In this article, we'll share with you the top Drobile alternatives, and help you choose the best Shopify mobile app builder for your business.
We'll give you a brief overview of everything you need to know about Drobile, before moving on to alternative ways to convert your store into an app, including our own platform, MobiLoud.
What is Drobile?
Drobile is a mobile app builder for Shopify sites.
It's a no-code app builder that utilizes a visual builder interface with pre-built blocks and templates to enable users to build an app without coding.
It's a little different to your standard app builder, as their marketing claims they will custom design and publish your app.
But at the core, it's still a drag-and-drop tool that has certain limitations.
Now let's take a look at Drobile's pricing.
Drobile has three pricing tiers, all coming with a 14-day free trial:
- Pro: $80/month
- Plus: $150/month
- Premium: $500/month
In the Pro plan, you'll get both Android & iOS apps with unlimited push notifications, app analytics, and Google & Apple pay integrations.
The Plus plan is an upgrade with an integrated rewards program, multi-language, and multi-currency support.
If you need automated push notifications, premium integrations and advanced analytics, then the Premium plan is for you.
Drobile Pros & Cons
Drobile is relatively inexpensive and seems to have a good level of service.
However, as a drag-and-drop app builder it will never be able to completely recreate your web store's look, feel and functionality.
You'll be constrained by the platform's pre-built blocks, templates and integrations. You won't be able to carry over everything that makes your website great.
If there are apps, integrations, plugins or custom features on your site that drive conversions, in all likelihood you won't be able to use them in the app. This means your app probably won't provide a user experience that matches your website, which is a big problem.
Now we've had an overview of the tool, its pricing, and its pros and cons, we'll move on to look at some of the top Drobile alternatives on the market.
Drobile Alternative #1: MobiLoud
MobiLoud is an app builder, but in truth, it's a lot more.
At the core, it does exactly what you want from a Shopify app builder. MobiLoud fully converts your existing website into an app, complete with all the themes, custom alterations and apps on your site.
Everything works the same in your app as it does on your website. There's no need to lose any key features, as you'll have to if you use a traditional app builder.
And there's no rebuilding necessary. The way MobiLoud works, the content and design of your app is your website. As long as your site is mobile friendly, 90% of the work is done already.
Our team handles everything for you, including building your apps, publishing them to the app stores, and maintaining them after launch.
When we build your apps, we layer on mobile-specific elements, such as native navigation, splash screens and push notifications, to give a true native mobile feel to your apps, while maintaining everything that makes your website great.
We have two standard pricing tiers:
- Startup - For fast launching and validation: $350/month, plus a one-time $1,500 setup fee
- Growth - Perfect for more established businesses: $650/month, plus a one-time $2,500 setup fee
We also have custom, corporate plan for more demanding projects. Read more about our pricing here.
Why MobiLoud is the Best Drobile Alternative
Drobile is not a bad way to launch an app, particularly compared to the massive expense of custom development.
But MobiLoud is more flexible, easier to manage, and less risk.
MobiLoud takes you beyond what is possible with a templated solution like Drobile, allowing you to build apps that completely match the features and power of your Shopify store. You can leverage Shopify's entire ecosystem of plugins and tools to build truly custom and unique apps.
And it takes very little extra work to build and manage your app. Our service element is second to none, allowing your focus to remain on your website.
Finally, it's basically zero risk. The cost is minimal for any successful Shopify brand. And since the app is a direct reflection of your website, you already know that it will resonate with users. As long as you can get people to download your app, it's almost certain to provide a positive ROI.
We also offer a 60-day money back guarantee, if the app doesn't live up to your expectations.
Drobile offers a 14-day free trial, but this really isn't long enough to give you clear insights over whether or not your app is going to drive the revenue you expect.
Drobile is cheaper, but if you envision your app being a serious revenue channel for your brand, you don't want to cut down your potential by option for the cheapest option, when better, more scalable options exist.
Want to skip ahead and learn more about MobiLoud? Book a demo now to talk to one of our eCommerce app experts.
Now let's look at a few other Drobile alternatives that you should know about.
Drobile Alternative #2: Tapcart
Tapcart is a straightforward platform that empowers businesses to build mobile apps for Shopify without coding knowledge. It's favored by small and medium-sized eCommerce businesses.
Still, some users may find the templates and blocks to be somewhat constrained when compared to a more customizable solution like MobiLoud.
