Why MobiLoud is a More Flexible, Scalable, and Sustainable Plobal Apps Alternative

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If you want to build a mobile app for your Shopify brand, you’ll likely be looking for a Shopify mobile app builder or a similar solution to help you do it. And if you search for mobile app solutions on the Shopify App Store, there’s a good chance you’ll come across Plobal Apps.

Plobal Apps is a decent choice if you want to build an app for your store, and we’d probably recommend it over shelling out for a fully custom app. But it may not be the best option available.

In this article we’re going to compare Plobal Apps with MobiLoud, our website-to-app solution, to help you make an informed decision. We’ll give a rundown on how each platform works for Shopify brands, and make the case why MobiLoud is a better choice for you in both the short and long term.

MobiLoud vs Plobal Apps: One-Minute Summary

MobiLoud and Plobal Apps both help you create an app for your Shopify store without coding, but get there in a different way.

Plobal Apps is a drag-and-drop, no-code app builder. You design your UI on their platform, connect it to your store, and launch your app. All of this has to be done yourself.

MobiLoud is more of a tech-enabled service, using our platform to convert your website into an app with minimal rebuilding. The app shows a live, synchronized version of your mobile website with native mobile elements added on top.

All the work with MobiLoud is done for you by our team, including testing, submitting your apps to the app stores, and updates and maintenance after launch.

We’re biased, of course, but we believe the added flexibility MobiLoud gives you, plus the much simpler workflow, makes it a superior option to build mobile apps for Shopify brands.

Read on and we’ll explain why.

What is Plobal Apps?

Plobal Apps is a no-code app builder specifically made for Shopify stores.

With their drag-and-drop builder and pre-built templates, you can put together the UI of your app, without writing any code or hiring developers. 

You’ll connect the backend to your Shopify store to import and sync product information, and use their pre-built integrations to add wider functionality to your app (such as that from third-party apps and plugins).

Their homepage boasts that you can create apps in “minutes”. Realistically it will take a little longer than that. And brands shouldn’t be looking for the tool that lets them build their app the fastest. 

As long as it’s not going to take an expensive, drawn-out, months-long process, it’s more important that you create an app that will drive revenue and reflect well on your brand, than to be able to build and publish an app by lunchtime.

Plobal Apps Pricing

Plobal Apps operates on a subscription model, with three pricing tiers:

  • Growth ($199 per month): basic features, push notifications, four standard integrations.
  • Essential ($499 per month): some advanced features, segmentation on push notifications, seven standard integrations.
  • Enterprise ($1,199 per month, plus a 1% success fee on in-app sales): full feature set, unlimited advanced integrations.

The Growth and Essential plan prices are quoted for month-to-month pricing, and are cheaper with an annual commitment. The Enterprise plan is only available on annual pricing.

They also provide a 30-day free trial.

Plobal Apps offers one of the better entry-level plans for a Shopify app builder. There’s some design options you’re missing out on, and you’re limited on integrations, but the push notification functionality is mostly all there.

You could do worse, but for brands with more extensive needs, you’ll find that what you get for the price is a little lacking, especially on the pricey Enterprise plan.

Plobal Apps Pros and Cons

Let’s run through some of the most notable pros and cons of using Plobal Apps to build your Shopify store’s mobile app.

Pros

  • Good library of integrations.
  • Simple to use, easy for non-developers to figure out.
  • Largely positive feedback on app stability.
  • No limits on push notification frequency/volume.

Cons

  • Limited design flexibility.
  • Integrations are very limited on the two lower plans.
  • Difficult (essentially impossible) to fully replicate your site in the app.
  • Support can be limited; requires work to maintain and keep your app up to date.
  • The Shopify API has its own limits and may restrict how much you’re able to optimize your app.
  • Little to no support for custom websites, or sites with custom-built features.

Plobal Apps Reviews

Don’t just take our word for it; here are some real user reviews, picked from sources such as Capterra, G2 and the Shopify App Store, to show what people think of the platform.

These two reviews on Capterra echo very similar sentiments, both on the positive and negative sides:

Another user claims it was quick and easy to launch their app, but again pointed to the lack of flexibility on the platform:

One user mentioned that the push notifications were a little basic for their liking:

“You can't send a notification and the customer open up that specific item from the notification. Also wish there was a way to send a notification like a sale code and the customer be able to see it in the app after getting to notification instead of it going away”

On the Shopify App Store, most users say that Plobal Apps is intuitive for people with non-technical backgrounds, such as this user:

“Plobal Apps has been great to work with. I am not very computer savvy and they made everything very user friendly to get up and running!! highly recommend.”

