Progressive web application (PWA) technology was the buzzword of the past few years. Every major brand was developing their own implementations, and there were practically daily success stories emerging about the advantages for both users and businesses. But these days, it appears that the hype has subsided and we hardly hear about this technology.
What does this entail for you as the owner of an eCommerce company, then? When creating your digital strategy, should you seek elsewhere or were PWAs just a passing fad? These are the inquiries that this article will examine. We’ll examine PWA technology’s current relevance, its benefits, and whether or not you should incorporate it into your 2024 plans.
- Is PWA technology still relevant today?
- In 2023, major stakeholders increased their backing for PWA.
- What can PWAs do in 2024?
- PWAs and eCommerce trends for 2024
- The backbone of contemporary eCommerce front ends is PWAs.
Is PWA technology still relevant today?
Upon initial observation, one could legitimately question if PWA technology would remain pertinent come 2024. Approximately between late 2017 and early 2018, the largest boom took place. It’s not receiving as much attention from the typical quarters these days, and PWA implementation success stories appear to have dried up. Still, I think there’s more to the story, so let’s investigate.
The Google Trends report on “PWA” search volume for the previous five years can be found here. You can see that, with the exception of one significant spike in 2020 brought on by an unrelated incident—Thailand’s Provincial Waterworks Authority providing free tap water to households at the height of the COVID-19 crisis—it has been relatively stable. In contrast, the slight increase at the start of 2022 should be regarded with caution as this coincided with a modification in Google’s monitoring algorithm.
It is evident from the preceding data that the market for PWAs is, in fact, stagnating. Ultimately, in the realm of business, we are indoctrinated to view growth as the ultimate measure of success. However, another figure, this one for “PWA development,” shows that this is not always the case.
This is probably what’s going on: PWA technology is now widely used and well-known in the realm of big business. That eliminates the need for generic “PWA” searches because we already know its primary advantages. Instead, expanding businesses are requesting “PWA development” enquiries directly since they understand that the technology is suitable for them. There is still an upward tendency there, despite the chart’s obvious chaos.
It’s also probably the reason why the majority of case studies that highlight effective PWA deployments date back to 2017 and 2018, and we hardly ever see any fresh ones. It would be like writing “water is still wet” to publish a PWA case study today, but it doesn’t mean water is no longer important. It’s actually the exact opposite. The major players in the business have recently shown some much-needed support towards PWA technology.
In 2023, major stakeholders increased their backing for PWA.
Though, in theory, PWA technology was supported by all the major platforms, Google has historically been the main advocate for it. But in 2023, both Apple and Microsoft made a significant effort in this regard. It’s a glaring sign that technology is advancing quickly and securing its place in the industry through 2024.
Apple’s PWA commitment
Apple released iOS 16 earlier this year, demonstrating their commitment to PWA technology. With support for badging, the update included alerts so that web apps on the home screen may benefit from the web push standard. Additionally, it included an API that allows iOS and iPadOS browsers to activate the “Add to Home Screen” function.
That was only the start, though. The release notes for MacOS Sonoma and Safari 17 indicate a further integration of PWA technology along with some noteworthy enhancements and capabilities.
Adding web apps to the MacOS dock
The ability to easily add any web app to the main system dock is the largest nod toward PWAs offered with MacOS Sonoma. The installed apps can be opened at will in their own windows, and you can grant them access to system functions like “Focus,” “Screen Time,” “Notifications,” and “Stage Manager.” In addition, the installed web apps receive their own dedicated storage and can share files with other apps on the device because of Web Share API Level 2.
Improved service workers
Scripts known as service workers are essential to PWAs because they provide push alerts, offline functionality, data syncing, and other features. With the current Safari release, Apple’s developers have put a lot of effort into enhancing them, adding support for new APIs, and increasing their speed and dependability.
Finally, PWAs can now deliver silent push alerts because of enhancements made to the web push API. When it comes to automatically updating the content or state of the web application without notifying the user, that’s a big step forward.
Microsoft’s step toward PWAs
In contrast, Microsoft’s move was more of a business than a technological one. They declared this summer that PWA developers using PWABuilder will be able to offer their products for free publication on the Microsoft Store. This, along with a significant revision to their PWA development guidelines, is indicative that Microsoft’s decision-makers believe PWAs have a bright future.
What can PWAs do in 2024?
The features and capabilities of PWAs have been steadily growing yearly, as is the case with almost every technology. As we showed in the last part, PWA technology is not only getting better on its own, but companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are actively supporting it. In light of this, let’s examine the features of PWAs as of right now and discuss their implications for you and your clients.
Customers’ experiences can be greatly enhanced by the PWA’s ability to capture images and videos. For example, you might integrate barcode and QR code scanning and expedite customer service by creating clear issue documentation.
