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Top 7 Apps Analysed Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for eCommerce

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eCommerce PWAs: Top 7 Apps Analysed

The history of humanity is mostly obscure because early man had not invented ways to preserve knowledge. Everything had to be taught from person to person in an oral tradition. However, in the past few centuries, we have gone from papyrus reeds and other rudimentary forms to Progressive Web Apps.
Progressive Web Apps

What is a Progressive Web App? You ask. We will get to that in a minute.

The internet is where the collection of our human experience lives. eCommerce brands can benefit from what established brands have achieved.

In this instance, we are focusing on PWAs, what they offer a business, how they’ve worked for other established businesses we all know and frequent, as well as the benefits you can get. It is not just about focusing on what they have done well but what they did not do well to avoid falling in the same pit.

This article will look at the best of the PWA eCommerce landscape, how successful businesses have used them, and hopefully, get you started in this journey to enjoy the Progressive Web App benefits attached.

How PWAs Can Work with eCommerce

PWAs are the market’s response to the need for websites to feel like native mobile apps. The technology is now mature enough that you can make this a reality.

What is a Progressive Web App?  Progressive web apps are a technology that enables the building of web applications that mimic the experience of native mobile apps-all while still using web technologies like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

The PWAs provide the native-like experience by being accessible through a mobile home screen, enabling offline app access and push notifications.

It is thought that PWAs will soon overtake native apps. As a frontend, the PWA gives a brand a fast, responsive, and app-like experience that can also be connected to commerce tools and features using APIs to enhance conversion.  

Worldwide Brands That Used PWAs to Optimise Operations

In answering ‘what is a Progressive Web App,’ it is always prudent to look at real-world applications and results. Here are some renowned brands that have leveraged PWAs with great results.   

AliExpress – Monthly Traffic (666.5M)

AliExpress is a marketplace that markets itself globally, with a mobile commerce growth rate three times higher than the overall eCommerce market. The company could not replicate this level of success on the web since it wasn’t as fast as the mobile app.

The company built an app but had trouble getting users to install and engage with it. So, they went with a cross-browser PWA that brought together the best of their app and the expansive web reach.

The changes:

  • The iOS conversion rate jumped by 84%
  • Across all browsers, it gained 104% more new users
  • It doubled the number of pages visited per session for every user across browsers
  • Users spent 74% more time per session across all browsers


Lancome – Monthly Traffic (74.3K)

Lancome deals in French luxury perfumes and cosmetics. The company experienced growth on its mobile site but noted that the mobile conversion rates did not match those of desktop users. Consumers ran into obstacles when shopping on mobile.

So, the company focused on the mobile web, which would deliver a fast and engaging experience. For that, it leveraged PWA technology to give users an immersive experience comparable to apps. The results show a decrease in bounce rates after implementing the mobile experience across the board.

The change:

  • Mobile sessions saw a 51% increase
  • The bounce rate went down by 15%
  • There was a 17% increase in conversion
  • The time until a page is interactive reduced by 84%

Lancome - eCommerce PWAs

Flipkart – Monthly Traffic (258.4M)

As India’s largest e-commerce site, Flipkart has a lot of competition to deal with, given it is a market with more than a billion people. From the start, the company was using an app-only strategy, which it had to shut down after a while because it struggled to deliver the same experience on its mobile website.

Flipkart had to target the mobile market, which is why it started building Flipkart Lite, a PWA combining the web’s best features and those of Flipkart’s original app. 

The changes:

  • The time users spend on the site jumped from 70 seconds to 3.5 minutes
  • Overall, users spent more time on the site
  • The re-engagement rate went up by 40%
  • Those routed via Add to Homescreen saw a 70% greater conversion


Forbes – Monthly Traffic (123.6M)

Forbes, the renowned American business magazine, is published bi-weekly, featuring original articles from marketing, investments, finance, and industry.

Progressive Web Apps have changed how Forbes delivered this content to users online. Not only did the publication deliver visuals better and faster, but it also smoothed out the navigation experience across all platforms. Forbes uses the PWA approach to ensure that users get interesting reads once they install the subject or topic they like.

The publication can also send notifications to users about new content instantly. 

The changes:

  • Ad viewability went up by 20%
  • Engagement rose by 100%
  • There was 3 times more in scrolling depth
  • There was also a 43% increase in sessions per user


Starbucks – Monthly Traffic (36.3M)

The American coffee franchise released its mobile ordering app in 2015. After some time, change was necessary since emerging markets and established ones experienced growth. The new platform was designed to make sure that it could cater to everyone.

