9 Must-Have Features of a Progressive Web App (PWA) for E-Commerce
- Mobile-first interface
- Social integration
- Web push notification
- Reporting & analytics
- Live chat
- Enhanced checkout
- Web payments
- Search engine optimization
E-commerce is one of the top-growing sectors for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs allow businesses to deliver great app-like experience on the web to effectively engage and convert customers. Due to its high performance, online businesses of all sizes are finding PWAs the best fit to replace their slow, clunky websites. The number of PWA adoption is increasing among ecommerce websites, but not all of them are actually generating added value for their online stores.
Recommended reading: Did you know What PWA is?
Having a PWA for your business is the right move to make, but it does not necessarily guarantee success.
Meanwhile, businesses with the most successful PWA storefronts have one thing in common: They are committed to improving customer experience by enriching their online stores with innovative features.
Don’t be left behind!
If you’re thinking of building your PWA-based store or already have a live PWA, make sure these must-have features are included to offer a solid shopping experience that ultimately impacts your bottom line.
The list has been narrowed down to 9 must-have features of a Progressive Web App (PWA) for E-commerce
Must-Have Features for Your E-Commerce Progressive Web App (PWA)
1. Mobile-first Interface
Built primarily for mobile, PWAs require a mobile-first approach when it comes to user interface design. By aligning its components with mobile device’s unique features, you can tailor the PWA interface to mobile users. It’s important to forget about conventional web design when designing for a PWA.
In terms of experience, A PWA is much like a typical native app from the user point of view. So it’s great to take native app design as inspiration and benchmark to build an app-like interface. Your PWA should be built around user expectation of a native app to reach its full potential and deliver a mobile-first experience in your online store.
In case you need something inspiring to create your own PWA, check out our list of best PWA examples.
2. Social Integration
Integrations with your customers’ favorite social networks are great for acquisition and engagement of your PWA. Using social media platforms you can streamline registration process for new users by letting them log in quickly via preferred social account. It removes the hassle to fill a long form before enjoying the benefits of signed up customers.
Social integration provide even more meaningful ways for your online users to interact with your brand: It allows customers to share their wishlist, orders and reviews via social networks. They can like your products and categories and post comments on your store products pages. All these capabilities ultimately lead to higher brand visibility on social networks, which is much effective to attract high quality new users for your online store.
3. Web Push Notification
For businesses looking to engage more users in their PWA store, web push notification will be one of their most-used features. Push notifications provide the most personal channel to connect with customers in real-time, on their smartphones.
With a simple one click opt-in directly from the PWA, targeted push message can be sent to user’ device based on location or behavior. These notifications look and feel just like those from native app, even if the browser is not currently running. Web push messages have delivered drastically higher engagement and retention from push-enabled users, according to case studies by Google.
Successful businesses are leveraging this channel as a crucial part of their mobile engagement strategy, as it’s shown valuable impact on their bottom line.
4. Reporting & Analytics
Another feature that all the best PWAs have in common is Analytics. The best way to optimize your PWA performance is having a comprehensive Analytics system integrated into the web app.
With integrated analytics, you can have a bird-eye view on user patterns and overall performance of your PWA. To achieve that, the analytics system collects and report data so you can make sense of user experience within the web app and identify area for improvements.
While offering unique functionalities like offline mode, PWA can be more complicated to track its events if users are offline. To deal with this, popular analytics system like Google Analytics, Mixpanel,..have embraced the capability to collect data regardless of internet condition. Offline events can be queued and sent to the system when network is available.
Keeping track of these data on a regular basis allows you to optimize your PWA for deeper engagement and better conversion, which ultimately translate into sales growth.
5. Live Chat
As the most preferred support channel, offering live chat on the PWA store is a must for any customer-centric business. For your online business, live chat is the best way to stay connected with customers and help them through their pain points.
For customers, using live chat is the most convenient way to access an online support agent and get instant response to their inquiries right when they’re browsing your PWA.
By proactively reach out and resolving problems quickly, online businesses can better manage engagement experience and build more valuable customer relationships. The must-have feature is proven to increase purchases, boost customer loyalty and spread positive brand experience through word-of-mouth.
6. Enhanced Checkout
Allowing users to complete desired task quickly is the major advantage of a PWA. Because ecommerce PWAs are all about making online purchases, checkout is the main area for optimization if you want to create great revenue for your business. To achieve that, a set of features and functionalities to help customers complete checkout quickly and easily is required.
According to your business particular needs, you may turn to address auto-complete, one-page checkout or one-click purchase features to streamline experience for online shoppers. Using these checkout enhancements, businesses can create a fast and seamless path to complete order that maximize conversion and revenue. The simplified checkout process is well-suited for a PWA where converting sales is the most prominent goal.
7. Web Payments
Payment request is a perfect feature to optimize PWAs for quick task completion. The new API by Google – Payment request promises to improve payment experience for web users from the ground up. It eliminates checkout form for online shoppers by combining shipping, billing information and payment method into one step. The standard enables fast and seamless payment processing that allows customers to pay easily via its native UI. Supporting various payment systems, payment request makes it easy to integrate any type of payment method to fit user preference and business demand.
Learn how payment request works on shopping sites in the below video:
Security should be a top priority for every online business. Having control over your site’s security is required for it to be recognized as a PWA. To be more specific, you need to serve your web app via HTTPS with a security certificate. It makes sure that all online users have a secured connection to your PWA by safeguarding any data transfer between them and the server.
Using HTTPS for the entire site helps protect payment transactions, secure user accounts, keep their communications, identity and browsing private.
With HTTPS enabled, it will automatically be marked as secured by the browser, which is visible to any visitor to your PWA. Showing visitors that the PWA is secured can build trust among your customers, improving sales and conversion accordingly. Plus, sites using HTTPS will receive a healthy boost in their search rankings by Google.
9. Search Engine Optimization
In favor of discoverability, PWAs can be indexed by search engines, making great app-like experience accessible from the search results.
However, a PWA is not friendly to search engines by default.
- Provide canonical tag when serving content from various online sources to avoid duplication.
- Make use of Fetch as Google tool to test how Google index your PWA.
- Make sure the page don’t use fragmented identifiers (everything after the hash symbol in its URL) as Google will ignore them.
- Use Schema.org metadata that matches your page content to improve its appearance in search engines
SimiCart Progressive Web Apps
With over eight years working in the e-commerce field, SimiCart developed Progressive Web Apps with e-commerce in mind. As a result, SimiCart PWA supports all must-have features of a PWA for e-commerce mentioned above, and more.
A SimiCart customer, Shopkees, has driven amazing results since launching their PWA storefront:
- 124% increase in page load speed
- 20% lift in mobile conversion
- 36% higher online revenue
SimiCart is here to answer your every PWA-related question and needs. And especially for online merchants looking for an all-around perfect PWA solution for your Magento webstore, we offer a complete and cost-effective solution for you and your store.