However, others find that while the platform works well overall, getting specific things to work in the app can take a little work:

“We are only a month in and already seeing great success with the app. I will say that integration was a bit challenging—I had to stay on the team constantly for updates and even make some updates myself. If you are not tech savvy there may even be more of a challenge. Wish overall support was better, but the app itself is a great asset to our marketing strategy.”

Best Plobal Apps Alternatives

We go deeper in to the best Plobal Apps alternatives in this article. But here's a quick summary of the best options out there.

For other Shopify-based, drag-and-drop app builders, check out:

If you're looking for more of a general-purpose drag-and-drop builder, try GoodBarber or Appy Pie.

But the best alternative to Plobal Apps in our opinion is MobiLoud. Read on and we'll explain all you need to know about MobiLoud, and why it's a better way to build your app.

What is MobiLoud?

MobiLoud is our platform that converts any website (Shopify or otherwise) to native apps.

Unlike no-code app builders, MobiLoud fully converts your site into an app. You don’t need to rebuild it, sync both platforms and try to build something that’s consistent with your web experience.

The app is your website, using your mobile web experience as the base for your mobile app. You’ll keep all the same functionality, and native mobile UI elements and features like push notifications added into the mix.

MobiLoud has been used to build mobile apps for over 2,000 businesses, including high-revenue eCommerce brands like Rainbow Shops, John Varvatos, and Jack & Jones.

Examples of apps built with MobiLou

We offer significant advantages in the way your app is built and maintained, compared to app builders like Plobal Apps, which we’ll go into in more detail shortly.

MobiLoud is also different in that we’re a service, not a DIY app builder. Our team does all the heavy lifting for you. You can configure things to your liking within our platform, or simply communicate with our team as to what you want from your app.

Our service includes building your apps, testing them, publishing them to the app stores and running routine updates and maintenance. We’ll even work with you to provide custom UX and UI optimizations to your mobile website to boost conversions on app and web.

MobiLoud Pricing

We have three pricing options to choose from.

  • Startup: $350/month plus a $1,500 setup fee
  • Growth: $650/month plus a $2,500 setup fee
  • Corporate: custom pricing & setup fee depending on your needs

The subscription cost is 15% cheaper on annual plans, and all come with a 60-day money back guarantee, plus a full refund if your app is not approved by the app stores.

Startup is suitable for small to medium-sized brands, with support for up to 1,000 active users, unlimited push notifications, an integration with OneSignal to build personalization into your push notifications, and Google Analytics & Firebase insights enabled.

Growth offers advanced features and support for up to 10,000 active users.

If you need more, including custom development/integrations and immediate assistance whenever you need it, we can accommodate you on our Corporate plan.

Each plan comes with a one-time setup fee. This is to cover the work we do to configure and build your app, as well as handling app store submission. With all that we provide - from custom UI changes to creating design assets like icons, splash screens and screenshots for your app - you’ll still come out ahead compared to doing all this yourself.

Want to learn more? You can always schedule a 1:1 demo with one of our experts. Discuss your project and your needs, no spin, no obligation.

MobiLoud User Stories

Here are some takeaways our past users have had from their experience with MobiLoud.

Svend from Bestseller, the company behind numerous high-revenue fashion brands (including ONLY, ONLY & SONS, VERO MODA and Jack & Jones), said:

"Through history we’ve tried doing what MobiLoud does. But we wanted a solution that could enable push notifications, and MobiLoud has a way of doing that with Onesignal. We couldn’t find another company that could offer the same features at the same price point, same time to market, and make it as easy as MobiLoud could."

David from Rainbow Shops said our solution was perfect due to the low effort and high effectiveness:

“My team is thrilled because we have functioning apps that require almost no effort on our part, to build or maintain. It is a brilliant solution. For someone that wants to see the impact an app has on a business, MobiLoud is the single best way to make that happen.”

Haven from luxury clothing brand SYN•DI•CATE loved the intersection of price and service we provide:

“Not only were you guys very cost effective, you held our hand through the entire process - how to put on the App Store, how to get on Google Play. You gave us the directions, but also helped us get approved, and what to do and how to do it.”

Nick from John Varvatos found MobiLoud to be the perfect option for their team, giving them an easy way to build and maintain an app without requiring significant resources or technical ability.

"My IT team is very small, with limited resources. We don't have the expertise to build Apple/Android apps. We tried a handful of different options in the market in terms of app builders, as well as reaching out to countless freelancers. Nothing out there provided us with the ease and accessibility that MobiLoud did."

Learn more by checking out our customer case studies, and read more reviews sourced from around the web.

10 Reasons MobiLoud is a Better Plobal Apps Alternative

In our opinion, MobiLoud is a better way for Shopify store owners to build mobile apps. We can point to ten reasons why.

