Yesterday, I had the honor to give a speech at the Meet Magento DE. Third time in a row – and as usual, the event was awesome. I really appreciate the efforts that the organizers put into it. I believe we all enjoyed a lot of deep, interesting engineering and business talks! Thank you for having me!

Most of the talks I had were focused on Progressive Web Apps. It’s not by chance, as I was presenting Vue Storefront :) PWA is a hot topic – You could feel it just by taking a look at how many people attended the speech – it was amazing.

Many end clients, along with agencies, were asking me if it is possible to have a Progressive Web App connected to the existing Magento 1.x implementation. If you’ve invested a few years of development into it, you will probably think twice before starting the migration to Magento 2.x.

From the business point of view, the 2-step-way (first PWA, then backend migration) seems like the safer option, providing both the business and the end clients with higher added value (better UX and therefore higher conversion rates on Mobile).

I tried to cover this topic during my speech. If you ask me if it’s possible to have a Progressive Web App on top of your Magento 1.9, my answer is simple: Yes, You Can.

Vue Storefront already supports Magento 1 (https://github.com/DivanteLtd/magento1-vsbridge). In the open-source edition, the bridge supports the Product Catalog (categories, attributes, taxes, etc.) We also offer the enterprise version (magento1-vsbridge-extended) which synchronizes the shopping carts, user accounts, promo-rules, etc. – virtually all the data required to start a successful PWA on top of your existing Magento 1 installation.

If you’re wondering whether it makes sense to run a PWA, the way to go is to start with a Scoping Session Workshop, and then a Proof of Concept, to test it out in the field.

Proof of Concept

A minimal Proof of Concept could just be a Vue Storefront instance with a changed logo and modified CSS (colors) to show your stakeholders that PWAs run very smoothly — great on mobile — and are worth investing more in.

It can be done in one or two working days.

Then, you can just import your products from Magento1 or Magento2, or even add them manually in the Magento panel. A cool mobile app with all your products — we’re close to deploying it to the users ;)

The integration shouldn’t take more than the next 5–10 days depending on whether you need to just import the product catalog or perform a bi-directional sync (orders, users, carts).

Basic integration with Magento 1 / Magento 2 is just a matter of a few hours spent on configuration.

See a YouTube tutorial on how to integrate Vue Storefront with Magento 1.9

Then you can invest in the redesign and customization of the UI. The Vue Storefront themes mechanism allows you to create a totally custom markup — a new look and feel without modifying the core.

The whole process (with UI) should take no more than 4–6 weeks, and you get the working Proof of Concept with a modern UI that can be tested with real users. For example, running this version on a subdomain and putting some group (20–40%) of mobile users there.

Scoping Session

To answer how long it will take and how costly the project is going to be, developers and designers need to have some scope of work – a specification of what is to be done.

A scoping  session is designed to generate as much value, and gather as much knowledge as we can, within one or two business days.

From the Divante side, there is a technical architect, UX designer, and product owner/project manager attending, and from the Client’s team there are usually some business stakeholders, a product owner, and if the project is about integration, developers.

After the workshops, we prepare notes and a package of all the generated materials (mockups, mindmaps, spreadsheets, photos, etc.). Along with these outputs we try to mark up some ballpark estimation of the project budget and timeline. Sometimes we can create a kind of epic-based backlog that can be a starting point for developers.

Summary

By doing the PoC you invest no more than 20–40 working days and have clear data for further decisions: if the CR is higher, and how users behave on this improved mobile edition.

Limited time offer :)

We’ll be more than happy to offer you FREE SCOPING SESSION workshops in our office (Wroclaw, 2h flight from London, 2h by car from Berlin). If you’re considering a PWA for your eCommerce, this is probably the best way to start without taking any significant risk.

Contact me directly: pkarwatka@divante.co