Causing more than 34,000 deaths across 194 countries and territories, with 723,732 confirmed cases (recorded on March 30, 2020, according to Worldometers), Coronavirus has been sowing the seeds of fear in everyone. In this article, we will not discuss how this pandemic affects global health but concerning its consequences to the e-commerce market. From our perspectives, there are both challenges and opportunities for businesses due to the spread of disease. To deal with that, one of the solutions that the store owners should consider is to adapt Progressive Web App technology – convert their website to PWA. It may sound absurd but absolutely rational, let’s figure out why!
How Is COVID-19 Impacting E-commerce Businesses?
On one hand, the Coronavirus pandemic helps to boost revenue for online stores that are selling essentials (e.g.: rice, flour, water bottles, canned foods, toilet paper), medical supplies (e.g.: face masks, hand sanitizers, vitamins), and home entertainment products. There are two main reasons for that:
- People want to stockpile necessities and health items to protect themselves from the contagion and to contend with the long period of disease ahead.
- They spend more time at home because of mass/self-quarantine, lockdowns, closures to prevent the quick spread of the viruses.
As a result, more and more customers go shopping online to order the items they usually buy in-store. Also, they might look for more products to have fun when staying mostly indoors.
On the other hand, social distancing and tight budgets are bringing many downsides in revenue for the e-businesses that are providing luxury products, cosmetics, jewelry, fashion and apparel, and so on.
In the next part, we will call the stores that get benefits from the epidemic “Type 1”, and the others who are suffering are “Type 2”.
Why Should E-businesses Adopt PWA Right Now?
1. PWA helps “Type 2” to stimulate the low demand
Undeniably, it would be very challenging for the companies in “Type 2” to attract customers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, it does not mean we can’t find the way.
Although most people decided to cut down their expenses (only for the necessities), they spend more time at home due to quarantine or self-isolation. In other words, they will have more free time to update news and browse websites. The e-stores can take this chance to capture those customers’ attention and build up their demand by delivering Progressive Web Apps.
There are three steps for taking advantage of PWA to attract and build up the potential group of customers.
- Captivate: Since Progressive Web App is good for SEO, it can help merchants to improve their website rankings on search engines and traffic to the store. Also, PWA takes almost no effort of users to download, which therefore increases their motivation to use this technology.
- Engage: Once the customers launch the PWA, they will feel excited with amazing app-like features such as quick access on the mobile home screen, push notifications, blazing-fast load speed, responsive design. Thanks to that, people will keep experiencing the app and visiting the store in other words.
- Stimulate: This is the most vital and valuable step for PWA to bring into play its strengths. Specifically, it enables the store admin/ owner to send different messages to the end-users. Those messages might convey health regards to the receivers or promotion campaigns to encourage an instant purchase.
2. PWA helps “Type 1” to strengthen the high demand
For “Type 1” businesses, the demand for the products they are trading is huge, but it might not last long. People can not keep buying a great volume of face masks, toilet paper, and rice for a long period of time. They are doing it right now just because of being afraid of the epidemic.
Thus, the store owners should realize this truth early to prepare for the next period. By providing modern PWAs, those stores can enhance their user experience with native app-like features, and encourage them to buy more and more stuff during the outbreak, so that the demand might reach its peak.
Moreover, the customers may unconsciously form a new shopping habit in those stores and keep coming back when the pandemic is brought to an end.
3. PWA leverages businesses after the pandemic
There are two common ways for online stores to handle their difficulties during the “war” against the Coronavirus. The first one is… doing nothing and wait for the pandemic to end one day (undefined). The second one is finding ways to minimize the damages caused by the disease and to recover the business.
And the ones who are willing to confront the problems might consider some solutions such as Progressive Web App development. Thanks to PWAs, e-commerce companies can either keep their loyal purchasers or draw attention from potential shoppers. After the pandemic, those customer groups are likely to continue buying and supporting the stores.
On the contrary, the firms that give up early will be easily forgotten and find it even harder to come back when the outbreak is stopped.
4. Merchants can convert website to PWA faster
In online peak seasons such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, the store owners generally will be immensely busy. Hence, they will have no time for website upgrades but super sales.
For the companies that are being affected negatively by the Coronavirus pandemic, this time can be considered a “low-sale season”. However, looking from a positive side, the merchants will have more time to improve their website performance and think of the latest technologies integration like Progressive Web App.
Firstly, the store owners can put more time and effort to clarify their project goals and requirements for PWA development. Secondly, they can provide great support for the developers throughout the implementation process without the interference of business activities. Thirdly, they will be able to strictly follow the project progress and foster the coders to make sure that it sticks to the original plan. Thanks to all of these, the total time for developing the PWA will be reduced while getting more quality results.
5. Merchants can find better deals for PWA development
Not only e-commerce stores but also IT companies are facing many difficulties during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The main reason is that a large number of e-businesses will try to cut down their expenses as much as possible. Worse, some companies even shut down temporarily until the disease goes away (or being bankrupt). As a result, their demand for new website development or website enhancement will decrease significantly.
To deal with this situation as well as to support e-businesses overcome the hard period, some PWA development companies – including Tigren – are providing good deals to the clients.
Don’t Hesitate To Convert Website To PWA!
The ongoing Coronavirus is affecting most of the e-commerce businesses, mostly in an unfavorable way. However, everything has two sides – there are still some opportunities for all stores to boost/ maintain/ recover their performance during and after the pandemic.
By integrating the modern Progressive Web App technology into the website, it might help to level up the low demand or double the current high demand for different types of e-stores. Furthermore, the merchants can save both time and money for PWA development if they decide to do it now.