MobiLoud and Appmaker.xyz are two popular platforms that help eCommerce businesses launch mobile apps.
Both are more affordable than hiring a development team to build your app from scratch. But if you’re comparing the two, you’ll see that MobiLoud is a simpler, more flexible option, which gives you more value for less money.
If you’re thinking about launching an app, or want to upgrade your current app, read on and learn everything you need to know to pick the right app builder solution for you.
MobiLoud vs Appmaker: Overview
MobiLoud and Appmaker.xyz both help eCommerce stores build mobile apps. Both are intended for already successful stores who want to grow by launching their own app and getting into the app stores, but don’t want to deal with the hassle and expense of building a development team.
Appmaker does this by giving you a no-code, visual app builder to design your app UI, including customizable themes and template blocks, and extensions that allow you to integrate your app with plugins/features/apps you use on your site.
MobiLoud is similar, but distinct. We, too, help you launch an app without coding. But we convert your existing mobile site, including all apps, plugins, features, themes and UI, into mobile apps.
We provide full service to help you launch, as well - we’re not just a DIY app builder.
The way we do things has significant advantages for you, as you’re about to see.
Before we go any further, let’s expand on the key differences you need to know between MobiLoud and Appmaker.xyz.
App Builder vs Full Conversion of Your Store
As mentioned already, Appmaker gives you a block-based app builder, whereas MobiLoud simply converts your website into an app.
This means with MobiLoud, it’s smooth, fast and easy to create the initial version of your app. 90% of the work is already done, as long as your site is optimized for mobile. All that’s needed is some mobile-specific touches, and to code the backend (all of which we do for you).
With an app builder approach, though you may feel there’s freedom to tinker and customize your app, it takes a lot of work, which slows down your launch and provides a headache for you.
API vs Webviews
Both platforms sync the content between your Shopify store and the app, and automatically update this whenever you change pricing, product details, etc.
Appmaker (as with most Shopify app builders) does this with the Shopify API. They use the API to communicate with the backend of your store, access product information, and display it in the app.
This is efficient, as long as you work within the constraints of what the API allows. If you want to do something the API isn’t built for, you’re out of luck.
“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 Cost, Rainbow Shops
MobiLoud displays content in your app using webview technology. Webviews are a live, interactive window to your website, made to be embedded into an app.
Essentially, that means the content in your app is your website. It’s literally the same. It functions the same, looks the same, and whenever you change something, the change takes place in-app as well.
DIY vs Full Service
Appmaker is a DIY app builder. They give some assistance in setting up your app, and claim to give support afterwards, but at the end of the day, it’s still Do It Yourself.
MobiLoud isn’t just a tool - it’s a service. Our team configures your app, builds it for you, tests it, the whole nine yards.
We’ll even provide custom development work to help improve CRO and UX, and ensure a smooth transition from web to app.
After launch, we provide hands-on technical support, maintenance and updates, ensuring you never get lost in the world of apps, or stuck with a broken app due to new OS updates.
The MobiLoud team also handles the app store publishing process for you, taking one more stressful task off your plate.
App Updates & Maintenance
Part of the package with MobiLoud is full service for updates and maintenance. Our team handles all of this for you - whether it be necessary updates for new OS versions, bug fixes, or UX updates.
With Appmaker, you’ll do this yourself, through the Appmaker dashboard. The labor cost of this must be factored into your ROI calculation, as you need to ensure your app stays up-to-date and bug-free for users.
Finally we’ll compare the price points of Appmaker and MobiLoud.
Appmaker has two subscription options for Shopify brands.
- Pro: $750/month (annually) / $1,000/month (monthly)
- Plus: $1,500/month (annually) / $2,000/month (monthly), plus 1% success fee
The Pro plan will do for most brands, which provides all the standard features you’d need from Appmaker. With an annual subscription, this will cost you $9,000 over the first year for your app.
If you need premium blocks/workflows and dedicated customer support, however, you’ll need to shell out for the Plus plan, which will cost $18,000 per year, plus a percentage of your sales.
MobiLoud’s pricing plans include three subscription options:
- Startup: $298/month (annually), $350/month (monthly), $1,500 one-time setup fee
- Growth: $553/month (annually), $650/month (monthly), $2,500 one-time setup fee
- Corporate: custom pricing & setup fee, depending on your needs
With the setup fee, MobiLoud comes out a little more expensive upfront, but more affordable long-term.
On the Startup plan, you’ll spend $5,076 for the first year, and $3,576 per year afterwards.
If you need our Growth features (such as universal links, social login integrations, custom design assets and app review prompts), you’ll spend $9,136 for the first year, and $6,636 per year afterwards.
You get more from our Growth plan (more service, less work for you to do) than Appmaker’s Pro plan, but the cost is more or less equal for the first year, and cheaper moving forward.
