One day I had a desire to buy a jacket using my smartphone.
I went to Google and typed the “buy a black jacket” request in the search bar. I was redirected to an online store with a huge collection of clothes, the homepage of which seemed to take an eternity to load.
At last, the content appeared. And what I saw was a full-screen pop-up that emerged right under my very nose:
“Download our app from the App Store for a better shopping experience”
I was excited to get the promised “better shopping experience” and tapped on the link.
The App Store began to load…
Unclear screenshots, no detailed description, bad user reviews, 60 MB… Ah!
I closed both the app and the website.
We bet you’ve faced such an unpleasant shopping experience at least once.
The truth is that tech advancements and eCommerce growth changed the way consumers behave when making purchases. According to Google research, as page load time goes from 1 to 5 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32%. Thus, you are losing your revenue with every second of your website’s slowdown.
ECommerce industries had to do their best to respond to the challenge. And a solution came in 2015, it was introduced by Google. The name of the solution is Progressive Web Applications. They are easy to download, secure, responsive, have awesome
performance, and, what is more, they can even be used in disconnected mode. See? PWAs are a real catch for eCommerce projects.
That’s why, on this page, we’d like to shortly introduce you to progressive web applications and their use by eCommerce businesses. Moreover, we’ll gladly bring you detailed examples of the 16 best eCommerce PWA websites to show you how renowned brands and their users are enjoying this technology. Let’s roll!
The Reasons Why PWA Apps and eCommerce Websites Are a Match Made in Heaven
A PWA website is a software development technology, a curious symbiosis of a responsive website and a native app. On the one hand, a PWA looks and feels like an app but on the other, it provides all the advantages that a responsive website has: it is discoverable by search engines, available from almost all known browsers, and does not require installation. There are numerous approaches to building PWAs, yet creating a progressive web application for your online retail business will bring a plethora of benefits!
The main PWA features are an app-look UX and the ability to get access to your device hardware and software while operating inside a web browser. Moreover, thanks to website caching, a progressive app can work even if you are disconnected from the Internet.
Reflect upon what I have said to you. What if your website could send push notifications to the customers who were interested in your products, or provide a barcode scanner for dealing with discounts, or deliver localized content using your customers’ GPS? All these features significantly expand your website functionality, add value to your business through perfect UX, and make your customers buy.
In fact, the PWA apps value is so high that some experts considered them as a possible replacement for native apps. And here is why:
The boom of native apps is over. In 2016, the Recorde agency published the article with the evidence that the heydays of native apps are gone. With more than 1, 800, 000 apps available on the App Store, people no longer want to buy and download massive applications to use them, in a best-case scenario, once a month.
Here is what PWA apps bring to the table:
1. App-like experience. PWAs are not only extremely fast, due to the site caching, but they also have excellent UX features that look like native applications and provide an engaging experience (and our progressive apps examples will prove this point).
2. Little storage space. How often do you visit the native app of your favorite store? Once or twice a month? At all other times, the app remains unused taking your disk space. Since PWA websites are downloaded and run on a browser, the space issue does not arise.
3. Offline mode. Thanks to the offline mode, eCommerce PWA apps allow your customers to make purchases and manage their orders wherever they are.
3. No installation is needed. Unlike native apps the installation process of which may take a lot of time, PWAs can be added to your home screen from a browser in a couple of clicks.
4. Inexpensive development. The average PWA development price along with web development (as a bonus) is $15.000-$50,000. It is much cheaper than what native apps can offer.
5. Push Notifications. A PWA can send push notifs to your buyers to keep them involved and inform them about discounts, stocks, or sales.
Best Progressive Web Apps in eCommerce
As noted before, a Web Progressive App for eCommerce is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s no wonder that more and more brands use the technology to increase their revenue and deliver a better user experience to their customers. We have a huge collection of PWA examples that are likely to convince merchants that the tech can open new horizons for business growth. Let’s take a look at some of the best picks as we present to you what we believe are the top 16 PWA eCommerce sites!
1. Bright Star Kids
The first PWA eCommerce example on our list is the one we’ve developed ourselves. Bright Star Kids is an Australian producer of personalized goods and gifts for children and grown-ups. From school supplies and educational posters to clothing and home decor, the company offers products that can be customized and decorated with unique designs.
