Tapcart Review, Competitors and the Best Tapcart Alternative in 2024

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Bottom Line Summary: Tapcart is a reliable and stable platform to build mobile apps for your Shopify store. However, as every app builder out there, it limits the flexibility and functionality of your app to what they've built blocks and integrations for. It can get expensive, and requires you to manage two platforms going forward. MobiLoud is a more flexible alternative, it's more affordable, and because everything in your site works out of the box in your app, there's no limitations and no duplication of efforts.

In this Tapcart review, we'll give you an in-depth look at one of the most well-known Shopify app builders. We'll explain what Tapcart is and how it works, its key features, its pros and cons.

Overview (What is Tapcart?)

Tapcart is a mobile app builder for Shopify stores, founded in 2017. It lets Shopify merchants create apps without coding, using a visual drag-and-drop editor and pre-coded blocks and templates.

Tapcart is one of many Shopify mobile app builders available today, designed to lower the barrier of entry for brands to launch their own mobile app.

Usually a fully custom native app would take $100,000+ in development costs, with the process taking 6+ months of full-time development. It would then require you to keep developers on staff or hire freelancers whenever your app needs updates or maintenance, which can cost 5-6 figures yearly.

A mobile app builder like Tapcart lets you launch an app for a tiny fraction of the cost, significantly quicker, and without hiring additional staff. However, you do make some sacrifices in customization and flexibility when you use a no-code app builder, as we'll discuss later in this article.

Key Features

Notable features of the Tapcart platform include:

  • A responsive drag-and-drop editor that lets you build an app without coding.
  • Import & sync with your Shopify store for product details, inventory, customer accounts.
  • Cross-platform compatibility; manage your Android app and iOS app from the same backend.
  • Mobile-specific navigation, pages and collections.
  • Custom blocks (use HTML, JavaScript and CSS to customize Tapcart's pre-designed blocks).
  • Integrations with a number of popular Shopify apps.
  • Unlimited push notifications.
  • Abandoned cart, segmented and scheduled push notifications.
  • Support via phone, email and live chat.

Tapcart’s Pros

Tapcart's best features include the usability of their drag-and-drop editor, platform stability and the ability to send free, unlimited push notifications.

It's clear they've done a great job at designing a modern app experience and a solid app builder to maintain it and customize it.

Let's dive deeper into the best things Tapcart offers now.

Drag-and-drop editor

via Shopify App Store

Tapcart's drag-and-drop editor is intuitive and easy to use. There are limits to what you can do and how far you can customize your app through the editor, but these limitations apply to any no-code mobile app builder.

Of all Shopify app builders, Tapcart's builder experience is one of the best. It gives sufficient options to customize your app with your store's branding and lets you publish a professional-looking app in the space of around one to four weeks.

Push notifications

via Shopify App Store

Push notifications are one of best reasons to build an app, and Tapcart's push notifications are very powerful.

You get unlimited push notifications, rich media (e.g. gifs and images) push notifications and the ability to schedule push notifications standard in any Tapcart plan.

They also offer some more powerful push notification features such as segmentation, abandoned cart notifications, back in stock notifications and AI-generated copy; although these features are restricted to higher plans and require an integration with Klavyio.

Stability

Tapcart is well-regarded and generally one of the most stable and reliable mobile app builder platforms for Shopify. This is an important feature, as you need to be confident that the app you build will have as few bugs and crashes as possible.

Developer tools

Tapcart offers a number of developer tools that you can use to extend the capabilities of the platform, assuming you have the technical ability in-house.

These tools include custom blocks that support HTML, CSS, & JavaScript, data collection tools and sandbox environments for testing. These open up lots of possibilities for sites that have custom features, but are unfortunately available only on their Corporate plan.

Tapcart’s Cons

The primary downside of Tapcart is the same as most Shopify mobile app builders - a reliance on the Shopify API (which has limitations), pre-built blocks and templates, integrations with apps and third party tools (while they have many, they're far from covering everything the app store offers) that makes customizing your app and replicating your web experience difficult.

In addition, Tapcart's pricing limits the features you need to get a truly custom app to the highest tiers.

Let's expand on Tapcart's cons now.

Limited customization

There's only so much you can do to customize your mobile app's UI when you use a no-code mobile app builder.

You'll have trouble replicating the look and feel of your website in the app, which is a tradeoff you make in order to be able to build fast and without coding.

You're relying on pre-built elements, which you can customize. While it's fast and effective, it won't be as custom or unique as the design you've achieved on your own website.

Limited integrations

At this time, Tapcart has integrations for 38 Shopify apps, third-party marketing tools, analytics tools and device features. Some more are coming soon. That's not a small number and certainly a solid effort on Tapcart's side.

Integrations are costly to build and maintain, and we can't fault them for not having more.

Still, there are so many more apps, widgets and third party platforms and tools that Tapcart doesn't have but your site and business might be relying on.

Think about all the apps on your site, are they all supported with an integration?

You might miss your site's custom features

In addition, any custom-built features on your website won't be able to work in the app without development work and access to Enterprise features, like custom blocks.

