PWA is known for its amazing performance improvements and is slowly occupying both Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants’ attention because of it. Push notifications, offline browsing possibility and speed improvements are positioning PWA as perfect technology for making e-commerce better.
Anyway, there is a common opinion that PWA is limited to web installations (Add to Home Screen) only. That is why merchants are still relying on expensive app developers if they want to have their mobile app featured in the app marketplaces.
In this article, we will explain whether is possible to develop a PWA out of Shopify store and publish it in the Android and iOS app marketplace with the other mobile apps.
Mobile app as part of any branding strategy
When it comes to branding, we are all aware that unified is important. Sticking with the same colors, typography and messaging slowly makes a difference. In the end, people are visual beings, they maybe won’t remember your name, but they will remember your store look or your app icon.
Unlike custom developed mobile apps, PWAs are a perfect addition to any branding strategy. It uses a technology that creates an app out of any shop in minutes, without coding knowledge or building blocks. Except for improved performance and providing experience, PWAs shares the same look as regular shop keeping the brand untouched.
PWA technology is evolving
As time passes, app marketplaces such as Play Store, Microsoft, and even App store started recognizing PWA potential and made initiatives to move forward adoptions of this technology of the future. Starting with Google Play Store, one after another app marketplace jumped on the bandwagon of welcoming PWAs into their store, making it the new go-to approach for software delivery. Today, we are having PWA installed on our phones without even being aware that they are any different than our regular apps like. It’s because they aren’t.
In the Play Store, there are already published PWAs such as Google Maps Go, Instagram Lite or Twitter Lite. And this trend continues growing day by day.
Are they different than the native apps? No.
Are they offering the same engagement and taking less space? Oh yes.
Publishing a PWA in the app marketplace
Why do we want to upload the app in the app marketplace when it can be installed directly when browsing the store? The question comes itself. Well, it’s a long discussion, but talking to Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants about PWA, we’ve heard demands like this.
“My customers will look for my app in the App Store”,
“I already have a native app but whenever I need to update it, it cost a lot of funds for a skilled app developer for it. It’s not cost-effective.”
“I need to access a native API”
“I want to earn on my app installs”
And the list goes on.
Listening to our customers, we’ve now made possible for all Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants to have their PWA in the app marketplace. From now, Android and iOS users can find you from any search touchpoint and you can grow retention in no effort.
Advantages of having a PWA in the app marketplace
Despite people finding your app while shopping, pop-ups announcing that there is an app in the App Store and Google Apps search, there are more things you may be able to do with a PWA in the app marketplace (App Store and Play Store).
The most popular features include:
- Offering a Home Screen Widget
- Offering App Shortcuts (long-pressing the app’s icon)
- Re-installation after a hard reset or a backup restore on a new phone
- Have background services accessing native features
- Monetizing the app installs
- Have some native screens mixed with PWA
- Distribute more than one PWA icon in the Launcher and/or home screen pointing to different URLs
- Better internationalization support
- Other deep integrations with the OS
With all this in play, it would be a waste not to take advantage of this newfound technology to better expand the reach of your app.
Progressive Web App is step by step proving itself to be the future of software delivery and the next natural step in the web technology evolution. As of now, it is already widely used everywhere in the e-commerce world where unified and engaging experience across all devices is the key to high conversions.
Having a PWA instead of wasting time and money to develop a custom mobile app, will cut your expenses for every app update. Especially now that it can be uploaded in the Play Store for everyone to find it. Besides, PWA complements your brand awareness.