Because the order volumes are continuously growing, Bright Star Kids wished to get a progressive web application that would be able to cope with their ever-increasing orders. And since the site’s highlight feature is giving the opportunity to assemble orders with one-of-a-kind designs, the PWA had to be not only fast but also flawless in terms of its customization features.
As you can see on the screenshots below, the site breaks down the product customization process into easy steps. The best part about it is that as the user personalizes an item and selects options in the online constructor, the result is conveniently shown in the preview straight away.
2. Tally Weijl
The next one among the PWA examples eCommerce sites have that we’d like to show you is Tally Weijl. This popular Swiss clothing brand decided to rebuild its mobile website as a PWA.
The individualized shopping experience, state-of-the-art customer engagement, and diversity of products are among the key features that were translated into their PWA website. The super-fast site is replete with powerful tools focused on exactly what the customer needs. Impeccable in terms of UX and UI, its navigation is intuitive with every element reachable, tappable, and functioning properly.
What I liked best about the Tally Weijl PWA is how plain yet great their product pages are. They’re equipped with all the necessary features, including a great product gallery, easy size-pick buttons, a cross-selling Complete the Look suggestion block, Similar Products, and wishlist functionality. Moreover, I’ve found the Search with a picture functionality really handy too.
3. Oliver Bonas
The next e-commerce PWA in our overview is Oliver Bonas, a store that specializes in creative homeware, jewelry, and fashion. Their progressive web application is super-quick, visually appealing, and uses screen space very rationally. No wonder that users like it so much!
What I really enjoyed was how conveniently this store has organized their menu that smoothly slides from the right side of the screen on the mobile version. Plus, the category pages have uncluttered product grids with large images, only the relevant minimal product information, convenient filters, and the opportunity to save the item for later.
4. Agent Provocateur
Another PWA eCommerce mobile app that we’d like to take a closer look at is Agent Provocateur. This UK-based fine lingerie brand wished for their online retail store to be just as exquisite as their product lines. This is why they decided to opt for building a progressive web application that would be able to cater to the needs and tastes of their demanding customers.
Elevating their site’s mobile shopping experience to a completely new level, Agent Provocateur’s PWA turned out to be lightning-fast, stylish, and user-friendly.
The navigation of the site is well thought through, with every last detail taken into consideration, making it very simple to find your way around the store all the way to the checkout steps. Not to mention the top-notch quality and the super-high resolution of the used images!
That said, allocating any needed item is very easy. And with every element being thumb-reachable and placed right where it should be, browsing the store and adding items to the shopping bag is a blast.
5. UK Meds
Mentioning other companies using PWAs, UK Meds is an outstanding example of how progressive web applications are applied in the pharmaceutical industry. UK Meds wished to make it very simple to shop for medical products to be doorstep-delivered.
From consultations and treatment selection to placing an order and getting it delivered, the entire customer journey is as intuitive as it can possibly get.
Among the things that make the pharmacy’s online store so appreciated by customers are the simple A to Z searches by condition or treatment. Each featured health problem is broken down as a category and lists the corresponding products that can help with the treatment. Such a helpful approach makes the PWA even more convenient and simple to use.
In turn, each product page has only the most important information on the product with no excessive incomprehensible medical texts. Instead, the highlights that the customer must take into consideration are shortly given using checkmark lists. Overall, I think that this PWA website is well-optimized, the design is clean, and the site shouldn’t puzzle even inexperienced users.
6. Pure Formulas
The Pure Formulas company created one of the quintessential examples of progressive web apps in eCommerce that work.
The company is specialized in providing health and nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals to buyers. Before the PWA was created, the checkout process on the website was too slow and mobile page loads were taking too long. As a result, there were low conversions across browsers and devices, as well as high cart abandonment rates. You can see below what happened after the PWA was implemented.
Pure Formulas does its best to not only help the customers browse and easily find the needed health products but to also plan a menu according to their preferences, health state, and dietary needs. Look at their food recipes page. Here you can find recipes with dietary dishes and immediately buy all the required products for cooking them. It’s marvelous, isn’t it?
What is the result?
- +23% to the mobile revenue;
- 14% to their conversion rates;
- +9% to the average order value.
