Looking for a MageNative alternative?
In this article, we'll share the top MageNative alternatives to help Shopify stores build and launch their own mobile apps.
In doing so, we'll share our thoughts on MageNative as a platform, who it's for, who it's not, and the best alternatives for businesses who need something different.
MageNative - A Quick Overview
MageNative is one of the more well-known Shopify mobile app builders. They're known for largely targeting fashion, food and marketplace apps with a range of pre-built themes, and being a relatively low-cost, bare-bones option for building eCommerce apps for iOS and Android.
MageNative is not the worst option as an entry-level Shopify app builder, and it offers decent value for its price point, but successful stores may want something with more power and flexibility.
How it Works
MageNative provides a no-code builder that allows users to build an app for their Shopify store, without writing code.
You'll drag and drop elements onto a canvas to build your app, preview it, connect your Shopify account and import your product information, then publish and launch the app.
MageNative boasts that you can build an app in "minutes" with this approach. Technically, that's true, but realistically it will take a little longer than that.
MageNative has three pricing tiers:
- Basic Plan: $49/month
- Growth Plan: $69/month
- Enterprise plan: $99/month
The Basic plan includes just the essential features and integrations like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Firebase mobile analytics.
If you need more features, the Growth Plan gives you RTL, multi-currency, and multi-language support along with integrations like Zendesk, Langify, and LangShop.
Basic and Growth plans only offer a limited number of themes and only up to 5 push notifications monthly. If you want premium features, premium integrations, and unlimited push notifications, you'll need to be on the Enterprise plan.
MageNative Pros & Cons
MageNative is pretty cheap, and their themes appear to be OK for building a simple, standard eCommerce app. They're generally well reviewed - but not exclusively so. Some users have commented on the inflexibility of the platform - and the difficulty (impossibility) of truly converting their web store.
This is a very common problem with all drag-and-drop, template-based app builders. When you use a template, you are necessarily restricted. An app builder will never completely recreate your web store, and you'll have to make serious compromises in terms of features and functionality.
Who is MageNative For?
MageNative is designed for budget-conscious Shopify merchants, who want a cheap and straightforward way to build an app companion for their store.
Merchants with a growing brand may find MageNative's capabilities won't be able to keep up, however. The platform seems to be the best fit for very small, basic stores, or for building an MVP of your app to test out or gather input from stakeholders.
The 5 Best MageNative Alternatives
Now we've had an overview of the tool, its pricing, and its pros and cons. It's time to move on and start looking at some MageNative alternatives, starting with our own site-to-app platform, MobiLoud.
MobiLoud is an eCommerce app builder that integrates with any CMS - whether it's Shopify, WooCommerce, PrestaShop or any other - and lets you reuse every plugin, feature and functionality from your main web store.
It's the perfect way for Shopify stores to build apps, as numerous top brands have already discovered.
Instead of the block-based, API approach that most app builders use, and which requires a lot of tedious rebuilding and tinkering, MobiLoud actually converts your store into an app.
The result is an app that perfectly replicates your web user experience, with a few small mobile-specific additions that make it feel like a true, custom, native app.
That's one side of it. The other is the service element we bring. MobiLoud is a full service - our team configures, builds, tests and launches your app for you.
You can do your own configurations or share with our team what you want to see from your app, but we do all the legwork for you.
We'll even do custom development work to improve your mobile web UX, to boost conversions both on the web and in the app.
On top of all this, we handle the app store submission process (a notoriously difficult process for app publishers), and handle all updates and maintenance necessary to keep your app working well after launch.
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. You can get more info about our pricing here.
MobiLoud vs MageNative
MageNative may be OK for building a side-project and drag-and-dropping your way to simple apps. They will never allow you to recreate the power and complexity of your web store though. For that, you need MobiLoud, a platform with the infrastructure and experience to support professional, growing eCommerce brands.
MobiLoud is the best MageNative alternative because it is:
- Simple - there's no need to struggle trying to build the perfect app. If your site is mobile-optimized, you're already 90% of the way there.
- Flexible - whatever you can do on your website, you can do in the app. You're not limited by templates or the capability of blocks, integrations or APIs.
- Affordable - our hands-on service means you get the value of an app development partner for the fraction of what it would usually cost.
- Risk-free - there's no work for you to do, no learning curve, no added operational complexity. It's just a small investment upfront, and you can see how a mobile app can change your business for the better (we also give a 60-day money-back guarantee!)
Want to skip ahead and learn more about MobiLoud, and how it can grow your brand? Book a personalized demo now.
If you want to learn more about what's out there, here are some more MageNative alternatives to consider.
Mowico is another no code app builder focused tightly on eCommerce businesses.
Mowico integrates with Shopify and WooCommerce and is set to add PrestaShop, BigCommerce & Wix soon.
The platform is known for good integrations like Smile, Langify, and Judge.me, along with handy features like push notifications and AR shopping.
However, Mowico has its drawbacks.
Being a template-based app builder, it can make a simple eCommerce app with your products and logo but falls short in duplicating your web store's complex features, design, and plugins.
You'll always be limited to their pre-made integrations, which will be quite restrictive compared to the web and MobiLoud.
Mowico has three plans for each eCommerce platform. For Shopify, they have:
- Startup - basic features - $79/month
- Growth - everything from Startup plus enhanced features - $399/month
- Enterprise - premium features, custom feature integrations, and tailor-made development - custom
Vajro is a Shopify-focused drag-and-drop app builder with affordable pricing, catering to smaller eCommerce stores.