The company created a performant PWA on the web platform but used dynamic functionality to give it a native feel.

The ordering system was also tweaked to make it more user-friendly. What Starbucks ended up with was a performant, intuitive, and fast PWA that has the aesthetic and feel of a native app. 

The changes:

  • A PWA that feels and looks like a native app
  • Emerging markets can use the new web app even without reliable internet access
  • Customers can customize food and drink orders with ease

Progressive Web App - Starbucks

Twitter – Monthly Traffic (4.3B)

Twitter is where many people go to find out what is happening in the world. Twitter aimed to re-engage users on the mobile web. Twitter uses web push notifications on par with those from native apps, which arrive even when the browser is closed.

In addition, it also made Twitter Lite which uses less data by design, showing smaller media resources and using cached data whenever possible. There is also image optimization and tweaks to keep mobile data usage low.

Social media began to see the progressive web app benefits soon after switching to the PWA approach.

The changes:

  • Pages per session went up by 65%
  • There was a 75% increase in Tweets sent
  • The bounce rate went down by 20%


Tinder – Monthly Traffic (43.2M)

This location-based social search mobile app allows users to choose mates by swiping left or right and then engaging in chats if users match (swipe right on each other).

The app has a new PWA available to 100% of its users across desktop and mobile. It uses techniques to optimize JavaScript performance, Service Workers to make the network resilient, and Push Notifications for engagement. PWA eCommerce deployments can be tested using some basic features when testing the idea before full implementation.

Tinder noted the improvements in swiping, session lengths, and messaging.

The changes:

(*Exact figures aren’t available, but the following metrics improved)

  • Users were messaging more on the web than on native apps.
  • User purchases reached native apps levels.
  • Users edited their profiles more on the web than on native apps.
  • Sessions improved on the web compared to native apps.

Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

After looking at some of the success stories, it is clear that enabling smoother, native-like experiences across all devices are the way to go.

The key benefits reported by successful implementors of PWAs include:

An Expanded Audience

PWA eCommerce by design caters to any user across any platform. They respond better to screen size variations, which means that your reach expands from the limited native apps’ reach to engage everyone you can. Getting more users works in your favor if you’re prepared for it.


Being responsive is what PWAs do. With the multiple available layouts that change to fit different screen sizes and varying resolutions. A great experience improves sales and prompts users to visit more.

Development Takes Less Time and Money

Creating an app from scratch for both platforms requires experts with knowledge of various languages and skills. For a PWA, you need a developer proficient in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Because of that, you need fewer developers; if you need more than one at all, it depends on your preferences. In addition, you only have to develop one thing and apply it to both desktop and mobile.

More Speed

Site speed is a deciding factor for customers when looking for a place to shop. If you do not adhere to the 3-second rule, you could see more users leave. PWAs have a good handle on caching and other mechanisms to prevent friction and improve site performance.

Better Conversion

Because of the speed and accessibility PWAs offer, the businesses implementing them deliver a better experience which prompts visitors to stay in the store longer, look at more offerings and subsequently cause a rise in conversions across different browsers.

Magento Mobile App Features - The Best Mobile eCommerce Practices to Follow in 2021

Key Takeaways

  1. PWAs present an opportunity to reach a wider audience, convert more visitors and gain more sales.
  2. It is cheaper to build a PWA than to create native apps from scratch for all platforms.
  3. Many of the companies we have looked at were struggling with higher bounce rates, quality issues on mobile platforms, slow speeds, problematic content delivery optimization and more, until they switched to a ‘universal’ solution.


Final thoughts

It is no secret now that mobile is important to eCommerce. Without the audience, a business is usually not going to perform well, if at all, except under rare extenuating circumstances.

Business owners cannot overlook the importance and impact of an immersive, native-like, and smooth experience on their shoppers. For those hesitant about the touted progressive web app benefits, we advise starting with small steps like ‘Add to Home Screen’ and Push Notifications to see what changes, since full PWA development might seem like a daunting task.

Suppose you are in the process of looking for a proficient developer team that can deliver the Progressive Web App development. In that case, WebMeridian knows their stuff, and we are ready to guide you.

Here, we build power and performative PWAs that can prompt improvements in sales and the overall user experience across all platforms. We have proven experience in this segment, having worked with both emerging and established brands and offline and online businesses. We believe that we can deliver the expertise your business needs. Let’s talk!


UCC Coffee_ Development of Swiss Coffee Shop

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