The Alibaba website is a perfect Progressive Web App example. Being the world’s largest global wholesale trade platform serving more than 2 million buyers around the world, Alibaba does its best to create and maintain a highly functional mobile web experience for the users. So, how does such a large eCommerce platform keep a competitive level of mobile experience? The answer is simple – a PWA.
The truth is that Alibaba’s native app, despite its extensive functionality and awesome UX, has a big disadvantage. I refer to its size. Due to the large size of the file (60 MB on Google Play), the app takes about two minutes to install.
The PWA has the same functionality as the native app. I personally love the idea of adding a special messenger to the bottom of the screen which builds a bridge between the customer and the seller.
In general, Alibaba’s PWA has done the work first-rate: they succeeded to engage and re-engage new visitors and impress their users with a reliable and fast mobile experience.
What is the result?
- 14% more active visitors on iOS, and 30% more active visitors on Android;
- 4x times higher interaction rate from the PWA;
- 76% larger conversion rate.
Garbarino is a nationally focused online store with a wide range of products from furniture and electronics to toys and DIY items. The Garbarino website is one of the most successful Progressive Web examples on our list.
First of all, the necessity to build a PWA was motivated by the absence of reliable network coverage in Argentina. As far as Garbarino’s PWA was developed, Argentinians sprang forward the new technology. And the results wasted little time: better performance, decrease in load time, and visitors navigating more on the website.
With a remarkable Spanish-look design with its bright-red colors and athleticism, Gabargino’s PWA is not easy to forget. The native app looks the same as its progressive analog. It is difficult to tell the difference between them at first glance.
Plus, the interface of the entire store is convenient, user-friendly, and purpose-driven. Every feature in there from useful filters to pleasant discounts is designed to help the customers to pick and buy the product they need.
What is the result?
- Conversion rate increased by 27%;
- Page views increased by 35%;
- Bounce rate decreased by 9%.
The next spot in our overview of eCommerce PWA examples is taken by Snapdeal. It is the largest Indian online marketplace the products of which vary from electronics and kitchen appliances to clothes for women/men and online entertainment.
The decision to build their own progressive web app for eCommerce was felicitous. The app uses pinned footer elements, convenient filter menus, and nutty tabbed category navigation. Moreover, the website is easily accessible in a disconnected mode with no registration required.
No doubt, Snapdeal’s progressive web application shows awesome performance and wonderful UX providing great value to the users. Here is the thing: although the progressive and native apps are very alike, the last-mentioned has a curious feature that the PWA lacks – product promo videos on SDTV. The feature adds value to UX helping the shoppers to experience the products they are looking for.
Here is another Indian online store in our PWA apps list. Flipkart was among the first eCommerce stores to rebuild their mobile website as a progressive application. Even though I reckon that the design is too bright and resembles a Bollywood movie, the UX and the performance are wonderful. As far as 63% of Flipkart app users reach the store through 2G network, fully-optimized site speed is essential. The PWA not only re-engages users in multiple ways, but it also provides a fast, app-like experience with the ability to add the website shortcut to their home screen in just 2 clicks.
The native app and the PWA seem to look very similar, but the functionality is different. As you can see on the screenshot, Flipkart’s native application is more than just an online store app. It is a full-scale entertainment platform where the visitors can play games, share ideas, and even watch Bollywood movies (it is a weird mix, but it works for them).
What is the result?
- 70% increase in conversion rate;
- 40% increase in user engagement;
- 3x lower data usage.
11. 5 Miles
Do you remember those good old days when people used to buy newspapers just to sell and buy stuff? Well, with apps like 5 Miles you can easily do this from the comfort of your smartphone. 5 Miles is a mobile marketplace that builds a bridge between nearby sellers and buyers to trade such things as cars, clothes, kitchen items, second-hand stuff, and so on.
As far as the company failed to deliver their mobile users the needed experience (due to the low retention and high bounce rate), they decided to focus their efforts on stimulating customers to download their newly-created native app. But this strategy turned out to be both expensive and challenging. Inspired by new mobile trends, 5 Miles decided to convert their website into a progressive app and start PWA for eCommerce use. And they got money’s worth! The new technology offered powerful enhancements in the total user experience.
