Last Updated on
March 8, 2024

The Best Ecommerce Mobile App Builders (Build iOS and Android Apps Without Coding)

Key takeaways:
  • Ecommerce mobile app builders are an incredible advancement for online stores who want to launch their own app.
  • App builders make building an app significantly easier and more affordable than fully coding apps from scratch.
  • MobiLoud, GoodBarber and Plobal Apps are among our top recommended ecommerce app builders.

In this article, we'll help you pick the best ecommerce mobile app builder, for brands who want an easier and more affordable way to build a mobile app than hiring developers.

In 2024, there's no shortage of options on the market. But that only makes it more difficult to know which tools or services you can trust.

We've been in the mobile app business for over 10 years, so we know all the players, who they're best suited for, the pros and cons, and which is the best way to build an ecommerce app today.

Do You Need an Ecommerce App Builder?

App builders or managed services are generally the best way to build ecommerce apps.

Let's compare the most likely alternative; hiring developers or a development agency to code a fully custom app.

Make no mistake, developing a fully custom native app will give you the best result in terms of performance and user experience. But the downsides aren't worth it.

  • App development is expensive. It's going to cost minimum mid-five figures to create a decent app.
  • It takes a long time to develop an app - likely six months or more.
  • Native apps are also expensive to maintain, costing tens of thousands per year (at the low end - sometimes as much as six figures) just for updates, bug fixes and maintenance.
  • The custom app development process is complex, and dealing with developers who are new to your brand can be frustrating.
  • At the end of the process you're left with three separate code bases to maintain, tripling the day-to-day effort of your technical operations.

The bottom line is, you're not a tech company, and you don't have the in-house expertise to create mobile apps. And unless you're a massive, international brand, you probably don't have the budget to invest in a custom app.

If an app builder can give you 90% of what you'd get from native mobile apps, for a drastically lower cost, time investment and complexity, the tradeoff is worth it.

Now let's move on to our expert opinion on the best ecommerce mobile app builders, followed by tips on figuring out which one suits your brand the best.

The 7 Best Ecommerce Mobile App Builders in 2024

Ready to enter the ecommerce app market?

The following solutions offer a quicker, easier, and more affordable way to do it than starting from scratch. We've included tools/platforms/services that fit a variety of use cases, ecommerce platforms, scopes and budgets, to provide the perfect option for any online store to create apps.

1. MobiLoud

The best way to build an ecommerce app for the majority of online stores is our own managed app builder, MobiLoud.

MobiLoud is a fully managed service that converts any platform, regardless of platform or tech stack, to mobile apps. We do so using a mix of talented UI and UX designers, mobile app developers, and our custom development platform, which we've perfected over 10 years and more than 2,000 apps built.

This is a little different to most ecommerce app builders. Most of them require you to create your app yourself - they just sell access to their platform.

These ecommerce app builders force you into limiting templates and workflows, and don't let you carry over all the features and optimized elements of your ecommerce website.

MobiLoud, in these respects, is far superior. We do all the work for you - there's almost nothing you need to do, except for telling us what you do and don't like about the app.

With MobiLoud, you can go live with your own mobile app in less than a month, for low-four figures up front. The apps are full-featured, with push notifications, mobile navigation UI and everything a user would expect from a shopping app.

We also publish the apps to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for you, and handle all the technical maintenance and updates after launch, saving you tens (or hundreds) of thousands per year, and letting you keep your focus squarely on your website and the product side of your business.

How It Works

After getting on a demo call and confirming that you're happy to move forward, this is what the process to build your ecommerce app will look like:

  • We collaborate with you on your mobile website, providing custom design work to make your website deliver more of an app-like experience on its own.
  • Our team starts building your mobile apps, which will be a mirror of your mobile website with the addition of a few mobile-specific elements.
  • We can also incorporate any particular requests you have, such as generating exclusive app-specific pages or experiences (elements that only show in the app, not your website).
  • When the first version is ready, you'll be able to test it on your own mobile device and give feedback.
  • We'll go from there and ship a new build, ready for launch.
  • Once you give the go-ahead, we submit your apps for publishing to the app stores. We handle the entire process, and guarantee acceptance for your apps (or we'll refund your money).

All this should take no longer than a month (but potentially less).

MobiLoud is more than an ecommerce app builder, we're essentially an ecommerce app development company, only at a much more affordable price, and much easier to work with than a full app development agency.

We let you build ecommerce mobile apps that look and feel like what you'd get from a team of 6+ developers working for months on end. With a 60-day money back guarantee, a minor upfront cost and no long-term contracts, there's zero risk to trying it out and seeing the end result.