1. No rebuilding, smoother path to launch

Launching your app is easier with MobiLoud.

No-code app builders are touted as an easy way to build apps.

Easier than coding an app from scratch? Sure. But it’s not as straightforward as often made out to be.

Building your app takes a lot of tinkering and fiddling around in their platform. You’ll want to maintain consistency with your website, and doing so can be difficult.

It’s also difficult to build an app that you’re really happy with, and that makes you confident it will generate revenue. Just consider the work that went into creating the perfect website.

This is more work than many realize, and it’s 100% on you to do it.

With MobiLoud, it’s so much easier. You know your website works well, and MobiLoud literally recreates that same experience in the app.

You need to realize that there’s no point reinventing the wheel. 90% of what you need in an app is already there, in your mobile website. Our touches add the other 10%, and let you launch it as a contained, native-mobile experience.

You get a better result than a no-code app builder, and it’s fast; you can go live in less than a month.

That may be longer than you’d go live with a tool like Plobal Apps, but the advantage you gain from launching your app a couple of weeks earlier is minimal, particularly if it’s going to be a lower-quality app.

2. More design flexibility

No-code app builders don’t allow a lot of design flexibility.

You can customize your app easily with their drag-and-drop builder, but only within the confines of what they provide, in terms of blocks, design elements and templates.

You’ll find it hard to create a truly unique app, and likely impossible to really recreate the working formula from your website.

MobiLoud, on the other hand, offers the ultimate design flexibility. You can change anything to do with the appearance of your app just by changing it on your mobile website.

If you want to tweak your color scheme, resize elements, change fonts, add banners, use a different layout, you can do so at any time. Just make the changes on your site and they’ll reflect automatically on your app.

Together with the custom alterations you get from our team of developers and designers, you’ll be able to build an app that looks like a custom-built native app, not one built from a generic template.

3. No integration limits

One of the biggest reasons we advise eCommerce store owners not to use no-code app builders like Plobal Apps is the limits they put on integrations with third-party tools and apps.

You probably use a bunch of apps and plugins on your site, and rely on these to make conversions and generate revenue.

App builders allow you to integrate your mobile app with some of these tools, but only some of the most popular ones - if the app/plugin you want to integrate with is more niche, it probably won’t work in your app.

And if there are custom-built tools you use on your site, no way they’ll work in your app.

What’s more, there’s a limit to the number of integrations you’re allowed in your app. For example, Plobal Apps limits you to four standard integrations on their lowest plan, and seven standard integrations on their second plan. You’ll have to shell out for unlimited integrations (or advanced integrations).

To be fair, Plobal Apps is better than a lot of app builders in this regard. They have a decent number of integrations, and a lot of app builders put a limit on the number of integrations you can use even on the highest plan.

However, it’s not going to match the flexibility you have with MobiLoud to integrate with anything you use on your site, and have it work the same way it does on your site in the app.

4. Keep everything from your website

MobiLoud lets you keep all the optimizations, improvements and features you’ve added to your site to drive revenue, when you launch your app.

Most brands go through extensive A/B testing and iteration to create an optimized user experience. You know by now what works on your website - yet rebuilding it for your app means starting over again.

MobiLoud converts what you already have, and what you already know works. This means you’ll be able to deliver a much more refined user experience right away, and skip the trial and error that will come with launching on a platform like Plobal Apps.

5. No constraints from the Shopify API

App builders like Plobal Apps use Shopify’s API to pull data into your app and sync your app and website.

This is somewhat convenient, up until you want to do something that the API doesn’t allow.

If you’re trying to optimize every part of your customer experience to maximize revenue, you’re going to run into dead ends with the API before too long.

Case in point: Rainbow Shops were using an API-based app builder to run their app. Their website had a custom sort order that had a significant effect on conversions. However, with the limits of the API, they weren’t able to carry that same sort order into the app.

This limitation cost them money, and was one of the key reasons why they switched to MobiLoud for a new version of their app.

“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

6. Support for custom websites

While MobiLoud is perfect for Shopify websites, it’s not only for Shopify stores. MobiLoud works for any website platform or CMS.

That means you’re not locked into the Shopify ecosystem when you use MobiLoud. With Plobal Apps, you are. If you want to switch to another platform, you’ll need to uproot and rebuild your app as well.

Perhaps you don’t plan to move to a different eCommerce platform. But being locked into Shopify also means not being able to make custom alterations to your site and have them work in your app.

As your brand grows, there’s a good chance you’ll want to expand beyond the basic features and functionality of Shopify. MobiLoud lets you do that and have the changes work in your app as well (without any duplication of effort).

