6 Reasons Retailers Should Build Progressive Web Apps with an API-led Approach

Depending on your organizational goals and ecommerce architecture, there are 3 different approaches to delivering a commerce Progressive Web Apps (PWA). We cover all 3 in our Enterprise Guide to Delivering Commerce PWAs, but more and more retailers are leaning towards an API-led approach because it enables a headless commerce architecture and supports a PWA across mobile, tablet and desktop.

Here are 6 reasons you should also consider an API-led approach to your PWA.

1. Unlock agility

The fast rate at which new web technology emerges and customer expectations change demands retailers focus on agility – but this isn’t possible when a user experience change requires a heavy redeploy of a monolithic CMS or ecommerce platform. Separating the PWA experience from backend systems through APIs enables faster customer experience innovation because it’s not locked into the same pace of change as the backend. Since the deployments are smaller and less risky, retailers can do frequent UX experimentation and deployments to quickly drive compounding value.

2. Future-proof customer experience investments

Decoupling the PWA through APIs ensures hard-fought wins and customer experience investments don’t need to be thrown out when it comes time for a replatform. This architecture enables teams to quickly adopt the latest web innovations, and continuously iterate, which can take the place of large website redesigns that need to start from scratch.

3. Activate full value of CMS and ecommerce systems.

The CMS and ecommerce platform are both crucial parts of creating immersive commerce experiences – but teams aren’t able to activate the full value if they have to force one application through the other to expose it on the front-end. By building a PWA with an API-led approach, teams can line up the ecommerce platform and CMS side-by-side to equally expose both on the front-end.

4. Get the fastest PWA experience.

The cornerstone of PWAs is speed. They significantly lower the time it takes for a shopper to complete critical tasks like finding an item or completing a purchase, but not all PWAs are created equal when it comes to speed. An API-led approach defers and reduces the total amount of data being sent to the device to ensure the PWA is as fast as possible.

5. Boost performance, SEO, and revenue on all digital channels.

Most retailers build their front-end experience. An API-led approach to PWAs enables teams to extend their mobile PWA across tablet and desktop. Since PWAs provide premium customer experiences that boost performance, improve SEO, and increase revenue, extending it across all screens results in the same boosts across all digital channels.

6. Cut maintenance costs with a single front-end codebase.

An API-led approach allows you to launch a PWA across mobile, tablet, and desktop with a single codebase. This cuts costs and guarantees a consistent experience as your team won’t have to spend time and resources maintaining multiple front-end codebases.

An API-led approach to PWAs provides retailers with the agility needed to stay at the forefront of the best digital customer experiences, and is the best path to build a PWA across all screens. You can implement an API-led PWA by building a custom front-end from scratch, utilizing a vertically integrated reference storefront, or leveraging a Front-end as a Service. Read “3 Routes to an API-Led Progressive Web App” to evaluate the best solution for your business.

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