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How to Convert a PrestaShop Store to a Mobile App

Over 300,000 merchants use PrestaShop to power their online store. And every single one has the potential to scale their business, reach new customers and make more revenue, with their own PrestaShop mobile app.

The barrier of entry to mobile apps today is lower than you’d think. Building a mobile app can be a long, expensive and tiresome process. But there are also tools on the market that allow you to skip this process and go live with your own professional, fully-functional apps for Android and iOS for a minimal investment in time and money.

Keep reading to learn how mobile apps can benefit your business, and how to convert your PrestaShop site to mobile apps right now.

The Importance of Mobile Today

If you’re still building for desktop first, you’ve already lost.

Mobile has eclipsed desktop as the preferred way for most people to use the internet. Nearly 60% of web traffic comes on mobile, versus 38% on desktop - figures that are getting further apart every year.

The difference is even larger when we consider only ecommerce. Mobile holds approximately 73% market share of total ecommerce sales.

The retail world changes quickly, and as a store owner, it’s important you stay on top of the latest trends. Not too long ago, this meant physical store owners needed to branch out into ecommerce. Today, it’s about making sure you’re doing all you can to cater to mobile shoppers.

Advantages of Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites

So mobile is important. That may or may not be a surprise to you. But isn’t it enough to just have a mobile-optimized website?

Sure, a well-optimized and responsive mobile site is a must-have. If your site doesn’t work well on mobile, you need to fix that yesterday.

But if you really want to offer the best user experience on mobile, you need an app.

Apps are cleaner, easier to use, and have higher engagement than mobile websites. 

78% of people would rather shop on a mobile app than a mobile website. And conversion rates on mobile shopping apps is 1.5 times that of mobile websites.


The big reason for this is the improved user experience, which makes people want to spend more time in apps than on mobile websites. There are a few other big benefits of apps vs mobile websites as well, which is why building a shopping app can be such a big boost for your business.

Here’s a quick breakdown.

The App Experience

People spend 90% of their time online, on their mobile devices, in apps. That’s because the app experience is just better than you get with a mobile website.

Apps are faster to load, and take fewer actions to get where you want to go. To get into a site on the browser, you need to open the browser, go to the address bar, type in the website, wait for it to load… and then you might also need to log in.

With an app, just one tap and you’re in. You might even be able to use it without an internet connection.

Once you’re in, it’s easier to navigate, with a layout, design, menus, etc all designed specifically for mobile.

This improved user experience means people are going to spend more time in your app. As a result, they’ll almost certainly spend more money, and come back more often, which is obviously a huge win for you.

Keeping Customers Engaged with Push Notifications

Reach your users with unlimited push notifications

Apps also give you the use of features that help keep customers engaged, and increase their total spend in your store.

How are you communicating with your customers now? Email? Social media?

Push notifications are a much more effective communication channel. They let you send messages straight to your user’s mobile device, skipping the inbox, skipping any other apps and the social media algorithms.

Push notifications also make it easy for the user to take action. Just one tap and they’re into your app.

They’re great for announcing promotions, giving order updates, or simply to deliver helpful tips or pieces of content that keep your customers engaged with your brand.

Getting Your Shop in the App Stores

Boost Your Brand’s Image with an App Store Presenc

Launching your own app also gives you access to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

This can be huge for your brand. It gives you another acquisition channel, for one thing. There are millions of users on both these app stores, and some people will discover your store through these channels.

It’s also a huge play for social proof, which is massively important for ecommerce. When you can show off the App Store/Google Play logos on your site, people instantly take your brand a lot more seriously, meaning they’re more likely to feel comfortable about making a purchase.

Downloading the app itself is also a huge show of loyalty, and means your store is going to be one of the first places a person looks whenever they want to buy something.

How to Build a PrestaShop Mobile App: 2 Options

All we’ve said about the benefits of mobile apps is great, but that’s probably not the issue for a lot of people. Rather, the question is - how can a small store owner, who likely has no coding experience and no one on their team with coding experience either - build a mobile app?

Building a mobile app is easier than you’d expect, as long as you approach it the right way. It can also be a huge project, which many stores can’t afford.

Let’s compare two ways you can go about building your PrestaShop mobile app.

Native App Development

The first option is to build a native mobile app from scratch. This is going to be a long, expensive and complex project, and is not recommended.

Let’s take a quick look at what this kind of project would look like.

We’ll assume you don’t already have the expertise in-house to code a mobile app. So you’ll be looking at hiring a developer, or contracting the job out to a mobile development agency.

The project will involve rebuilding the front end of your mobile app to match the experience of your website, as well as connecting via API to the back end of your PrestaShop store, to allow you to manage product details, orders, inventory, etc.

