In today’s time, as almost every second person is using a smartphone for his daily activities, no ecommerce brand can afford to lose sales by not having a presence on the smartphones of their target audience. Almost every business is trying to deliver a better shopping experience across mobile and other devices. The ecommerce website owners are looking for different technology mediums instead of the traditional android & iOS mobile apps. The evolution of Progressive Web Application technology was like a boon to meet these requirements of the online retailers. Even big organizations such as Twitter, Alibaba, Trivago, Walmart, etc. have started using this technology. They got multiple benefits from this, they doubled their growth and observed the fastest growth in revenue than ever. Thus, it risen the online retailers demand creating a PWA of their ecommerce store.
There are many built-in solutions in the market that you can use for developing a PWA of your existing store regardless of the CMS or framework it is built on. One such top-notch solution is Shopware PWA. Shopware PWA allows you to create a website visually and functionally resembling a native mobile application, only it will be displayed on a web browser. In this article, we will know all the different aspects of the Shopware PWA.
An Introduction To Shopware PWA
It is completely platform-agnostic, and use Shopware 6 headless Sales Channel API. The front-end library is of VueJS, and use Node.js as a server-API. The database employs Elastic Search and gives a near mobile-native look & feel.
Why Opt For A New Storefront?
Currently, the frontend of Shopware 6 comes with a full-stack architecture. Using Shopware PWA, the frontend developers will have very little dependency on the backend. Shopware PWA has been built from scratch to incorporate modern approach from the Vue and JS space like logic decomposition, server-side rendering, isomorphism. It is not just a new frontend but it also opens the gateway of application architectures build for individual customer experiences.
A Bit About Vue Storefront
This is an open-source frontend build on the architecture of headless commerce, thus the frontend developers can make changes in the frontend without impacting the backend. It allows online retailers to provide a better mobile experience in comparison to other PWA solutions. Vue Storefront popularity has grown exponentially in the last few years. The results of this technology were really impressive in terms of business metrics such as:
- 60% higher mobile engagement
- It takes 2 seconds to load on mobile
- App size gets reduced by 90% in comparison to a native mobile app
How Is Shopware PWA Different From The Other PWA Solutions?
Shopware PWA has been built with Vue Storefront collaboration, building next-generation PWA technology on years of experience. This close collaboration allows Shopware to align on a fundamental levelthe and a highly sophisticated integration. Plugin support, CMS system integration, checkout, payment and other architectural results demonstrate this. Shopware is also working on future implications like theming system, internal API by which the Shopware developers can easily communicate with Shopware APIs, 3rd party extensions integration and much more.
How Shopware Store API & CMS Work With PWA?
A PWA is a standalone application that you can host on a separate server using the backend of your Shopware store. This headless architecture gives you the freedom to scale your front end without depending on the backend. The only runtime connection between the PWA and backend is the Store API. Although it is a clear decoupling, still there are Shopware 6 core features built on the PWA project.
This is an important factor that differentiates from another approach as it uses the unique visual editor from the admin and follows the same approach from CMS to the PWA frontend.
Shopware Store API
There is a Store-API that comes with Shopware as an abstraction of a storefront. It is a business-driven API that is highly functional. Unlike the traditional approach of data-driven APIs, you have to design these business-driven APIs following their functionalities. You can find a hundred ways of designing a checkout API, but a few will behave predictably. You have to find these. Developing an API and Shopware API simultaneously will let you quickly iterate and battle-test both against one another.
Shopware CMS Within The PWA
In the Shopware ecosystem, Shopware API supports Shopware 6 CMS. In this CMS, you can define layouts from the Admin Panel and design visual experiences. The admin is user-friendly by which even the non-technical users can create layouts without involving developers. The PWA will resolve this configuration in a visual layout, just like the Shopware frontend. You can also use custom widgets (sections, blocks, elements, etc) to extend the CMS and using the PWA frontend.
