Looking for a Tapcart alternative?
We're going to explain why MobiLoud is a less limiting, more flexible Tapcart alternative, that's more than just an app builder, but a full app development partner. We'll also explain why numerous eCommerce brands, including Rainbow Shops, Bestseller and John Varvatos use MobiLoud to build and maintain their branded shopping apps.
Any successful eCommerce brand today should have their own app. How you build and manage it is the difference between having an app that is a high-ROI revenue and retention machine, and one that just adds another headache to your workflow.
Read on to learn all you need to know about Tapcart, MobiLoud, and figure out which platform is right for you.
What is Tapcart?
Tapcart is a no-code app builder that allows Shopify site owners to build native mobile apps for their store.
These are branded shopping apps, which can be published in the Google Play and Apple App Stores, and downloaded to customers' mobile phones.
Tapcart users can create their apps using a visual drag-and-drop builder, and integrate with a variety of apps and tools using pre-built blocks.
The app syncs with your Shopify store, allowing you to use the same products, product information, images, inventory, customer information across both the app and your website.
What is MobiLoud?
MobiLoud is a tech-enabled service that allows any website owner to convert their site into mobile apps.
MobiLoud is not exclusively for Shopify sites, but it is perfect for converting Shopify sites into mobile apps, along with sites built on any other CMS platform or tech stack.
The way MobiLoud helps you build an app is different to drag-and-drop no-code app builders like Tapcart. MobiLoud fully converts your existing mobile-optimized website into an app, with no coding, compilation or rebuilding required.
The result is a full recreation of your mobile website in the app, synced to your website, with app-specific elements layered on top, such as native mobile tab menus, navigation UI and splash screens, plus native mobile features such as logins and push notifications.
The content of your app directly mirrors your website, and whenever a change is made to the website, it reflects in the app in real-time.
MobiLoud vs Tapcart: Key Differences
We believe Tapcart and MobiLoud are both better options to create a mobile app for your Shopify store than hiring developers to code your app - which would cost you 5-6 figures upfront, with significant development time, and ongoing expense and complexity after launch to keep your app up to date.
But between the two platforms, there are some key differences you should be aware of when choosing which platform to proceed with.
Here's a quick summary:
- Tapcart relies on the Shopify API to display product information, which comes with limitations. MobiLoud uses live content from your website, which is more flexible.
- Tapcart limits you to a certain number of blocks and integrations. MobiLoud lets you reuse everything that makes your website great, including all plugins, apps and custom-built features.
- With Tapcart, you have a separate dashboard to manage your app. The way MobiLoud works means you don't need a separate dashboard, you just continue to manage everything from your website.
- MobiLoud is full-service, with hands-on support every step of the way, whereas Tapcart is largely a DIY app builder.
- While the pricing is similar for small brands, MobiLoud offers clearer and more predictable pricing, which scales better.
Let's break down the ways MobiLoud and Tapcart compare in more detail.
Shopify API vs Converting Your Website
The biggest difference is in the way each tool creates your app.
Tapcart, like most Shopify app builders, uses the Shopify API to pull product information from your store and sync it with your app.
(An API is essentially a piece of code that communicates with another platform, in this case Shopify, to extract and share data from that platform)
This is convenient - as long as the API has the information you need.
MobiLoud does it differently to most app builders. MobiLoud adds native mobile code to the existing code of your website, creating a hybrid experience that fully reflects your mobile website.
You're not rebuilding your website as an app - the app is your mobile website, with native app code and native UI elements.
This approach comes with a number of benefits, but one in particular. Whatever you can do on your website, you can do on your app as well.
If you have custom features, such as custom-built checkout, or app integrations you rely on, all these can be used in your app. You don't need to rebuild anything.
This extends to seemingly small things, like the ordering of product collections and variations, which can have a significant impact on conversions, yet may be hard to do with the API.
Most Shopify users we talk to find the Shopify API limits them too much, including David Cost from 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.”
The bottom line is the way MobiLoud creates apps is a more flexible and convenient option. As long as your site is responsive and optimized for mobile users (as any site should be), an app built with MobiLoud will provide 98% of what you would get from a custom-built native app.
