04/13/2021

PWA - for whom?

Writer: Małgorzata

Topic Developer: Michał

All ecommerce businesses want to dominate in their niche market. You could have an amazing product, sensational lookbook and incredible prices but without the cutting-edge technology your ecommerce will not stand out from the competitors.

What developers should know

The fact that many engineers develop and test ecommerce in desktop priority is some kind of elephant in the room. Developers' views could be limited to the desktop because of their work’s character. But half of the world’s sales are on mobile. Many websites crash down after changing screen orientation on iPad. No customization of images to mobile versions makes them on smartphones and tablets too small without the possibility to enlarge them. The newest iPhones have screens with a great pixel density and requires images 2-3 larger than the screen size. But a mid-level user has a 5-years smartphone without these features. Your engineers must know it, testing and watching over the correct display all the time.

An Image is a King

Retina-based displays require more pixels. If your ecommerce is not optimized for these screens by comparison it will look blurry and less appealing. Also, webp - the modern image format which provides two times better compression for images, modern frontend stack can leverage that to save 50% of the space. You must be aware that Magento’s front-end is unprepared for this facilitation. And your customer will see the difference.

WaaP Philosophy

One of your clients says: I am not selling products, I am selling my website. Philosophy ‘Website as a Product’ is complementary to PWA. In PWA ecommerce adapts to the user, checks what the browsers can do, and tries to squeeze as much as possible. Progressive upgrading in terms of user experience is the key.

Interested in PWA but not sure is the best solution for your ecommerce? Check if PWA is for your ecommerce.

Is PWA for my ecommerce?

1. If you have a long session time.

All ecommerces, where customers spend a lot of time - like fashion, accessories, lifestyle - where customers watch look-books and flip many pages. Why? Reloading the pages is always disturbing. It is crucial to provide a transition effect that facilities graphics display as in native applications. The transition between pages when customers choose from 300 dresses must be fast and friendly. PWA excludes pages reloading and other pop-up elements - all things that irritate your customer.

2. If you have a non-standard, very customized layout.

The more invested in your layout, the more costly and time-consuming it is to develop. In this way, the more customized layout, the less disadvantage it is in PWA. It is easier to build an interface even from scratch in PWA than Magento. Ready-to-use Magento interfaces are not very popular or useful. If ecommerce development is a never-ending story, building a suitable interface is essential.

3. If you have big content data: blog, knowledge base, library.

Content is provided by external sources - back-end not suitable for providing Social Media data. Magento has a very poor CMS for e.g. blog - no useful tools for front-end. In PWA it is easy and natural when the data is from an external source. Additionally React offers lots of ready-to-use views for content from social media.

4. If you have a unique product presentation & configurability.

Unique product presentation with configurability options (e.g. inscription on t-shirt, virtual fitting room, or Magic Mirror in eyerim - our client) is what PWA breathes. PWA with React facilitate weaving in content are all configurability features, making all processes simpler and faster.

5. If you want to have great UX independent from customers Internet speed.

If your server is crashed or an external mailing supplier has a failure - your customer could still add to the cart or sign up for the newsletter (as well as you could still send an email).

PWA still works when your server crashes. In countries where there is slower Internet speed (not in poorer! e.g. in Canada outside the cities has very weak Internet), you can divide priorities, what should be loading first - displaying what is the most important.

Of course, the front-end does not rescue all ecommerce sites if the server has crashed. But your ecommerce still communicates with your customers. Before you turn on your ecommerce again, you can display product pages, social media, comments - you gain the time. And you can hold the previous order in Cash. It's a killer feature - a disproportionately small investment vs a tooth matching action.

6. If you want to abandon Magento.

Consider these three areas: First, it is very hard to abandon Magento as a single project. In PWA the whole process can be divided into stages.

Second, an open secret is that the best front-end engineers don’t want to work in a Magento environment. It is because Magento 2 has technologies that become old very quickly and they didn’t even make it to the mainstream. In the front-end, there is a challenge to be up-to-date with all news and features. If you have a front-end in Magento, your store is even more backward.

Third, useful features. Modern frontend ecosystems like React offer many facilitated features for front-end e.g. hamburger menu for mobile. Without it your ecommerce does not exist. In Magento, there is no out of the box solution to implement it.

7. If you want to abandon SaaS frontend.

Perversely, it is easier to migrate from Saas to PWA. Shopify or Wocommerce offers limited possibilities to modify code. Engineers must use external extensions, so SaaS providers often deliver a good API standard. On the other hand, if you want to build your front-end independently from a SaaS vendor, PWA is the saving investment for the future.

8. If you want to save money.

If you have a good API (see the previous point), it is easier to create native iOS or Android applications. But if you have PWA you don’t need to pay for the app. PWA is so good that it does not stand from the app. Users are used to certain interfaces - there is not a page reloading on PWA. There is not such a big difference to an app. More savings, fewer things to be covered.

9. If you want to be the best ecommerce store.

PWA is a kind of philosophy. We sell our website and everything is targeted at PWA. Without this, you will not be able to dominate the market. Your website, your ecommerce, is your product. You can invest in technology, which will not be PWA - it is great now, but will come up short in the future. In PWA, the page adapts to the user. It checks the possibilities of browsers and tries to squeeze as much as possible. And improves your ecommerce all the time.

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Contact with: Michał