3/11/2021 - #development #ecommerce #marketing
by: Robin Louis

Wondering how to increase your conversion rate? How to be better referenced? How to lower your site’s bounce rate? How to make your site more responsive? Or how to engage and retain your customers?

Blackbird has the solution: the PWA!

So, what’s a PWA?

A PWA or Progressive Web App is a website designed for mobile. It combines the best features of both native apps and the web.

The best of native apps:

  • near-instant page loading
  • direct access to the site by installing a shortcut on the home screen
  • access everywhere - works without a stable internet connection
  • ergonomic design
  • use of the phone’s features: sensors, GPS, push notifications    

The best of websites:

  • accessible through URL: the user doesn’t have to waste time downloading and installing it on their phone
  • indexed and referenced by search engines
  • compatible on iOS and Android – saving you the development of a native application on each platform
  • can be run on any device by fully adapting to the screen on which it’s viewed.

With its performance and numerous features, the PWA represents the future of e-commerce design.

The evolution of mobile sales

Online shoppers have more and more reason to shop from their phone. They can multitask, fill a waiting period and make purchases when they’re on the go. It’s also an opportunity for them to benefit from promotions and make impulse purchases.

According to a recent study by ContentSquare, 67% of e-commerce sales worldwide are made via a smartphone. Even if this figure includes micro transactions, it’s nonetheless a good indication of current trends.
Mobile purchases have exploded, regardless of sector, and having a responsive site is no longer an option but an essential solution for e-commerce strategies.

Obstacles to mobile conversions

In its September 2020 study on the barriers to mobile purchases, Google highlighted that mobile purchases are still only half those made by computer. And this is the case even though people are using mobiles more and more to search for information about brands and products. Some online buyers therefore change medium when ordering.

70% of people surveyed felt they hadn’t enjoyed a quality web experience on their mobile. Among the obstacles to mobile purchases were the purchase tunnel, which is clearer on the computer, the page scrolling, which can be tedious on a mobile, the difficulty of imagining the products in real conditions (the photos are too small, few and the product page isn’t sufficiently detailed) and certain essential information which is only revealed at the time of purchase.

If these obstacles can be removed in part by reorganizing the content, the PWA will allow you to fully optimize your e-commerce site to streamline the user journey through to purchase, and much more!

The benefits of the PWA

A PWA is first and foremost a user experience. It stands out for:

  • performance: page load time is almost instantaneous online as well as offline, allowing a completely fluid navigation which reduces the bounce rate.
  • visibility: Google's algorithm increasingly favors mobile versions of websites, so your site will be better referenced.
  • Direct access on the phone: just like a native application, the user can install a shortcut on the home screen of their device, but without having to download an app or needing to go through a store.
  • access everywhere: the PWA can operate without a stable internet connection. On a user's first visit, the cache system allows all or part of the content to be stored locally.  

Precise features

The big trend of 2020, confirmed for 2021, is that of customer experience. The customer is no longer just looking to make purchases, but is looking for a smooth, successful and innovative experience.

In addition to its performance, the PWA provides access to native features of different devices, which enriches the customer experience.

A few examples are given below to give a taste of the possibilities offered:

For international e-commerce sites, you can redirect customers and visitors directly to the site of the country in which they are located thanks to the geolocation system. At a more local level, you can also offer a point of sale "close" to the user.

Push notifications:
The PWA allows push notifications to be sent directly to the user. The advantage is that you’ll be able to send these notifications to your customers' phones even when they’re not using your site. Notifications are a great way to attract your customers’ attention: you can notify them of new promotions, of the return of an out-of-stock item, or of the status of their order.

The camera:

For PWAs like Twitter Lite or Pinterest, it’s obvious why the camera is so important. But what's the point in e-commerce?

For starters, it can be used to create engagement, for example by offering your customers the opportunity to send a photo of the product to illustrate their customer review or a photo of the recipe they’ve just made via an article in your blog.

If you want to go further by offering exceptional experiences to your customers, this feature will be useful for offering augmented reality: virtual testing of makeup, trying on clothes or glasses, or even the preview of furniture at home, as Ikea has done. Access to the camera can also be useful if you want to develop visual research.

These few examples are intended to show you the potential of these features for your sales and marketing strategy. The rest is up to you!

To go further...

For the moment, PWAs don’t have access to device identification systems (fingerprint, face or voice) but we can imagine the possibilities offered by future developments.
Also, remember that in 2021, PWAs don’t work on IE, Edge and Safari browsers (which still represent 51% of market share in the United States).

On iOS, access to device functions is limited, you can’t add the button to the home screen, access it offline, or send push notifications.
But we anticipate these limitations will be removed in the coming years, allowing PWAs to flourish on iOS and on all browsers.

Nevertheless, Android currently has 85% of the world market share and 80.6% in France. Android, which embraces all the features of PWAs, therefore encompasses the vast majority of users.

And in concrete terms, who’s it for?

PWAs are particularly well thought out for e-commerce, especially in terms of their performance and push notifications. They’re also effective for media that will be easy to access once the shortcut is installed on the home screen and through push notifications.

Here are some concrete examples for the e-commerce sector:

  • Lancôme: 17% increase in conversion rate; mobile revenue increased by 36%.
  • AliExpress: 74% more time spent on the site, 104% increase in conversion rate for new users.
  • Zadig and Voltaire: 72% increase in the conversion rate on mobile, and page loading twice as fast.         
  • Etam: increase in the average basket by 21%, 17% increase in the conversion rate.
  • George: bounce rate halved and conversion rate increased by 31%

If you too are aiming for an outstanding user experience, on all screens, contact our team by emailing hello@bird.eu to discuss your project.

Grâce aux talents présents au sein de l'Agence Blackbird, nous pouvons répondre à diverses demandes comme la mise en place d'une PWA pour obtenir plus de visibilité sur votre site e-commerce Magento. Contactez-nous au pour nous expliquer votre projet digital !

Thanks to Blackbird Agency's talents, we can answer various requests such as the implementation of a PWA to get more visibility on your Magento e-commerce site. Contact us at to explain us your digital project!


Tout ce qu’il faut savoir sur les Progressive web apps - goodbarber.com

12 exemples de PWA en 2019 - Artwai.com

6 brands that switched to Progressive Web Apps - yyt.dev

A PWA or Progressive Web App is a website designed for mobile. It combines the best features of both native apps and the web.

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