When you are planning to build a website for your retail or eCommerce business, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of options that are available out there for you. The chances are that you may even feel to choose the solution from the first website that you will see there. Just keep this in mind that you should always select Shopify to build your retail and eCommerce business solution as it is the most convenient, cheapest and easiest of all. Such a solution will help you set up your store easily and start selling your products and services directly.
So, do you own a Shopify business Store? If yes, then this article is definitely for you.
If not then go through this steps and build your own Shopify eCommerce Store
Importance of Mobile App
The advancements in technology have made mobile phones a crucial element in our lives. The features like ease of use and portability have made them the best solution for connecting the world. Today there are more than 5 billion unique mobile phone users across the globe. The invention of mobile apps has made smartphones an effective solution in the service sector. Every type of mobile apps in the market is designed to carry out a specific task. So whether you want to book flight or train tickets, play games, order food online, shop online, carry out monetary transactions, and watch movies -you have the right app to meet your needs.
462bn USD is Worldwide Mobile App Revenue Generated in 2019 – Source
This simply means that you should convert your Shopify store to mobile app!
Why to convert Shopify to Mobile App Store, When I have a Mobile Friendly Shopify Website?
Just like a Shopify website, the Shopify mobile app is used by the shoppers to buy from the store. The shoppers will download the mobile app only if they feel convenient using it. Again the better buying experience the app will offer, the more shoppers will go for it. Shoppers use such an app to know about seasonal discounts, clearance sale, new product launch, etc. Investing in a mobile app for your Shopify business store comes with its set of benefits and they are:
- Better performance: Compared to the mobile-friendly website, a mobile app built on Shopify performs quite better.
- Better user experience: When you compare a mobile-friendly website with that of with native apps, the former one is easy to use. Using such native apps has its set of features like you can share products on chat messenger, you can add products to the wishlist, etc.
- Offline access: The mobile app developed using Shopify can be accessed offline. This makes it easy for users to access the app whenever they want.
- Customer Engagement: It is easy to use mobile apps. Here you don’t have to login and logout of the app every time and you can easily open the catalog with a single tap.
- Brand Awareness: Launching a mobile app for your business will help you take your business to new heights. When it comes to eCommerce or retail businesses, there are fewer number of apps available and so with your app, you will be able to make a distinct place for yourself.
If you are still confused about whether to have a mobile app when you already have a mobile-friendly website i.e., move from Shopify store to mobile app, then just follow these points to know the differences well:
- Businesses use websites for attracting new customers, while apps are used for creating a loyal customer base.
- When using the website, you need to open the browser and then enter the URL of the website while the app can be used in a tap.
- On the website, the visitors come and exit once they have completed the activity. While in the case of the mobile app, you will be able to experience the two-way communication and it remains to be ongoing.
- When it comes to websites, they are more responsive to search queries, but on the other hand, you will be able to experience loyalty, ease of use and engagement with apps.
- In the general scenario, mobile websites are used by marketers to encourage buyers to download the app and have a strong and continuous relationship with the brand.
Different approaches to convert your Shopify store to Mobile App
There are three approaches to develop your Shopify App Store:
- Use premium Shopify plugins
- Using 3rd party SaaS Platforms or we can say (Shopify App Builder)
- Customize it with a Shopify App Development Company
So, let’s get started…
1. Using Premium 3rd Party Shopify Plugins to get your Shopify Mobile app store build
The Shopify App Store comes with a number of plugins that are developed by individuals or a team of developers. You can use such plugins to build a mobile app based on the Shopify web store.
MageNative Mobile App
Mobile App Builder – Vajro App
Shopney – Mobile App
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Shopify Plugins
Benefits of Shopify plugins
- Native app development: When you opt for cross-platform apps, you will see that such apps have issues when accessing the hardware components of the app on iOS and Android. When you develop a native app using such plugins, they will only run on a single platform but, they will be faster and without any of such issues.
