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The number of mobile users is due to reach 4.78 billion by 2020 and more than 50% of commerce happens on mobile. For an eCommerce business, finding the best way to interact with this audience is key!

Users expect:

  • A personalised user experience with tailored messages and offerings
  • Notifications with delivery information and new stock arrivals
  • Location services/GPS tracking for local information
  • Offline capabilities
  • Access to camera for Scanning, Barcodes and Augmented Reality
  • Fast loading speeds

Impressive features, an eCommerce business can and should be exploiting. Traditionally this functionality was exclusive to native apps. But with the number of apps downloaded each month plummeting, is the native app worth the hefty 20k+ price tag? And with 100s of holiday pics to store, do users really want to download large storage hungry apps anymore? An alternative is a Progressive Web App (PWA).

What is a PWA?

A fully responsive website and app-like functionality without having to build and pay for a native app.

  • Offering a fast app-like experience to users whilst still appearing in search result pages
  • Branded icon on the home screen like a native app
  • Loading speeds doubled compared to a mobile site
  • Easy to maintain using standard web technologies
  • Access to device capability such as camera, location services, notifications.
  • Offline capabilities

PWAs also provide impressive website performance enhancements:

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To find more benefits take a look at the AppInstitute here.

Progressive Web App vs Native app

The beauty of the PWA framework is that it can be sat on top of an existing platform, thus preserving the investment into an existing website offering all the features of an app without having to invest in a separate native version.

In addition, if you decide to change web platforms in the future, the PWA can simply be re-directed to your new web platform and preserve your front-end investment.

If you’re interested in learning more about PWAs and what they could do for your business, contact Evolve Retail to discuss your ideas today.


Does PWA work with every web platform?

A PWA can work as a stand-alone website, however, if you’ve already got a relatively new, functioning website, a PWA can be sat on top of the platform to deliver an enhanced UX.

Can PWA integrate with my ERP system?

Yes, the PWA has an API allowing it to integrate with any other system which has an API, too. Also, the chances are that the platform would integrate to the ERP and the PWA would integrate to the platform so if there is already a connection this could be utilized and extended.

How difficult is a PWA to maintain?

Our PWAs are built using a common web language – JavaScript, meaning that there are 1000’s of developers who can help to maintain your system. If required, an admin area can be built into your PWA to allow you to manage as much as you wish.

How much does a PWA cost? 

It depends on the complexity of the functionality you require. If you’d like the PWA to make up the complete framework of your website, this could cost from £20k+. If you’d like the PWA to sit on top of your existing website, this could cost as little as £6k.

Should every retailer use a PWA?

Clearly not – some retailers can absolutely justify the investment in a “native app” rather than a PWA. If your site is a site that the consumer will be visiting daily and making continuous repeat purchases, it may be worth the additional cost. You see this in the likes of Amazon and Ocado but for many large and successful retailers the full cost and management time is just not worth the effort.

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