In 2016, traffic on the mobile web overtook desktop traffic for the first time ever, making premium shopping experiences on the mobile web absolutely necessary for retailers who want to thrive (let alone survive).

So what does a premium mobile shopping experience entail? We spoke to Peter McLachlan, Chief Product Officer and co-founder, from our partner Mobify, to find out more.

Peter’s answer: “It should be personalized, fast, and “app-like”. At Mobify, we work with retailers like Debenhams, Lancome, and Lilly Pulitzer to make the web fast and “app-like”. The invention of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – pioneered by Google – made it possible for brands to deliver mobile web experience that shoppers love.”

Read this interview to learn more about PWAs and AMP. Learn what all the acronyms mean, understand where Progressive Web Apps can be used, and how to leverage them to launch your digital transformation.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web App is a website that uses modern web capabilities to create an app-like experience. For a long time native apps on iOS and Android offered the most powerful mobile shopping experiences as they take full advantage of the hardware specs of a mobile device. Because of this, native apps were much faster than a mobile website and had other great features like push notifications, offline shopping, ability to add a homescreen icon, etc. Today, Google is unlocking all these capabilities in the web browser. This allows you to deliver the features and functionalities of an app to your larger audience on the web.

Do I have to download a Progressive Web App from the App Store or Google Play Store?

No. A Progressive Web App is a website, not a native app. Like all websites, Progressive Web Apps are accessed through the web browser rather than downloaded from the app store.

Do Progressive Web Apps work on both iOS and Android?

Yes, Progressive Web Apps work on both iOS and Android devices. With the launch of iOS 11.3 earlier this year, Apple released the technology – service workers – that powers the app-like features of a Progressive Web App. Fun fact: Progressive Web Apps on iOS are predicted to outperform Progressive Web Apps on Android with faster load times.

Are Progressive Web Apps built exclusively for mobile?

No, Progressive Web Apps extend to all screens including desktop and tablet. By delivering a Progressive Web App across mobile, desktop, and tablet, a team can work from a single codebase, reducing maintenance costs and resources.

What is the performance lift from a Progressive Web App? Is it faster than a responsive website?

Yes, a Progressive Web App is typically 2-4x faster than a responsive website.

Caching is one of the components that contributes to the speed of a PWA. Caching pre-loads and stores your website content on a shoppers device while they browse. This results in faster page load times as the content is already rendered once they get to that page. This also means that the subsequent pages your shopper visits will be faster than the last.


What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

Accelerated Mobile Pages are landing pages that are cached by Google so that they load instantly. When a customer searches for a product on Google, the retailer’s product page is pre-loaded in the background and loads instantly when selected. AMP has significant impact on reducing initial page load time and as result, lowers bounce rates.

Want to know more about upcoming trends?

Our strategy consultant John Humphrey recently discussed peak trading 2019 with experts from the Mobify team on a Customer Experience Panel. Check out the on-demand recording here.

Play on-demand now


Emily Lewis

Read More

Subscribe to stay up to date.

Receive the personalization newsletter directly to your inbox.