Limits on Blocks and Integrations with Tapcart
The other side of the common API-based approach is using blocks and integrations to build the functionality of your app.
This means you're confined to what the platform allows you to build via these pre-set blocks and integrations, and often limited to a certain number as well.
With Tapcart you have the following limits:
- The Core plan, their lowest subscription level, limits you to 15 design blocks and three standard integrations.
- The Ultimate plan lets you publish unlimited blocks, but only six standard integrations.
- The Enterprise plan removes these limits, but comes at a premium price point.
This means you have to pick and choose which app or platform integrations you carry over to your app.
These integrations include analytics tools, email/SMS automation tools, personalization tools, loyalty platforms and subscription management platforms.
If you're using a lot of apps and integrations on your Shopify site, as most site owners are, you'll need to go for Tapcart's highest subscription level, or lose a few of the apps you rely on for conversions.
...and that's if Tapcart has an integration for your app. If it's a lesser-used app, or a custom-built feature for example, it won't work in your app.
MobiLoud comes with none of these limits. You're limited to what you can do on your mobile Shopify website - which is to say, you have the freedom to build the app you want.
DIY vs Full Service
Tapcart is largely a Do It Yourself platform. They do offer support, via phone, email, and live-chat, and specialists to help with onboarding and implementing best practices in your app. But building the app is your responsibility.
While you don't need to know how to code, you do need to set time aside to compile your app, and getting a final product you're happy with can be a headache.
MobiLoud is a full-service platform. We talk with you to find out what you want from your app, and then our team builds everything for you.
This saves you time, stress, and ensures you get an app that is the best representation for your business, first time.
We even provide custom design work for your mobile website, helping with CRO and UX to ensure that:
- Your app provides the best UX possible, and;
- You're also maximizing returns from your mobile web traffic.
No other app builder provides this level of hands-on support.
The service also extends to submitting your app to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, plus updating it after launch.
We handle everything to do with getting your app published in the app stores.
This is a notoriously difficult process, especially for first-time publishers, and our extensive experience means we know everything the platforms want to see in order to publish your apps with limited revisions.
And then we also provide ongoing maintenance and support for your app once it's live, including bug fixes and security updates that are necessary with new OS versions.
While Tapcart's customer success team can advise you on these areas, they don't do it for you. MobiLoud does, allowing you to focus only on your website.
Managing and Updating Your App
With Tapcart, you manage and make changes to your app through their dashboard.
While some elements, such as product information, sync in real time, others require you to go in and make changes twice - once in your website, once in your app.
This is a tiresome process, as a lot of our users coming from Tapcart have told us.
With MobiLoud, since the app is a live window to your website, everything updates automatically.
Anything you change on your site changes on your app at the same time. And if you want to change something on your app, just do it in your website and your app will reflect the changes.
Predictable Pricing vs Scaling by Revenue (and Gating Key Features)
On first glance, the cost of Tapcart and MobiLoud looks comparable - with a slight edge to Tapcart.
However, it changes when you look deeper.
Tapcart's pricing starts at $200/month (Core), $400/month (Ultimate) and $1,000/month (Enterprise).
However, this pricing scales based on your store's revenue.
If you do $500k annual revenue, the cost is $334 - $434/month for Core, $534 - $634/month for Ultimate and $1,094 - $1,164/month for Enterprise.
At $1 million annual revenue, Core is $479 - $687/month, Ultimate $679 - $887/month and Enterprise is $1,190 - $1,331/month.
MobiLoud's pricing is easier to figure out.
- Startup: $298/month (paid annually) or $350/month (paid monthly)
- Growth: $553/month (paid annually) or $650/month (paid monthly)
As long as your store does more than ~$400k annual revenue, MobiLoud becomes more affordable on an ongoing basis.
Also consider the fact that unlimited/premium integrations are only available on Tapcart's highest plan.
So, even if you don't have a lot of revenue, if you can't go without certain integrations (Klaviyo is one that's Enterprise-only), you may need to sign on to the Enterprise plan, which can be close to $1,000/month more than what you'd be paying with MobiLoud.