- Affordable costs: Compared to the cost of developing an app from scratch, the use of plugins is cost-effective. Technically, you don’t have to carry out much of development when using plugins. The elements for the plugin are already developed. Here you will not have to pay anything for the app development; rather, you will be paying a small fee to use the app.
- Faster development: Within a few days, you can easily create your app using plugins. However, it is up to you to decide the process of getting your app on Google Play Store and App Store.
- No need to hire developers: Here, you don’t need to hire developers, as the team which offers support for the plugin will do the rest of the work for you. Here all you have to do is to choose the features and subscription tier.
Cons of Shopify plugins
- No technical support: App maintenance and support are offered by a limited number of plugin development teams. The first service here will be free, but after that, you will have to pay for the services.
- Plugin owners have the app: This means the plugin owners have control over the app and it will only work when they support it. So when you develop an app using the plugin, you don’t own it. Here you just rent it and pay a small fee every month.
2. Use 3rd Party Shopify Mobile App Builder
Mobile App Builder or Software as a Service is the kind of the second option you can have to build your Shopify app. This is a software distribution model where you will have ready-made modules available from the service provider in the form of constructors. In order to create an app, businesses make use of these modules. In such an arrangement, there are very fewer options to make customizations or adjustments in the app.
Some examples of Shopify mobile app builders are-
This mobile app has been developed with the main idea of boosting sales and conversions through mobile apps. You can use this app to create urgency among the buyers to buy the products fast or can create countdown banners utilizing this app and add a timeframe to it so that it gets displayed when you want and then link it to the specific products you want. Also you can even have product recommendations using this app seamlessly as it comes with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
This mobile app is mainly focused on helping businesses with increased customer retention rates. Moreover, you can use this app to keep your customers up-to-date with the special offers running at your store by using unlimited push notifications. The app has been designed in such a manner that it boosts customer engagement.
You can create customized apps for your business store using this smart app. Apart from helping you place orders, this app offers real-time push notifications to grab the attention of the customers towards the store. This will encourage them to shop more at the store, thereby increasing your sales. Using this app, the customers can also form a customized wishlist to shop. The best thing about this app is that just with a single touch, users can complete the checkout process.
Benefits of using Shopify Store Builder
- Lower cost: Compared to what you will have to spend to build an app from scratch, it offers lower prices. Here the business just has to pay a subscription fee rather than spending money on development.
- No need for coding: Simply by choosing layouts and modules, customers can create the app by themselves.
- Many features: The popular features of the eCommerce platform are copied by SaaS platforms and above that it even comes with a number of additional features that can be used to achieve client satisfaction.
- Not required any technical knowledge or special configuration: There is no need to carry out any further configuration as the modules offered by the SaaS platform has enough.
- Fast start and launch: It requires very less amount of time for app development, and you can launch a fully completed product within one to four weeks.
- Maintenance and support are easy: The SaaS team handles all the maintenance and support issues that come with the app. The monthly fee that you pay covers all the expenses of this work.
Cons of using Shopify Store Builder
- Issues of data security: The server that comes from your software provider stores all the data that your product deals with. It is not possible to know how securely the data is stored in there.
- You need to wait for the new feature to come: It is possible that your competitors may be doing well by bringing new latest technologies in their app. However, to do well, you will have to wait for your software provider to roll out new features that you can then update in your app to do well.
- You have no ownership of the app: Here, the app is partially yours. This means that the software belongs to them while you own the information fed in it.
- Vendor lock-in: In case you find yourself not happy using the software that you are using and plan to make a move to another software, then you will have to face a good amount of trouble. This will include everything right from creating a new app and moving all your data to it.
- Adjustments in code can’t be made: When you make use of the SaaS platform, you will get a product that cannot be customized or modified by yourself.
- Additional charges apply: In the case of some software providers, you will only enjoy a limited number of queries that can be made to the server. In case the limit exceeds, then you will have to pay your software provider. This means if your business is doing well and you have more number of users, you will end up paying more.
