9 of the Best PWA Examples From Stunning, Super Fast Stores

April 13, 2021

9 Inspiring PWA Examples How Ecommerce Brands are Achieving Sub Second Load Times pwa examples

For a few years now, ecommerce brands considering headless commerce have been getting excited about the site speed improvements that progressive web apps (PWAs) can offer.

Using PWAs to power a headless commerce frontend is a game-changer for blazing-fast site speed, especially on mobile.

The fast load times can ultimately boost ecommerce conversion rates and revenue per user.

But before building a headless PWA of your own, you likely want to see some other brands’ incredible stores in action.

#cta-paragraph-pb#New to the world of headless? See our comprehensive guides to headless commerce and the benefits of PWAs for added background info.

In this post, we’re looking at real ecommerce PWA examples in the wild and how brands have been using this technology to improve shoppers’ overall experience.

We’ll look at the reasons behind each brand’s transition and each store’s competitive advantage.

#cta-visual-fe#<cta-title>Build a PWA for your brand<cta-title>Shogun Frontend is the easiest way to launch a PWA for your store.Learn more


What is a progressive web app (PWA)?

As we describe in our guide to PWAs, a progressive web application is:

“… a website served over HTTPS, in a web browser, but—because of its architecture—behaves more like a downloadable native app than a static website.”

PWA stores start as static web pages and progressively become single-page web apps in your browser. As users click around, the PWA only swaps out elements that need to change, making page loads extremely fast.

Transitioning to a PWA from a traditional site will result in huge performance gains in key metrics like First Contentful Paint, Largest Contentful Paint, Time to Interactive, and more.

The great thing about PWAs is that they deliver a better experience and are easier to maintain than native mobile apps.

Mobile users benefit the most from using PWAs, but it makes for an excellent experience on desktops as well.

For instance, while both can be accessed from mobile device home screens, only PWAs are accessible through the web, search engine indexable, and device-agnostic.

PWAs can even work offline if resource data is fully cached beforehand.

Now that you have some insight into what they are let’s look at some popular companies that use PWAs to offer users a better experience.

Top companies that use PWAs for fast mobile experiences

Before we go into specific progressive web app examples from some amazing ecommerce brands, let’s look at just a handful of companies that have chosen PWAs to create the best user experience possible.

  • Pinterest
  • Trivago
  • Tinder
  • Washington Post
  • Target
  • AliExpress
  • Walmart
  • Macy’s
  • Wired
  • Forbes
  • The Guardian
  • Twitter
  • Telegram
  • Instagram
  • Airbnb
  • Uber
  • Spotify

9 of the best progressive web app (PWA) examples from top ecomm brands

Publishers, social media, and gig economy apps aren’t the only ones that can deliver unique and fast mobile experiences with PWA technology.

Ecommerce brands have started creating their own, too.

While the Walmarts and Targets of the world could spend early on to build their own progressive web apps, DTC brands are now providing the same experiences.

Skip ahead to see a particular brand example:

  1. Oliver Bonas
  2. Starbucks
  3. Nomad
  4. Wellpath
  5. Lancôme
  6. Zadig & Voltaire
  7. Thomas Kent
  8. Lilly Pulitzer
  9. Alibaba

Let’s dive in.

Oliver Bonas – Recreating the in-store experience online with a PWA

oliver bonas desktop pwa examples oliver bonas pwa examples
First up is the British fashion, jewelry, and gifts outlet Oliver Bonas.

As well as having over 60 UK retail locations, the lifestyle brand has savvily used its online store to expand into the US and international markets.

Camilla Tress, Oliver Bonas’ ecommerce strategist, said the ambition was to give customers an online experience to match the individual care and attention they would receive in a physical store.

As she explained to the 2018 Retail Business Technology Expo:

“People love coming into our stores, our store assistants are really knowledgeable about products and give good advice—and we want to recreate that online.”

What we love about this PWA:

  • Navigating the site is smooth and intuitive. The straightforward layout means customers are guided quickly and seamlessly through the site.
  • There are lots of product images, but they don’t crowd each other.
  • Moving from a page displaying multiple product images to one featuring a single product is impressively quick on the mobile site—much like the in-app experience brands want their customers to have when shopping.

Starbucks – PWA example for easy ordering on the go

starbucks desktop pwa examples starbucks mobile pwa examples

Starbucks wanted to add an online ordering function to their site that didn’t require customers to download and install their native app.

Considering the needs of their on-the-go customers and with ambitions to establish themselves in emerging markets with often patchy internet coverage, they went for a PWA as the solution.

The offline functionality that PWAs provide means customers can browse the site, make their order, and add it to their cart—selecting and customizing their coffee or cake as they go—even when not connected to the internet.

What makes this ecommerce PWA especially great?

  • The resulting progressive web app is over 99% smaller than the brand’s pre-existing native app, making it substantially more accessible to customers.
  • It comes with a dizzying array of customization options, user-friendly images, and animations that are a steep change from what’s deliverable on standard mobile sites.

Nomad – Example of PWA upgrading an already fantastic experience

nomad desktop pwa examples nomad mobile pwa examples
Featuring a mix of lifestyle accessories and mobile gadgets, this site has a lot of products to showcase to its visitors.

In contrast to some of the other brands we feature, Nomad were already happy with how their pre-PWA site looked.

They wanted to keep the unique aesthetic they’d worked hard to create while cutting the significant page-load times that hampered visitors’ ability to browse the catalog.

They were also keen to reduce their internal teams’ lead times to develop marketing campaigns and build custom pages.

After switching to a PWA with Shogun Frontend, Nomad have enjoyed a 25% increase in conversion rate.