7. Full-service experience

Plobal Apps is a funded company. They're big, they've got a lot of employees, and a lot of resources.

This means they're too big to really give you their full, undivided attention.

At MobiLoud, we’re smaller, built from the ground up and profitable for years without external funding. That’s why we’re able to offer personal, hands-on service to every user.

High-revenue brands can’t settle for support systems where you submit a ticket, wait for their support team to come online, then wait even longer for them to figure out your problem. Each minute you wait, you’re losing revenue.

MobiLoud works closely with you and is as invested in your brand’s success as you are. We roll out the white glove experience and provide dedicated service, not just answering support tickets.

“I think the biggest difference is the level of service you offer. We haven't had any issues - the setup and onboarding was super easy thanks to your team's excellent support. You were always available to make the process seamless.”
- Kenneth Chan, Founder, TOBI

8. Less upkeep and maintenance

App builders (and custom-built apps) give you another platform to manage, which can add hours to your workflow.

Some parts of your app and website are synced, but often the case is when you change something on your site, you’ll need to go in and change it on your app as well.

This can seriously weigh you down and add unnecessary complexity to your workflow.

MobiLoud updates your app automatically whenever your website changes, so all changes only have to be made once.

On top of that, our team handles technical updates and routine maintenance as part of our service package. 

With an app builder, you’re left to handle this on your own, meaning not just do you need to spend more time managing your app, but there’s a bigger risk of something going wrong that you don’t know how to fix, resulting in downtime or poor reviews for your app.

9. More scalable and affordable long-term

Long-term, MobiLoud fits better to grow with your brand, and works out to be more affordable throughout your app’s lifetime.

Plobal Apps may be cheaper upfront, with no setup fee, and plans available as cheap as $199 per month.

But over the long run, as your brand grows and your needs expand, you’re inevitably going to run up against their limits and have to upgrade.

That will put you in their highest plan, costing $1,199 per month, plus a percentage of the sales you make in the app, making it more costly than MobiLoud and erasing the difference of our one-time setup fee.

And that’s not including the extra labor you’ll spend managing your app with Plobal Apps compared to MobiLoud.

With the fewer limitations that come with MobiLoud, you give more space for your brand - your mobile presence in particular - to grow.

10. MobiLoud is risk-free

Plobal Apps offers a free trial, but MobiLoud is still a much less risky way to build your app.

We offer a money-back guarantee for 60 days - twice the length of Plobal Apps’ free trial.

We’ll also refund your money in full if, for some reason, your app is not accepted by the Apple/Google Play app stores.

With Plobal Apps, you have to navigate this difficult process yourself. If you can’t pass their requirements, you’re out of luck.

And trials/money-back guarantees aside, there’s much less risk in building an app with MobiLoud in the first place.

Since you’re converting your existing website into an app, you already know that it resonates with customers. You’re just replicating what you know works to another medium.

When you start from scratch with Plobal Apps, you don’t know this. You’re taking a shot in the dark, hoping that you’ll be able to build an app that makes money. And you’ve got 30 days to figure it out.

When Should You Choose Plobal Apps?

Make no mistake, Plobal Apps is not the worst choice you can make if you want to build an app for your store. And there are some cases where it might be a better fit than MobiLoud.

It’s cheaper upfront, particularly if you only need the features provided in their cheapest plan (which, as we mentioned earlier, is better than the lowest tier from a lot of other app builders).

You can go live with your app for just $199, instead of the minimum of $1,850 that MobiLoud would cost you, and save $150 per month thereon.

For some brands, this will make a big difference (although if you’re a new brand struggling for revenue, we’d generally advise you to focus on building your web presence first before launching an app).

You may also want to make your app distinct from your website. If this is the case, Plobal Apps gives you the opportunity to do so, and build an app-specific UI that’s not linked to your website.

We’re not sure there’s really any need to diverge significantly from your mobile web UI, and the downsides likely outweigh the benefits of doing so - but if you want to, Plobal Apps is the option for you.

Learn More and Pick the Best Option For Your Shopify App

You’ll be smart to do your due diligence in picking the best provider for your brand’s mobile app.

Here are some ways for you to dive deeper and do your own research to figure out what’s going to be best for you.

Get Started Today

There’s never going to be a better time to launch an app for your store than right now. Mobile commerce is starting to outgrow desktop eCommerce, and mobile apps give you the best way to convert and retain mobile shoppers.

The benefits to your brand of having your own, high-quality, well-reviewed mobile app compound with time, so it’s best to start now.

Get on a call with us to discuss the best way to go about building your app, and to learn whether MobiLoud is the right fit for your project.

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