Vajro's system relies on templates and drag-and-drop widgets to create branded apps linked to Shopify via API.
They offer integrations with platforms like Firebase, Tidio, and Klarna - and a decent set of features (especially on the highest 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
Despite being user-friendly for non-technical individuals, Vajro's dependence on templates and pre-built widgets limits you in the same way as most other app builders.
A complete recreation of your web store is out of the question, even on higher plans. So as a MageNative alternative Vajro is probably the superior platform, but it also costs far more and is still fundamentally limiting in the same way.
Further Reading: go in-depth with our full comparison between MobiLoud and Vajro.
Shopney is a user-friendly app builder recognized for decent integrations, themes, and features, making it suitable for some Shopify eCommerce stores.
If a very simple app reflecting your site's product catalogue is what you need, Shopney could be the right choice.
On the other hand - its template-based approach means it can't convert your site entirely into iOS and Android apps or utilize all your existing plugins, themes, and features. This will present limitations for businesses with unique or complex needs, forcing your store to fit their pre-built 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
Compared to MageNative, Shopney is a little higher-end and more expensive, with more developed templates and integrations. Compared to MobiLoud though, it's still very limiting.
Tapcart is a platform designed to help businesses build mobile apps for Shopify without requiring coding knowledge.
Tapcart caters to small and medium-sized eCommerce ventures, offering a range of features such as push notifications, in-app messaging, and integration with major Shopify plugins.
Tapcart has three plans:
- Core - 15 blocks, basic features, and basic integrations - $200/month
- Ultimate - unlimited blocks, advanced features, and integrations - $400/month
- Enterprise - unlimited custom blocks, dedicated customer success manager, and premium integrations - $1000/month
Out of all the template-based Shopify app builders, Tapcart is the most established and proven. It can certainly give you good apps, likely better than MageNative's - but its also significantly more expensive.
Tapcart is also limited in the same way as the rest, which is why MobiLoud is a better alternative to both for serious eCommerce businesses.
Two Common Flaws with App Builders
A lot of MageNative alternatives share the same issues. These issues are not so much flaws with the tool itself, but of no-code app builders as a whole.
App builders do reduce the barrier of entry for brands to launch apps, and if you're running a Shopify store, they're probably a better option than the huge expense of building a custom developed app.
But you should be aware of these two flaws.
It's still a lot of work
Though you don't have to write any code, these app builders are not turnkey solutions.
You'll need to do a lot of work yourself to build and configure your app, and get it looking the way you want. Templates help with this, but only to a certain degree.
Just see this snippet from MageNative's reviews on G2:
"I mean, the interface is intuitive and the instructions are very clear, but it still took me a while to figure out how everything worked. It's also not easy to know what you can or can't do with the app if you're trying to customize your store from scratch."
It can end up taking a lot of time to get a satisfactory result.
And then when you do launch your app, you need to submit it to the app stores (this is a painful process - we know, we've done it over 2,000 times), and keep your app up to date once it's live.
This adds a lot to your everyday workflow, which you should consider on top of the price of the tool itself.
You can't fully recreate your site in the app
Not only does it take a while to get a decent result when using an app builder, in all likelihood, you're never going to be able to build an app you're really happy with.
The way these tools work - using templates, pre-defined blocks and integrations, and relying on the Shopify API to sync with your store - is very limiting.
The app you build will be pretty generic, no matter how long you spend tinkering with it. And there's a lot of functionality that the tool's integrations or the Shopify API won't allow you to do.
“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.”
David from Rainbow Shops had the above quote about his experience looking for an app builder.
Case in point: their store had a custom sort order that boosted conversion rates by 15%, but they couldn't bring that same custom sort order into the app. The default sorting options offered in the app builder were so basic, they lost significant revenue and customer trust through a sub-par in-app experience.
This is what David said about their search for the perfect mobile 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.”
If you use an app builder, you'll end up sacrificing something that makes your website work great, such as custom sort orders, custom checkout flows or payment gateways, and the user experience (and as a result, conversions and revenue) will suffer for it.
Why MobiLoud is an eCommerce App Builder with a Difference
MobiLoud is a better way to convert your site to an app.
That's because it actually does just that - there's no rebuilding, no templates, no APIs.
What you see in the app is exactly what's on your website. All apps, plugins, custom features will work the same in-app as they do on your site.
It's the only way to truly recreate your web experience in the app - which is all you really need anyway - without paying hundreds of thousands for a custom-developed app.
Just as valuable is the fact that we do everything for you. There's no work, no learning curve, no risk that you're going to mess it up or that you won't have the time to complete the project.
Our team of experts handle everything for you, both in terms of the build, and maintaining the app after launch.
If you have a successful Shopify website and want to expand your reach and better serve mobile customers, you need an app. MobiLoud is the simplest, most flexible and most affordable option to do it.
Build Your Shopify Mobile App Now
Getting started is easy - as long as your site is mobile-friendly, there's essentially nothing you need to do to prepare.
You'll just book a free discovery call, discuss your project with one of our app experts, give the go ahead, and sit back and wait.
In less than a month, you can have your brand in the app stores, generating more revenue and building deeper relationships with your customers.
Book your demo now and start building a more resilient, more valuable business.