Should you invest in PWA for your Magento website?

Posted by Rajan Soni - Nov 17, 2022 6 Min readMagento



Today, shoppers move between devices and expect their journey to be seamless and perfectly stitched together across all of them.

Towards achieving that goal, most businesses today adopt Magento – a platform for developing eCommerce stores written in PHP. Now rebranded as Adobe Commerce, Magento promises to provide a plethora of features and functionalities that enable businesses to create exemplary user experiences on their online stores, using its very own suite – the PWA Studio.

It is evident that this platform packs a bang for the buck; according to PipeCandy data, Magento powers about 2.3% of all the eCommerce websites in the world – but there is more to it.

All the advantages and conveniences embodied in the PWA Studio, however, seem only to be scratching the surface of the iceberg. Through the mass adoption that resulted from the hype created for it, some learnings have been realized over time through this platform, and it isn’t all sunshine and daisies.

Let’s understand how PWA Studio fares in the market today.

Magento PWA in Detail

Magento PWA Studio helps your business create a lifelike shopping experience that is consistent and high-performing across all devices and channels. But is that all there is to it?

Speaking of Consumer Experience

According to a report published by Emplifi, it came to light that poor consumer experience was causing 49% of a business’s customers to churn to competition – that is nearly half of the total customers!

Magento PWAs help you deliver quick loading speeds and have features that make them behave like native apps, creating a smooth transition of user journey between screens.

With that said, the PWA Studio may be adding to the factors that help design this user experience. Developers now deal with more considerations than before to make it happen.

What About Enhancing Performance?

Applications built on PWA APIs use the browser’s cache to load, which means that elements on a webpage can be quickly loaded even before they are needed to be displayed.

Furthermore, their native-like nature helps them draw out the best performance of the operating system they are running on – regardless of how many times the user switches a device to access the eCommerce webpage.

However, speaking of mobile phones, their CPUs and processing power isn’t quite like laptops or other devices. The PWA Studio still pushes quite heavy CSR and JavaScript onto those, which may compromise the performance and beat the purpose entirely. Data-fetching may still stutter with a high Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB).

Built-In SEO – A Case of “Inception”

Magento PWA provides you with certain built-in SEO features that help your website get discovered online. Search engine algorithms are programmed to crawl every website and discover elements that users are searching for – having a well-defined structure to make it easier for search engines to read your webpage helps you rank higher.

Although this does benefit your business, it is a double-edged sword. Google ends up indexing the Catalog Search pages in Magento, which ends up embedding search results within search results. This causes indexation bloating and is detrimental to your SEO.

Low-Cost, *Conditions Apply

With Magento PWA, you only need to develop one application that is capable of running across all devices, saving you the time, resources, and effort to code a platform for every single device and operating system.

That does save a lot of expense, if:

  • You are creating a small-scale, low-custom solution with not many bells and whistles

  • Are a large enough organization that can absorb the high costs of running hyper-personalized experiences with a headless approach

PWA solution, if customer, isn’t compatible with future Magento releases or other extensions. This could drastically increase the maintenance expenses.

Speedy and Offline-Friendly

Consumers today do not like to wait. As soon as they tap on the icon of your application, they expect to see the pages already loaded – whether or not their internet connection is fast enough.

The fact that Magento PWAs pull from the browser cache is what makes them lightning fast when loading.

Additionally, even if their internet is slow or non-existent, this feature helps the app display at least some data to the users to keep them engaged until connectivity is back.

So, Should You Invest in PWA?

When developing an eCommerce app, it is important to keep in mind the expectations your consumers have from that application. To that end, if you find yourself unbothered by the high maintenance costs for delivering a hyper-personalized experience to consumers, then yes – go for it. You can glean from the successful adopters like The Whiskey Barrel, showcasing a dynamic UI and UX in all its glory.

There have been use cases where the buzz created for PWS Studio made businesses transition to it, realize the mistake when expenses began to build, to finally turn back around to incumbents. Friendlier solutions do exist – WooCommerce, Shopify, and such – that get you there without the big investment; it does limit what you can do with them, though.

The bottom line is that the benefits of PWA Studio are undeniable and really work to better your digital facade – but it is a tough trek up that mountain. It works to assess your dedication and intention of caring for this pet; if you are an early adopter and have a clear plan of action laid out, it will pay you off better than transitioning to it later.

Posted by  Rajan Soni - Nov 17, 20226 Min readMagento

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