What’s PWA and why should it be used to create a mobile version for Magento stores?


Nearly 72.6% of all internet users worldwide will only access websites via mobile devices by 2025. This number is 3.7 billion. It presents huge opportunities for online business. It’s no surprise that mobile commerce sales will increase by 50% to $700 Billion by 2025. These […]

Nearly 72.6% of all internet users worldwide will only access websites via mobile devices by 2025. This number is 3.7 billion. It presents huge opportunities for online business. It’s no surprise that mobile commerce sales will increase by 50% to $700 Billion by 2025.

These figures show how important it is to provide mobile support in an online store. Adobe provided a progressive web application (PWA) technology for Magento merchants. The Adobe Commerce 2.4.4 release made it possible to offer promotions and personalization to the PWA.

PWA is one the fastest and easiest ways to create a mobile version for a web shop. This article will explain what PWA is, and the benefits it offers to an online store.


What is PWA? And what are its benefits to you?

Although progressive web apps (PWAs) are gaining popularity very recently, Google invented the term in 2015. However, its concept was created more than a decade before.

Steve Jobs was the first person to speak publicly about the PWA concept at the 2007 presentation of the iPhone. Jobs suggested that developers create mobile apps using standard web technologies.


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Google defines PWA as software that delivers.

  • Reliability. They are reliable even in unstable networks and they do not inform users if a website is unavailable.
  • Fast work. PWA responds quickly to user interactions, while simultaneously offering smooth animations.
  • Engagement. A progressive web app should feel like a native app.

PWA vs. native applications

PWA and native apps can both be used on mobile. The main difference between native apps and PWA is that they run directly on the device.

Native applications are created by developers using a variety of programming languages such as Java and Swift for iOS, or Kotlin (for Android). Progressive web apps can also be created using web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Comparing native app to PWA has two key benefits: the latter is more closely tied to the device’s OS, which allows for greater functionality and faster execution native code. PWA offers many benefits that make it attractive for both developers and users.


What makes a progressive web application feel like a native one?

A progressive web app is essentially a website rendered in the web browser. However, it feels and looks like a native application to the user.

The app shell approach is a key part of these feelings. PWA uses the app shell to build the UI skeleton. The app shell is kept in a local cache. This allows the progressive web app to have connectivity resilience and fast loading. It also feels like a native app when it comes to interaction and navigation.


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PWA can be launched and used just like any other app on the iPhone or Android. Users can place an icon for a progressive web application on their tablet or smartphone’s home screen.

PWA can be more convenient than native apps in some situations. Native apps require more storage space and are more complicated to install.

PWA: When should you consider it?

You should consider both native and PWA options when building a mobile app to support your online store. If your use case fits the following criteria, progressive web apps may be a good choice.

  • Reaching a large audience without spending money on developing native apps for each platform’s mobile platforms;
  • The app’s functionality does not depend on the hardware of your mobile device.
  • The app doesn’t require geofencing
  • You don’t need to publish your application in an app store.

PWA’s key properties make it a good choice for mobile.

After launching a progressive app, social media and online commerce have reported a significant increase in user engagement. The Twitter Lite App is an example of a PWA. It led to a 65% rise in pages per session, 75% more Tweets were sent and a 20% drop in bounce rates.

Indian department of online market OLX reported that PWA had 80% lower bounce rates and a 146% higher CTR for Ads. They also reported 250% more reengagement.

Progressive Web Applications are functional, reliable, and simple to install. This has many benefits for both developers and store owners as well as end-users.

Development costs

A progressive web application is an app that can be used across all platforms. This makes it cheaper than native app development.

Native apps require different versions for iOS, Android and Windows. The developer should support each version. Progressive web apps use a single codebase that supports multiple platforms.

A PWA does not need to be built from scratch. Developers can make use of an existing website.


Distribution is another important task that PWA makes easier. The app owner must submit a native app to the available app stores on the platform. It is the App Store for Apple iOS. It is the Play Store for Android, but it is Windows Store for Windows.

Each app store has its own policies and requirements about the functionality and appearance of apps. This requires additional work by the developer. Some stores charge a fee to open an account.

Each update to a native app that has been published in an app shop will be reviewed. This is not a quick process and an app or its update might be rejected from a shop at the end of the day.