Reese Hammerstrom, Nomad’s former Director Of Ecommerce, says:

“Early data shows that users are spending more time on the site and visiting more pages. Customers can instantly consume more content, explore more of our catalog, and discover more about the brand. As a result, conversion rate increases.”

#cta-mini-fe#Find out if your store is a good fit for headless commerce.Take the quiz


WellPath – Building an optimized sales funnel with a speedy PWA

wellpath desktop pwa examples wellpath mobile pwa examples
This relatively new, online-only health and wellness brand provides supplement packages that can be tailored to customers’ needs.

Visitors choose from three different “paths” when they land on the site and can fill out a two-minute consultation (leaving their name and email) if they’re unsure which path to take.

Once customers have chosen their path on the landing page, the uncomplicated navigation brings up three product options.

From there, it’s only one more click to the cart and one more again to checkout.

As well as the signature speed and satisfying UX of PWA sites, the seamlessly integrated customization options are a perfect fit for a brand that wants to give customers a bespoke, holistic experience.

Lancôme – Mobile-first experience via PWA instead of a mobile app

lancome desktop pwa examples lancome mobile pwa examples

The French luxury cosmetics brand has long been pursuing a mobile-first strategy, with their mobile traffic volume overtaking desktop in 2016.

But their conversion rates didn’t keep up with their mobile traffic growth initially.

The slower mobile speeds meant customers were tired of waiting for pages to load and abandoning carts.

Initially, Lancôme considered building a native app to address the problem, but only a small percentage of their customers would adopt an app.

So, instead, they decided their customers would be better served by a solution that would not only improve the mobile experience but also deliver UX benefits across all platforms and devices.

The resulting PWA did not disappoint.

Overall, Lancôme has enjoyed a 17% increase in conversion rates, with the improvements in speed and UX leading to a 53% increase in mobile sessions for visitors accessing their site via IOS (a key customer group for the brand).

#cta-visual-fe#<cta-title>Build a PWA for your brand<cta-title>Shogun Frontend is the easiest way to launch a PWA for your store.Learn more


Zadig & Voltaire – PWA example for a multi-storefront brand

zadig voltaire desktop pwa examples zadig voltaire mobile pwa examples

Another French luxury brand to embrace PWAs is Zadig & Voltaire.

Super-fast page loads are essential to fashion brands to ensure customers get the high-end shopping experience they deserve and reduce cart abandonment and ensure a healthy conversion rate.

The brand decided to use the flexibility PWAs afford to implement the new shopping experience in stages.

They started by redesigning their Italian site and, suitably impressed with the resulting improvements in speed, moved on to other regions.

Last year they launched their PWA-powered flagship French site.

Thomas Kent – Example of PWA driving huge increases in conversions

thomas kent desktop pwa examples thomas kent mobile pwa examples
The British clockmaker and purveyor of high-quality wall art is another brand to have seen dramatic increases in conversion rates after relaunching their site with a PWA beneath the bonnet.

Taking a mobile-first approach without leaving customers who prefer to shop on the desktop site behind is a cornerstone of what makes PWAs so attractive to ecommerce brands.

On the mobile site, an impressive variety of menu and filtering options slide seamlessly from the side of the screen without the need for further page loads, allowing for effortless product customization.

As well as the signature lightning-fast speeds (54% faster page-load time), this brand has seen a whopping 77% increase in conversion rates and an equally impressive 79% increase in revenue from organic traffic.

Lilly Pulitzer – Simplifying the buyer journey with a device-agnostic PWA site

lilly pulitzer desktop pwa examples lilly pulitzer pwa examples

This women’s resort-wear brand is another example of PWA sites’ clean, simple, and fast experience.

There’s an intuitive and straightforward journey from landing page to cart (or “tote,” as Lilly Pulitzer likes to call it).

An unobtrusive menu is toggled to the top of the screen, allowing repeat visitors to handily jump to where they want to go.

At the same time, new customers are guided by uncluttered product images as they click through from homepage to checkout in a few seconds.

You can quickly find a nearby store to pick up from or “connect with a stylist,” as both these options appear right on the product page.

Mobile and desktop offer customers an impressively similar experience—another great advantage of having a flexible PWA site that supports both devices—and visitors will appreciate the consistently high quality that results.

Alibaba – Using PWA to create a consistent experience across devices

alibaba desktop pwa examples alibaba mobile pwa examples

While the Chinese ecommerce giant might not be a conventional DTC brand, with a presence in over 200 countries, it’s the world’s biggest B2B trading platform.

Frustrated at slow mobile internet speeds, Alibaba initially wanted to use their mobile site to encourage customers to download their native app.

But despite their best efforts, take-up remained stubbornly below expectations.

And so they had the idea to use a PWA site to re-create the app experience, but (as it uses the ordinary web like any other site) accessible to a much larger segment of its customer base.

Switching their site to a PWA led to a 76% increase in conversions. And this was the overall increase, regardless of browser.

So although the switch to PWA was driven by considerations over their mobile web presence, the speed and UX improvements have delivered results across platforms.

Make your site super speedy by building a PWA

Hopefully, this brief look around the world of PWA ecommerce has given you some inspiration.

Forward-thinking brands have been switching to PWAs to power their storefronts because of the improvements in speed and consistent UX they offer.

For brands focused on a mobile-first shopping experience, opting for a PWA instead of a more limited native app is the best way to achieve your goals.

PWAs offer the rich and engaging quality of native apps without losing the advantage of reach and accessibility you get from a website.

It’s no wonder that so many major brands are turning to them.


#cta-visual-fe#<cta-title>Build a PWA for your brand<cta-title>Shogun Frontend is the easiest way to launch a PWA for your store.Learn more

Kaitlyn Ambrose

Kaitlyn works on all things content at Shogun. ⚡

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