PWA or Native App for your eCommerce business?

Updated 26 August 2020

As we all know that mobile application and web app play a major role in successfully engaging with an online business. It creates an easy shopping experience for your customers anywhere.  Here we will discuss choosing PWA or native app for your eCommerce business.

Role of Mobile Application in eCommerce

Today, customers prefer to do the shopping on mobile instead of the desktop as the latter offers more speed and flexibility.

roll of mobile application in ecommerce

79% of the user has purchased the product via the mobile application in the last 6 months. 40% of the product ordered by the mobile application.

As you can see in the last 6 months stats, more than half of the internet traffic shopping came from mobile devices.

Roll of mobile application in ecommerce


The future of m-commerce is blindingly bright as the growth of mobile applications in eCommerce will become 53.9% by 2021.

PWA or Native App for your eCommerce business?

Here we will discuss the popular technologies i.e. PWA and Native App. These are used to create a mobile application so that the user can easily access your online store on their mobile.

What is Progressive Web Application

Progressive Web Application uses web compatibilities and provides a native app experience to the user.  By using this extension you can achieve features like push notification, work in low internet connection, load on the home screen etc.

PWA brings the best from both worlds.

PWA - Universal Application

This technology allows your online store to support offline experiences, background synchronization, and push notifications. All credit to this remarkable mobile experience should be given to the service worker(service worker is a script that browser runs in the background).

Let’s have a look, how big brand websites are using PWA to improve their conversion rate.

Flipkart Lite- As we know that Flipkart is the largest eCommerce platform. Firstly the used only app after that they came up with PWA as Flipkart Lite. With the help of PWA, it converts 70% user to customer.

FlipKart Lite conversion rate

Twitter-  Twitter is a social networking service where the user interacts and tweets. It has more than 300 million active users monthly. With the help of PWA, it decreases in bounce rate by 20%.

Have a look at the Hulu stats after switching to PWA

PWA - Hulu Stats

Technical Component of PWA

Service Worker

A service worker is a component of JS code which works as a proxy between browser and network. It has the ability to handle network request, including programmatically managing a cache of responses. It enables intelligent caching, push notification and most important is offline functionality.

Service worker

For the first time load of PWA, service worker stores the all required resources in the particular browser cache. When the user visits again on the PWA then Service worker returns the response without checking the network so that the user can use the site in offline mode using the browser’s cache API.

As announced at the recent Google I/O 2019, you can easily install PWA on your desktop just by a single click. The feature has already been rolled out for Chrome OS last year, soon it will be available for Linux, Windows and Mac users.


The manifest file is a config JSON file which stores all information about your PWA like icon which will be displayed on the home screen, name of the PWA and background color.

If this file is present then browser directly triggers the PWA and if the user agrees, it installs the icon on the user’s home screen.


A service worker has the ability to handle the network request and modify the response. The service worker will work on the client side, hence PWA required a secure communication protocol  HTTPS.

Native App

A native application is a type of application which is developed for use on a particular platform(OS). It uses the device-specific hardware and software so that it can support the latest technology of devices.

They have access to various functions of the phone like the camera, GPS location, contact list, etc. User can also use some app as in offline mode. It provides fast performance and reliability. This type of app very costly to develop because it is tied on only one platform.

Technical Component of Native App

API:- API provides a set of fixed rule that is used to interact with the software component.  API can be created for operating system and application. Good API will make easy development of the app.

SDK:- SDK stands for the software development kit. SDK is a programming package that enables the developer to create an app for a specific platform.

PWA vs Native App and What to Choose Between Them

As we know that mobile app becomes a very important tool for e-commerce. So here will discuss some important factor when your business required PWA and When your business required a native app.

App Development and Early Launch

Let’s compare the difference between making Native App and PWA

Native App

For creating a native app for both Android and iOS required two teams for each.  As such it takes a high-cost and long time to develop and make sure that functionality will be the same in both apps. The average cost of Native App development is $5001-$10000 as per Clutch App development Cost Survey 2017

Once it will be created, it required store approval for launch on the store like Google’s Play store and Apple’s App Store.

Native App cost



For PWA, just a web development team is the need of the hour. PWA will help you to avoid to deal with app approval on the store. It is can be easily saved on the home screen and launched just like a native application.


How Native App and PWA are accessed by the end user

Native App

Find your app among the bunch of application on your respective app store. Download and install it(wait patiently if the app is too big), then you can use it. It takes lots of time to open.


Find your PWA website on Google, Open it and click on “Add to home screen“. You are ready to use your PWA. It is open within a few second.

time taken by pwa and native app

Offline Usage

Offline mode is one of the main features of the mobile application.

Native App

Here, the user can use all functionality which is managed by the cache when the connection was there.


PWA user can also make use of this function once the PWA pages are cached by the service worker. However, PWA is little slower comparing to the native app in offline mode.


Memory storage of the user’s device is the most important resource so before installing this app, the user will think about how much storage it required.

Native App

An average, for downloading Android App required about 15MB and other hands iOS App required about 38MB or so. As here I am not talking about gaming apps (exceptional).

Storage required for app


PWA doesn’t require more space on your device. It is still a web, it does not need to download an APK file which is more than 40MB approx.

Access to the Device

Accessing all feature of devices is also a major part while dealing with mobile applications.

Native App

Native App gets access to the mostly all feature of mobile devices like camera, GPS, Bluetooth, microphone, etc depend on the app.


There is restricted access to device hardware functionality. For Android user, PWA does not support the feature which is not maintained by the HTML5, similar condition for the iOS user.

PWA feature access


For the business owner, if they want more and more traffic on their app, it should be remain updated with new features and tech stack for a smooth experience.

Native App

To update your native application, it takes time and cost as most of the apps require wifi connection else it will take lots of data.


PWA doesn’t take so much effort to maintain it. As it is still a web so the user doesn’t need to update anything from their mobile device.


Security and privacy are the main factors as everyone wants their personal data to be secured on the mobile application.

Native App

From the security point of view, Native App is much better then PWA. Native App uses multi-factor Authentication functionality to secure their App. It also uses a certificate pinning which prevents certain kinds of attack.

And also since these apps are listed on Apple’s app store or Google’s play store so they have been authorized by Apple and Google first.


As PWA don’t have any such kind of security solutions they are still on HTTPS which allows the browser to maintain some level of server encryption.

To conclude, PWA is not a replacement for native apps however, it presents a cost-effective solution to make use of certain functionalities.  But for an application which requires hardware usage, should be OS specific, proper memory management etc,  a native application should be a go-to solution.

Hope the small case study is helpful and you can make a better choice among PWA or Native App for your eCommerce business. If you have any issue feel free to raise a ticket at

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