PWA does not require that you meet the requirements of any application store. It can be accessed in any modern browser, including Chrome, Safari and Firefox. In the case of apps, updates are immediately deployed without needing approval.

SEO friendly

PWA can be referred to as a website. It is therefore SEO-friendly. The content of native apps cannot be indexed by search engines.

To rank higher in the App Store, native apps require additional expensive App Store Optimization (ASO). SEO-friendly PWA makes it possible for users to search your app on Google and other search engines.

For best SEO results, stick to the best practices when creating a PWA.

  • PWA SEO structure could be very similar to a site.
  • Avoid duplicate content by using rel=canonical tags.

Google’s web crawler can not index content after the # symbol in URL. Google Search Console can verify that your site has been correctly indexed by Google.


HTTPS is used to secure communication between the client computer and the server. This allows you to securely enter sensitive information such as credit card numbers without fear of it being stolen.

Noting that native apps offer more security features, such as Multi-Factor authentication and Certificate pinning, is important. A reviewed app in the App Store is more trustworthy than an URL.

Download & Installation

Many users may find the installation of a native app difficult. First, the user needs to find the app on the app store. Next, make sure there is sufficient local storage space available for downloading. Finally, wait for the installation process to complete and give the required permissions for the app.

Progressive web apps require no installation. They can add the site to their browser’s bookmark, and then add the PWA icon on to their home screen. PWA also requires less storage space.


PWA is much quicker than a responsive or mobile website in terms of loading speeds. This is largely due to the use of service workers. These scripts are independent from the content of the web pages and run in the background.

Service workers manage offline requests, prefetching and caching, data sync, and other tasks.

PWA consumes more power than native apps because it uses a browser.


Native app users tend to use older versions of native apps, as they don’t want to spend the time updating. PWAs load from the server so they can be easily maintained.

How to create a progressive web application

Progressive Web Apps use manifests, service workers, and other web-platform features. The App shell concept is used to create the app. This allows for a minimal user interface to be loaded as quickly as possible. The app shell is then saved for future use, even offline.

The app content is loaded following the UI. It can be rendered on either the server or on the device. Developers have the option to mix and match both using the app shell approach.

Server-side rendering (SSR) speeds up the app’s initial launch. However, navigation between pages may take longer because the app must download new HTML content. Each page must be loaded by making a round trip to the server.

Client-side rendering (CSR), on the other hand, allows for almost instant navigation between pages; however, this takes more time when the app is launched.

It is worth mentioning Streams API, a new approach. Although it offers the fastest content delivery, it is not currently available in all browsers.

Tools for developing a PWA

There are many popular tools to create a progressive web application, including VUE Storefront and Magento PWA Studio.

Magento PWA Studio

This Adobe tool is optimized for Adobe Commerce (the new name of Magento). You can create a stunning storefront with Adobe XD UI Kits. Magento PWA Studio also makes it easier to integrate Adobe Experience Manager and Page Builder tools.

Magento PWA Studio offers many benefits for stores

  • It is compatible with Magento 2 development updates.
  • Adobe provides extensive documentation for store owners and developers.
  • A strong Magento community can answer your questions

Magento merchants have the ability to use PWA Studio if they store is Magento 2.3 or higher.

VUE Storefront

Vue Storefront supports major platforms such as Magento, Spree and Cornershop. The compatibility with Magento 1 & Magento 2 is its greatest benefit.

Vue Storefront, which is managed by an independent developer company is not in accordance with Magento updates or policies as PWA Studio.

Here’s a quick guide on how to convert an online store into a PWA

PWA can be used to convert an existing website into PWA. There are several steps involved in a basic transformation:

  1. Ensure that the store uses HTTPS
  2. Making an app manifest
  3. Add the manifest to your HTML template
  4. The creation of the service worker
  5. Serving the service worker
  6. Load the service worker by adding the HTML template to load it;
  7. Deploying the PWA on a new domain.

Creating the components required for PWA

To get all PWA features for a Magento 2 store, use the Genaker Magento2PWA Extension. Composer: composer need genaker/module–pwa to install the module.

To generate the necessary PWA components including the service worker, run the command PHP bin/magento. Find the serviceworker.js folder in the media/pwa directory.

Verify that the manifest.json, serviceworker.js and icons have been generated correctly and make any necessary edits.