome. By tapping the menu button on the right corner and choosing “Add to home screen,” users can experience a PWA within seconds.

iOS

For iOS, users often access online stores on the Safari browser. They can select the PWA URL and click the “Share” button. Then a box of “Add to home screen” appears, and the icon of the brand will pop up on the main screen.

Notably, PWA will account for small storage, often under 1 MB, unlike native apps with 50 to 100 MB.

SEO 

PWA also displays efficiency in SEO since it doesn’t change the URL of your online store. This means that your website can be indexed and shared as regular sites. Yet, PWA will promote higher rankings for your page compared to a standard website.

With the advance of ultra-speed, mobile-friendly appearance, PWA can remarkably meet Google’s algorithm. More importantly, PWA brings a better experience for users.

No one can resist a responsive and interactive website. As a result, online shoppers will stay longer on your page. Therefore, your brand can generate more organic traffic and rank high in search engines.

Push Notifications 

Push notification is a dynamic feature of PWA. You can keep customers updated with the latest promotions at any time. And PWA allows unlimited subscribers, unlike some tools, which can only send to 10,000 to 30,000 subscribers at once.

Setting up push notifications is also a piece of cake. You can customize your message by accessing the backend and creating engaging messages. The end-users will receive your alerts immediately if they have access to the Internet. 

One tip is to create relevant and clear messages. It is also beneficial to personalize notifications based on your customers’ behavior, location, and preferences. These increase the chance for users to purchase from your brand.

Updates

Magento PWA enables a less complex update process. You need to update codes and deploy them in the PWA storefront or the backend. It brings a direct update without any third-party interference. 

Users will receive update notifications right after it is deployed. As soon as customers accept pop-ups, the page will reload to display the newest changes.

It is an excellent function compared to native apps since you do not waste time and money developing separate updates for two systems (Android and iOS).

Extension Installations

There are differences between Magento 2 PWA and standard Magento websites when installing extensions. The process remains the same with extensions that work only in the backend.

But with extensions supporting both the front and backend, Magento PWA requires API to connect the PWA storefront with the Magento back end.

Therefore, you need to develop APIs to ensure the compatibility of the extensions. This is one of the few drawbacks of Magento PWA.

Magento PWA Demo

Venia is the official PWA demo from Magento. It helps people have a closer look into how a Magento PWA built with PWA Studio works and looks.

Like the Magento Luma theme, the Venia demo has a casual design with a simple layout, which therefore will rarely be applied to actual stores. However, this PWA theme still lacks some core features of Magento.

How To Integrate PWA Innovation Into Your Magento Website?

There are currently three techniques for rapidly and easily installing Progressive Web App technology into your Magento website.

Utilize Magento PWA Extensions

The first approach is to use Magento PWA extensions. You won’t have to pay much money for it, and you can easily install it on your website by yourself. 

The downside is that the look and feel of your website will not change. Push notifications, offline mode, or a mobile-friendly UI are not available with PWA Extensions. Not to mention the possibility of code conflict when integrating these extensions can affect your website’s performance.

Make use of Magento 2 PWA Studio

Second, you have the option of using Magento PWA Studio. The only official Magento solution allows you to create PWAs for Magento websites. Magento 2 PWA Studio will provide your website with a feature-rich Progressive Web App.

Besides that, Magento developers regularly update PWA Studio to meet the market’s evolving needs.

Yet, the terrible fact is that Magento PWA Studio is not optimized for an excellent user experience. Firstly, its storefront Venia is plain and unattractive in design. Furthermore, Magento PWA lacks essential functions like product comparison, wishlist addition, and review. 

Use Magento PWA Theme 

Magento PWA themes stand out as the most sensible option when it comes to integrating PWA into your Magento stores. It’s cost-effective while still maintaining the quality you want.

There are many options available on the market, but we highly recommend you check out our Magento PWA theme: TigrenPWA. It was created based on Magento 2 PWA Studio, ensuring the best compatibility with Magento websites.

TigrenPWA Theme has more advanced features such as Live Chat, Quick View, One-step Checkout and Fastly CDN, and the installation cost is already included (in the Pro version). These features will inevitably make your Magento store more robust and stunning than ever before. 

Magento PWA Development Cost

For businesses considering the adoption of Magento PWAs, one critical aspect that demands attention is the cost of development. In this section, we will take a look at that in details.

Magento PWA Extensions

Using a Magento PWA extension is no doubt the cheapest solution. The budget is often lower than $500. But keep in mind that the features are limited and unstable. 

Magento PWA Themes

Some Magento PWA developers offer free themes. However, it is only accessible when you are technically professional. Otherwise, you need to hire their team on an unfriendly budget.

The cost for premium Magento PWA themes may range from $5,000 to $50,000 or even more. customization may or may not result in additional charges, depending on the complexity and the service provider.

Magento PWA Custom Development

Custom Magento 2 Progressive Web App development is the solution that offers the most quality while demanding the biggest budget at the same time.

Most developers can charge you $30,000 on average for a custom Magento 2 PWA. If that’s what you’re interested in, we offer Magento PWA development service at Tigren as well. We can map out your idea and work effortlessly to make your Magento PWA storefront stand out from the crowd at a reasonable cost. 

Magento PWA Development Time

Compared to native apps, Magento PWA requires less time to deliver. However, each solution of Magento PWA development expects a different amount of time to complete. The expertise of the PWA provider also has an impact on the development time.

It takes from 1 – 2 months to develop a Magento PWA using ready-to-use themes. For Magento PWA custom development, the time frame will be 3 to 4 months.

