Javascript in eCommerce: PWA and native apps

06.04.2022 Angelika Siczek

Mobile phones account for about a half of the internet traffic worldwide. In the last quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.4% of global website traffic, consistently oscillating around 50% since the beginning of 2017, until they started to constantly exceed this value in 2020. There is also a great increase in sales generated by mobile devices. In 2016, the global share of mobile in sales amounted to 52.4%, and it is estimated that today it is almost 75%.

However, research conducted in the USA shows that as many as 51% of smartphone users find that making purchases via a computer is much easier. Which may indicate that, for example, the purchasing processes in the mobile version are unintuitive, and the online stores themselves are not sufficiently well adapted to smartphones.

Therefore, the requirements of modern customers should be addressed with understanding and an appropriate response. Whoever adapts to the prevailing trends faster, will have a chance to use the potential of online sales better. After all, hassle-free online shopping is possible, and it is supported by native or Progressive Web Apps (PWA). However, a question arises as to which type of application will be appropriate for this or that e-business. It is worth knowing its characteristics to fully optimize the efficiency of e-commerce.

What is a Native App?

A native application is an application created for a specific platform. Most of all, such applications are created for iOS or Android. This means that in order to be able to use an application, the user must install it on his device using the Google Play or App Store. The code of an application must be created from the scratch for each platform, and thanks to that the application will be properly optimized for most of the device’s functions, inclucing the camera, microphone, contacts or various types of files.

Who will benefit from the Native App and what advantages are worth highlighting?

A native application may turn out to be a good solution if it is created, for example, for an online store. Although it is an expensive solution which requires writing a code separately for each platform, a native application may prove to be a very good choice for many e-businesses. The efficiency of this solution stands out before many of its other advantages. Native applications perform very well thanks to the seamless integration of the application itself with the host operating system. Their functionality is their big plus. They have access to a number of functions specific to the operating system for which they are intended. Access to all tools and API interfaces offered by a given platform is a great asset which translates into the potential of the developed tool. It may be very complex and, at the same time, extremely stable, safe and guaranteeing very good performance.

It is also worth highlighting benefits such as a high level of user experience, an interface which is already known to the user and quick access to data.

Progressive Web App – what is it?

Progressive Web App is designed to guarantee the highest quality of website reception, regardless of the operating system and the quality of Internet connection. Their design is primarily based on the “mobile first” concept. What does it mean? The most important thing is comfort in terms of using the application on the phone. PWA sites resembling, to some extent, mobile applications are saved in the memory of the device, which allows you to view them also when you are offline. This is a significant advantage compared to other solutions which simply will not work without access to the Internet. Therefore, PWA applications, by taking advantage of a specific “time gap” resulting from the lack of access to the Internet, gain an advantage over other solutions.

The attributes which a good PWA should be equipped with

PWA, being a web application written in several languages – JavaScript, CSS and HTML – is extended with several attributes. The so-called “PWA cheklist” offers such properties as responsiveness, i.e. automatic adaptation to the resolution of a given device, as well as independence from Internet connection, security (resulting from the TLS protocol), regular updates and speed. It is also worth mentioning such characteristic features as push notifications which make the shopping path simpler and enable, for example, retargeting.

PWA or Native app – what to choose when operating an e-business?

E-business can be successfully operated today, regardless of its scale. The available technologies make it possible to choose the right solution even for smaller entities which will gain many benefits by using the potential of PWA. This is a basic mobile technology which will prove useful in starting e-businesses. The cost-effectiveness of the solution which presents SEO values allows you to attract new customers.

However, for large market players, PWA will not necessarily be the right solution. Companies looking for high-performance, expandable solutions having the potential to achieve high conversion rates should take a closer look at native applications.


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