- Template designs: Here, you will find a good number of design layouts to choose from. However, the issue in here is that when you are designing the app, you don’t get to come up with a unique design.
3. Customize your own Shopify mobile App with Shopify App Development Company
Custom mobile app development for Shopify is all about developing an app from scratch. Here the development team just focuses on developing the needed functionality of the app, which will meet the needs of your business.
Advantages and Disadvantages of opting for custom Shopify app development
Benefits of choosing a Shopify App Development Company
- Unique design: When we talk about the app design here, it does not just limit to elements and colors used in the app. With customer development, you can work on to create a unique experience for your users.
- Completely customizable: With custom development, it becomes possible to customize the product and make the needed modifications completely. You can also customize the code as and when needed. Such a step also lets you to take a look at the different features in the app and remove the ones which are no longer needed in there. It is also possible to add in new trending features in your app or the ones which customers like to attract your audience.
- Product is 100% yours: Everything that comes with the product, which includes the materials, documents, test scripts, and code –all belong to you.
- Data security: The data in your app will be stored in a way how you want it to be and where you want it.
- Better user targeting: You can make use of personalized content and notifications to get better targeting options.
Cons of choosing a Shopify App Development Company
- Cost and time: When you are developing an app from scratch, it will take a much longer time for development than it would have taken in case of using SaaS platforms or plugins. This clearly means that you will have to wait for a few months to get the app developed and pay the development company for all this time that it takes to improve it.
Why selecting a custom Shopify mobile app Development Company is beneficial?
Shopify mobile app development is in high demand in the market today. This has been because of a number of reasons like:
Today big brands make use of Shopify
If big brands are using Shopify for their business app, then it is definitely a good option for your eCommerce store or retail business to go for it. Some of the top brands which make use of Shopify are Jimmie Vaughan, American Blues musician, Bohemian Guitars, etc. This means if you are planning to boost the traffic of your eCommerce store, you should definitely plan on investing in Shopify.
Annual plans have discounts offered
Indeed, many are not comfortable having monthly payment plans available for the service and so keeping that in mind, Shopify offers annual and biennial plans with great discounts. In case you plan to go for the annual plan, then you will get a 10% discount on the same while, you will receive a 20% discount when the company takes the biennial plans.
Server costs are no more your worry
For many businesses, server prices are something that keeps them away from technology. Shopify comes with servers that are maintained by their team and it is available for monthly subscriptions and comes with a number of plans. This means you have the ease of choosing the plan which matches with your requirements. In case you are not sure about how it works, you can choose to go for a 14-day free trial. So within this time, you can come up with your online store, and then, you can later choose your plan.
It is secure and reliable
Shopify is continuously monitored for any attack as it is a global hosted service. This means there are people to tackle any issue right at the moment it pops up. Moreover, the add-ons that come with Shopify maintain a certain level of standard to ensure that it saves you from the risks of virus or Trojan attacks. This means you can now save sensitive information and credit card details of customers using PCI compliance or SSL without having to get in deeper to know about its technicalities. Compared to other solutions in the market, Shopify can ensure you a better level of reliability and security at a better price.
Easy integration of the app with SaaS services
When it comes to SaaS service companies, Shopify is quite common among the mass as its customers are quite familiar with its monthly plans. For the same reason, any new innovative service will be available on Shopify first and you will also be able to have them on free plans. Similarly, in the case of SaaS companies, they are not much interested in capturing the market of WooCommerce or Open Cart or any other competitor eCommerce platforms as their users are not into paying monthly subscription fees. For the same reason, these platforms do not come with different convenient services.
You will get to save enough time and money, get better insights on an app, have lesser errors, and remain uncomplicated due to Shopify mobile app integration.
Today more businesses are trying to establish their place on the mobile app market. If you have a website, then it is time you build a mobile app for your Shopify store. In case you are planning to develop an app with fewer modifications and fixed functionality, then you can plan to go for plugins or SaaS platforms. In case you want to build a Shopify app that is fully customized, you should definitely go for a Shopify app development company.