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The progressive web app as a replacement for responsive design and native app

In the first part of our article, we already explained what distinguishes a progressive web app from known solutions such as responsive design and native app and offered an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of a PWA. In this article we will go into the importance of PWAs for SEO, show you best practice applications and reveal how the progressive web app is dealt with at Magento, Shopware & Spryker.

Whoever searches will find: The PWA and its importance for SEO

As mentioned, progressive web apps are also a topic for Google and the ranking in the popular search engines. 34% make up the visits by search engines in e-commerce. So keywords with high search volume are an important lever for online retailers. Falling download numbers of native apps, which are approaching zero, are of course an enormous problem: no download, no visibility - and vice versa. The fact that Google is interested in PWAs shows the internet giant's clear commitment to this technology.

That's not all there is to know about the liaison between PWA and SEO. We have already put together some tips:

  • Google is increasing its ability to read script languages ​​year after year. Since a PWA is based on JavaScript, it is recommended that you use a library or framework such as Angular, Polymer or React and follow the best practice SEO tips to control the crawling and rendering of JavaScript pages. If no framework is used, certain resources may need to be pre-rendered.
  • CSS and JavaScript should be delivered inline with the HTML. Despite the higher network load, the most important elements of the website are loaded directly.
  • In the future, website design, content and interaction points should be loaded on the client side using an API, since the implementation of PWAs aims to ensure that basic functions can always be used (progressive enhancement).

iOS vs. Android: who is ahead this time?

The answer is clear here: Android (currently). Most of the functions of a PWA are already supported via Android. For example, iOS currently still requires a permanent internet connection. Android prefers to use a high bandwidth as long as there is still a connection.

These online retailers are leading the way: best practice examples

Forbes Magazine:

The business magazine launched its own website as a progressive web app at the beginning of 2017. This site delivers the best results in terms of usability and performance. With the best loading times, Forbes.com was able to reduce the average time it took to render content from 6.5 seconds to 2.5 seconds. Tests also showed that the session duration of the users doubled and the page views increased by 20%.

Lancôme:

The luxury cosmetics brand Lancôme achieved a 17% increase in conversion rate after launching a PWA. In addition, mobile sessions on iOS increased by 53%. By means of push notifications, 8% of the users could be won back to the shop and converted. The conversion on mobile devices increased to a higher value than could be achieved via the desktop website.

AliExpress:

The internationally known online marketplace AliExpress is growing three times faster in mobile commerce than in e-commerce. First of all, based on these numbers, the download rate of your own native app should be increased. However, this did not lead to the desired success and so the decision was made to use a progressive web app solution. 104% more new users were generated, and the conversion rate under iOS even increased by 82% with the PWA. In addition, the number of pages visited doubled per session, which also increased the average duration of the sessions by 74%.

With a system: Magento, Shopware and Spryker think of progressive web apps

As a partner agency of the three systems mentioned, their position on the topic is of course essential. We have summarized the most important information for you.

Magento: With Magento 2.3 comes the PWA-Studio

Already in the recap for Magento Imagine we reported about the innovations within version 2.3 of Magento and of course about the PWA-Studio. It is a real milestone: The PWA studio provides developers with an extensive tool set to develop frontends as progressive web apps in the future. Progressive web apps are to be understood as an alternative front-end technology compared to the standard Responisve Design Template. With the PWA Studio, a PWA Standard Theme (Venia Theme) optimized for conversion and performance will also be available.

You can find out more about the Magento PWA Studio here.

Spryker: Optimal connection through modular structure

Spryker enables its customers the highest level of agility and speed to implement customer-centric digital business models without long lead times. The steadily growing number of customer touchpoints and the resulting complexity of the customer journey require the flexibility to create customer access via all current and future digital touchpoints. The modular operating system Spryker Commerce OS offers optimal conditions for the development of a progressive web app.

Shopware: the playground is coming

As already explained, a progressive web app needs a JavaScript based solution in order to work. Since Shopware does not meet this requirement, the implementation here is complicated. However, the system has a PHP code base, which currently only enables implementation via its own built API. With the new Shopware Playground and the associated API-based system, Showare has already shown at the SCD 2018 in Duisburg that such topics are also noted on the roadmap.