Magento 2 Headless PWA

headless architecture

The default approach of standard websites is monolithic, meaning the front and backend are tightly connected. This structure has certain limitations.

Mainly, monolithic requires a large codebase that likely increases the workload for developers. You need to work on the entire system in any update.

In addition, any error in one layer can badly affect the performance of the whole structure, which is risky. 

In contrast, Magento 2 PWA uses a headless architecture that separates a Magento website’s front and back end. The headless structure has a massive package of benefits.

If you already have a Magento website, keep in mind that some functions or extensions of the old site may not work on the new Magento PWA. It can require more development deployment with the new Magento PWA storefront.

Therefore, list any wanted-to-keep features and discuss thoroughly with the developer team to build a Magento PWA that meets your expectations.

Allow More Flexibility

The Magento 2 PWA headless architecture allows excellent flexibility since it decouples your front and back end.

A PWA storefront will replace the front end while the Magento back end is still functional. And APIs are used to deliver databases between these two systems.

If any code error in the technical layer is minor, your store’s performance will not be affected. 

Reduce Workload & Save Resources

The headless structure of Magento 2 PWA can free developers from the storefront design. Departments like marketing may involve optimizing the interface for users without much effort.

Moreover, the front-end content can be reused on different platforms, saving you remarkable resources. The update process is also likely to speed up with the single codebase.

Level Up User Experience

Users can enjoy a faster loading speed and exciting features with Magento Progressive Web Apps. The headless architecture enables optimized interfaces on different devices to improve the user experience.

Magento PWA also allows low storage, smooth performance, and appropriate fonts and sizing on mobiles.

Limitations Of Magento PWA

Although Magento Progressive Web App is a powerful solution for e-commerce businesses, it has certain limitations. 

Limitations On iOS

When consumers visit the website on an Android device, a message appears at the bottom of the screen to grab their attention.

Users will be requested to enable push notifications and add the PWA to their home screen if they click on this message.

The process is different on iOS devices. Instead of automatic reminders, users need to navigate to the “Share” button on the browser and click “Add to home screen.”

The splash page will not appear as using Android devices, either. Other than that, Magento PWA only supports the iOS version above 11.3. Users with older IOS systems can’t function Magento PWA on their devices. 

Limited Options For Magento PWA Providers

For Magento PWA service, the choice of providers is not so wide. There are only around ten prestigious companies that can deliver high-quality service.

However, choosing a good provider with cost-effective solutions is not easy. If you need a suggestion, feel free to contact us. 

The 7 Phases Of Magento PWA Development Life Cycle

1. Initiation Phase

In this stage, e-commerce merchants should educate themselves to get the whole picture of the Magento Progressive Web App.

If you already have a Magento website and want to integrate it with PWA, knowing how PWA can affect your site performance is critical.

It’s recommended to list out your design options, features to keep from the old Magento site, and functions for the new storefront that you expect.

Make this step as detailed as possible and thoroughly discuss it with your developer team to prevent mistakes.

2. Provider Selection Phase

Choosing the right developer is critical in any collaboration to achieve your business goal, especially for PWA integration. Design, cost, and features are core elements you need to consider. Each company offers a different price, package, and development time.

You may have seen free PWA theme offers, but there’s nothing that guarantees their quality. And there may be hidden costs.

So in this phase, research the market ins and outs. It would help if you made an in-depth comparison of available Magento PWA providers on design, cost, and features. Go online and find out how these demo versions can meet your expectations.

3. Discussion Phase

After picking a development company, merchants need to discuss further the PWA project details. The goal of this stage is to reach a final contract.

Confer your desire for the website interface, features, and budget in a transparent scheme. Breaking down specific milestones with an expected timeline is also essential.

And make sure that the Magento PWA company can qualify your requirements well.

Any misunderstanding needs to be clarified in this step. Involve your team to track and evaluate every option carefully. 

4. Development Phase

This phase calls for the user interface design and PWA implementation. Keep in mind that the new design should be relevant to your brand and convenient for your target audience.

The developer needs to optimize critical elements like logo, homepage, product pages, checkout, etc.

And when it comes to PWA development, make sure they can integrate the full functions of PWA:

  • Push notifications
  • Offline mode
  • App-like performance
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Secure connection

The coding part of the technical system also needs to be well-maintained.

5. Monitoring Phase

Your team should keep track of the work based on the agreed timeline. It is essential to guarantee that the Magento PWA partner follows the project guidelines strictly.

Besides, you also need to evaluate and implement necessary changes to meet your KPIs. Any issue raised in the process must be handled quickly to avoid wasting time and resources.

6. Testing Phase

Before launching the final version, you need to test the PWA storefront and backend thoroughly. Ensure that the theme matches your brand identity and that all Magento & PWA features work smoothly. 

Besides, you need to review and analyze the demo version with your expected outcome.

Try to answer these questions during this phase:

  • Does the new version keep all Magento features you want to maintain?
  • Is the PWA storefront easy to navigate?
  • Is the new store friendly for both desktops and mobiles?
  • Are rich built-in features included?
  • Is it easy to manage your product, catalog, and user account?
  • Is there any trouble with the storefront and the management system?

7. Release Phase

When you are satisfied with the new Magento 2 Progressive Web App store, it is time to bring it to your customers.

Creating a video to advertise your new service is recommended since users are more attracted by engaging photos and sound instead of long posts and articles.

You can also take advantage of popular marketing channels like social media, email marketing, and websites to reach more customers.

A few important notes:

  • Choose the right time for your target audience
  • Avoid significant events to grasp more attention
  • Create engaging content for marketing
  • Include contact information

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