Best For: Any online store, particularly custom ecommerce websites or sites with custom features and elements that other ecommerce app builders don't support.

Learn more:

Ready to dive deeper? Book a free consultation now and get a live demo of what your site will look like as an app.

2. GoodBarber

GoodBarber is a no-code app builder that allows non-developers to build apps for Android and iOS devices. It has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, with a range of templates to fit a number of different use cases.

Though GoodBarber has been running since 2011, they only recently rolled out a feature designed specifically for shopping apps.

Their e-commerce app builder has all you need to manage the customer-facing side of your online store. Including one-click checkout and push notifications, as well as a web interface to manage the back end (such as orders, shipping and taxes).

The one downside is that it’s not optimal if you’ve already got an online store built on another platform. GoodBarber's shopping app builder is designed primarily for building apps from scratch. That means you’ll be managing two separate platforms between this and your existing store.

It’s better suited towards brick-and-mortar retail stores who want to launch a web/mobile store. And for this, it does a great job.

Positives

  • Drag-and-drop UI builder
  • Lets you build mobile apps from scratch
  • Affordable price

Negatives

  • New to e-commerce app market
  • Can't simply convert your existing features to an app
  • Difficult to integrate with existing platforms

Best For: Online stores who want to be app-first, or physical businesses wanting to launch an app.

Learn more: Top 5 GoodBarber Alternatives

3. Plobal Apps

Plobal Apps is a purpose-built Shopify mobile app builder.

It offers everything you need in a mobile app, such as push notifications, dedicated mobile UI, deep linking and more. They also offer ongoing support, and theme redesigns on their higher plans.

The biggest advantage of all is that you can manage everything to do with your store from the Shopify backend, instead of taking care of two separate platforms.

The obvious disadvantage is that it’s exclusively for Shopify. You’ll need to look somewhere else if you’re on another platform, such as WooCommerce. And while it is a powerful option for Shopify sellers, their pricing includes a percentage of your sales, which is a cost that can stack up.

Positives

  • Directly integrated with Shopify
  • Integrated push notifications

Negatives

  • Shopify only
  • Can get expensive
  • Limited number of third-party app integrations
  • Will struggle to convert custom website features to your app

Best For: Shopify stores who want a DIY, drag-and-drop app builder experience.

Learn more: the Top 5 Plobal Apps Alternatives

4. Mowico

Mowico is a DIY e-commerce mobile app builder. It uses the familiar approach of a drag-and-drop no-code interface to let you compile e-commerce apps, with integrations built in for third-party tools and the backend of your website.

One of the most notable features about Mowico is that they support a range of e-commerce platforms. While the majority of tools are built specifically for Shopify, Mowico supports WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, Squarespace, Weebly, OpenCart and more (as well as Shopify).

In terms of features and price, Mowico is fairly affordable, but their standard plans only offer basic features (only 3 integrations supported on their Growth plan). For more complex features, you'll need a custom plan, which may end up being very expensive.

Positives

  • Basic plans are quite affordable
  • Supports sites on a number of platforms
  • Can build a simple app very quickly with their platform

Negatives

  • Like all app builders, functionality is quite basic
  • Limited features offered on regular plans
  • Limited third-party integrations

Best For: Users of an ecommerce platform other than Shopify, who want the DIY no-code approach to building an app.

Learn more: Top Mowico Alternatives

5. Appmaker

Appmaker is an app builder made for Shopify brands, with more of a premium take to the DIY approach.

Their platform features a no-code, drag-and-drop app builder, with built-in integrations, extensions, etc.

Yet they offer something closer to a service than most other app builders, with support to help you build and launch your app. From there, you can manage the app through their dashboard.

It's billed as a premium service, as shown by the price; they have only two plans, the lowest costing $1,000 per month, the other billed at $2,000 per month plus a 1% success fee.

Positives

  • Intuitive app builder dashboard
  • Wide integration options with fewer limits than other app builders

Negatives

  • Expensive
  • Offers app migration/launch assistance, but not a managed service
  • Further customization gets even more expensive

Best For: Shopify brands with a large budget, looking for a premium DIY experience

Learn more: The Best Appmaker Alternatives

6. Selldone

Selldone bills itself as a "Business OS". It's basically a competitor to Shopify; a full-stack ecommerce platform, letting you build a professional ecommerce website, with everything from CMS functionality to email marketing to secure payment gateways built in.

