Case Study Alibaba PWA Increases Conversions By 76 Percent

LI Chen

4 minutes
76% more conversions

Dec 14, 2021 (NEW YORK) — New PWA from Alibaba has increased conversions, re-engagment, and improved the overall app experience. The numbers say it all.

Alibaba is the world's largest business to business trading platform. And they have reaped the benefits of a recent change to a Progressive Web App (PWA). After the upgrade, Alibaba incredibly saw a 76% increase in total conversions across browsers.

Alibaba found that they had a particular challenge. They were trying to use their mobile web as a platform to direct users to the native app. However, users weren't following along. Users tended to prefer to stay on a mobile browser.

Users consider having to download an app to browse or complete a transaction an unnecessary barrier, compared to the quick, easy solution of browsing directly from their mobile browser

Zou Yu, director of’s mobile team.

PWA increases conversions

Users are unlikely to make several big decisions in row. When asking a user to convert, you need to make the ask as simple as possible. If users need to download an app before they can use your services, they are unlikely to make quick decisions about that. A PWA offers a unique solution. It provides the functionality of an app with the usability of a website.

Alibaba recognised that they needed to prioritize their mobile experience. Through developing the PWA, they gained a fast, effective, and reliable mobile web experience. Overall, this resulted in a 76 percent increase in conversion rate across all browsers. Conversions are money, and such a whopping increase in conversions is priceless.

PWA increases re-engagement

Another incredible improvement that Alibaba gained from their switch to PWA is the ability to re-engage users more effectively. The implementation of an Add to homescreen prompt resulted in users re-engaging 4x more often than other mobile users. A constant reminder like an icon on the homescreen is useful for brands. Customers are subliminally made aware of your brand, and you don't have to do anything.

The open rate for push notifications from the PWA was the same as that from the native app. Although one may think that native apps may have the upper hand in terms of user-retention, Alibaba's case shows differently.

PWA improves overall experience

Overall, the new strategy gave users a much better experience across all platforms. Monthly user rates on iOS shot up by 14%. And on Android devices with the additional push notifications and "Add to homescreen", active user rates increased by 30 percent.

Delivering a mobile-first, user-centric mobile site that harnesses the best of the native app, with all the accessibility and versatility of the mobile web, is key to maintaining our competitive edge and the path to better conversions.

Zou Yu

To read about how a progressive web app impacted Flipkart, a similar business, click here