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Over the past few years, the number of consumers utilizing their mobile devices to surf the online stores and go shopping has been increasing remarkably. Research from Statista claimed that the number of smartphone users worldwide is predicted to reach approximately 7,500 million in 2026. This prompts the eCommerce businesses, ranging from small start-ups to big corporations, to look for a reliable Tech Vendor in order to provide a fast, easy, and seamless mobile shopping experience, which can satisfy the ever-growing customers’ demands. In such situations, the PWA and Mobile Native App has existed. But how to choose one between two types? Which eCommerce platform is more suitable for businesses and their customers? To know more details, let’s find out in this blog!

1. What Is PWA? What Is A Native App?

PWA is a short form of “Progressive Web App”, which is written by javascript code to run inside a Web Browser. To be more specific, the PWA exists in a web appearance but supplies Native Apps’ themes and functions. Users can feel free to search Progressive Web App on Safari, Google Chrome,... with an URL just like they do any website, but as soon as they reach the PWA, they can feel like of using a “mobile app”, right on their browser, without having to download and install. This type of platform aims to enhance user experience and increase website engagement.

Native App is a Mobile App Development optimally operating on different platforms. Each platform would need a specific programming language, for example, Objective-C and Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android. To use this platform, the first thing users have to do is download it from Google Play or App Store. Because a Native Mobile App is created to suit particular devices and their operating systems, it is able to get access to device-specific software and hardware, which translates into delivering better performance and making the most out of device features such as GPS, camera, speaker, etc.

Take a look at two types of eCommerce platforms

Take a look at two types of eCommerce platforms: PWA and Native Mobile App.

2. The Detailed Comparison Between Two eCommerce Platforms

a. Development Process

The definition of two eCommerce platforms would somehow point out that the PWA development is much cheaper when compared to the remaining type. Not only the winner in the budget term but the PWA also takes the Software Developer less time and effort to build, update and maintain. With Progressive Web Apps, things are less complicated since they are developed on an intuitive framework just like any other website. By contrast, the businesses need at least 2 versions of Native Apps for iOS and Android - the two most popular platforms with the highest percentage of worldwide users. If your mobile app development only suits iOS, for instance, your businesses may lose trust and support from Android device users and vice versa. As a result, this doubles up the effort and time required in the development of a native app.

b. Performance

In terms of loading speed, PWA outweighs the remaining eCommerce platform. This can be explained by the fact that PWAs have service workers that cache resources and sync data remotely, allowing them to operate smoothly even with low internet speed. It means that the eCommerce shoppers can still surf the store to read the information and find out their favorite items, then add them to the cart. All these tasks can be saved and updated when the Internet is available. 

However, the Native Mobile App is said to consume less battery than PWA. Since a PWA operates on a browser, there is no direct control over battery spending. Instead, it relies on browser latency. Meanwhile, the native app’s efficiency and power consumption are under the control of the operating system it is compatible with. Therefore, users can manage how these mobile apps use batteries in the device settings.

c. Feature Integration In eCommerce Platform

When it comes to feature integration, the eCommerce Native App Platform is more outstanding. To know more details, let’s discuss some essential features for eCommerce businesses:

  • Push Notification: Push notification, which brings ROI (return on investment) as high as 3500%, is no doubt the most important and popular feature in any mobile app development, and the eCommerce platform is not an exception. It aims to re-engage the interest of users, prompt them to come back to the app to go shopping or visit the coupons and discounts, etc. With a Native App, the developers can build this functionality by API Integration. Meanwhile, although the PWA still can send push notifications with the help of service workers, it cannot utilize API on iOS due to the enhanced security parameters of the platform. 
  • Geofencing Feature: This functionality allows businesses and brands to know the users’ location so that they can combine with the Push Notifications to remind them to drop by their stores, hence helping boost the revenue. For example, whenever users pass by a Starbucks store, they would be sent a personalized offer so they could immediately use it by visiting the nearby outlet. Therefore, there is no doubt that Geofencing provides an excellent option to reach and engage mobile users. However, it is currently available for only native mobile apps.
  • Mobile Payment: This is another essential feature for the eCommerce platform as it allows consumers to utilize their phones to pay for their orders. In this aspect, mobile apps and PWA are both equally capable. Both types can offer their users many payment options, such as paying by credit card, using QR codes for payment,... 
  • Interaction With Other Mobile Apps: While eCommerce native apps can connect with the third-party providers to keep user login, add events to the calendar,... the PWA seems to lack these features.
  • Other Smart Functionalities: PWA cannot access the device of the user to get the individual information, such as phone number, etc. 

d. Installation And Capability

Compared to the Native App which requires users to download and install in their gadget devices, there is no installation requirement from the PWA eCommerce platform. To use the eCommerce Native App, users have to find it in the App Store or Google Play and download it. After waiting for a few seconds to download and install, they need to grant some permission before they can go online shopping. 

To use eCommerce Native App users need to download it

To use an eCommerce Native App, customers need to download it.

On the other hand, the process related to PWA is simpler and quicker. Instead of downloading, users just need to enter the URL on a browser and the app interface will automatically show up. Visitors can also bookmark and add the app to the home screen of their mobile with one tap so that they can easily access online shopping the next time. Moreover, almost all native apps require huge amounts of space in phone storage, not to mention new updates of each new version. However, it is not the case with PWA. The PWA hardly takes up any storage space.

e. Security Of eCommerce Platform

It is hard to determine which one is more secure between PWA and Native App eCommerce platform. As far as the PWA development is concerned, its security is more strict than other normal web apps because it has to run under HTTPS, which ensures that no exchanges between users and the servers are interfered with. An HTTPS website is a guarantee for users to enter their personal information without the fear of being stolen. 

Meanwhile, the eCommerce Native Mobile App can be integrated with a variety of security measures to ensure the safety of its consumers. For instance, in the login process, the business can request the eCommerce Software Development Company to implement additional layers of security, such as Two-factor Authentication. Or you can utilize the Biometric Login, including FaceID and TouchID features, which allows using unique characteristics such as retinas, irises, voices, facial features, and fingerprints to verify an individual’s identity. Besides, users have a tendency to trust a mobile app more than a URL since it has to pass the App Store’s security requirements before being launched to the public.

3. Final Thoughts: PWA Or Native App eCommerce Platform?

To sum up, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, meaning that the best eCommerce platform for each business is different from others. While the PWA is more suitable for small eCommerce enterprises as it requires less time and budget to develop and launch but still reaches a wide user base, your brands could consider Mobile Native App to build credibility and integrate more cutting-edge and latest features, such as instant checkout, push notifications, personalized product recommendations, etc. 

Contact us if you are finding a reliable Software Development Agency to launch your own eCommerce platform. With the hope to become a trusted partner to every worldwide client, SotaTek always broadens knowledge and stays updated with the latest technologies to build the best Tech solutions. Our 600+ experts ensure to bring highly customizable needs that fit merchandising and eCommerce requirements, CRM, customer data storage, and analysis. So, let’s collaborate with us and make your projects become reality!

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