Looking for a Tapcart alternative? Try MobiLoud Canvas.
Online store owners are starting to wake up to the benefits of launching their own mobile apps.
Mobile apps let you offer a superior user experience to mobile users, and build a deeper level of loyalty and engagement. Just ask men’s fashion brand John Varvatos, who recently launched mobile apps as part of their digital strategy, with immediate results.
If you’ve got an existing online store, your best option to enter the mobile app space is to convert your existing site to mobile apps - not to rebuild your store from scratch. To do that, you’ll want to use an ecommerce app builder.
MobiLoud Canvas and Tapcart are two popular options available on the market today. Read on and we’ll explain the pros and cons between the two, and why MobiLoud Canvas is the best Tapcart alternative for ecommerce stores.
What is Tapcart?
Tapcart is a tool that lets Shopify stores launch native mobile apps, with no coding required.
With the basic Shopify features, you can optimize how your site will appear in mobile browsers, but you can’t actually build native mobile apps. Hence the need for a tool like Tapcart.
You get a drag-and-drop visual builder to design and assemble your app, with a range of features, widgets and plugins built in.
Your app syncs up with the product and inventory data from your Shopify store, meaning orders, pricing and product details are consistent across all your platforms.
Tapcart offers a cheaper, faster and more convenient way to build mobile apps than building native apps from the ground up, and does so in a way that’s tailored specifically to Shopify merchants.
What is MobiLoud Canvas?
MobiLoud Canvas is built for much the same purpose. MobiLoud helps convert existing websites, online stores and web apps into Android and iOS apps.
It does this a little differently to Tapcart. Instead of putting together the pieces of your app, it converts your existing website’s design and functionality to the mobile apps.
From there, you just layer on whatever mobile-specific elements you want, such as native mobile navigation, menus, logins and ads.
The content and functionality of your mobile apps directly mirrors what’s on your website. Everything is synced.
Unlike Tapcart, which is only for Shopify, MobiLoud Canvas works for any website or web app, built on any platform.
MobiLoud vs Tapcart
If you own a Shopify store, and want to launch mobile apps for Android and iOS, both MobiLoud and Tapcart are viable options. They’re both better than rebuilding your store from square one in a native programming language - a project that is likely to cost you $50,000+ and take at least 6 months to complete.
But what are the biggest differences? How should you decide which platform is the best fit?
Here are some key things to consider.
Tapcart only works for Shopify
Tapcart is a tool built solely for Shopify stores - so it only works for Shopify. While Shopify is the top ecommerce platform by market share (powering 28% of ecommerce sites), if your store is built on any other platform, Tapcart is not an option.
With Tapcart, visual elements are managed separately from your site
Your Tapcart-powered app isn’t completely separate from your regular Shopify site, but it’s close.
You still manage inventory, orders, product details and the core of your business from one place. Orders coming from your app or your website come to the same place. But the user interface and visual elements of your site are separate.
That means any updates to your design or branding, you need to do twice - once for your site, once for your app. That adds up to a lot of extra work over time.
Tapcart requires extra time building and updating your app
The visual builder also means a lot of time in your initial build.
It offers a lot of flexibility, which is great. But if you’ve already got a successful, optimized online store, you don’t exactly need to reinvent the wheel.
You can’t just convert what you already have into a mobile app version, with Tapcart. You need to spend time and care to build your app and make sure it looks the way you want it to.
Then, as mentioned in the previous passage, updating your store requires an extra step, with two platforms to manage.
Tapcart is a powerful tool. There’s a lot you can do with it. And the pricing reflects that.
Tapcart’s pricing starts at $250 per month, which is reasonable. However, this plan may be too limited for a lot of stores. It offers a limited number of blocks to use to design your site, as well as only 3 standard integrations.
Integrations include things like social proof/review modules, analytics tools, wish lists, and more advanced features.
If you want more than 3 integrations, you’ll need to jump up to the next level up, $550 per month, which is beginning to get expensive.
And then if you want “premium” integrations - such as Klaviyo integration for email marketing, a barcode/QR scanner and firebase analytics, you’ll need to pay for the “Enterprise” plan level, which starts at $1200 per month.
That’s $14,400 per year, minimum.
Simply put, at the low end the cost is affordable, but if you want the full power of Tapcart, you’ll have to pay a lot.
Advantages of MobiLoud
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages that MobiLoud offers in relation to the points above.
Maintain your existing themes, tools, plugins, checkouts
With MobiLoud, you can convey every part of your existing website to your mobile apps.
That means any themes, plugins, checkout, logins, or custom-built features will work the same in-app as they do on the site.
