Turn shopify store into mobile app
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3 ways to turn your shopify store into a Mobile App

8 min read

No matter what products you sell or deals you offer, there are plenty of stores already available for your customers. That’s where you need to think about how to attract the mobile centric millennials. How can you do that? The answer is simple - move to mCommerce.

Shopify is a leading eCommerce website builder that empowers businesses of all sizes to take their products online. With over 500k+ stores powered by Shopify itself, it’s obvious to say that the eCommerce competition is rising rapidly. So, if you are already using Shopify to sell online, you’ve made a right choice. Having an eCommerce website is a good start but a website alone, is just the tip of the iceberg. No matter what you’re selling or what industry you’re in, your Shopify store needs a mobile app​ There are several ways to launch a mobile app if you already have an online store on Shopify. Here’s the complete guide on different ways to turn your Shopify store into a mobile app and it will help you to figure out which is the most suitable way for your business.

1. Premium plugins available on the Shopify App Store

You can find a massive collection of free and premium plugins to help you grow your business - developed by teams or individuals - that allow you to create a mobile app for your Shopify store. They handle everything from marketing to payment, from secure checkout to shipping. Because you don’t hire a team to develop an app from scratch, it is the cheapest option available.The team that supports a plugin does all the work for you. There’s no development required at all, all you need to do is pay a monthly fee and you’re good to go. It can be made within a few days.

Disadvantages of using plugins

  • The app you just made using plugin, belongs to the plugin owners. You just rent it and pay a monthly fee, you don’t own the app.
  • App works only while the plugin is supported. There are only a few plugin development teams available who offer support and maintenance after your app is made. Though you can avail these services for a few days/months for free, after which you need to pay an hourly rate for technical support.

2. SaaS Platforms (Shopify App Builder)

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. A customer uses these modules to create an app. Usually, there are very few options to make customizations or adjustments in the app.

Simply by choosing layouts and modules, customers can create the app by themselves. Hence it costs less than the amount we need to build an app from scratch. The popular features of the eCommerce platform are copied by SaaS platforms so they’re self-sufficient and don’t require any technical knowledge. The SaaS team handles all the maintenance and support issues that come with the app.

Disadvantages of using SaaS Platforms

  • The app is partially yours. This means that the software belongs to them while you own the information fed in it.
  • Data is stored on servers of your software provider. It is not possible to know how securely the data is.
  • You can’t make adjustments in code when you choose to build an app with a SaaS platform. In some cases, you can enjoy a limited number of queries that can be made to the server. After that, you will have to pay your SaaS provider.
  • You will have to wait for SaaS provider to come up with the new feature that you can then update in your app to do well.

3. Custom Shopify mobile app

Third and the most effective way to have your app is custom mobile app development for Shopify. The development team takes care of your needs and accordingly develops the app, which will meet the requirements of your business. So basically, you own the app when you choose this way. All documents and materials, code, and all tests scripts of the product belong to you completely. You can have it customized to provide a seamless and unique experience to your customers.

One of the most important benefits of this is the code is 100% customizable. You can modify and customize your product and its code whenever you need. You can also add features afterwards for your customers or add trending features to attract new audiences.

The only disadvantage of this feature is longer time and higher cost. As your app will be developed from scratch, it will take much longer than Shopify Plugins and Shopify Store Builder. Which leads to higher costs.

When you should go for Custom App Development?

There is no doubt that Plugins and SaaS solutions allow you to turn your Shopify web store into a mobile app quickly and inexpensively. But if you want lots of customizations, personalization then, this won’t help you much.

You can choose custom app development in the following cases:

  • You want a total control with app customizations for a better user experience.
  • You already have a plan to expand your app in the future.
  • You’re not satisfied with the basic template designs available and want to create a unique design for your app.

The Complitech team has worked with a lot of customers who have eCommerce websites powered by Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento. We can help you to create the app for you that will be 100% yours, unlike apps created with plugins or Shopify Store Builders. That means you’ll get an app with the source code and test scripts and all other documents concerning your product.

Wrapping it up

Although there are several ways to turn your Shopify web store into an app, every development approach has its own pros and cons. And we would recommend you to opt for plugins and SaaS platforms only if you need a basic app with minimal functionality that you aren’t going to modify in future.

But if you want to attract your customers with unique features and a unique user experience or if you have a plan to expand your app in future, you should unquestionably choose custom app development.

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Why does your shopify store need a Mobile App?


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