The 5 Miles PWA is fast and captivating. Have a look at their Dash Bids. The app allows us to take part in a real-time bidding process which I personally found fascinating. Bids change in a flash and the whole process resembles a game, so if you are lucky, you can catch a drop-dead bargain.
What is the result?
- 50% decrease in bounce rate;
- 30% increase in conversion rate;
- 30% increase in time spent on site (the 5 Miles eCommerce store).
Konga is a Nigerian eCommerce store that offers products and items in a wide range of categories: home appliances, toys, electronics, clothes, products for personal care, and others. The creation of the PWA was motivated by the expensiveness of mobile data in Africa so that downloading massive native applications is something that most of the citizens can not afford. This created breeding grounds for a PWA, a brand new revolutionary solution. Moreover, Konga’s progressive app allows customers to continue their shopping process even if the connection is dropped (a common situation in Africa). No wonder that Kongo’s eCommerce PWA was saluted with cheers.
One of Konga’s hallmarks is their KXPRESS service, a company-run logistics chain aimed at delivering the ordered products to the customers. In general, the speed-focused PWA eCommerce solution is cutting-edge, functional, and fast working even on slow 2G networks. It is impressive how easy it is to find stuff there.
What is the result?
- 92% decrease in data usage for the initial load when comparing their native app to the PWA;
- 84% less data to complete the first transaction.
Moving on to other great PWA eCommerce examples, Letgo is a famous second-hand online store aimed at helping customers to buy and sell their stuff locally. Americans love the platform for providing a nice opportunity to get rid of old things that collect dust around the house and benefit from them.
Even though the Letgo native app on Google Play takes only 16 MB and received lots of positive user reviews, the customers were glad to know about the option to stay app-free while getting all the advantages of a native app. With the help of the PWA app, Letgo managed to engage more customers and retain the existing ones by providing them with an opportunity to sell/buy stuff right from a browser.
As you can see, the functionality of the PWA is top-level. It includes everything that an online store needs: convenient navigation, well-structured categories, customized sorting order, clear images with short descriptions, and product reviews.
Jumia is an eternal rival of another Nigerian online marketplace, Kongo. It’s no surprise that both PWA apps have lots in common: not only their interfaces but the designs are very alike too. Treading in Kongo’s steps, Jumia focused on data savings and performance in the PWA development process. After all, Nigeria is a country where every megabyte is like gold dust, and most of the residents have outmoded smartphones. I was surprised to see how fast the progressive application works, but I was even more surprised to see what amazing results the company managed to achieve by rebuilding its website as a PWA.
What is the result?
- 50% decrease in bounce rate;
- 9x more conversion;
- 25X less devices storage required;
- 5X less data used.
No matter where you live, you have probably heard of Debenhams, a British multinational retailer with 240 stores around the globe. By 2018, the Debenhams website was too slow and barely working. However, more than 57% of all store shoppers used mobile gadgets to browse Debenhams. The company decided to get rid of the native app idea due to its costliness and took a different road. The PWA for eCommerce solution came in 2019 with the development of what is now considered one of the best examples of PWA technology.
Look at this awesome website with convenient navigation, a favorable search bar, handy filters, customized sorting order, and the opportunity to save the goods you liked in a special folder to come back to them later. And here is the thing, thanks to the advanced PWA technologies that are used, you can mark your preferred goods even without signing in.
What is the result?
- 40% increase in mobile revenue;
- 20% increase in conversion rate.
Noon is one of the most prominent online stores in the Middle East with major markets in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and UAE. The store specializes in offering everything from groceries to electronics. The main challenge the Noon team faced is how to create an eCommerce solution that will satisfy the diverse target audience. The fact is, the Middle East is half rural. The people living in the region still use outdated devices and “enjoy” slow 2G connections. The decision to create something which would be easy-to-use, functional, fast, and maintain a high standard of services went with the eCommerce PWA development.
The responsive website focuses on usability and performance and its remarkable design dressed in blue and yellow is definitely something you will not forget soon.
In the world of eCommerce, you need to be on-trend to keep the door open and lights on. If you do want to deliver a fast and seamless shopping experience to your customers, getting a Magento progressive web application is what you are seeking. There are so many successful PWA examples to get inspired, and for eCommerce it is a perfect solution no matter what your company is doing. It definitely can bring you much more than you invest in.