Tapcart has three plans:
- Core - with 15 blocks, basic features, and basic integrations - $200/month
- Ultimate - with unlimited blocks, advanced features, and integrations - $400/month
- Enterprise - with unlimited custom blocks, dedicated customer success manager, and premium integrations - $1K/month
The more costly the plan is, the better app features and benefits you get.
Drobile Alternative #3: Vajro
Vajro is a budget-friendly Shopify-focused drag-and-drop app builder, and a decent option for smaller eCommerce apps. It heavily relies on templates and drag-and-drop widgets to create branded apps connected to Shopify through API.
However, due to this reliance on templates, you will not be able to recreate the functionality of your web store, even on higher-tier plans.
Vajro has four plans:
- Starter - basic features and integrations - $99/month
- Core - advanced features and integrations - $249/month
- Premium - premium features and integrations - $499/month
- Plus - premium features, integrations, and priority support - $999/month
The more costly the plan is, the better app functionalities and benefits you get.
Drobile Alternative #4: Shopney
Shopney provides an intuitive, drag-and-drop app builder for Shopify eCommerce stores. It's notable for its durable integrations, themes, and features. It can be a good choice if you're after a simple app reflecting your site's product catalogue.
However, as a template-based builder, it can't fully change your site into iOS and Android apps or utilize all your plugins, themes, and features. For complex and unique businesses, this will be limiting, forcing your store to conform to their pre-set templates.
Shopney has four plans:
- Silver - basic features with flexible design - $99/month
- Gold - basic features with flexible design with 20 elements - $199/month
- Platinum - advanced features and unlimited design elements - $499/month
- Enterprise - premium features and functionalities and a dedicated success manager - starting from $999/month
Drobile Alternative #5: Apptile
Using "tiles" or blocks, Apptile provides an app builder platform that allows users to create eCommerce apps for iOS and Android. Generally well-reviewed, Apptile offers a thoughtful selection of integrations and features. However, as a block-based editor, it's hard to create more than a basic, "cookie cutter" app that can't replicate the richness of your web store. Apptile supports ~15 integrations for Shopify, covering a number of the biggest ones. However, since Shopify offers thousands of plugins and tools, this is just a drop in the ocean.
Apptile provides three plans:
- Core - basic features - free with a 5% success fee
- Plus - enhanced features - $600/month
- Enterprise - premium features - $1200/month
The more costly plans remove success fees and add advanced benefits.
The Common Problem with App Builders like Drobile
Most Shopify app builders share a couple of common flaws that limit your potential.
First, they provide pre-built blocks, templates and integrations, which you need to work within.
This is generally going to result in a vanilla, cookie-cutter app. It'll look much the same as any other app.
And you won't be able to carry over the elements that make your website resonate with your users.
David from Rainbow Shops said this about his search for the perfect app builder:
“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.”
With an app builder, you're probably going to provide a worse UX than your website, which is a big no-no.
Even if you find a super sophisticated app builder, there are still limits that the Shopify API places on these platforms (and you as a result).
The API only lets you do certain things - as David mentions again:
“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.”
All these tools use the API to pull product data, which means they all have the same flaw.
Take Rainbow Shops' example. Rainbow had a custom sort order that boosted conversion rates by 15%. With the API-based app builder they used, they weren't able to bring that same sort order into the app.
That meant they could only provide a very basic in-app experience, which resulted in lost revenue and customer trust.
There are so many incremental improvements you can make that improve conversion rates and AOV, little by little, yet a lot of this will not be possible with an app builder.
Why MobiLoud is Better Suited for Shopify Businesses
MobiLoud is more flexible and scalable than most other Shopify app builders.
It doesn't use blocks, templates or APIs. The content in your app is a life reflection of your mobile website, with all the same functionality.
At a minimum, you'll have the same great user experience as your mobile website. Realistically, the user experience will be better, with the small touches we add to give your app a native look and feel.
On top of this, it doesn't come with the added labor cost or complexity as with a DIY app builder. We're a full-service platform. We're an app development partner for you, rather than just a self-service portal you need to learn and add to your workflow.
It's nearly passive on your part - we manage your apps, you manage all the extra business they bring your way.
Launch Your Own Shopping App Now
If you want to build an app that delivers the user experience your customers expect, you'll need a solution like MobiLoud.
You can go live in the app stores in less than a month, with minimal effort, investment and risk.
Don't wait - get in touch now and start growing your business with your own mobile app.