Tapcart is likely to be cheaper out of the gate, as MobiLoud comes with a one-time setup fee ($1,500 for the Startup plan and $2,500 for Growth), which covers all the extra work we do to build, test and design your app, along with submitting it to the app store and creating custom design assets for your app, such as an icon and splash screens.
But in time, you'll make that money back in the money you save from MobiLoud's more affordable plans. And the best part is, you won't get charged more as your store grows and earns more revenue.
Top Reasons to Choose MobiLoud
We've broken down the key differences above. Now let's summarize the top reasons why you would want to choose MobiLoud for your Shopify mobile app.
Maintain your existing themes, tools, plugins, checkouts
With MobiLoud, you carry over 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 app builders like Tapcart are great for allowing non-developers to build custom mobile apps.
But if you're running a Shopify store, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. You just need to convert what already works on your site and package it as an app.
A straight conversion process is much easier and more effective than piecing together a new app, block-by-block, which in the end might not even work as well as your website does.
David from Rainbow Shops said the following:
“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.”
This is a far better way to go if you already have a mobile-friendly website.
Only one platform to manage
With MobiLoud, everything is linked to one platform. When you update your website, the content on your app updates at the same time.
Many businesses decide to build an app, but rue the decision when it comes time to manage multiple platforms, doubling or tripling the amount of work needed each time you make a change.
While Tapcart is still easier than managing a website and custom-coded iOS and Android apps, it's more work than MobiLoud, which lets you have an app with almost nothing added to your day to day workflow.
MobiLoud's service is what really sets us apart from other app builders.
This is vital, especially if you're new to the mobile app space. You want a company that supports you, and is there every step of the way to ensure you have not just a successful launch, but a successful lifecycle for your app.
Nick Barbarise from John Varvatos is just one of many MobiLoud customers who loves the white-glove service we provide.
“We needed someone that would hold our hand through the process of creating an app, and guide us on how to maintain the app post-launch, from in-app notifications to analytics. The team at MobiLoud were there to help with everything from setting up push notifications, analytics and submitting our apps to the app stores."
You could easily end up doing six figures yearly in revenue through your app alone. It’s essential that you have support to make sure your app remains fast, bug-free and up to date.
More affordable pricing
At the lower end, both MobiLoud and Tapcart’s subscription pricing models are similar. But you’ll find you’re able to do a lot more with MobiLoud’s affordable plans than Tapcart.
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.
Take key integrations such as Klayvio for email & SMS marketing or Reviews.io for displaying verified customer reviews as social proof.
Each of these are premium integrations on Tapcart, requiring you to pay $1,000+ per month. With MobiLoud, if they work on your site, they work in your apps too.
At MobiLoud we offer premium service and support, which is why we cost more than many simpler app builders. But even with that, the pricing is more affordable than Tapcart, particularly as your store’s revenue grows.
“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 from Bestseller, the company behind ONLY, Only & Sons, Jack & Jones and numerous other successful eCommerce brands.
When Should You Choose Tapcart?
There are situations where you might want to choose Tapcart.
The block-by-block, module-based approach gives you more flexibility in differentiating your app from your website.
So if you want your app to provide something unique, Tapcart could be the way to go.
Tapcart can also be suitable if all your needs fit within the limits of their plans - for example, you don’t need any integrations outside of what they offer, and the Shopify API does everything you need it to do.
But even then, MobiLoud will likely do the same thing, and almost certainly at a more affordable price point.
Start Using MobiLoud, the #1 Tapcart Competitor, Now
There’s never been a better time to launch an app for your Shopify store than right now, and there’s no better way to do it than with MobiLoud.
MobiLoud is the easiest way to go to market with your app, as well as the easiest way to maintain a high-quality app your customers will love using.
Here’s how to get started:
- Get a free consultation with one of our eCommerce app experts, to discuss your project and go over the process in detail.
- Sign up for the right MobiLoud plan for your business.
- Sit back and wait for our team to build your apps to your specifications.
- Test the initial build on your own device, and provide us with any feedback you have.
- Give us the OK and we'll ship the final version and submit it to the app stores.
We’re more than just an app builder. We partner with you, helping you launch and maintain a five-star mobile shopping experience in your app.
Get in touch now and let us build an app for you that boosts your bottom line.