Headless PWA vs PWA – Can You Build a PWA eCommerce Platform Without Headless?

  • author-img Kamlesh
  • 2 years
PWA Vs Headless PWA

If you are in the eCommerce industry, you must know how crucial it is to build a presence on mobile. We live in the mobile-first world, and without creating a solid presence on hand-held devices, you can not make your brand and increase customer loyalty.

However, eCommerce retailers often face problems like poor website performance, sluggish page-load times, and low conversions when optimizing mobile experiences. On top of it, building a mobile app is expensive for many eCommerce startups who have just seen the light of the day and even for SMEs that don’t have high revenues yet. 

Here comes PWA eCommerce platforms to the rescue.

They are the best of both worlds, and several big brands are using the PWA technology to secure an edge over competitors. Now you must be aware of this term, but what is Headless PWA?

In this article, we will have a look at this amazing technology along with understanding the difference between PWA and Headless PWA. So, let’s get started.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps are web applications built using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. They are built to look, feel, and perform like a native mobile application while still running using a browser. Three words that best describe the advantages of PWA are:

  • Reliable: PWA loads fast even when network conditions are not favorable. 
  • Fast: Respond very quickly to user interactions. According to reports, a large number of consumers leave the product purchase process in between due to loading times, but with a PWA, you will never face any such issue.
  • Engaging: PWAs deliver native-app-like performance and engaging UX, leading to increased conversions. 

What is a Headless PWA eCommerce Platform?

Headless PWAs are solely based on APIs. The application programming interface (API) is a medium of communication between the decoupled backend and frontend of a website that provides flexibility and speed, which is crucial to growing a business in the highly competitive eCommerce industry.

This approach lets teams move from an “all-in-one” solution to the most suitable “best-of-breed” solutions for every business’ needs. In the eCommerce industry, this approach is popular because each system will focus on one aspect of the overall functionality and will do it better than any other system.

Using the headless approach for PWA, you can hire, fire, or replace any particular tool used in your eCommerce system, depending on its performance and without disturbing the entire process. A few years ago, it looked impossible, but with the best-of-breed approach, the most valuable companies in the world are doing it and are enjoying better results in terms of flexibility.

When building a PWA headless solution, you need to consider the following components:

eCommerce Platform, CRM, and OMS: The headless PWA approach will make it possible for you to choose your own backend system, and you may implement new solutions or choose to continue with your existing ones. Are you using Magento for your eCommerce platform? Do you have an OMS or CRM in place that is working efficiently? There is no reason your PWA will not accommodate the tech stack of your choice when you go headless.

Third-Party Applications: Do you have a list of third-party apps that are working seamlessly for you? There is no need to bid farewell to them. But, you can always choose to upgrade them for better performance.

CMS and PIM: The right headless solution will let you select the CMS and PIM of your choice or ones that fit your business needs – there is no obligation. We suggest using a headless platform like Sanity or Contentful, but the good news is that you get to select.

Frontend Framework: Using the headless approach, you should choose the frontend that empowers your developers. It should have predefined components and flexibility for customization to set the desired CX. This will boost productivity and your overall user experience.

Hosting: Just like in the traditional approach, you are free to select the hosting services that you think fit your business needs. 

PWA is a top-notch solution for fulfilling the increasing demands of your consumers. However, you can take PWA to the next level by adding headless functionality to it. For example, it makes the development faster. In addition, you can also achieve a lightning-fast frontend with a microservice architecture.

Also Read: Will Headless Really Help eCommerce Businesses Thrive in 2022?

Can You Build a PWA Without Headless?

Yes, you can surely build a Progressive Web App without it being headless. You can simply get a PWA created for your website and launch it for optimized mobile experiences. It is totally up to you. Brands are adopting headless with PWA because of the benefits associated with it. 

It allows users to navigate the website without any hassles and page load speed becomes very fast. In addition, with Headless PWA, retailers are able to provide an excellent CX, which increases conversions and improves the overall revenue. 

You can get the same with PWA as well, but PWA will be less customizable, and you would not be able to choose best-of-breed solutions with a PWA. No doubt, PWAs provide an improved user experience, but headless helps you take it to another level.

How to Get Started with Developing a PWA eCommerce Platform?

A headless commerce architecture can help retailers eliminate all the obstacles that come in between their route to growth – and a PWA is an important  first step in that direction. It does not just help you provide a better experience but also helps your team with the required agility.

If you plan to develop and launch a PWA to accelerate your business growth, start by hiring an expert PWA Development Company. At Envision eCommerce, we have helped hundreds of brands embark on their successful journey to headless, and the results were always amazing.


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