Frequently Asked Questions
Why Progressive Web Apps?
Shawn Jansepar, Mobify’s Director of Engineering, on the benefits of building a Progressive Web App with Mobify.
Why build a Progressive Web App (PWA)?
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites that use the latest web technologies to appear to the shopper like native mobile apps. PWAs allow brands to deliver a new standard of quality on the mobile web not possible with adaptive and responsive techniques. PWAs provide reliable, fast, and engaging experiences that feel native to the phone or tablet. PWAs are created using web-standard technologies accessible from inbound organic, paid, email & social traffic, with no need for an application marketplace (“app store”).
Progressive Web Apps use a new cross-browser web standard technology called Service Workers to enhance the experience and provide app-like performance and navigation, push notifications over the web, and offline mode. They also allow shoppers to install your website on their home screens, just like an app (but without the need for an app store). PWAs adhere to a development philosophy called Progressive Enhancement, which prioritizes the delivery of core web content to all users before testing for device and browser compatibility, and then progressively enhancing the experience with more advanced supported features.
What’s the value of partnering with Mobify for a PWA instead of building on my own?
Mobify has funneled more than 10 years of mobile commerce experience into our platform, and we’re now the most experienced provider of PWAs for ecommerce. We provide a ready-built PWA storefront created from a performance-tested library of user interface (UI) components, designed with optimized user experience (UX) best practices, accessibility, performance and internationalization.
The Mobify Platform provides ready-built integrations with enterprise ecommerce platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, as well as popular analytics and marketing tools. With the Mobify software development kit (SDK), developers get access to powerful tools for customizing the platform to their environment and integrating it with their continuous delivery workflow. With Mobify, you can start launching prototypes in a matter of hours and be up and running in high-volume production in as few as three months.
The Mobify Platform includes tools for marketers to execute campaigns that target users based on data collected by our Engagement Engine. The platform also keeps customers engaged by automatically reaching out to them based on events such as cart abandonment.
Our team constantly researches the latest developments in mobile commerce and expands the platform to incorporate them, with a 3-year roadmap for innovation. We take the burden off your team of evaluating new technologies such as AMP and Messenger chat bots. Let us test the waters and work new channels and technologies into the platform, so they’re there for you to switch on whenever you’re ready.
I’m concerned about maintaining our internal standards for uptime and resiliency. Why shouldn’t I use my own existing infrastructure and servers?
With the Mobify Platform, your mobile experiences are managed through our resilient cloud-based platform, so your team doesn’t have to incur any additional capital expenditures, requisition additional servers, or worry about maintaining uptime and compliance overheads. The platform features multiple layers of redundancy and a globally distributed architecture, all available on the first day of using the Mobify Platform.
Do Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) work on iPhones & iOS devices? I thought they were only for Android.
PWAs work on both Android & iOS devices, including iPhones. Business outcomes (conversion rate, revenue per visitor) from our customers after launching a PWA are often even better on iOS than on Android.
There are a few PWA features that are not yet available on iOS, however, these are not what drive the majority of the benefit. These features are expected to be supported in future releases of iOS. When they arrive, PWAs on iOS will be even better than they are now.
How do Progressive Web Apps integrate with my existing systems?
Progressive Web Apps use APIs from your ecommerce platform (or other systems). We have integrations with common ecommerce platforms, such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, via an extensible Integration Manager that allows us to connect to other third-party or custom APIs.
Do I need HTTPS everywhere?
No, HTTPS is not required. But it is recommended regardless of whether you are creating a PWA. Google will begin penalizing non-HTTPS search results in the near future.
If you aren’t HTTPS everywhere yet, don’t worry. Your shoppers will still benefit from the fast, app-like experience a PWA delivers.
I am considering or in the middle of a replatforming project. Should I wait until that’s complete before optimizing my mobile site?
With over 50% of your traffic coming from mobile, it’s not wise to delay optimizing your mobile site. The Mobify Platform delivers a true mobile-first storefront decoupled from your existing desktop/responsive site, meaning changes to one won’t negatively impact the other. The connection to your ecommerce platform is a plugin provided by the Mobify Integration Manager, which is easily connected to your new ecommerce platform when you’re ready to go live.
How do I upgrade my Mobify deployment after the initial project?
You are always entitled to the latest code and features of the Mobify Platform. Features that are independent of customization are deployed automatically. Features that impact customizations, which may require QA testing, are available to you on release, but can be launched by your team or by your systems integrator when your QA process has been completed.
Upgrade guides are made available with each SDK release.