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Top 3 Reasons to Implement a Headless PWA for Your Magento Store

Consumer demands have evolved rapidly since the advent of smartphones and mobile apps, but merchants and ecommerce platforms are slow to keep pace with new developments in mobile computing technology. User interface (UI) developers can be hindered by the need for their applications to work with outdated or overly complex backend databases and logistics software. Thankfully, using a headless PWA for Magento helps online brands and developers to decouple the traditional monolithic linkage between a company’s frontend interface and backend infrastructure.

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Headless Magento PWA for eCommerce

In the past, only digitally-native brands and large companies with huge internal budgets and in-house development teams could afford to keep up with the capabilities of new hardware and software in order to provide rich, up-to-date customer experiences in Magento. Now, those same capabilities have been unlocked for everyone, thanks to the availability and ease of implementing headless PWA for Magento online stores.

What is Headless Software for eCommerce?

Software systems are divided into two primary segments: a frontend, or “head” which delivers the interface that the customer interacts with, such as a Product Detail Page or Shopping Cart. The backend contains all of the necessary infrastructure, including hardware and software like servers and databases, as well as logistical components required to execute delivery of a product or service, such as fulfilling orders or processing returns. 

Since its inception, Magento has existed as an application layer over the backend, and the two have been deeply interrelated. The term headless refers to a system where the frontend and backend are decoupled from one another, and communicate via an Application Programming Interface (API). An API functions like a bridge, using a library of shared, public commands, which any software can use to communicate with any other software, without any information about how the other system functions. 

Because the backend contains more business-critical operations, companies are often slow to upgrade them, since any change has the potential to create ripple effects across their entire business funnel. This can be frustrating for everyone involved, since customers want fast, responsive shopping experiences, marketers and merchandisers want to iterate rapidly to meet customer demand, and IT wants to preserve overall system stability while developing stable solutions that work with existing infrastructure.

One of the main advantages of headless systems for ecommerce is that they enable frontend developers and marketers to move quickly to meet customer demands for a fluid shopping experience with new functionality on different platforms, even on brand new technology. At the same time, the backend can be maintained and evolve more conservatively to support existing investments, while working more slowly towards new implementations.

How Progressive Web Apps Work with Magento

For Magento, Progressive Web Apps (PWA’s) represent the next stage in the evolution of mobile and cross-device computing. Current mobile apps come with a variety of disadvantages:  cost to develop and maintain, distinct code bases, and inability to be indexed by search engines. They also lack integration with a brand’s other platforms such as online stores, which can create a fragmented customer experience. By contrast, PWAs work across all platforms seamlessly, whether a customer accesses them on a desktop web browser, smartphone or tablet. 

Most existing CMS platforms, including Magento, have only the most rudimentary tools for scaling to different devices, or employ cost and SEO-inefficient methods to provide cross device usability. Using PWAs gives you powerful scaling features and many additional advantages, just a few of which include:

Top 3 Reasons to Implement a Magento PWA Storefront

While the benefits of using a headless PWA for Magento are many, it’s worth focusing on a few business-specific advantages to see just how far a Magento PWA can go towards improving not just customer experiences, but also your bottom line.

1. Increase Conversions % Across Mobile, Desktop and Tablet

PWA storefronts offer an optimized mobile app-like experience to customers, which is highly reliable, incredibly fast, and creates richly engaging experiences shown to increase average mobile conversions by up to 36%.

2. Experience Unparalleled Page Speed

With a front end built using ReactJS  deliver desktop, tablet and mobile customer experiences in milliseconds, while experiencing reliable usability at a 90% + improvement in average online page speeds.

3. Boost Organic Traffic from Search

PWAs greatly improve scores in Google Core Web Vitals, a key ranking signal for organic search results. Boost direct ranking factors and appear higher in search results with faster page speed, lower bounce rate, and increased dwell time. Ultimately, this should result in an increase in high converting organic traffic.

Advantages of Headless PWA for Businesses

We already highlighted the top 3 reasons to consider implementing a headless PWA for Magento, but there are many more benefits over traditional eCommerce technology for enhancing profitability and customer interactions. Here are some of the most important PWA features for businesses to consider:

Decrease Ongoing Development Costs

Since headless PWAs help to unify your online presence in one singular platform, they eliminate the need to maintain different iterations such as a web store and a mobile app, as well as the need to invest in the different technological infrastructures required to support each one.

Faster Time to Market for New Features

Magento is notorious for its labor intensive front end development. ReactJS front ends are easier on the dev team being less bug prone across browsers and devices ultimately resulting in a shorter time to market. 

Improvements in Core Metrics

When you switch to a PWA, core features such as the incredible speed increases, offline capabilities, and others all translate to improvements in your core customer engagement metrics, such as increasing conversion rate, decreasing bounce rate, and increases in session times and mobile traffic.

Customer Usability - Platform and Device Agnosticism

With a Magento PWA, you will never again have to worry about which devices your customers use to access your online store. Cross-device adaptability and scaling using universal standards means your site will appear the same to everyone, whether they are on a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or even next-gen computing platforms such as kiosks and car screens.

Also, PWAs are built using industry-standard web technologies and  work with every modern browser. You won’t have to think about building and maintaining different code bases for different versions of your online platform. 

Improved "App-like" Browsing Experience

PWAs offer much faster response time, so using a PWA with Magento means that your customers won’t have to install a native app, and you won’t have to build one. Customers can save an icon on their home screen, and the Magento PWA will integrate seamlessly with their device to provide an experience identical to using a separate mobile app.

No Installation of a Separate App

Your customers won’t have to install a native app, and you won’t have to build one. Customers can save an icon on their home screen, and the Magento PWA will integrate seamlessly with their device to provide an experience identical to using a separate mobile app.

Offline Functionality

Rich offline experiences are still possible for users, even without a data connection. Customers are able to generate content and make purchases offline, then have them processed the second their device is back in contact with your servers.

Universal Browser Support

PWAs are built using industry-standard web technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript which work with every modern browser, meaning that you won’t have to think about building and maintaining different code bases for different versions of your online platform.

A Headless PWA is the Future of Magento eCommerce

Implementing a headless PWA for Magento uses fewer computational resources, improves the shopping experience, eases the burden of rapid iteration, and provides a single, unified platform for customer interaction across all devices, even ones that haven’t been invented yet. Headless PWAs are available for all current and future Magento users, and are highly cost effective for providing online shopping solutions to your customers. PWAs for headless ecommerce offer a seamless customer experience across all channels, and are an essential component of driving conversions and sales as mobile continues to grow and develop in new and unprecedented ways.

If you’re ready to start using a headless PWA, we can help you decide if your Magento store can support a PWA frontend, or how to migrate your existing content to a Magento PWA. Book an evaluation with us and get started today! 

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