Is Magento PWA the Future of eCommerce?

The year 2018 is witnessing many exciting developments in Magento. Magento 2 is making its way to the desks of enthusiastic ecommerce solutions developers with new API improvements, a new architecture based on CQRS, and the introduction of GraphQL as a standard for JSON replies. However, the most astonishing launch that the e-commerce giant is set to make is Magento PWA Studio! This is a suite of tools designed to equip developers to better create online stores as progressive web apps. For merchants on Magento, using PWA will be an exciting opportunity to reimagine their clients’ mobile ecommerce experience.

A bit of basics first. In simple words, PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) give app-like experiences to eCommerce websites. It is a feature that will allow a customer to visit a specific ecommerce website just by tapping a shortcut or icon on their mobile device. PWAs give a seamless shopping experience to customers with a full-screen display, offline access, less storage space requirements, less battery life usage and the option to receive push notifications – just the way a mobile app should work. For example, Twitter Lite and Skype Liteare some of the PWAs currently available.

When we say that the Magento PWA is the future of ecommerce, it’s true.

  • Many times, we take a step back from downloading an app. It could be for many reasonssuch as the large size that needs Wi-Fi or how frequently the client will actually use the app. This is where PWAs can come to the rescue. The experience is the same as using a mobile browser, but no one can tell the difference between a PWA and a native app.

  • PWAs works offline. New data is cached and local changes are synced to a local server using Service Workers. Once updated, it will send push notifications as well, but only if the terms & conditions are accepted at the start.

  • The shelf life of PWA is longer. There are times when we need to buy something once or twice and we download an app for that. However, we may not use that app again anytime soon; this makes the app useless and eating up storage space. A PWA is the solution and it just needs pinning the website to the home screen. It does not take much space because it is designed to push and pull data directly from the web.

  • Light to pocket and no hassles maintaining PWAs. It is true. An ecommerce business would have todevelop and keep up with mobile apps for all the different types of operating systems, like Android, iOS and Windows. This means it would take at least $45,000 to $50,000 to hire a developer for a year because the apps would need continuous monitoring, frequent bug fixes, and feature upgrades. However, when it comes to PWAs, they are much less expensive in maintaining.

  • The future of ecommerce is PWAs because mobile conversion takes the front seat over desktops. Out of theextensive research done, all of them stated the mightiness of mobile use. Thanks to bigger screen Smartphones, more than 30% of sales now happen through mobile devices and it is continuously growing with every passing day. Magento PWA is a win-win situation for both mobile users and the ecommerce business.

Magento PWA Studio is a set of intuitive tools to make a progressive web app by using the Magento platform with all the required technical guidance, techniques, and components to build better-working PWA frontends. As of now, the Beta version is already released and Magento is supporting ecommerce companies transitioning to PWAs rather than using native apps. With the release of Magento 2.3, PWA Studio will be available for the developers across the world.

Mobile apps are not going to fade away in near future, however for practical, result-focused businesses, PWAs offer a realistic solution and it is going to be the go-to-option to everyone looking to increase mobile conversions.

To get regular updates on what’s happening in the Magento world, keep watching this space.

Will GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) Effect the Way eCommerce Business is Done?

Not everything that happens in the world of technology and data acquisition is meant only for geeks; at times there’s something for the end users as well. To find out what benefits this bonding would bring, let’s first do a bit of a flashback.

For the past year and a half, there’s so much going around GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, which is the most comprehensive data privacy law to date. The European Union’s GDPR, a data protection law that passed in the EU Parliament in 2016 and which came in to force on May 25, 2018, aims to facilitate the rights of individuals to own their own data and any business handling that data must keep it secure.

The General Data Protection Regulation will mandate any company in the European Union and well as those who do business inside the EU, to adhere with strict new rules regarding the collection, storage and use of customer data. This includes all forms of customer data, such as pictures, social media posts, IP addresses, bank details, consumer history, and any numbers like an SSN, that relates to the identity of a customer. The step is to safeguard consumers from companies that may misuse their data and to help them allow and manage their data for only its intended use.

If we take a look at the impact of GDPR on eCommerce, it will cause significant change because eCommerce runs on customer data accessible on CRM, EDM, PoS and BPA systems and companies use of that data as per the needs of their business. The GDPR will now apply to all such data that is being channelized for marketing, sales, HR, and accounting purposes. In simple words, any form of digital data that is stored or processed will fall under the new regulation and eCommerce businesses will need to comply with it.

Once implemented across all the verticals of business domains, the GDPR will empower the EU consumer to be the all-encompassing owner of their data and allow them to review, adjust, erase, and restrict the processing of their data. The consumer has to make an online request to the eCommerce company and the company will have to close the request in no longer than a months’ time. In addition, if there is a need to delete any copies of personal data that is public, the companies are required to initiate a request to organizations, like Google who has already set up a process to speed things the requests.

eCommerce businesses cannot afford to make mistakes since there is so much at stake. Any infringement will attract fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of their annual revenue. Data must be stored securely and eCommerce businesses that store data using third-party software applications are solely responsible for the encryption and back up rules while protecting their customer data.

However, for eCommerce companies utilizing the cloud for data storage and access, the transition can be easy. For bigger players, significant resources will be required to become fully compliant with the regulation. The companies that rely on in-house servers or customized software solutions will require a team to assess the risks, test measures and follow processes to protect data from input to deletion.

According to the terms mentioned in the GDPR, every eCommerce company is considered the Data Controller who is responsible for the collection and safe storage of their customer data. The Data Controller will also be able to gain consent from customers and visitors to use their data in a GDPR compliant way.

To make sure that the business is fully compliant with the regulations, the company can recruit a Data Protection Officer (DPO), integrate advanced privacy tools, evaluate data security systems, train the staff, and hire services from a third-party provider who is GDPR complaint.

If you are in an eCommerce business and serve customers in the European Union, you may now need to be concerned if your business in not GDPR compliant. We know that GDPR is giving many of us sleepless nights and a run for our money, but it is for a better future of dealing with data securely.