Either option is still more affordable than maintaining a custom-developed app, as David from Rainbow Shops says:
“If we had unlimited time and money, we would probably go for a custom native app, but that is half a million to a million a year to maintain.”
MobiLoud also comes with a 60-day money back guarantee that removes almost all risk - something you don’t get with Appmaker (their terms specifically state that no refunds will be given).
Why MobiLoud is a Better Option for Building Shopify Mobile Apps
So we’ve given you an overview of how Appmaker.xyz and MobiLoud work, and broken down the biggest differences in detail.
We believe MobiLoud is the best option to build mobile apps for Shopify stores. There are five main reasons why, which we’ll break down below.
App Build is Done For You
While app builders seem convenient, they leave a lot of work for you to do. Compiling your app, even though you don’t need to write code, takes time and effort.
MobiLoud is far more straightforward when it comes to launching your app. 90% of what you need from your app is already there, as long as your site works well for mobile users. The rest, we handle for you.
Less Work to Maintain
While MobiLoud is a faster, more convenient way to launch your app, it delivers even more value when it comes to maintaining your app.
Launching an app with MobiLoud adds very little to your day-to-day workflow. We handle all technical updates, and for any UX updates, you just need to make changes to your website - they’ll reflect in your app automatically.
Most of the time, when you launch an app, you’ll add 2/3x the work to your everyday workflow. Now you need to maintain your website, your iOS app, and your Android app separately.
While it’s slightly less work with Appmaker, you still have to do any technical updates yourself through their dashboard, or if that’s not possible, with custom React Native code. You don’t have the hands-on, done-for-you support that MobiLoud provides to all users.
No API-Based Limitations
It can’t be stressed enough how much API-based tools limit what you’re able to do.
You want your app to fully reflect your website, and deliver a consistent brand experience across all channels. You may not be able to do that within the confines of the Shopify API.
It also means that any custom alterations or development work you’ve done on your site won’t be able to work in your app. These minor changes can have a huge impact on conversion rate and AOV. If you use an API-based builder, you’ll need to go back to square one and lose any of these optimizations.
With MobiLoud, you have no limitations. You can take all your themes, apps, plugins and custom features, and have these work the same way in your app as they do on your site.
The app will be the best representation of your brand, fully conversion optimized, ready to deliver a revenue boost out of the gate.
An App Partner; Not an App Builder
MobiLoud is not just an app builder, who builds an app and hands it off. We’re an app development partner for your brand.
Most Shopify stores have no experience in the realm of mobile app development. Sure, you can get a company to build you an app, or use an app builder to convert your site - but then you’re left in deep waters, generally with very little support from the app builder.
MobiLoud partners with you to ensure a successful lifecycle for your app, and that you never get lost in the world of apps. We’ll help your app continue to grow and be a long-term revenue machine, without the effort and expense of building an in-house team to run it.
"We needed someone that would hold our hand through the process of creating a signature app for our company, and guide us on how to maintain the app post-launch, from in-app notifications to analytics. We had zero app experience coming into this and with MobiLoud's help we feel super comfortable in this new realm."
- Nick Barbarise, John Varvatos
Get More, Spend Less
Both Appmaker and MobiLoud come at a premium price point for tools or services that convert your site to an app.
MobiLoud’s price correlates with the premium service we provide. You get a lot for your money.
MobiLoud may cost a little more up front than Appmaker, but it’s cheaper over the lifetime of your app. And that’s not even taking into account other costs that come with Appmaker.
With more effort required to build and maintain your app, you’ve got labor cost to factor in.
That cost may be significant - Appmaker’s FAQs frequently mention the need for a React Native developer if you want to make custom alterations to the design/UI of your app, or to set up custom workflows.
The average React Native developer commands a salary of $126,000 per year. Even if you only hire someone part-time, that’s at least 5 figures per year extra you’re going to spend on top of the cost of your Appmaker subscription.
MobiLoud essentially gives you everything you’d get from an in-house development team or a development agency, baked into our price. We give you more for less.
Final Thoughts on MobiLoud vs Appmaker
MobiLoud is a more flexible, less limiting and more convenient way to build Shopify mobile apps than Appmaker. We give you more value for less cost, and make it easier to maintain a smooth, unified multi-channel user experience.
Appmaker can be a decent option if you really need to build a customized experience on your app, distinct from what’s on your site. It can also fit if you already have React Native developers in-house to make custom alterations to your app.
But for most Shopify brands, this is not an option.
You want a simple, easy to manage platform to help you build and maintain an app that’ll add a positive ROI to your business.
To learn more or get started, book a personalized demo now. We’ll go over the process, discuss your needs, and show you why MobiLoud is the best way to build an app today.
Book a free discovery call now and grow your brand with MobiLoud.