If you’re looking for a way to boost your online store’s revenue, and build a more dependable and resilient business, mobile apps are the way to go. And with one of a number of popular Shopify mobile app builders, just about any online store owner can do it.
A mobile app gives you a direct line to your customers, helping you connect with the growing majority of consumers who prefer to shop on mobile.
Mobile apps have higher customer engagement metrics than mobile websites, and for ecommerce in particular, apps are well worth the effort. Mobile app users are more likely to return to the store within 30 days, they view more products, and convert at a 3x higher rate than shoppers on mobile websites.
To know how to launch your own Shopify mobile app for Android and iOS, without spending tens of thousands to mobile app developers, read on. We’ll help you pick the best Shopify mobile app builder to make your project quick, affordable and painless.
Want to build mobile apps without the usual investment and months of development? The fastest and most affordable way to build a mobile app is to convert your existing site into native mobile apps. With MobiLoud Canvas, you can convert any type of site into native mobile apps. All your site features work out of the box. Get a free a demo to learn how it works and if it’s a good fit for your site.
What to Look for in a Shopify Mobile App Builder
The idea of a mobile app builder is to skip the huge investment in time and money it takes to build an app from scratch, as well as the complexity of such a project.
That means ease of use is a big selling point. You don’t want something that requires weeks or months of practice to figure out.
At the same time, you should be looking for a tool that can produce a professional and powerful native mobile app. Ideally, the app builder will be able to fully recreate what you have on your website – such as themes, apps, plugins – packaged as native mobile apps.
A lot of tools can’t actually convert your existing site. Instead, you’ll need to rebuild it for the app with a no-code visual builder. If you’re doing this, you’ll want a degree of flexibility to be able to make an app that doesn’t look like a generic template, as well as a large number of integrations with Shopify apps and third-party tools.
You’ll want support for mobile app marketing tools like push notifications, and the ability to customize your app with native mobile navigation, menus, splash screens, and other small touches.
Finally, support makes a big difference. You’re thinking about launching the initial version of your app, but consider how you’ll maintain it long-term. You want to use a mobile app builder that makes it easy to keep your app updated and bug-free. Even better if your mobile app builder of choice offers personal support to help with this, or any other issues you may run into.
The Best Shopify Mobile App Builders
Forget building native apps. Shopify app builders let you launch iOS and Android apps in a fraction of the time, and at a cost that most online store owners can afford.
You can find a number of options in the Shopify app store, as well as tools on the web that convert your entire site to mobile apps.
To help narrow your search, we’ve put together nine Shopify mobile app builders to consider for launching your own native iOS and Android mobile apps.
MobiLoud Canvas is the #1 way to build mobile apps for your Shopify store.
Canvas is not just a template-based app builder. It converts your entire site, including all plugins, Shopify apps, themes, and any other functionality, to apps for Android and iOS.
Everything that already works for you on your mobile website will work out of the box, for both your Android mobile app and iOS mobile app.
Best of all, your apps and website are 100% synced. You make changes to your site, your apps update as well. This makes it not only the easiest way to launch a mobile app, but the easiest to maintain long-term.
Setup is fast and pain-free, with the MobiLoud team handling everything to do with your app build. You just need to configure a few things, such as your mobile-specific design elements (such as menus, navigation, splash screens), and features like push notifications.
MobiLoud also provides ongoing support, for updates, maintenance and any tweaks you want made to your apps. This is more than you’ll get from almost any other app builder on the market.
Though you don’t have the flexibility to completely design your app interface from scratch, this is not always something you should want to do in the first place. The convenience, affordability and ease of use from Canvas makes it the clear winner if you already have a successful Shopify store.
- Create stunning mobile apps in under 2 weeks.
- Mobile-specific features, including unlimited push notifications.
- Retain all themes, plugins, apps and other features from your existing site.
- Keeps your app and web platforms 100% in sync.
- Hands-off setup – everything works out of the box.
- Maintenance, updates and changes done for you with best-in-class support.
- Not a full-scale mobile app builder; can’t design an app-specific interface from scratch.
- Affordable for most businesses, but may be expensive for very small scale stores.
Tapcart is a sophisticated mobile app builder, designed specifically for Shopify. It gives you a powerful drag-and-drop front-end editor that lets you design a custom-made app interface.
The backend then syncs up with your Shopify store, so you can manage all your orders and product details in one place.
It provides a number of integrations with Shopify apps and third-party plugins or tools – for example, Klaviyo for email marketing, Facebook and various analytics tools. These implementations work well, but you may be out of luck if you want to integrate any other apps, plugins, or custom features you have on your site.
It’s also worth mentioning the price. Tapcart is powerful, but pricey. It starts at $250 per month, which is affordable, but this plan offers very limited feature options. It’s more likely you’ll need to bump up to their next level up, at $550 per month, or even to the Tapcart Enterprise plan, which starts at $1,200 per month.
- Extensive design flexibility with their no-code app builder.
- Backend linked with your Shopify store.
- Intuitive integrations with popular Shopify & ecommerce tools.
- Lowest plan (at $250/mo) is very limited.
- For full features, you may end up paying over $1,200 per month.
- May not be able to integrate all functionality of your existing site.
Want to learn more? Check out the best Tapcart alternative, and compare all the pros and cons between MobiLoud and Tapcart.
Plobal Apps is another purpose-made Shopify app builder. The way it works is a lot like Tapcart – giving you a no-code, drag-and-drop editor to build the front-end of your app, while syncing up with your Shopify store back-end.
Also like Tapcart, it utilizes integrations to give you access to popular Shopify apps and tools, as well as mobile-specific tools like location services and a QR barcode scanner. The list of integrations is fairly extensive, but still may leave you missing some of your existing site’s functionality.