Building an app from scratch like this is long and painstaking work - and it has to be done twice. Once for the Android app, once for iOS, since they both require their own programming framework.

Factoring in the cost of the developers’ time, the length of the project, and all other variables, you can expect a price tag somewhere in the range of $40,000 - $90,000, with 6+ months until your app is ready.

And that’s not the end of it. You’ll still need to do updates, maintenance and tweaks to your app, which will run up significant ongoing costs.

Unless you need full customization over every single pixel of your mobile app - and unless you’re Amazon or Walmart, you probably don’t - it just doesn’t make sense to build from scratch.

Convert Your Existing PrestaShop Site with MobiLoud

There’s an easier way - MobiLoud.

MobiLoud converts what you already have into mobile apps, faster and at a significantly lower cost than native development.

It doesn’t do it through a limiting template, or by rebuilding anything. It fully recreates your PrestaShop experience in mobile apps for Android and iOS - including your existing themes, plugins, checkouts, products, collections, and any other custom functionality that your site relies on.

MobiLoud: How it Works as a Mobile App Builder

MobiLoud wraps your mobile-optimized PrestaShop site in Android and iOS apps, which users can download from the app stores.

These “wrapper apps” are essentially a dedicated browser for your site, merged with a customizable native tab menu and all the features of a native mobile app.

Your apps show a live, fully-functional version of your site. When you make changes to your website, these changes reflect on your site as well. Orders, logins, products, collections, and everything else is shared across your apps and your website.

Our team takes care of the whole process, from building and testing the apps, to submitting them to the app stores. You just need to configure the elements you want as part of your apps, do your own testing and sign off on the final build.

We also stay with you to provide ongoing maintenance, updates, and any changes you need to your app in the future.

Advantages of the Wrapper App Approach

In our opinion, wrapper apps are a far superior approach to building native apps from scratch.

Time and money are a big part of it. Instead of waiting 6 months and spending over $50,000 to build your apps, you can go live in just a couple of weeks, for just a few hundred dollars.

You’re also able to reuse everything from your existing website, such as your themes, plugins, and anything that’s been custom-built. Chances are, with rebuilding from scratch, you’ll need to sacrifice some of these elements, and you won’t be able to get the experience quite like it is on your desktop site.

Maintaining your apps is easier as well, as everything is linked. You don’t need to update the website and app separately. You change something - pricing, product details, color scheme, copy, etc - it changes everywhere simultaneously.

Add in the advantage of having our team of experts there to help out, both with the initial build and ongoing maintenance, and it’s a no-brainer.

How to Go Live With Your PrestaShop Mobile App

If you start now, you could have your own ecommerce mobile apps live and ready to be downloaded in a matter of just a couple of weeks.

It really is that easy, and at a mere fraction of the cost of having native apps built from scratch.

Here’s how to get started with MobiLoud.

  1. Get in touch with our team to arrange a demo. We’ll run through how it works, what you need, and make sure that MobiLoud is right for you.
  2. Sign up for MobiLoud. We offer plans with no long-term commitments, transparent pricing, and 60-day money back guarantee.
  3. Log in and configure how you want your apps to look.
  4. Pass it on to our team and wait, while we build your mobile apps.
  5. We’ll get back to you once the apps are ready for testing. You can download the apps to your own device, and let us know if you need any final changes.
  6. Once you’re happy, we’ll publish your apps and take care of submitting them to the Apple App Store and Google Play.

As mentioned, we don’t stop once the final product is shipped. MobiLoud is a service, and our team remains on hand if you need any changes, due to customer feedback, OS updates, or anything else.

Multiple happy MobiLoud customers remark about how great the service element of MobiLoud is.

The team at MobiLoud held my hand along the way; everything from App Notifications, Analytics and registering with Apple/Google. With MobiLoud’s assistance, we feel super comfortable in this new realm.

Nick Barbarise, Director of IT at John Varvatos

This is the real difference to contracting your job out, or putting something together with a no-code app builder, for example.

It frees up your headspace and energy to continue focusing on product and marketing, and other tasks that grow your revenue.

Wrapping Up

More of your customers are on mobile, than desktop. Are you doing all you can to provide the majority of your users the best experience possible?

That’s what you get with mobile apps. You’ll be offering a mobile-specific experience, in a format that’s tailor-made to get people coming to your store more often and spending more money.

If you’re looking for the next step to take your PrestaShop store to the next level, this is it.

Converting your PrestaShop site to mobile apps is much easier than you’d expect, with MobiLoud. It’s fast, affordable, and makes it easy to maintain your store across each platform long-term.

Get in touch now to get started. It could be the best business decision you’ve ever made.

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