This means you'll have more work to do to try and match the UX and functionality of your website.

Reliance on the Shopify API

Tapcart and other Shopify app builders use the Shopify API to import and sync product information.

This can lead to issues in fully customizing and optimizing your app experience. There are a lot of incremental improvements you might have made on your website's frontend that you won't be able to have in your app, because the API might not allow it.

You may lose revenue as a result, if you've built custom features, like product filters or search, which improve your customer's experience and drive results.

This was the experience of David Cost, VP of ecommerce and marketing at Rainbow Shops:

“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.”

More effort to maintain

Tapcart provides assistance setting up your app and support via phone, email and live chat, but at the end of the day it's on you to manage your app.

App builders like Tapcart require you to manage your app separately from your website.

This means you're doing the work twice any time you make changes to your site for new launches, promotions, site sections, as you need to update both your site and your app.

Features restricted to higher plans

There are several important features, like custom blocks and integrations, that are only available Tapcart's Enterprise plan.

Most established brands will need more than what the lowest plan ("Core") offers.

To customize your product pages, you'll need to be on their second tier ("Ultimate").

Core only offers 15 types of blocks - for unlimited design blocks, you'll need to upgrade.

You only get three standard integrations on the Core plan, and six on Ultimate.

More key features, including the ability to use custom fonts and icons, premium integrations (including Klaviyo), custom blocks and segmented push notifications are limited to their highest plan ("Enterprise").

Tapcart Pricing

Let's look at Tapcart's pricing in-depth, and what you get for what you'll pay.

Tapcart has three pricing tiers: Core, Ultimate and Enterprise.

Here's a breakdown of each plan:

  • Core: starts from $200/month, plus a percentage of in-app revenue
  • Ultimate: starts from $400/month, plus a percentage of in-app revenue
  • Enterprise: starts from $1,000/month, plus a percentage of in-app revenue

Core comes with unlimited scheduled push notifications, 15 design blocks, three standard integrations.

Ultimate expands to unlimited design blocks, six standard integrations, and gives access to the product page builder, plus abandoned cart notifications on annual plans.

Enterprise provides all features (outside of developer tools and Insights Pro, which require additional fees), plus a dedicated account manager.

The prices above are base fees - there is an additional cost based on revenue generated in the app (from 1.75% to 2.5% depending on the plan).

The slider on Tapcart's pricing page lets you get an estimated cost including performance fees.

Taking performance fees into account, here's what you're looking at depending on the size of your Shopify store.

$500k Annual Revenue

  • Core: $314-$434/month
  • Ultimate: $514-$634/month
  • Enterprise: $1,080-$1,164/month

$1 Million Annual Revenue

  • Core: $433-$678/month
  • Ultimate: $633-$878/month
  • Enterprise: $1,163-$1,334/month

$3 Million Annual Revenue

  • Core: $880-$1,592/month
  • Ultimate: $1,080-$1,792/month
  • Enterprise: $1,476-$1,974/month

*Not including developer tools ($1,500 per month) or Insights Pro.

Stores with more than $3 million annual revenue are required to contact Tapcart for a custom quote.

Bottom Line: Who is Tapcart For and Is It Worth Using?

If you're looking for a DIY app builder for a Shopify store, and you have the budget to go for a premium tool, Tapcart is worth a look.

Their feature set is among the best out there, their platform is stable and reliable, and they have a solid track record.

But there are issues that might not make it a good choice for some:

  • Small to medium sized stores might find the low plans lacking in features, and the higher plans out of their budget.
  • For a Shopify store with custom site features or design or needing integrations with apps or tools not currently supported, Tapcart will be too limited.
  • Tapcart, like other app builders, requires additional time investment to maintain the app separately from the site, which some won't want.
  • Full customization of your app (i.e. with code) requires their Enterprise plan and additional development time from your team.

Tapcart seems best for enterprise customers who can support the high price, and who have the resources to do custom development for any features missing from Tapcart's standard feature set.

Those with a complex tech stack or lots of custom functionality or design might find the alternative of converting their site into an app with a solution like MobiLoud more suitable.

Tapcart Reviews

Check out Tapcart reviews at the following sources:

Tapcart Alternatives

Some popular Tapcart alternatives include:

If you're looking for a DIY mobile app builder, perhaps cheaper than Tapcart, these are all solid options.

They all come with similar issues, though. As block and template-based app builders, they're limited and require additional time from your team to maintain and update the app separately from your website.

A different approach is MobiLoud, which is a managed service to convert websites into native iOS and Android apps that update automatically with your site.

Full disclosure, MobiLoud is our own platform - but we steadfastly believe that it is a better Tapcart alternative for converting a Shopify store into mobile apps, especially if you have any custom code on your site and a complex tech stack.

Read on and we'll tell you why.

Best Tapcart Alternative: MobiLoud

MobiLoud turns websites into mobile apps. Your app will keep the same content, much of the same UI and the same functionality as your mobile website, fully synchronized with your website, with small adaptions to make it look and feel like a native app.