Shopware Plugins Within The PWA
The plugins in Shopware 6 are vertically integrated which give many benefits. Thus they can interfere with the database using business logic, events, templates, to the API. So plugins are a great medium for customizations in Shopware core like the Shopware B2B Suite.
However, in the JS frontends like PWA, the “sphere” of influences stops at the API. Almost everything else will contradict the approach of having a decoupled architecture.
Although many plugins can additions to Shopware, Shopware is still working on integrating plugins with Shopware PWA. This led to implementing a way that Shopware Plugins can provide resources (i.e. custom UI components or more sophisticated logic) that can be requested through the Admin API at build time.
Why Use A PWA For Your Shopware Store?
PWAs comes with many great opportunities for an organization dealing in the ecommerce business. Let’s know the main benefits that PWAs give to your business:
a. Fast Performance
Do you know that if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load then more than half of the users will leave your site?
PWAs are highly fast in terms of speed, thus you don’t need to worry about the loading speed. They use Cache API and Service Workers through which they can serve text, images, and other content very speedily & efficiently.
b. Small App Size
Although the fast and unlimited internet connection is available everywhere, the mobile space is limited and using huge apps can result in slow mobile speed. Thus, many users abstain from downloading and installing large mobile apps. On the other side, PWAs occupies very little space compared to native apps. Let’s consider Twitter which became a PWA last year. At that time, its Android app size was 23.5 MB, iOS app size was 116.5 MB while the PWA app size was 600KB.
c. Offline Working
No website can work without the internet, and this is the main distinguishing property between a website and a PWA. A PWA can seamlessly work offline. The in-built service workers stores the content and thus the users don’t have to download it again & again and they can use it while being offline.
d. No Need For Installation Or Upgrade
The users don’t need to download a PWA or upgrade it regularly unlike a native mobile application. A user can download it from the website itself. They get updated automatically. The users will not even get notifications or any permission for updating. When the users download a PWA, they can access it through a desktop icon. Many browsers even offer CTA which encourages the users to download the PWAs while they visit a website.
e. SEO Friendly
In comparison to an ecommerce website, a PWA is more indexable thus it improves the SEO of your website. Also, Google ranks higher those websites which have a faster loading speed.
f. Boost User Engagement
On Google I/O 2017, it was said that the UX of a native mobile app is 20 times higher in comparison to a web app. PWA apps come with the same ratio. Also, the users can add them on their mobile screen and they will also get push notifications just like native apps.
Also, opening a mobile app is quick in comparison to opening a website. You don’t need to write a keyword in a search engine or site URL in the Address bar, you just have to tap on the app’s icon.
g. Improved Security
PWAs are based on HTTPS i.e. SSL certificate for data safety and reducing the risk of security issues. SSL allows precluding snooping and content tampering. Also, the applications take advantage of Web Bluetooth technology that includes certain security capabilities.
Difference Between PWAs & Native Mobile Apps
Let’s know the differences between PWAs & Mobile Apps in brief:
|Progressive Web Apps
|Native Mobile Apps
|PWA is an app that runs in a browser and behaves just like a native mobile app
|A native mobile app is built specifically for one platform
|Don’t need a separate codebase, don’t need to install them from Google Play Store or Apple App Store
|There is a separate code for each platform such as Android or iOS
|Superior user experience through modern web standards
|Unbeatable user experience due to native hardware access
|Relative cheaper than a native mobile app as it runs on multiple platforms with a single code
|Requires higher budget to write platform-specific code
|“Add to Home Screen” prompts the user to add it on the mobile screen
|Need to download from the app store
|Occupy very little memory space
|Requires more space
|Works well in slower network and also works offline
|Needs higher data consumption and network
In this article, we have gone through all the aspects of Shopware PWA including its architecture, API and benefits. At Emizentech, the leading Shopware development company in India, we can develop exciting ecommerce stores from scratch on Shopware and built their PWAs as well. Let us know your requirements.