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App building isn’t what it used to be.
In the past you had a binary choice – spend a mint on bespoke development or start small with an off-the-shelf template.
Bespoke was the best-in-class option, offering total customization and allowing you to integrate cool technologies like AR and one-touch checkout. Of course, it was (and still is) expensive. Bespoke app builds also took (and still take) a lot of time.
Off-the-shelf apps offer a fast and cost-effective option that gets you from the planning phase to go-live quickly. On the downside, the possibilities for customization can be limited, and the features come pretty much as-is. What you end up with is a generic app badged with your logo.
Looking for a best-in-class app with the freedom to customize design and features? Go for low code app building platforms. They let brands create an e-Commerce app that delivers everything today’s mobile shoppers expect; without shelling out for a massive, time-consuming custom development project; or compromising on features and performance with a pre-built cheapie.
But choosing a low-code platform comes with the usual caveats and pitfalls if you get it wrong. Here we outline the main considerations that separate the brilliant from the bin-able.
What to look for in a low-code eCommerce app builder
01 Does it offer seamless integration with your eCommerce backend?
An eCommerce app builder that doesn’t have a proven API for BigCommerce, Magento and other major eCommerce platforms will leave you with two eCommerce solutions to manage. A top low-code app building will interoperate with these and sync all information in real-time, so any changes you make to product catalogue or payment settings are reflected immediately in the app.
02 Is there enough flexibility for customization?
Low-code solutions are fast and cost-effective, but some are more rigid than others when it comes to going beyond out-of-the-box features and technologies. To reflect your branding and the needs of your own customers, you’ll want the freedom to customize designs or even things like bar code scanners, augmented reality, or 3D elements. For that, you’ll need more than a simple template with limited features.
03 What level of support will you get after the app goes live?
Some low-code eCommerce app builders see creating an app as mainly transactional. They might make it easy to build and launch the app, but once you’ve paid the bill, customer and technical support are extra. Others make after-market service part of the overall package, but it's lite-touch and limited. The mobile commerce space is changing and customer expectations will continue to evolve. You need a platform that's willing and able to support you as needs change.
04 How intuitive is the low-code platform?
Low-code app building platforms give you direct input into the design and features, however, at the end of the day you want the building to be done by professionals. While some offer DIY templates you can edit yourself, a better option is to have a team of app designers who can take the lead and ensure everything is in the right place. After that, you should be able to self-manage. The idea is to empower brands with tools that allow them to act fast. That means the management dashboard should be easy to use.
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05 Does the platform deliver a premium app experience?
Today’s mobile shoppers have had their user experience (UX) expectations set by the likes of Uber, Netflix, Instagram, and Facebook. The eCommerce app you create has to reflect the same values: clean design, easy navigation, a simple flow from browsing to check out, one-touch purchase and other features that app users take for granted. Can your low-code app builder deliver the goods?
06 Will you have access to data and analytics?
It isn’t enough to pull in mobile shoppers. You need to know who’s buying what, and when; where they come from, what they like about your app; and what they like less. Your app-building platform should provide a straightforward integration of AppData with Google Analytics and Google Firebase so you can track activity and derive insights. An eCommerce app is going to grow and evolve. With access to timely data, you'll know better what customers want, view, and buy — making it easier to keep improving.
07 Does the platform offer ongoing app marketing support?
Mobile commerce doesn't operate on an 'if you build it, they will come' basis. Once an app goes live, it needs to be promoted. Once you have mobile customers, they need to be engaged, incentivized, rewarded, and marketed to. Your low-code app builder should be able to help you drive sales with push message campaigns, smart notifications, app store optimization (ASO) and product lookbooks — and give you the option to self-manage campaigns from your own app marketing dashboard.
Go for low code, but insist on high value
There are many solutions out there but if you’re serious about growth and satisfied mobile shoppers, choose your low-code app building platform wisely. To succeed in m-commerce, you need a partner, not a vendor.
At JMango360, we tick all the boxes. If you’re looking for a low-code eCommerce app on a flexible, premium, cost-effective platform, we’d love to hear from you.
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