So why list it as an ecommerce mobile app builder? Because, unlike Shopify, they offer ecommerce apps as part of their feature set.

At the moment it only lets you build apps for Android (and a browser-based PWA). However, they claim that iOS apps are coming soon.

Selldone offers an interesting alternative to Shopify and other popular ecommerce platforms, for new businesses who prefer to manage everything in one place, including your brand's ecommerce apps.

Positives

  • Lets you build and manage apps from the same platform as your website
  • Should work out more affordable by rolling everything into one platform

Negatives

  • A full-stack platform; you will need to migrate your whole ecommerce business
  • Doesn't have the same diverse ecosystem as Shopify and other popular platforms
  • Currently only supports Android apps

Best For: New brands looking to launch a website along with their own e-commerce app and manage all from the same platform.

7. Kin

Kin is a new player in the ecommerce app game. Built by ex-Meta employees, they help Shopify stores turn their website into ecommerce apps.

Their apps appear to be high-quality, full-featured apps, a step up from the typical standard of app you can get from a DIY app builder.

There is some mystery as to what they provide and how they do it from what's shown on the website, and no pricing is available - you need to book a demo and get a quote to find out. So it appears to be more of a premium option, for brands who don't have any issues with what it might cost.

Positives

  • Managed, full service
  • Delivers high-quality apps very similar to native mobile apps

Negatives

  • Likely very expensive, compared to other solutions
  • New, with limited details provided about their platform and service
  • Works only with Shopify

Best For: High-end brands wanting a step up from the standard app builder experience.

Learn more: 5 Kin Alternatives

What Kind of Ecommerce App Builder is Best For You?

We've presented a few different types of ecommerce app builders in the list above. The best ecommerce app builder for your brand may not be the same as for other brands. You need to consider the resources you have, what you want out of an app builder, and the key features you want in your apps.

We can break these ecommerce app builders down into three categories.

Integrated App Builders (e.g. Plobal Apps)

These app builders require you to have a website first, before you can build a mobile app. The app builder is used to design the front-end of your mobile app, and it integrates with your online store (and other third-party tools) on the back-end.

These tools are fairly convenient, and let you build an app quickly. But they require a lot of long-term maintenance from you (support is generally limited to ticket-based customer support). They also offer limited flexibility, and lock you into the capabilities of your platform's API.

“The hybrid solutions on top of Shopify are just too limited. The Shopify API only enables certain things and all the major providers of hybrid apps for Shopify had limitations that the Shopify API would not let them get around.”

(From Rainbow Shops' David Cost, who experimented with a no code app builder for Shopify, but found it wasn't flexible enough for their needs).

"From Scratch" App Builders (e.g. GoodBarber)

These are app builders that let you create an app from the ground up, without a website. It serves essentially as a CMS, letting you manage your business from the same platform you manage your app.

These platforms are convenient for certain niche businesses, who don't need a website. But most businesses in the online shopping sphere build for the web first; in which case, an integrated app builder or a managed service fits much better.

Managed Services (e.g. MobiLoud)

Managed services like MobiLoud give you the best of both worlds, between no-code app builders and custom development methods. You can create apps with powerful features and an extremely smooth user experience, without any coding knowledge or coding skills whatsoever.

You spend less time building and managing your app, and the result is likely to be better, as the platform is more flexible, and you're benefiting from a team of experts who know ecommerce app development inside and out.

You'll provide a seamless omnichannel experience to your customers, where your app and website are both in-sync yet provide unique benefits to customers depending on the platform they use.

“The app needs to be at least as functional as the website. It doesn’t need to be better than the website, but the user experience can’t be worse.”

-David Cost, Rainbow Shops

For almost all ecommerce businesses, a managed service like MobiLoud is the best way to go. It may be slightly more expensive than a DIY app builder, but you'll save in terms of time and in-house costs, and you'll get more benefit by way of a better, more usable app.

Start Now - Create Your Own Ecommerce App and Boost Engagement, Retention and Revenue

For more than 10 years, MobiLoud has been successfully creating amazing retail apps from mobile websites, allowing brands to meet their target audience on whichever medium they prefer.

Brands that fully cater to shoppers on mobile devices benefit from enhanced user engagement, enhanced customer loyalty and retention (it's far easier to retain a customer who downloads your app), and overall higher revenue.

You can go live with your own ecommerce app and enter the app stores for far less effort and investment than you thought possible.

To learn how, get in touch with us and schedule a personalized demo. See what your ecommerce mobile app will look like, share what you want to see from your project, and start the risk-free process of entering the ecommerce app market.

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