These mobile-specific features include native push notifications, cart abandonment push notifications, native navigation UI (menus, transitions, animations), easy login and one-click checkout.

The Jack & Jones mobile app, built with MobiLoud

MobiLoud is a full-service platform. While we have a configuration tool for you to customize your app's configuration, our team sets everything up for you and is always available when changes are needed.

We build and configure your apps, do multiple rounds of QA testing, handle the app store submission process, and do technical maintenance and updates after launch, keeping your apps always up to date with the latest platform changes.

We don't stop with building the apps though, we advise you on how to promote the app and use push notifications, including setting things up for you to track app performance, set up push notification sequences and more.

There's almost nothing for you to do, and the process from start to finish (your app going live in the app stores) takes less than a month.

There's a one-time setup fee, starting at $850, to launch your app (which covers the work we do to build your app, prepare it for launch and publish it to the App Stores), and from then on a monthly fee starting at $199 per month (15% cheaper on annual subscriptions).

Read about our pricing here, or book a free consultation to learn more about the MobiLoud platform.

Why MobiLoud is a Better Way to Build Apps

For a Shopify store, MobiLoud is the ideal way to create an app, but it's not true for everyone, we find we're the best fit for you IF:

  • You're a growing or established brand with a loyal group of customers that know you and with whom you've built a relationship through any of the channels you have available.
  • You're already happy with the mobile design of your site. You recognize that your app experience shouldn't be too far from your website experience.
  • You want an app for the benefits it offers in terms of acquisition (through an app store presence) and retention (through a better user experience and push notifications).
  • You have a complex tech stack i.e. 5+ apps installed on your store and external tools for analytics, CRO, email, SMS

You don't need anything majorly different in your app than what's on your website. Shoppers are going to use the app the same way they use the website. Why would you want to rebuild your whole app experience from the ground up?

You want an app icon on your customer's home screen, push notifications to let you reach out to and re-engage your customers, and a user experience that matches up with what they'd get on the web.

MobiLoud gives that to you.

“Our apps never had any functionality or usability beyond the web experience. The reason to have an app is not to have something that isn’t on the website, but for people who prefer that way to access Rainbow content. The app just needs to be as functional as the website. It doesn’t need to be better than the website, but the user experience can’t be worse.”

- David Cost, Rainbow Shops

The other key benefit of MobiLoud is that there's no duplication of efforts.

You don't need to manage two different platforms. Your app is fully synchronized with your website, so whenever you make changes to your site, your app will update automatically.

This saves you countless hours of effort over the lifetime of your app, and lets you iterate and improve on your website and app experience at once, which is so much more efficient!

MobiLoud has a number of advantages over Tapcart or any other DIY app builders:

  • No limitations; fully recreate your web experience and all the features of your website with no rebuilding.
  • No constraints from the Shopify API or third party tool/app APIs for integrations - no integrations needed!
  • Built-in integration with whatever apps or tools your website uses, 99% of them working out of the box.
  • Custom features, such as product configurators, custom checkouts or payment gateways, and anything else will also work in your app out of the box.
  • Fully managed service; not just ticket-based support.
  • Custom development for small design tweaks and adjustments is included in our fees (Growth plan).
  • App store submission is done for you, including ongoing updates for app maintenance.
  • Your web team can update and iterate on your website, and changes will reflect instantly in your app.
  • App analytics come standard (not as an add-on like with Tapcart).
  • No platform lock-in; MobiLoud works with any platform or tech stack, and you own your content, analytics and push notifications.
  • Clear and transparent pricing with no success fees.
  • We give you a 60-day money back guarantee, so there's really no risk!

MobiLoud apps have all the app-specific features your app needs, including:

  • Native menus, navigation, animations
  • Support for social login
  • Smart push notification sequences and segmentation with OneSignal.
  • Automated cart abandonment push notifications.
  • Rating prompts.
  • Custom app onboarding screens and push notification opt-in prompts.
  • In-app messages with Onesignal.
  • Integrations with Shopify for automated order updates via push notifications.‍

At MobiLoud we've been turning websites into apps for over 10 years, with more than 2,000 successful apps launched.

Check out real customer stories here, including top ecommerce brands such as Rainbow Shops, Jack & Jones, John Varvatos and rue21.

Want to learn more? Book a free demo now.

Next Steps

This Tapcart review has looked at the key features of the Tapcart platform, its pros and cons, Tapcart's pricing, and the most popular Tapcart competitors.

MobiLoud is a more efficient, more flexible and less time-consuming way to build apps than app builders.

It gives you the app you want in less time, with a fully-managed app development partner behind you to ensure your app will be a success.

"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."

- Svend Hansen, Product Owner at Bestseller (the company behind ONLY, Only & Sons, Jack & Jones, Vero Moda and more brands, which now all have an app thanks to MobiLoud).

MobiLoud requires almost no effort to build and maintain your app; we don't take a % of your revenue, and we actively work with you to make your app a long-term success.

If you're interested in creating a low-maintenance app that's just as good as your website (or better), with white glove support, get in touch with us now and book a demo.

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Only & Sons iOS app.

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