Running an eCommerce store in such a competitive market nowadays is not really easy. One has to keep up with consumer demand and the latest strategies of engagement in order to stay ahead of the game. With the exponential growth of mobile devices and users, a good mobile strategy has become one of the most important methods of engagement.
There is no doubt in the fact that a great mobile app for an eCommerce store is crucial for success. After all, it does create a new sales channel and opens up a very large market for you. But, even the mobile app strategy needs to be innovative and unique in order to actually be successful.
Heeding to the demand of mobile apps for Magento stores, a lot of Magento App Builders were introduced as extensions to provide an easy way out. These extensions might seem like a quick fix initially, however, they lose their effectiveness with time and end up being only a temporary solution with no returns.
In this article, we will be analyzing a few serious drawbacks of Magento mobile app extensions and why they aren’t as effective as they seem.
1.Works for Basic Features Only
Majority of the times, your eCommerce store won’t just have the basic functions that Magento provides. To keep up with the market needs, it is highly likely that you made a lot of modifications to your store to seamlessly fit in some unique and creative functionalities.
However, the problem with the extensions that create a mobile app for your Magento store is that they aren’t able to mirror all the features of your online store exactly. Sure, for the basic features embedded by Magento they work really well, but for custom features, you will need to pay an extra amount to have them implement them in your app.
Custom features for your store is how you differentiate yourself from the rest of the competition. However, if you launch an app without these custom functionalities, it won’t be a strategy with a lot of promise.
2. You Don’t Own your App
The app is definitely for your store and will be launched under your name, but you still won’t have complete ownership of the app. By this we mean that you won’t be provided with the source code of the app which is tantamount to the app not being yours.
The Magento mobile app builders fail to provide you with the source code of your app once it is launched. You can definitely make some outwardly changes like the design and look of the app but nothing more as the source of the app is still owned by the team that created the extension.
Not being able to easily incorporate your own changes whenever you require on your own is not something that you want to have and even if you go about this route, you won’t have much control over your own mobile store.
3. Difficult to Implement Mobile Only Features
In the previous point, we saw how a Magento app created from an extension doesn’t provide you with the source code of the app and hence takes away a lot of your control over the app. Stemming from that issue is another problem of not being able to implement other features for the app.
The native mobile app from an add on won’t give you the kind of control you should have on your app. You won’t be able to implement extra features on your app other than those that are already running on your web store. For this, you will have to get in touch with the team of the extension again and ask them to do it for a price.
There are quite some functionalities that can be executed by a mobile app but not as effectively by an online store. An augmented reality feature for product preview is a shining example. In such scenarios, you do not want to lose control over the app, at least one that is supposed to be yours.
4. Compatibility Issues with Store versions
Most of the extensions are only compatible with a limited number of versions of Magento. Plus there are differences in the community and enterprise editions also. Some extensions are only compatible with a few earlier versions of Magento while some only with the latest versions.
These compatibility issues can also limit your own growth in a few ways. For instance, if you decide to migrate to the Enterprise version of Magento, your previous app won’t function well with the new store. To avoid this, you will have to remove your previous app from the store, buy another extension for your new store and launch a new app.
Migration itself is a pretty cumbersome task and if another task such as this is added to it, things can become really complicated and in the end you might even just prefer dropping the whole app idea, which again closes opportunities for you.
5. Future Customizations are difficult
Your store will definitely grow with time and you will be required to meet the growing demands of your customers and your store. To accelerate further growth, you will also have to adapt to latest trends and techniques of engagement in order to keep growing your customer base.
However, once you have a native Magento mobile App already created and launched with the help of an extension, implementing these changes to the mobile store will not be as easy as it generally should be. The first issue is again due to you not having the source code to make the necessary changes. Secondly, if you use a Magento App builder, the changes in products or catalogs are surely reflected in the app, but functionality changes are not.
This is due to the fact that functionality changes are a lot more complex and the extensions can not handle them as easily. This means that your mobile store is restrained from making a lot of progress.
So these were a few instances which are inclined towards the fact that Magento Mobile App extensions are not as effective as they might seem to be. Surely, as mentioned earlier that they may be a quick and temporary fix, but that’s all they are, temporary. In the long run, you cannot make any progress with a simple solution and will always have to prefer a more tailored solution.
Going mobile is definitely not an opportunity you want to overlook but having a fruitless strategy is also not something you want out of compulsion. Make a great strategy, make a great impact. Get a tailored Magento Mobile App solution.
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