Mobile commerce has recently had a significant influence on eCommerce growth. According to Statista, it covered 72.9% of all retail sales in 2021, up from 58.9% in 2017. When it comes to shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people using their cellphones and tablets to make purchases is outpacing traditional eCommerce and in-store shopping. As a result, an increasing number of businesses adapt to the trend by developing their mobile app to engage with more customers.

Don’t let your brand fall behind in the race to mobile commerce! In this post, we will give you the ultimate guide about how to turn your Shopify store into a mobile app. 

Why you should create Shopify mobile app for your eCommerce store 

Increase the brand awareness 

It is reported that more than half of consumers shop online every day on their smartphones. So what is better to make customers aware of your brand than embedding it in the customer’s pocket! 

Unlike mobile websites, apps are always visible on the user’s phone home screen. Therefore, whenever customers scroll their mobile, their mind subconsciously records your unique mobile app logo. This way, the logo of the mobile app acts like a mini-advertisement and influences the user’s perception of your brand.

Improve customers experience 

Mobile responsive

Mobile apps are purpose-built for small screen sizes so you can rest assured that your online store is responsive on any mobile device. Whether your customers use smartphones, tablets, or other handheld devices, mobile apps can deliver them exceptional store experiences. 

Faster page speed

In today’s digital age, one of the most important factors to retain customers is to deliver them services and products quickly. If your website takes too long to load, it’s no surprise that customers would switch to other competitors. 

Unlike eCommerce websites, which require web servers to store data, mobile apps often save data locally on mobile devices. As a result, data retrieval in mobile apps is speedy and the loading time is reduced significantly. 

Fasster page speed - Shopify mobile app

Quick checkout process

People typically prefer mobile apps because they provide frictionless purchasing by remembering passwords and saving payment methods. Therefore, shopping online using mobile devices is considered to provide a smoother and more enjoyable purchasing experience.

Build a profitable relationship with customers

It is estimated that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. And mobile apps are the most effective channel to retain customers and engage with them. 

Push Notifications on Shopify mobile app

By using mobile push notifications, you can send new arrivals, discounts, abandoned cart reminders to customers who installed the app. As customers are more likely to interact with brands that are at their fingertips, mobile apps can encourage repeat orders from customers on the go. This way, you can increase customers’ interaction with your app and encourage them to stick to your brand. 

How To Convert Your eCommerce Store To Mobile App 

While most sectors have embraced apps, perhaps your brand is in a niche where your rivals do not yet have an app. If so, this is the chance for you to take a big leap ahead of your competitors. Below are 3 options that you can take into consideration to convert your eCommerce store to the mobile app. 

3rd-Party Shopify Plugins (Shopify Mobile App Builders)

Shopify plugins or Shopify mobile app builders are developed by individual developers or a team that you can use to turn your store into a Shopify mobile app. There are diverse mobile app builders listed on the Shopify App store for you to select from. Let’s go through the pros and cons of this option to check if it meets your requirements. 

Pros

  • Affordable: If you have a tight budget and can not afford hundreds dollars for a mobile app, using Shopify apps will be the best choice for you. In fact, the cost of using a plugin is much lower than developing an app from scratch. You just need to pay a monthly fee for using your app, rather than a large amount of money for app development.
  • Quick start and launch: With Shopify apps, the development time cuts down a lot. After you finish customizing our mobile app, it only takes a few days to submit the app and launch it on the App Store or Google Play.
  • No need to hire developers: You just need to choose the subscription tier and features you want. The app developer does all the work for you. Therefore, you can go for it with no hesitation even being from a non-technical background. 

Cons 

  • You don’t own the app: The app basically belongs to the plugin owners.Thus you have to contact that plugin team in case you need any support or maintenance. Honestly, you only rent the app and pay a recurring fee for running it.  
  • Hard to add in complicated features: With Shopify mobile app builder, it is quite difficult to develop additional complex features. Since there’s no development required and all elements of a plugin are pre made, your mobile app will be quite basic and follow a specific stereo. 

3rd Party SaaS Platforms 

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution system in which a service provider offers pre-built modules in the form of constructors. Customers can use these modules to build a mobile app for their business. Below are the pros and cons of using Saas platforms to develop a mobile app. 

