Having been on the market for quite a while, Magento PWA Studio and Vue Storefront are the current go-to platforms for brands that want to expand their presence. But to know which one of them can really help your business is, of course, no easy matter.
Realizing that there’s a gap in the current public knowledge about popular PWA eCommerce platforms such as the two above-mentioned ones, today in SimiCart’s article, we’ll be having a deep-dive on the matter—in order to help you finally choose a fitting platform for your business.
Progressive Web Apps and why should you care
First, let’s start with the whys.
If you’ve been catching up with the development trends within the eCommerce sphere, chances are you’d know that Progressive Web App is the hot right now. The reason for this is relatively simple—PWA offers everything online stores need in this omnichannel time.
Customers who shop on PWA-powered stores oftentimes realize a noticeable difference in their shopping experience, which includes changes such as reduced touch-points, instant load time, offline capability and most importantly—the app-like interface of Progressive Web Apps.
With its cutting-edge features utilizing the latest technological advancements, PWA is capable of revolutionizing the typical web experience and transforming the shopping experience for the better. The new shopping experience powered by PWA is poised to be fast, engaging and responsive across all devices.
Recommended reading: Benefits of a Progressive Web App for your business
A brief introduction to Magento PWA Studio and Vue Storefront PWA
Magento PWA Studio
Recently introduced by Magento themselves, Magento PWA Studio is a set of tools to help merchants optimize their stores to the fullest by implementing elements of Progressive Web Apps on top of Magento 2. With Magento PWA Studio, merchants can have access to the latest front-end architecture and open web APIs to rebuild their stores into the latest standard.
Advantages of Magento PWA Studio
- Access to up-to-date development tools: Tools provided by Magento PWA Studio are always up-to-date and with the most extensive documentation.
- Ease of development: Magento PWA Studio was created with the aim of moving adoptions of PWAs forward, thus ease of development was put at the highest priority.
- Strong community: The Magento PWA Studio community is always there to help new-comers.
- GraphQL: Using GraphQL as its leading technology, PWAs built with PWA Studio can have next-to-none over-fetching and better handling of multiple users from various sources.
Cons of Magento PWA Studio
- Platform-specific: Magento PWA Studio requires that your store must be on Magento 2.3 and above. This is both a good and a bad thing, as in this way there’s more leeway to develop and improve on Magento PWA Studio and not having to worry about platform-compatibility.
- Lack of compatibility with older versions: One reason that makes stores hesitant to adopt Magento PWA Studio is because of its lack of compatibility with older versions, which is mainly due to GraphQL schema changes between updates.
To check if a website is built with Magento PWA Studio, we recommend our PWA Studio Checker tool as it’s proven to be quite an accurate and effective way for the job.
Another recently emerged platform for eCommerce PWA development is Vue Storefront – the open-source, platform-agnostic PWA. Vue Storefront requires no specific type of back-end for full functionalities, as the platform itself is headless and works on any eCommerce platform.
Pros of Vue Storefront
- Platform agnostic: Vue Storefront works on all eCommerce platform
- Open-source: Anyone can contribute to improve on the front-end platform
Cons of Vue Storefront
- Incompatibilities: Lots of unresolved issues with existing eCommerce platforms
- Does not allow the use of jQuery or other dependencies
- Documentation is lacking: There are various complaints about the troublesome installation process with Vue Storefront and its lack of comprehensive documentation.
A detailed comparison
For those of you who feel that just looking through the pros and cons shouldn’t be enough, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll be having a deep-dive comparison into the two popular eCommerce PWA platforms:
Looking at the general comparison, it’s clear that Vue Storefront should be the superior choice here. But upon closer inspection, it doesn’t seem that way.
While Magento PWA Studio was only released back in late 2018 (which is almost one year later than Vue’s release date), the platform takes no time at all to mature. It now has a number of contributors comparable to that of Vue’s; and the community is strong, helpful toward anyone who wants to learn it, and packed with potentials.
Tech-wise, these two eCommerce PWA platforms are quite similar, with both of them offering server-side rendering to partially help with your store’s search engine optimizations; but the minor differences —i.e. ReactJS—that we can see here consequently are the reason that one platform is superior in terms of performance than the other. Compared to VueJS which is used by Vue Storefront, ReactJS is vastly better for both the developing and shopping experience. With ReactJS, Magento developers can enjoy the support from the largest, strongest, and most famously supportive community of users in and outside of Magento.
When it comes to features offered, these two PWA platforms are toe to toe with each other, with Vue Storefront being a little behind in terms of features. It’s worth noting that not too long ago, Vue Storefront was the platform to have the high ground here, so Magento’s development progress is actually impressive and in fact, better than many of its counterparts thanks to the nature of the platform itself being a platform-specific approach.
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What the customers say
After all, it’s the customers who should know best. Let’s dig in to see what other store owners who have tried out either one of these platforms have to say:
Magento PWA Studio
As a brand whose mission is to provide awe-inspiring collections of haute couture for women everywhere, Bianca Nera needed a storefront that best portrays the elegance of their products—and naturally, a Progressive Web App is it.
With Magento PWA Studio to streamline the whole development work—and also with SimiCart as the solution provider of choice, the brand was able to see a revamp in the way shopping is done on-site, as well as a major upgrade of the existing back-end infrastructure.
Thanks to the newly found speed, combined with the app-like look and feel that are characteristic of PWA, Bianca Nera was able to see outstanding results, including:
- 45% increase in pages per session
- 103% faster average page load time
- 61% growth in online revenue
The work done on the store’s back-end infrastructure has also enabled for more intuitive management of content, thanks to Magento’s own Content Management System (CMS), with which the store was able to not only effortlessly manage and build content but also to create new and compelling shopping experiences in order to keep up with ever-moving trends.
Being an older platform in the PWA market, Vue Storefront has no shortage of customer stories to name. One prominent case that comes to mind is the story of Kubota.
The Polish shoe brand, Kubota, isn’t formerly known as a well-known nor a well-doing brand. In fact, the brand’s decision to go with PWA eCommerce was that of a “make it or break it” one. It was, however, fortunate as PWA isn’t really known to disappoint.
With their mobile-first strategy aimed at the huge percentage of modern shoppers who much prefer the convenience of shopping on their smartphones, Kubota was able to achieve unparalleled results:
- 192% growth of daily visitors
- 94% more keywords in Top 3 YoY
- 30% improved loading time
The decision to go with PWA, specifically the decision to go with Vue Storefront platform, served as a much-needed for the brand to get back into the eCommerce market. After this, the brand has been a sensation among retro fashion lovers everywhere ever since and is expected to be even more relevant in the coming years, as retro fashion is making its way back in waves.
Make an informed decision
Now all that’s left for you to do is make a decision on which one should you go with. While both of these platforms has its perks, you should always choose one that best fits your needs as well as your store’s.
For Magento store owners, though, we feel that you can’t really go wrong with Magento PWA Studio as it offers the best support for your store’s existing infrastructure. The available tools offered by Magento PWA Studio have been proven to work and work well in all situations with high adjustability to your development needs.
And in case you ever need a trusted solution for your Magento store, here at SimiCart, we are a team of Magento experts with over 8 years of experience, ready to transform your Magento store into a lighting fast PWA: