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How to Unlock the Potential of Your Shopify Store with a Mobile App

Chris Galatioto
Author Chris Galatioto
Published On Mar 30, 2023
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It’s no secret that mobile apps are taking over: Smartphone users now spend around 90% of their screen time using apps — and with more than 40% of all online transactions now conducted via mobile, a thoughtful mobile commerce strategy is an essential part of any ecommerce business that’s eyeing major growth. As consumers increasingly turn to their phones for shopping, having a mobile app can drive sales and boost brand loyalty by providing a more personalized and convenient shopping experience.

For brands that have already built a significant customer base through a Shopify web store, providing an in-app experience that feels seamless for existing users is crucial: Loyal customers should be able to pick up where they left off on web (and vice versa), with a user interface that feels familiar and the ability to use their existing customer account.

Thankfully, Shopify has made this end goal more accessible with their iOS and Android Buy SDKs (software development kits). These powerful tools give developers the ability to create custom storefronts within native mobile apps, enabling customers to make purchases from their phones with just a few taps via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit card.

At Heady, we’re experts in building custom mobile apps that accelerate our clients’ digital transformation efforts by elevating their ecommerce capabilities. The top-performing brands on Shopify have revenues of more than $10 billion, and a thoughtful mobile app strategy can ensure your company is getting its piece of the pie. Read on to learn more about the benefits of building a mobile app for your Shopify store and how to unlock its full potential using the Shopify Buy SDKs.

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Why Build a Mobile App for Your Shopify Store?

With 79% of Shopify traffic coming from mobile devices, it makes business sense to give mobile shoppers the best possible experience. Building a custom mobile app will unlock the potential of your Shopify store by creating an engaging and personalized new sales channel for your most loyal customers — and exposing your brand to a wider audience. Here are a handful of the benefits you can expect when launching a custom mobile app built with the Shopify Buy SDK:

Seamless Shopping Experience:

With the Shopify Buy SDK, you can smoothly transition your existing customers from your web store to an in-app experience. By allowing them to maintain a single user account and order history and access previously stored payment methods across both web and app, you can give them a consistent and uninterrupted customer journey.

This was top of mind for Heady client Heyday, a rapidly expanding skincare franchise. Before developing a mobile app, the brand already had hundreds of thousands of existing customers — so ensuring all those users didn’t have to create a new account to purchase via the app was absolutely critical. Using the Shopify Buy SDK, we built them a custom platform that seamlessly integrated with their web store and allowed their loyal users to easily transition from web to app.

Streamlined Order & Accounting Management:

By utilizing the Shopify SDK you can consolidate orders from multiple platforms into one centralized system, simplifying bookkeeping and accounting — and lightening the load for your team. The Shopify admin will always be your one-stop shop for all ecommerce orders, regardless of where the order is placed from.

This was a particularly important piece of the puzzle for one Heady client, a swiftly scaling family of online fashion boutiques that specialized in social commerce: Using the Shopify SDK, we built them a custom platform that served as a single source of truth for all their inventory, no matter what sales channel an order came in on.

Increased Customer Engagement:

Moving from a web store to a mobile app gives you the capability for push notifications, allowing you to engage users with timely updates and offers. You can also create app-exclusive promotions that are tailored to individual user preferences and behavior to drive sales. Plus, you can easily choose which products you want to sell in your app by toggling products on and off in the Shopify admin, meaning you can offer app-exclusive products (and give users a further incentive to download your mobile app).

Greater Brand Visibility:

Having a presence on app stores exposes your brand to a bigger audience, increasing discoverability for users who may not already be familiar with your brand. Meanwhile, an app icon on users' devices serves as a constant reminder of your brand (along with those previously mentioned push notifications!).

Better Analytics & Insights:

Having a mobile app offers valuable insights beyond what can be gained from a web store. Mobile app analytics can provide detailed information about how users interact with your app, such as navigation patterns, time spent on specific screens, and in-app gestures, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your store's performance and customer experience. Geolocation data can also provide specific information on where your customers are located and how their location may impact their shopping behavior, helping you create more tailored marketing campaigns.

It’s clear there are numerous reasons that a booming Shopify store would want to build a custom mobile app, so the next question is: How do you make it happen?

It’s no secret that mobile apps are taking over: Smartphone users now spend around 90% of their screen time using apps — and with more than 40% of all online transactions now conducted via mobile, a thoughtful mobile commerce strategy is an essential part of any ecommerce business that’s eyeing major growth. As consumers increasingly turn to their phones for shopping, having a mobile app can drive sales and boost brand loyalty by providing a more personalized and convenient shopping experience.

