Alibaba’s Switch to a Progressive Web App Marks the Next Wave of Ecommerce

Toronto, Ontario – February 20th 2017: Last year, the Chinese retailer Alibaba transformed its entire website with progressive web app technology. With a market value of over US$261 billion, Alibaba is Asia’s biggest company as of September 2016. Here at BluEnt, we had one question: what drove this leading ecommerce store to progressive web apps (PWA’s), and what does this mean for the rest of the world?

The Digital Landscape.

According to Business Insider, e-commerce referrals through paid search affiliate marketing, and email are all on the rise. Mobile has taken the traditional marketing funnel and spread it out across digital channels, creating a need for app development targeted at the micro-moments that make up this non-linear path to purchase.

This is exactly what Alibaba found in progressive web apps. In a case study, Google reported that their switch accelerated the mobile site’s speed and engagement metrics and created in a 76% increase in conversions across browsers.

Introducing Progressive Web Apps

But what exactly do progressive web apps entail? To learn more about the technology, check out one of our previous press releases on the topic here. But for now, these are the basics of what defines the PWA user experience:

  • Reliable: Instant, error-free loading regardless of network conditions.

  • Fast: Responsive user interactions with seamless animations and navigation.

  • Engaging: User interface similar to a native app that provides an immersive user experience.

The two biggest impacts on the user experience are that users have no need to download the app, yet have the option to receive push notifications and other emerging interactive tools that create the lifetime value native apps are known for.

In other words, PWA’s incorporate the best of native apps vs. web apps. They have the potential to mimic the smooth performance and mobile user engagement of the former, while taking advantage the effortless availability and reach of the latter. Rather than having to choose between loading speed and instant updates, quick mobile pathways and total device accessibility, sites can now have both.

Companies like Alibaba understand that progressive web apps exist to create a competitive advantage not out of product or service, but the digital experience (Share on social media).

What Comes Next?

Achieving Alibaba’s success isn’t easy to come by for a reason. Although consumers show an increasing preference for mobile shopping, study after study indicates their dissatisfaction with current retail apps. IBM revealed that even though smartphones account for the majority of online traffic, they only represent 29% of successfully completed online sales.

The customer journey only becomes more complicated when you factor in retail brands with brick-and-mortar locations. Since 82% of mobile shoppers complete their purchases in physical stores, progressive web apps are just as impactful on in-store conversions as they are on the online experience.

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BluEnt’s Response

As a full-service IT company with over a decade of experience in both web application development and mobile app development, BluEnt is well-positioned to lead the transition to progressive web app technology in the Canadian market. Our team of professional developers strive to integrate the latest technological innovations in technical performance and user experience at an affordable cost.

Through our history working with retail brands and ecommerce sites, we have a rich understanding of the industry and how to design the optimal customer experience. We are confident that our solutions will enable clients to prosper and achieve maximum value from the ever-changing digital landscape.

About Us:

Formed in 2003, BluEnt specializes in proving custom websites, mobile apps, e-commerce, and internet marketing services for companies running an online dependent business or looking to develop tools to efficiently automate and monitor active processes in their organization. With 11 growing offices situated around the world, BluEnt is respected globally for its consistent quality of services and timely delivery of projects. We use our experience across industries and software applications to help enterprises derive maximum value out of their resources and investments.

Ava Smith
Strategic Sourcing & Business Development Manager
BluEnt | +1 647 478 5230

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