previous post

What should you know about Google Shopping as a newcomer?

next post

Marketplaces or your own web store?

Mobile app, only responsive design or PWA


Nowadays, we can’t imagine a modern man without a smartphone that has become an indispensable device. Gadgets significantly simplify the daily routine, allowing communicate, chat, browse the Internet, order goods & services via applications, and much more. Thus, apps have become an excellent source of income for many online stores. So, in this article, MageDirect team will clarify the merits and demerits of Mobile Apps, Only Responsive Design, and PWA development. Let’s figure out its peculiar properties together.

Always In Your Pocket

Mobile apps are created for working on various mobile devices. The significance of this technology in eCommerce is vital because it allows making the order any time and anywhere without a computer.


  • Portability means a lot. Users can do shopping or order services whatever they are: in a cafe, at work, in transport, and even in the middle of the street. It is great for both merchant and user.
  • Offline access is provided. This is convenient for the customers who spend a lot of time in a subway or often goes outside the city, where there is no Internet connection.
  • Push-notifications inform potential buyers of sales, new arrivals, and remind them about an abandoned cart, etc. This function is aimed to attract users and motivate them to open a mobile app.


  • Designed only for mobile gadgets.
  • Its creating is more expensive than PWA or Only Responsive Design ones.
  • Mobile app needі to be made to suit several mobile platforms: IOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, etc. Accordingly, sometimes the development is quite complicated and takes more time.
  • In fact, there is no confidence that a user will install an application. Therefore, it causes new troubles for merchants.

Only Responsive Design

This technology of so-called liquid layouts dynamically adjusts it for the gadget according to its screen size. Therefore, there is no need to create different versions of a website for specific types of devices. One site automatically adapts to any gadget from a smartphone to even a TV screen.


  • Only Responsive Design is a very common solution that is also used in PWA.
  • A site is displayed the same way at all devices. Therefore, a client, who has already visited an online store, approximately knows the structure of it.
  • There is no need to install anything.
  • This version is not complicated to develop. As a rule, programmers need the same tools as for designing the main site.
  • It is easy to update.
  • Developers do not depend on the requirements of outside organizations like Google Play, Apple App Store, Windows Phone Store, BlackBerry App World, 1mobile market, and so on. It significantly simplifies launching. There is no need to fill endless forms and wait for a moderators feedback.


  • Only Responsive Design version loads slower than a mobile app.
  • Internet connection is needed to use a site.
  • Heavy traffic causes some problems.
  • Bad personalization.

Download in one click

PWA interacts with a user as an ordinary application but doesn’t need to be installed from market. It is easily set on a home screen directly from a browser.


  • PWA operates well on both desktop and mobile gadget.
  • Designing of such apps are considered to be compatibility and not complicated. Also, it takes not so much time.
  • The average price for PWA development is lower than Only Responsive Design and Mobile Apps.
  • A user doesn’t have to install anything from a market.
  • Reduced load time is guaranteed no matter the quality of the Internet connection.
  • PWA can be used offline.
  • Content is always updated.


  • Although PWA guarantees great compatibility with any gadget, not all devices support its functionality.
  • Some custom functions are not displayed. For example, call & SMS/MMS functions, access to a calendar, tasks management, camera, and contacts. Also, some browsers do not support all PWA features.

Recommendations for choosing

So, as you understand, Mobile Apps, Only Responsive Design, and PWA have both beneficial and failing features. Each merchant should select the best solution for themselves according to the business’ budget, capabilities, and target.

It comes without saying that the high-quality development of a site’s mobile version will definitely boost a company productivity and attract new customers. The ability to do shopping and order services using a smartphone, no matter where a user is located, is a great benefit for any online store. The success of your marketplace is up to you! If you want to know more about Magento PWA, MageDirect team is always ready to help you.

Anastasia Sydorchenko

Anastasia SydorchenkoSoftware Expert

Latest news and technical articles from MageDirect Team

Subscribe to our blog

Rate us
Please wait...