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Native Apps vs PWA

Updated 30 January 2020

If you still aren’t aware of the benefits of mobile commerce with respect to e-business, you are definitely not living on earth. 
Native apps evolved way before PWA but still, PWA has not left any course of action to create the buzz!

Having said that, you can’t deny that native apps are far richer in the functionality it provides. Thus, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that PWA is not an opponent of the native app.

To reach a wider audience, you can have a native app, PWA or both if it fits your budget.

More than half of the online traffic on the eCommerce platforms comes from mobile.

Defining in Layman’s term

Native apps are built to perform a set of tasks on smartphones.

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Progressive Web Applications are enhanced versions of a fully-fledged website. It transforms web pages into intuitive applications that just resembles the app but isn’t one.

PWA vs Native Apps

Let’s discuss each of them within the following categories:


Native apps are built separately for android and iOS platforms. Android has a larger portion of users but iOS also covers a significant space.
Thus, leaving any one of these can impact the results you are expecting.

Concluding, the native app requires twice the efforts, money & time.

PWA, on the other hand, doesn’t require heavy investment to create one. They can be accessed using any browser, i.e., Chrome, Firefox, Safari or even Edge. Thus, acting as a single solution for multiple platforms!

PWA provides more or less the same features as provided by the native applications. Moreover, the total expenditure of PWA is just a portion of what is required for native apps.


The apps require to be updated every now and then to be on the track. Be it bug-related updates or newly added functionalities, it needs to be maintained.

Maintenance of native app includes maintaining/testing/debugging Android as well as iOS versions. Thus, double the efforts & money.

Whereas, PWA requires 1/3rd of the total efforts to maintain. One update for all the versions. Moreover, the updates are deployed easily without the need for approval.

PWA vs Native Apps


All it takes for the PWA to reach the audience is a web browser and a URL. Since PWA is supported by almost all browsers, be it Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.
This factor increases the reachability on its own.

Moreover, PWA acts as a website and thus, they get indexed in the search engines. So, improving the SEO can easily and organically help you get ranked among top results.
Simply revving up the business visibility.

On the other hand, native apps need to be listed on the app stores first. Then, the users can download & install the application.

To launch the app on the app store (in the case of iOS) requires good expense & a lot of effort. Moreover, the developer needs to follow all the app store guidelines & lookup for the product quality to even get the chances of being listed up there.

On the brighter side, once you get the app listed, you get the authenticity factor in hand!

An app listed on the app store is more trusted as compared to a URL. At last, all it takes is the app to be optimized for your users to find it on the app store.

The app store reviews, on the other part, play a major role. This point doesn’t require much explanation!


In terms of security, native apps are trusted more over the URLs (PWA). In case you want your customers to log in before accessing the app, you can implement multi-factor authentication.

There are different majors that you can take to improve the security of a native application.

PWA, in general, is secured as it runs over the SSL protocol. Running on the HTTPS protocol makes sure that the data exchange between the client and server remains secure.


The native apps require to be downloaded and installed. Thus, data usages & phone storage are two factors involved.

This seems like a lot of commitment to make from the user’s end. Thus, resulting in turn-offs!

PWAs don’t require downloading or installing. They can simply be added to the homescreen & get started. Barely occupying any storage with a hassle-free process.

PWA vs Native Apps


Performance under flaky networks:
PWA works fine under poor network conditions. PWAs are built in a way that they can save the tasks performed & later update when connected to the internet.

PWA loads faster. The PWA works by caching the data to make it fluent than the native apps.

Battery Usage:
PWA requires more battery consumption than native apps. The reason being that the PWA operates under a web browsing application (Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge) so, they don’t have direct control over the battery.
Whereas, the native app is operated under the OS, giving more efficiency, power & direct control over battery usage.

Go for native apps if your needs follow these:

  • For better user experience. Native apps can utilize mobile features like locations, storage, etc. which can help you provide a much better UI & UX.
  • If you are a brand or want to enhance the brand visibility of your business then go for native apps. They are bolder, reliable & much trustworthy among the audience.

Check out: Mobikul Mobile App for Shopify

Go for PWA if your needs follow these:

  • If you have just started with the online business because it is SEO friendly to reach audience first.
  • Moreover, when getting started with a new business, there are tons of expenses. Going with PWA will help you with this factor as well.
  • Want your customers to access content even in poor network conditions.

Check out: Progressive Application for Shopify


Understand the requirement of your business & the budget to decide which way to go. Both have their own merits & demerits but will surely influence your business revenue!

Need help?
You can drop your query at [email protected] or raise a ticket at Webkul UV Desk.

Until next time. ­čĹő

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