Not to be confused with Mobile Apps, Custom Web Apps are specific to your store and business model when clients are engaged with their browser viewing your goods or interacting with your business. We covered the advantages of having a Mobile App in a previous blog (https://www.thegenielab.com/post/how-mobile-apps-can-boost-ecommerce-sales), here we will cover the key areas that a Web Application can do for your store, your customers, and your business. Web Application Development should be part of your overall strategy, consulted with a Shopify Developer and digital architecture planning where the following areas are to be considered.
A Shopify Store is more than just a shopping cart, it is the nerve center of your digital marketing strategy for search engines to find in the various marketplaces and your social media platforms. Your Shopify Theme through theme development can deliver unique brand recognition, giving you template files that are yours to evolve step by step into a custom design. Graphic designers are focused on your website design, pushing your color palette to bring brand awareness in your marketing campaigns, online marketing, digital channels, and content marketing. However, custom web apps give you another edge for your internet users.
Definition of a Custom Website Application
Unlike the generic, marketable, useful eCommerce best practices Web Apps offered in the Shopify App Store, the Custom Web Apps are specific to your business and the way you operate with your internal and external clients. Just realize that in today's full stack development frameworks like Node JS are used to get your App developed - modular in nature, and efficient. Shopify has two levels of Custom Web Apps for your eCommerce website:
Private App – Shopify Definition:
“Private apps are available only to your store and aren't listed on the Shopify App Store. You can create a private app for your store in the Shopify admin.
If you're working with an external app developer, then you need to give them API access to your store and access to your Shopify admin. If you don't feel comfortable giving this access to the developer, then consider asking them to build you a custom app.”
Custom App – Shopify Definition:
“Custom apps can be used to add features to your Shopify admin or to extend your online store to other platforms using custom storefronts. Custom apps are built exclusively for your Shopify store and aren't listed on the Shopify App Store.
An external app developer can make a custom app for you without needing API access to your store and access to your Shopify admin. You can install a custom app by clicking an install link provided to you by the app's developer.”
The main difference is that a Shopify Custom App is a tool that can enhance your Shopify Admin area without the use of the API (Application Programming Interface) which is external access to your store. A Shopify Private App is also engaged in your Shopify Admin but connects through the API, which passes information to and from other systems outside of Shopify.
Advantages of Shopify Custom Web App Development
Given that the Web App is device and iOS/Android independent, Desktop/Laptop or any internet device that has a browser for that matter, you have some key advantages:
Easy maintenance at a central location, immediately deployable and will be reflected on all devices that are using the Shopify Web App.
Compatibility is based on browser technology, which is all standardized and updated by the individual device – therefore testing, is a straightforward process, and the experience will be consistent.
Web Apps do not use hard-drive or on-device memory to be stored and take up space, Ultrabooks have especially very low internal drive capacity for example.
Considerations of why your business needs a Custom Web App Development?
User Experience: With your eCommerce store Theme, your Assets, Marketing, and UI/UX which delivers the customer journey through your store, you may feel limited by the technology being delivered when it comes to providing the right information at the right time to assist customers to make decisive choices for them to convert them into customers. This would improve navigation, condensed information all leading to a call to action and a smooth checkout or customer engagement.
Differentiation: Custom Website Application can help bring out the uniqueness of your brand, service, and products. A key marketing tenet, memorable, and at times can develop a trend to be talked about in social media groups and conversations. Areas in Augmented Reality (AR) in visualizing a product, or navigating your store can make your store stand out, and bring that add interest to widen your marketing funnel.
Marketing Optimization: Whereas your classical marketing 4P’s are clearly set up through your store, a Custom Web App can bring the 4P’s closer together and make that experience more effective when it comes to conversion. Examples of this is when you can real-time profile your visitor to bring them relevant and promoted items that are engaging and providing them the experience they desire. Generic App Store “you might also like” or “what other purchased when buying this item” provide the client a generic consideration – Custom Web App can take that further with past purchases, colors and designs browsed that are correlated to other products such as that they are coordinated.
Cost Savings: Having your very own Custom Web App means that you own the technology, and you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee or pay for the App’s right of use. Additionally, you have better control of the quality, operability, and performance of the features you define in its integration within your eCommerce store.
Data Integration and connectivity: With various data pools requiring correlation, reporting, and notifications resulting from real-time analysis, the integration of datasets can immensely affect your cash flow and manage your inventory such that you have greater control over your business. Avoiding manual data entry, or export/import activities, managing errors between these transfers help your reliability/quality of your information to base your decisions in a timely manner. A Shopify Private App Development would deliver this Custom Web App Feature.
Examples of Custom Web App Development
Some of the very famous Web App Developments are the likes of Netflix, Trello, or Google Docs. These are very powerful yet, deliver a business model and experience beyond just a flat website by a large margin. Your eCommerce store can expand its unique experience by driving it to be personal, private, easy to deliver or update goods and services, stay in touch with notifications, tracking, scheduling, are just some of the variables of infinite possibilities. Within Shopify, you have the full capability to create your own Custom Website Application through careful planning, mapping, and specifying the experience you would like to deliver.
When promoting your products and services, you have the ability to add best practices Shopify Apps such as Countdown Timers, connecting yourself to Facebook Messenger for live chat conversations to help on customer service - all of which helps close the sale for the customer to use their credit card. However, when it comes to custom applications where you would like to have text messaging enabled for shipping updates to your customers, or build a custom live chat widget to assist in sales - a Custom Shopify App will most likely be the road to take. Website visitors look for a good experience, reliable delivery and experience customer satisfaction when engaged with the product or service. If something does not go right, customer support with a good ticketing system is expected. A lot of the best practices in the Shopify App Store (have to be the Shopify Admin to do this) have free trial periods to try their features out.
If you are interested in discussing this further with Shopify experts to plan out your Website application, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Information on "Web Development with Shopify Stores" can be obtained at this link.