How to Convert a BigCommerce Store to Mobile Apps

Does your online store run on BigCommerce? Are you looking for ways to scale your business and increase revenue? If so, a BigCommerce mobile app builder offers a way to achieve your goals and grow your brand.

Launching mobile apps for iOS and Android allows you to better cater to mobile visitors, who make up the majority of today's web traffic. Offering a better user experience to these users will boost key metrics across the board, such as sessions, conversion rate and sales.

You might think that building an app is too complex for your business, but you’d be wrong. It’s easier than you think, as long as you approach it the right way.

Read on to learn how to launch your very own BigCommerce mobile app, with MobiLoud.

If you prefer to watch this in video form, you can do so below via our YouTube channel:

Why Build Mobile Apps?

BigCommerce stores are mobile-optimized and responsive, letting your customers browse and purchase items from mobile devices.

This is a bare minimum today - if you’re building a site that’s desktop only, you’re ignoring a huge chunk of your target audience.

But simply optimizing for mobile browsers and leaving it there does not really cut it anymore. Those with their finger on the pulse are going one step further, and building mobile apps.

Let’s take a look at why that is.

Mobile has a higher market share than desktop

First, understand why catering to mobile users is so important.

More people access the internet today on mobile than desktop. This has flipped considerably over the last 10 years, with mobile now making up nearly 60% of total internet usage.

And if we specifically consider ecommerce, the difference is even bigger, with mobile ecommerce taking up 72.9% market share, and rising.

The lesson behind this data is that it no longer makes sense to build desktop-first. The majority of your traffic is almost certainly on mobile. So why make these users an afterthought?

Offering a better mobile UX

You can optimize every pixel of your website for mobile users. But you’re still not going to be able to offer the same level of user experience as you can with an app.

When people are on mobile, they prefer to use apps. 90% of the time people spend on the internet on their phones is spent using apps, versus mobile browsers.

That’s because apps are built specifically for mobile devices. The way you navigate between pages, use menus, and perform actions is much more intuitive on mobile apps.

They also load faster than mobile websites, which makes up a big part of a great user experience.

A better user experience directly translates to higher revenue for your store. People will come back to your store more often, spend more time inside and spend more money in each order.

Increased loyalty

Cultivating a base of loyal customers should be a goal for any online business, especially ecommerce stores.

You’ll generally find that around 80% of your revenue comes from just 20% of your customers. These shoppers are those who love your store, love the experience of shopping with you, and come back over and over again.

Apps are a great way to foster loyalty. First, through a better user experience, as mentioned above. People are more likely to be loyal to your brand if they love the shopping experience.

But apps themselves also self-select loyal customers. The people who go and download your app are most likely those who feel positively about your brand, and are likely to grow into loyal fans, buying from your store again and again. 

Placing your app’s icon on their device’s home screen encourages that relationship, and keeps a place for your store in their headspace.

Push notifications

Mobile apps also give you the full power of push notifications.

Push notifications are an extremely effective way to communicate with your customers. You can send messages directly to their mobile device, which delivers higher engagement than other channels, such as email, SMS or social media.

Push notifications are the perfect tool for ecommerce stores in particular. You can use them for promotions, order updates, abandoned carts and more. And you can only send push notifications on all devices with mobile apps - not mobile websites.

Benefits of getting into the app stores

Mobile apps also let you get published in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

There are a couple of big benefits of this. One is that they offer another way for people to find your store, and for you to acquire new customers.

It also boosts your brand image. When people see you’re in the app stores, they take you more seriously. This is a huge lever of trust, which is a crucial step to convincing people to shop with you.

How to Build Your Mobile App

You may not need convincing of the benefits mobile apps can bring to your business. But the more likely you might raise is how to actually build an app.

A lot of people think there’s a huge barrier of entry to building a mobile app. With the tools available today, that’s not necessarily the case, as long as you pick the right option.

First, the wrong way to go about it - building a native app from scratch.

While this allows you complete flexibility in building your app, native app development has some glaring downsides:

  • Cost: considering the expertise needed to code a mobile app, the complexity of the project, and the fact that you need 2 apps (one for iOS and one for Android), the project is likely to cost upwards of $50,000.
  • Time: it’s going to take a long time to build your apps too - probably 6 months at minimum.
  • Maintenance: building from scratch means you’ll be left with two separate platforms - your web-based store and your new mobile version. This will be hell to maintain and sync orders, inventory, logins and more across each platform.
  • Running cost: that $50,000 estimate above? Just for the initial build. Consider you’ll also need a developer (or a team of developers) for maintenance and updates, which will be an additional ongoing cost (and not a cheap one).

Your best option is to use a BigCommerce mobile app builder instead - like MobiLoud.

Benefits of a BigCommerce Mobile App Builder

It’s quicker, cheaper and easier to build mobile apps with MobiLoud.

MobiLoud doesn’t require you to rebuild your store from scratch for mobile. Instead, it converts your existing site to mobile apps. Your content, plugins, themes, checkouts and any other functionality will be ported from your web store to your apps.

When you make changes to your web store, your apps update as well. Everything is 100% synced across each platform.

The benefits of this approach over native app development are immense. You save money, time, it’s easier to launch your app, and easier to maintain.

You’ll still have fully functional mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, which deliver all the UX benefits over the mobile browser. 

How to Make a BigCommerce Mobile App with MobiLoud

MobiLoud makes mobile apps accessible to any online store owner. All you need is a website up and running, and you can convert it to fully fledged mobile apps with these few steps.

  1. Get a free consultation with our team. We’ll run through your project and decide whether MobiLoud is right for you.
  2. Sign up for MobiLoud - no long-term commitment, all plans have a 60 day money back guarantee.
  3. Let us know any wants, desires, nice-to-haves or custom specifications. We'll take these on board and convert your mobile-optimized web store into apps for Android and iOS, featuring native mobile navigation and menus, and other mobile-specific elements.
  4. In around 2 weeks’ time, your apps will be ready to test. Try them out on your devices and let us know any final changes you need.
  5. Once everything is good to go, we’ll submit your apps to the Apple App Store and Google Play for you.

That’s it. Our team does all the work - all you need to do is give the go-ahead.

The cherry on top is that we’ll also provide all you need down the line in terms of changes, maintenance and updates. MobiLoud is a full service, not just a one-and-done app builder. That’s the part that happy MobiLoud customers say sets it apart from all the other app builders and similar tools out there today.

Wrapping Up

If you’re an online store owner, you should be thinking about launching mobile apps sooner rather than later.

Ecommerce mobile apps offer a superior user experience for the growing share of mobile-first shoppers. This is going to result in higher engagement, more visits and more sales for your store.

The days of mobile apps being accessible only to large businesses or talented coders is long past. Today, tools like MobiLoud let you convert your existing website seamlessly to iOS and Android apps, with a minimum of fuss.

It comes at a much lower cost and shorter time to launch than building new apps from the ground up, and is easier to manage long-term.

Get in touch with us to find out just how easy it is, and how much your business and brand can benefit from converting your BigCommerce store to mobile apps.

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