On the surface, the cost is not as daunting as Tapcart. But they charge an additional “success fee”, which ranges from 1-3% of your in-app sales, which may add up as you scale.
- Includes all the features you need from an app, such as customizable push notifications.
- User-friendly interface builder.
- Large list of supported integrations.
- Doesn’t convert all your existing web features to the app.
- Charges an additional percentage fee on in-app sales.
- They only work with sellers who meet a certain revenue threshold.
Vajro is a template-based app builder, which boasts that it lets you launch a mobile app in less than 60 minutes, without coding.
They offer four themes to start with, as well as a drag-and-drop builder to edit your app’s design. It’s certainly easy to use – but some might find themselves wanting a little more power.
It uses an integration system to link up with apps, plugins and third-party tools, supporting over 70 integrations – a lot more than Tapcart and Plobal Apps.
Their pricing is more or less in line with the market. Their lowest plan is affordable at $99 per month, but most stores will find the feature set lacking (it only offers 30 push notifications, for example). More likely you’ll need to upgrade and spend $199-$399 per month, which is a little expensive for the template-based nature of the app.
- Simple, easy to use.
- Large list of supported integrations.
- Good fit for small stores, with simple needs.
- Pricing is a little high, considering the simplicity of the app.
- Template-based, meaning it lacks a lot of flexibility.
- A lot of integrations, but still doesn’t directly replicate what you have on your website.
The Appmaker mobile app builder is in line with most of the Shopify app builders on this list. It gives you a visual editor to build out the front-end of your app, syncing everything behind the scenes to the back-end of your Shopify store, for all your product details, orders, inventory, etc.
It’s not the most sophisticated app builder, but is quite easy to use. Appmaker supports a large number of payment gateways – from major credit cards to Apple Pay, Amazon, PayPayl, Klarna and more – but overall, the number of integrations are lacking compared to other tools.
Appmaker is a decent fit for stores with simple needs, and no need to integrate any complex features or functionality.
- Simple to use.
- Supports a wide range of payment getaways.
- Solid sync with your Shopify backend.
- App design is customizable, but still limited to their template.
- Can’t convert your existing plugins/apps/themes.
- Not as many integrations as other app builders.
- Can get very expensive, with $699/$1,199 per month plans.
Shopney is a dependable option, offering a little more flexibility for designing your app layout compared to similar template-based app builders.
Smaller stores may find Shopney is a good entry-level option to mobile apps, offering a $99 per month plan, which includes most core features. However, you’ll need to upgrade to the next level up to get features like Abandoned Cart notifications and scheduled push notifications. And then some integrations – Klaviyo, for example – are only available on the $499/mo “Platinum” plan level.
- Intuitive design editor with multiple themes.
- Ability to send unlimited push notifications.
- Starts at $99 per month, which is decent value for small stores.
- Despite the design editor, you’re still limited to their themes and templates.
- Not as many supported integrations.
- Gets expensive if you want the full range of integrations.
The selling point of Jcurve is the price. It starts at $89 per month for a very simple feature set. And though you’ll likely need the $139/mo option (required for any decent integrations, as well as Abandoned Cart notifications), this is still more affordable than many alternatives.
A low price point does mean making sacrifices, though. It’s not as powerful as other app builders. The integrations are limited, and there are questions over the quality of their support. Still, it may be a good fit for low-level stores just looking to get their feet wet with mobile apps.
- Affordable alternative to other Shopify app builders.
- Simple to set up & design a basic interface.
- Reliant on their supported integrations.
- Some reviews mention issues with their support.
MageNative offers another interesting option for stores looking for an app builder at a lower price point.
It starts as low as $49/mo – though realistically you’ll need to go at least one level higher to get enough features to make it worthwhile. Yet even their highest plan is cheaper than just about any other from this list.
At the end of the day, it’s still a template-based app builder, and you’re reliant on what they give you in terms of design and integrations. They don’t have as many direct third-party app integrations either, which may be tricky. But for a budget option, it’s a great pick.
- Much cheaper than the competitors.
- Get unlimited push notifications, deep linking, even augmented reality features for under $100/mo.
- Not many integrations for popular third-party apps.
Whatever your platform, it integrates with the backend while providing the tools to build your customer-facing app using a no-code app builder and a range of apps and widgets.
The tradeoff for this is that, not being built specifically for Shopify, the integration may not be as seamless as with other tools.
The widgets and integrations may also make it tough to recreate what you have on your existing website. They can provide custom integrations or features, but this may get expensive (you need to contact them to get a quote for this).
- Easy to configure, if somewhat basic.
- Not made specifically for Shopify stores.
- Need to enquire for custom pricing for any custom integrations or features.
Wrapping Up – The Best Mobile App Builder for Shopify Stores
In this post, we’ve introduced the best mobile app builders for Shopify store owners. These tools make it simple for any store owners to launch their own native Android and iOS apps.
For most stores, the hands-down best choice is MobiLoud Canvas. Canvas lets you actually convert what already works for you on your website to your mobile apps. You won’t lose any functionality from your themes, apps or plugins, meaning you’ll provide a seamless experience for your customers.
It’s simple to set up – everything works out of the box, including push notifications, as well as your existing checkout and product collections. And best of all, it’s easy to keep your iOS app, Android app and mobile website maintained and in sync, long-term.
To learn more, and start your journey towards launching your own native mobile apps, get in touch with our team. We’ll discuss your project and your needs, and give you a demo of the platform to show you just how easy it is to build a Shopify mobile app with MobiLoud.