Pros

  • No coding required: You can easily create your mobile app by simply choosing  pre-built modules and layouts. 
  • Cheaper than developing from scratch: You just need to pay a monthly fee and no additional charge required. Compared to developing a mobile from scratch, using a Saas platform is much more affordable. 
  • Diverse features: SaaS platforms have the most popular features of traditional ecommerce platforms and add plenty of new ones that are beyond your requirements. 
  • Quick start and launch: The development process itself takes very little time. A complete mobile app is typically launched within one to four weeks.
  • Easy to maintain and support: The SaaS team handles all maintenance and support problems, and these costs are included in your monthly price.

Cons

  • You don’t own the app: All the software belongs to your provider so you basically don’t own the app. 
  • Vendor lock-in.: If you are unsatisfied with the current software supplier and decide to switch, you will need to design a new app and deal with data migration, which is normally a nightmare.
  • You have to wait for new features to be released: While your rivals may be gaining new customers by incorporating cutting-edge technology into their bespoke apps, you’ll have to wait for your software supplier to include these features

into new updates for all of their apps.

  • Additional fees: Some software providers limit the number of queries to an online server or the number of installs per month and charge you if you surpass this limit. That implies that the more users who use your app, the more money you’ll have to spend to keep it running.

Let’s take a look at some popular SaaS platforms to turn your Shopify store into a mobile app.

Appy Pie 

Appy Pie 

Appy Pie is a mobile app builder software that helps you build a mobile app without coding. This software provider is trusted by thousands of customers all over the world and featured in famous publications like Forbes, Marshable, VentureBeat, and so on. 

Apps created by Appy Pie are lightweight, quick, and provide a native user experience. Not only that, but they can also work well even if there is no internet connection. Especially, the real-time update functionality of Appy Pie sets it apart from the competitors, allowing you to adjust the app presence promptly and without fuss.

Pricing plan: Basic ($16/app/month), Gold ($36/app/month), Platinum ($60/app/month) 

iBuildApp

iBuildApp

iBuildApp is an easy-to-use mobile app builder, hosting, and management platform. It offers you 1000+ design templates, powerful features, dedicated support, and more – in one app builder from mobile platform application developers. With iBuildApp, you can easily customize your mobile app with the drag & drop tool. More than 15,000 businesses over the world have chosen this Saas platform to build their mobile apps. 

Pricing plan: Business ($59.40/month), Company ($395/month), Corporate ($7500/year)

Hire developers to build the mobile app from scratch 

The third alternative is to hire developers to create the app from the ground up. In this case, you’ll take on the role of a designer, deciding how your mobile app looks and what features it includes. The developers will develop an app tailoring to your specific needs and does not follow any stereotypes.   

Pros

  • You own the app: You own the whole product, including all documents, materials, code, and test scripts.
  • Unique design: With custom development, you can create an absolutely unique experience for your users. Your mobile app will have a distinct design and does not look like any stereotypes. 
  • Data security: All data from your app will be saved and rest assured that it is in high security mode. 
  • 100% customizable: Custom development enables you to change and personalize your product and its code as needed. You can evaluate the performance of various features and remove those you no longer require. You may also add features that your customers demand right now, as well as trending ones that will attract new audiences.

Cons

  • Long time development and high expenses: Development from the ground up takes significantly longer than development using plugins or SaaS platforms. This means you’ll have to wait two to six months and pay for the entire span to get your app.

Do you intend to hire experienced developers to build a dedicated mobile for your brand? Reach out to our team of experts to get free consultations and start your project now. 

Which options should you choose to turn your Shopify store into a mobile app? 

It depends on your budget and requirements. Every option has its own strengths and weaknesses. If you just need a basic app with standard functionality at an affordable price, using Shopify plugins or Saas platforms is a good choice.  


In case you want to create a unique mobile app with outstanding design, functions, and more complex features included, you should hire developers to build the app from scratch. Our certified Shopify App developers hold years of experience in offering customers the best-in-class custom mobile app development service. Let us know your requirements and we will turn your dream mobile app into action.  



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