AR and VR projection
Adding an augmented or virtual reality (AR and VR) module that enables users to visually place 3D versions of your products in their surroundings is another benefit of having access to the camera. For example, you could let your clients virtually try on clothing or see how furniture would fit into their space. This can be particularly significant in the upcoming years, given that the introduction of Apple Vision Pro is probably going to spark a renewed interest in AR and VR in general and make them more widely available.
In light of the recent blurring of the lines between eCommerce and traditional brick-and-mortar retail, geolocation is another PWA feature that can significantly enhance your consumers’ quality of life. This enables the implementation of location-aware functionality, such as real-time tracking and store locators, which are useful when customers choose in-store pickup over delivery, for example. Moreover, you can make advantage of this feature to send the user location-based tailored content and other marketing materials.
One of the primary features that attracts users to PWAs is their capacity to provide push alerts. With real-time updates like promotion alerts, order status changes, and personalized recommendations, they can keep users informed and involved. Push notifications can be a more direct and efficient way to stay in touch with clients in a world where emails are easily ignored.
The usage of Bluetooth by PWAs is on the less evident, and perhaps even slightly undervalued, side of the spectrum. This creates a plethora of innovative applications inside the eCommerce domain. If you own a sports supplement store, for example, you may wish to link to customers’ activity monitors and utilize the information to recommend the best goods.
PWAs have complete access to the speech recognition features of the devices on which they are installed. For certain users, this may be just a question of convenience, but for others, it may be a major selling factor. Voice interaction is a significant step toward accessibility and inclusivity because of the ways in which some disabilities make normal modes of engaging with apps difficult or impossible.
Additionally, speech recognition is a way to future-proof your company. The field of natural language processing is gaining significant momentum at the moment. You can be certain that as time goes on, it will be used to ever-more-useful purposes in eCommerce, for which you’ll be prepared.
PWAs and eCommerce trends for 2024
Technology is a part of everyday life. If the technology doesn’t align with the current zeitgeist, even the most advanced and well-polished products won’t make it through the market. But PWAs appear to be in luck. The majority of the eCommerce trends that we are now seeing work in perfect harmony with PWAs and provide the technology room to flourish. Let’s examine a few instances of these synergies.
Composable commerce places a strong emphasis on the adaptability of component and service assembly and integration. Because PWAs are so flexible and modular, they can be easily integrated with a wide range of composable commerce services and APIs. By combining different commerce components, including shopping carts, payment gateways, product catalogs, and inventory management, straight into a PWA, you can take advantage of this synergy and create unique experiences. As a result, lean front and back ends and customized, agile eCommerce solutions are produced.
Providing a consistent purchasing experience across many channels, such as web, mobile, in-store, and social media, is the fundamental component of omnichannel commerce. PWAs are perfect for providing a cohesive shopping experience because they are responsive and cross-platform by nature. They could act as the main point of contact in an omnichannel plan. PWAs can guarantee a smooth experience for users whether they opt to shop online, visit a physical store, or interact on social media because of their offline capabilities.
By definition, marketplaces are large platforms with a plethora of features and choices. This can make it difficult to modify a normal online form to accommodate mobile devices and the constraints they present. PWAs are the ideal solution to this problem. They can help marketplace owners to develop simple, app-like experiences that are compatible with mobile devices. Key elements that are all available through a single PWA interface, such safe transactions, product reviews, seller ratings, and search functions, can be easily accommodated by them.
The backbone of contemporary eCommerce front ends is PWAs.
Even if PWAs haven’t received as much attention lately, the technology is still quite important and has a lot of potential for eCommerce companies in 2024 and beyond. As we’ve seen, PWAs are still developing and getting backing from the industry’s major players.
They provide a wide range of contemporary features and functionalities that improve user experience and easily take advantage of emerging eCommerce trends. PWAs have the capabilities to accomplish a variety of objectives, including streamlining customer service, offering immersive shopping experiences, and engaging customers with real-time updates. The way PWAs work in tandem with state-of-the-art eCommerce systems, like SAP composable storefront, demonstrates their ability to adapt and thrive in the dynamic world of digital commerce. As a smooth intermediary between your company and its clients, they provide individualized, responsive, cross-platform experiences.
PWAs are a progressive investment that can future-proof your eCommerce business in a tech-savvy environment where accessibility and user engagement are critical. In light of this, PWAs’ continued significance and promise should not be overlooked when developing your 2024 digital strategy. Please get in contact so that we can discuss how they could benefit your company.
Now, in the end, we hope that through this post you were able to know how PWA is the right choice for your business. Moreover, if you are looking for an ecommerce development company that can help you create a PWA app, then you should check out Appic Softwares.
We have an experienced team of PWA developers who have worked across various industries and managed all the projects efficiently. So, what are you waiting for?