Magento released 2.3 and that included PWA Studio to help build progressive web apps.
Progressive Web Apps is a technology that allows a website to act like an app on a mobile device – in that it does not need continuous connectivity to the internet. This gives the benefit of easy and quick navigation.
When it comes to Magento software technology, there is no better person than Hashid Hameed, CEO of Codilar to get some first hand information. Long before the official release, their team has been playing around with PWA technology so they are ready when the official announcement actually came. Here is excerpts from the interview :
luroConnect : What type of Magento stores is PWA most suitable for?
Hashid : PWA is suitable for all types of stores regardless of the industry and target audience. However it will be a must-have in the near future for stores who have significant mobile audience. With the growing experiential demands of the modern shopper and limited reach & high cost of native apps, PWA will become the saviour for such stores.
luroConnect : In order to make the most of this technology stores have to upgrade to Magento 2.3 – how much of a effort is that? (Hey we just moved from 1.x not long ago!)
Hashid: Haha, you don’t have to worry. It’s just like another incremental build to the existing platform. Magento 2.3 is one of the most promising upgrades so far to the platform. It adds in a a lot of new features. However possibilities of conflicts with custom code and non-supported extensions cannot be ruled out.
luroConnect : OK, I am on Magento 2.3, how long before I can get a PWA app up and running?
Hashid : Magento has released a PWA Studio for developers to speed up the PWA development. Roughly, a PWA can go live in 2-3 months for a usual Magento store.
luroConnect : Will my PWA app share my website theme?
Hashid : Not really. PWA will have its own theme. Magento has a default theme called Venia for PWA.
luroConnect : Do I need to tell my website visitor to install an app?
Hashid : Certainly not. Not having to install an app is one of the biggest advantage of PWA. You get an app-like experience without installing an app, how cool is that? Plus users can easily add the PWA to their homescreen and use it like a regular app. Check out the demo below and see for yourself.
luroConnect : How is PWA different from AMP?
On the other hand, PWA is completely in the hands of the developer. There is no restriction at all.
luroConnect : Does my desktop experience enhance with PWA or is it just mobile?
Hashid : Though PWA talks more about mobile experience, most benefits can be reaped for desktop as well. Faster load time (no page loads), easier product discovery, intuitive navigation are some of these. However, majority of the merchants are mostly likely to roll-out the PWA only for mobile audience initially.
luroConnect : If I have updated the category or price how quickly can my PWA store know?
Hashid : Ideally, there should not be any delay as the PWA directly talks to Magento’s new GraphQL API. If the API responses are cached for even faster response by the developers, there could be a delay. But this is totally in the hands of the developer. It depends on the store requirement.
luroConnect : How about stock updates? I want that information to be out in the forefront.
Hashid : The above answer applies here as well.
luroConnect : Can a checkout happen without internet connectivity?
Hashid : Yes, in an ideal PWA, the complete checkout can happen offline. The order will be synced in Magento when the internet connectivity is back. Just like, how some of the cloud POS systems work offline. However, having an offline checkout could lead to other complexities in business such as ensuring stock availability.