Venia is the first Magento PWA storefront introduced by Magento. Created using PWA Studio tools and libraries, it is part of the larger push towards making PWA technology more mainstream. As per Magento, anyone can start using Venia storefront, as well as the visual components, as a starting reference point for customizing their own PWA storefront project. When installed, Venia will run on top of your existing Magento 2 backend.
PWA stands for Progressive Web App, which is a technology that delivers app-like experience & functionality across all devices. It works on all platforms, i.e. both Desktop & Mobile (unlike regular, native apps which can only be installed on Mobile devices).
In simple words, imagine if your Magento store incorporates some of the best features from native apps - like push notifications, is "installable" on both Desktop & Mobile Home Page without having to download a separate app, and provides consistent UI/UX on both desktop & mobile. Now add some more unique features such as "offline support" and ultra-fast load time. All of this & more is possible using PWA technology.
Venia is not a theme but a storefront application.
A typical Magento theme defines how your store will look but a theme does not offer any functionality by itself. Magento themes rely on the core Magento code & inheritance from a parent theme for functionality. Two examples of Magento themes are Blank & Luma which developers extend or customize to create custom storefronts.
A Magento storefront application on the other hand is not a theme but a progressive web app built using PWA Studio tools. Imagine a shell of an app located in the browser, interacting with a headless Magento backend using an intermediary service layer.
You can find a working demo of the latest Magento PWA build (Venia theme) here:
Link 1: https://venia.magento.com/
Link 2: https://pwa.codilar.in/
The key features of Venia are basically the key features offered by PWA technology, such as:
Currently, Venia is still a "work-in-progress". This means you are likely to see some bugs which you either need to get fixed by the developers or wait for Magento to fix in future updates.
There are alternatives available, such as NexPWA which is a ready-to-deploy, fully developed & more feature-rich PWA for Magento.
NexPWA has been built for Magento with a focus on improving conversions & sales by incorporating the best of PWA technology.
Try Demo of NexPWA at: demo.nexpwa.com
Step-by-step instructions for Magento Venia installation:
Magento Venia Demo:
GITHub Repository link for Venia:
GITHub Repository link for PWA Studio:
NexPWA Demo Link: