Magento Announces Availability of PWA Studio to Help Merchants Optimize their Multi-Channel Retail Strategies

Mobile MarketingNews

There’s no ques­tion that mobile is the most trans­for­ma­tive force in retail today, a trend that was on full dis­play through­out the 2018 hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son. Accord­ing to the Adobe Ana­lyt­ics Hol­i­day report, mobile traf­fic soared with more than half (51.4%) of traf­fic orig­i­nat­ing from smart­phones alone yet mobile account­ed for just 31 per­cent of rev­enue. This is a stark reminder that many retail­ers have yet to crack the code on improv­ing mobile con­ver­sion rates and the com­plex­i­ty of build­ing and opti­miz­ing expe­ri­ences across chan­nels.

Today, we are excit­ed to announce the gen­er­al release of Pro­gres­sive Web Appli­ca­tions (PWA), a suite of tools for build­ing online stores with app-like expe­ri­ences that help mer­chants solve the mobile con­ver­sion dilem­ma and deliv­ery of high­ly per­son­al­ized cross-chan­nel expe­ri­ences, in addi­tion new inno­va­tions across Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud that help retail­ers excel in CXM across phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal store­fronts.

PWAs rep­re­sent a seis­mic advance­ment in the evo­lu­tion of the mobile web, sim­i­lar in mag­ni­tude to the tran­si­tion that hap­pened five years ago from con­ven­tion­al desk­top sites to respon­sive web design. PWAs blur the lines between mobile app and mobile site by equip­ping mer­chants and devel­op­ers with a new front-end archi­tec­ture that allows them to lever­age open web APIs to build “app-like’ expe­ri­ences direct­ly in the brows­er that are fast, engag­ing, boost online con­ver­sions and enhance the per­va­sive­ness of the in-store expe­ri­ence.

PWAs Solve Mul­ti­ple Chal­lenges for Retail­ers

When exe­cut­ed prop­er­ly, native apps can pro­vide an expe­ri­ence that is so fric­tion­less that they pro­vide a much bet­ter shop­ping expe­ri­ence than the desk­top (think Apple or Ama­zon). The prob­lem is that mobile apps are expen­sive to build and main­tain and con­sumers only use apps from brands with which they reg­u­lar­ly inter­act. Accord­ing to For­rester, most brands can­not expect to con­vince even 10% of cus­tomers to down­load their app — mean­ing their mobile web­site han­dles the vast major­i­ty of cus­tomer inter­ac­tions.

This is where PWAs shine: they deliv­er fast and slick “app-like” expe­ri­ences in the mobile web brows­er, allow­ing retail­ers to tack­le mul­ti­ple chal­lenges at once:

  • Faster Brows­ing– PWAs are much faster to inter­act with as well as pro­vide smoother scrolling and tran­si­tion­ing of pages as the expe­ri­ence “pro­gres­sive­ly” changes thus remov­ing the need for pages to “re-load”. Ear­ly adopters such as AliEx­press have seen 100% jump in con­ver­sion rates since mak­ing the switch and Google even pro­vide a test­ing tool (Light­house) so you can bench­mark your PWA’s per­for­mance
  • Instant “App” Grat­i­fi­ca­tion– PWAs are instant­ly dis­cov­er­able and usable via the brows­er, thus elim­i­nat­ing the need to “down­load” or “install” an app before use.
  • Push Noti­fi­ca­tions– An excit­ing propo­si­tion for online mar­keters is that PWAs sup­port push noti­fi­ca­tions (on Android devices) in the brows­er, extend­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty for mar­keters to send real-time, con­tex­tu­al and per­son­al­ized com­mu­ni­ca­tions with a sim­ple “one click” opt-in direct­ly from the PWA site.
  • Rapid Re-Engage­ment –  Just like a native app, a PWA can be “saved” to the home screen (on Android devices), allow­ing for rapid repeat access with­out the need to open the brows­er and type in a URL. Fur­ther­more, PWAs oper­ate in “full-screen” mode, hid­ing the brows­er URL bar on the top and the brows­er nav­i­ga­tion tools on the bot­tom of the screen for a native “app-like” look and feel.

While gen­er­al aware­ness of PWAs is on the rise, their impact extends far beyond mobile. PWAs enable func­tion­al­i­ty such as push noti­fi­ca­tions and loca­tion to be built into the archi­tec­ture of the web­site, lev­el­ing the play­ing field for all brands to deliv­er high­ly per­son­al­ized cross-chan­nel expe­ri­ences at pre­cise­ly the right time, all at a frac­tion the cost of a mobile app. Retail­ers for exam­ple can build con­tex­tu­al in-store capa­bil­i­ties into their PWA such as native inte­gra­tion with the device cam­era to scan shelf bar­codes and inte­grat­ed pay­ments with Google and Apple Pay for in-store pur­chas­es. The ben­e­fit of PWA’s in the store is that they are instant­ly acces­si­ble via the brows­er, fast and reli­able mean­ing retail­ers don’t have to con­nect con­sumers to their in-store wi-fi to deliv­er a great mobile expe­ri­ence with their brand.

They also have the poten­tial to open-up a whole new world for store asso­ciates. Shop­pers expect sales asso­ciates to be knowl­edge­able about online prod­ucts, which can be a logis­ti­cal chal­lenge. Look­ing for­ward, PWAs have the poten­tial to replace lega­cy POS sys­tems and retail asso­ciate plat­forms pro­vid­ing a fast, effi­cient and cost-effec­tive way for store asso­ciates to locate prod­uct online and in-store, pro­vide self-check­out, ser­vice returns and save the sale and more direct­ly from an employee’s smart­phone.

From boost­ed cus­tomer and in-store engage­ment and high­er con­ver­sions to low­ered devel­op­ment costs, PWAs offer unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties for mer­chants. To learn more about PWAs and how they can help your busi­ness vis­it the Magen­to booth at NRF #4125 and booth #4837 for inno­va­tions across Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud.


Mobile Marketing, News
Digital Europe

Posted on 01-15-2019


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