There’s no need to build again from the ground up. Just make any small changes you need for your site to look and perform great as a mobile app.
A simpler and easier way to build an app
By converting your existing site, it’s significantly faster and easier to launch your app.
No-code builders like Tapcart are useful when it comes to breaking down the barrier of entry to the app space for people who don’t have the knowledge or resources to code one from scratch. But it still takes a lot of effort and a decent amount of skill in UI/UX design to put together a decent-looking app interface.
It’s so much easier if you can just use what already works, and convert your Shopify site straight to a mobile app in as few steps as possible.
Only one platform to manage
The way MobiLoud apps work is that it shows essentially a fully-functional window to your website, in the wrapper of a native app.
That means everything is linked to one platform. When you update your website, the content on your app updates at the same time.
All you have to worry about is maintaining your site, as you normally do now. And our team is there to handle any small app-specific updates or fixes.
More affordable pricing
At the lower end, both MobiLoud and Tapcart’s pricing is similar. But you’ll find you’re able to do a lot more with MobiLoud’s affordable plans than Tapart’s lowest tier.
You don’t need to pay extra for additional integrations or features in your online store. If they work on your website, they’ll work in your apps too.
And if you want to use Firebase Analytics to get insights on app usage and user behavior, you’ll save a ton with MobiLoud. The Firebase integration is available on all MobiLoud plans, which is as low as $170 per month paid annually, or $200 month-to-month.
But with Tapcart, this is a premium integration, meaning you’ll need the highest plan, at $1200 per month (or more, depending on your site’s traffic).
So not only is MobiLoud a simpler solution, it works out to be significantly cheaper, especially if you need anything more than the bare minimum feature-wise.
Works with all ecommerce platforms
Finally, MobiLoud also works for any platform - not just Shopify.
If you’re on WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, or any other CMS or self-hosted solution, MobiLoud Canvas will work for you.
Click here to learn more about using MobiLoud to convert a web app or website on any platform to mobile apps.
When Should You Choose Tapcart?
If you’re considering launching your own mobile apps, you’re already on the right track. And Tapcart is not a bad option to build mobile app versions of your Shopify store.
There are a number of other popular no-code app builders that aren’t a great fit for mobile apps, especially converting an existing ecommerce site into native apps for iOS and Android.
And despite the cost of Tapcart, it’s still massively cheaper and less time-consuming than having a custom app built from scratch.
If you’re looking for a premium app builder, need a high degree of flexibility in putting together an app-specific user experience, and are willing to pay for it, Tapcart can be a good choice. You will need to be prepared to put extra work in to build your app, and also to maintain it. So it definitely works best if you have people with UI/UX design skills on staff already.
Why MobiLoud Canvas is a Better Tapcart Alternative
For most stores, MobiLoud Canvas is a better fit. It’s more affordable, easier to set up, and easier to maintain.
You’ll build your apps by simply converting what already works on your website. The functionality remains the same, and you don’t need to stress about crafting a brand new UI.
Going forward, it will require a lot less work to keep your app and website up to date and in sync.
All this at a lower price point. You could potentially save $1000 per month by choosing MobiLoud over Tapcart.
It also goes without saying that if you’re running an online store that’s not on Shopify - or you feel you might move away from Shopify at some time in the future, Canvas is the only option that makes sense.
Launching your own ecommerce mobile apps can provide your business with a huge boost. And instead of the huge cost, time investment and complexity of having custom apps coded, the best way to approach this is to use a no-code tool like MobiLoud Canvas or Tapcart.
We’ve established in this post that MobiLoud is a better option for the majority of store owners. It offers an extremely low barrier for entry to the mobile app space, allowing any business to launch their own, branded native mobile apps.
It’s so much easier and cheaper than you’d imagine. Here’s how you can start the process for your business.
- Get in touch with us and arrange a free demo. We’ll discuss your project, and whether MobiLoud is the right fit for your store.
- Sign up for Canvas - no long-term contracts necessary.
- Submit your website and make any tweaks you’d like for your mobile apps.
- Wait, while our team builds your apps.
- When your apps are ready for testing, try them out and let us know any necessary changes.
- When you’re happy, we’ll handle publishing your apps to the App Store and Google Play - guaranteeing approval.
It doesn’t stop there. We’ll continue to provide support for any additional changes you’d like, as well as regular updates. MobiLoud is more than just a one-and-done app builder. We’re a service, and we continue to provide what you need to run and maintain winning mobile apps.
Get in touch now and move forward with a project that will significantly boost your bottom line.