PWAs explaination:Progressive Web Applications for E-Commerce

You may have not heard of PWA (Progressive Web Application), this is not surprising. PWA is a new technology that was developed in 2015. Until 2020, it has been used by some big enterprises and gradually become popular in e-commerce industry. The most striking examples come from Alibaba AliExpress, Walmart, Twitter, Times Financial News, Trivago, etc. who use the PWA to establish solid communication between enterprises and users. The business growth will increase immensely fast than ever before.

If your online store is developed with headless architecture or JAMstack architecture, PWA is a flowers and cheers to boost your business and stay ahead of your competition.

Why is PWA so powerful? Is it possible to use these success stories from big enterprises to small and medium-sized online business? Let's take a closer look at the features and benefits of PWA.

What is a Progressive Web Application?

In mobile device, native apps are the most frequently used applications, occupying a lot of daily time. Wouldn't it be attractive if your online store could be used such as a native app? The advent of Progressive Web Apps made this possible.

Progressive Web Apps combine the advantages of a website and a native app. Essentially it is a web application, but provides similar use experience just like a native. The emergence of PWAs has accelerated the advancement of online e-commerce, promoting immersive user experiences. Online merchants use PWA technology to exceed the competitive and keep ahead.

High performance

Web performance is the key in the development. PWA offers developer to use the build-in tools, such as pre-caching, code compression and code splitting, and progressive rendering technology, to store data on the mobile terminal. There isn't necessary to access the store through a browser, the entry is stay on home screen.


Bad internet status or even offline, use PWA can quickly display information in front of the user without internet. This is the pre-caching function in PWA, all data is pre-stored in mobile, always ready to go.


Speed is the key factor affecting your online business. A lot of "pogo-sticking" users give up because of slow page loads. PWA can show your store immediately, all the handling in store is smooth and user experience.


PWAs provide a true native app experience. You can send messages to your customers, such as sales message, which appear on mobile screen. Isn't a perfect solution of marketing strategy? Users can interact with your store without going surfing.

Why PWA Technology Matters to Businesses

At present, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop, which means users spend most of time on apps in daily life. Google reports that every online merchant using PWA, the overall business grows by 22%, and the dwell time and conversion rate on mobile devices doubles.

To create a more user-friendly experience, merchants should consider integrating PWA in the application, instead of just staying on the browser. Currently, using PWA is only in a few large enterprises, they use cutting-edge technology to stay ahead of the competition.

Installing on the home screen

PWA apps create a user experience similar to native apps. Web visitors just click the install button at the prompt of the browser to download the store to the home screen, then become a real application. This installation method is simpler than the installation process of a native app, users doesn't need additional settings. Moreover, PWA applications will be automatically kept updated to ensure that users get the latest products and content without downloading update programs like native apps.

This convenience makes it easier acceptation for users. Many companies respond that many users refuse to download the native app, but they are more willing to install PWA applications.

The PWA application on the home screen greatly increases the frequency of visiting store, promotes conversion rate and customer stickiness.

Offline caching

Service Worker, the core module of PWA, allows users to visit the store without a network or offline, which means that users can get the latest products and content at anytime in anywhere. Use the cache to store data locally, besides, the data will be automatically updated when accessing to the network. The seamless connection facilitates the interaction between enterprise and users, creating an unparalleled shopping experience.

Push notifications to home screen

PWA applications can send messages directly to mobile devices, new product or discounts are good idea to be sent. Push notification to the home screen is more intuitively behavior, which can undoubtedly bring greater potential of business growth.

Collecting personal information and forcing users to leave their email addresses has become the most resisted behavior, which damages the brand image. 95% of surfers are reluctant to leave their e-mail or other contact information in internet, which makes the online marketing more difficult. Compared with traditional email marketing, push notification has advantages because they can send messages directly without user contact information.

Improve SEO optimization

PWA online store is essentially a web-based application that meets all the conditions for search engines ranking. All pages, products and blog content in the PWA application can be quickly indexed, shared and ranked by Google and Bing, which let merchants reach a wider range of customer groups.

Google strongly advocates PWA integrating in website or online store. PWA become the important part in website performance evaluation, which will get better ranking on google, because of faster load speed, easier visibility and friendly users experience.

User experience leads to high conversion rates

Friendly shopping experience can achieve higher conversion rate and attract more loyal fans. Pre-caching create a fast and streamlined shopping journey. It shortens the process to the store, which is significant for improving the dwell time in the store.

Easier, faster, smoother, more direct and more efficient, user-centric shopping experiences bring significant revenue for online brands, and the conversion rate are higher than ever before. Through PWA technology, Alibaba get more than 400% user, who add PWA application in their home screen, the monthly activity increased by 35%, and the conversion rate increased by 75%. Lancôme increased conversions by 17% through PWA push notifications. It is truth that the business profits which brought by PWA applications is huge.

Reducing development and maintenance costs

In order to achieve multi-platform and multi-channel marketing strategy, some big brands want to build multiple native applications, Android, iOS, responsive websites, and possibly native desktop app for windows 10. The application development requires huge investment, moreover, maintenance cost in future is extremely high and cumbersome which can harm the flexibility of business development.

The emergence of Progressive Web Application avoids repeated development, all in one and for all devices enables small business and startups to achieve efficient marketing.

Disadvantages of PWAs

Since PWA application is still in development, the compatibility and functionality will be continuously optimized.

Compatibility with iPhone

So fa Apple Inc. has not mentioned PWA. You can use PWA in iPhone, sometimes, the compatibility is not friendly. Partial hardware support for PWA is not friend. However, Android are fully compatible with PWA. If your store highly rely on iPhone hardware, then it is more suitable to make native iSO application. But, e-commerce doesn't require much hardware support, which is why PWAs are becoming more and more popular.

Less functionality

It is truth that A PWA application provides less functionality and less flexibility than a native application. But these situations will be improved in the nearly days, and it is only necessary for enterprises to consider whether the functional design is satisfied in advance when making PWA applications.

Higher demands on IT development teams

PWA development is not as simple as an ordinary website which requires more professional knowledges. The developer need to know the framework deeply. The cost of maintenance is higher than that of an ordinary website.


With the introduction of the Internet of Things and diversified mobile devices into daily life, the shopping habits of the public have fundamentally changed. People have higher requirements for shopping participation and experience. As an online retailer, you cannot ignore the strategy of cross-platform marketing. While using the immersive experience brought by native applications, PWA is also needed to expand the marketing scope and Ease of access. As the development of PWA, more and more merchants use it to improve user experience and create higher conversion rate. Now it is the right time to use PWA in for your online business. Ask HaiCommerce experts to build your own PWA E-Commerce to win the game.


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