For brands that have already built a significant customer base through a Shopify web store, providing an in-app experience that feels seamless for existing users is crucial: Loyal customers should be able to pick up where they left off on web (and vice versa), with a user interface that feels familiar and the ability to use their existing customer account.

Thankfully, Shopify has made this end goal more accessible with their iOS and Android Buy SDKs (software development kits). These powerful tools give developers the ability to create custom storefronts within native mobile apps, enabling customers to make purchases from their phones with just a few taps via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit card.

At Heady, we’re experts in building custom mobile apps that accelerate our clients’ digital transformation efforts by elevating their ecommerce capabilities. The top-performing brands on Shopify have revenues of more than $10 billion, and a thoughtful mobile app strategy can ensure your company is getting its piece of the pie. Read on to learn more about the benefits of building a mobile app for your Shopify store and how to unlock its full potential using the Shopify Buy SDKs.

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How to Build a Mobile App With Shopify’s Buy SDK

First, a quick primer on the Shopify Buy SDK: It allows developers to integrate Shopify's ecommerce platform into custom mobile applications by providing a set of pre-built components and functionalities like product listings, cart management, and checkout, making it easier to create a seamless shopping experience within your app.

The Shopify Buy SDK supports both iOS and Android platforms, ensuring that your mobile app can reach the widest audience. For iOS, developers will be working with Swift or Objective-C in Xcode, while for Android, they’ll use Java or Kotlin in Android Studio. This cross-platform compatibility means that you can leverage the Shopify Buy SDK's features to create a consistent user experience across different devices.

One of the key advantages of using the Shopify Buy SDK is its seamless integration with Shopify's APIs, allowing you to access and manipulate your store's data — including products, collections, and customer information — directly within your mobile app. This integration simplifies the process of fetching product details, managing customer accounts, and processing orders, ensuring that your app stays up-to-date with your Shopify store and provides a smooth shopping experience for your users.

Here’s a Step-By-Step Look at How to Utilize Shopify’s Buy SDK to Build a Mobile App for iOS and/or Android:

 

It’s no secret that mobile apps are taking over: Smartphone users now spend around 90% of their screen time using apps — and with more than 40% of all online transactions now conducted via mobile, a thoughtful mobile commerce strategy is an essential part of any ecommerce business that’s eyeing major growth. As consumers increasingly turn to their phones for shopping, having a mobile app can drive sales and boost brand loyalty by providing a more personalized and convenient shopping experience.

For brands that have already built a significant customer base through a Shopify web store, providing an in-app experience that feels seamless for existing users is crucial: Loyal customers should be able to pick up where they left off on web (and vice versa), with a user interface that feels familiar and the ability to use their existing customer account.

Thankfully, Shopify has made this end goal more accessible with their iOS and Android Buy SDKs (software development kits). These powerful tools give developers the ability to create custom storefronts within native mobile apps, enabling customers to make purchases from their phones with just a few taps via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit card.

At Heady, we’re experts in building custom mobile apps that accelerate our clients’ digital transformation efforts by elevating their ecommerce capabilities. The top-performing brands on Shopify have revenues of more than $10 billion, and a thoughtful mobile app strategy can ensure your company is getting its piece of the pie. Read on to learn more about the benefits of building a mobile app for your Shopify store and how to unlock its full potential using the Shopify Buy SDKs.

Create a Custom App on Shopify and Generate an Access Token

This will allow your mobile app to interact with the Shopify API.

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Make Products and Collections Available for Sale on Shopify

Enable the desired products and collections for sale through the admin panel on Shopify.

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Configure the App for API Integration, Payments, and Universal Links

Set up the necessary configurations to ensure seamless API integration, proper handling of payments, and support for universal links.

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Integrate the Shopify Buy SDK

Add the Shopify Buy SDK to your mobile app project for both iOS and Android platforms, enabling interaction with the Shopify platform using dependency managers like CocoaPods for iOS and Gradle for Android.

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Integrate APIs with GraphQL

Incorporate the necessary APIs for retrieving collections, product lists, product details, managing carts, and processing checkout and payments, utilizing GraphQL queries and mutations.

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Design the User Interface

This will allow your mobile app to interact with the Shopify API.

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Build Out Your App

Enable the desired products and collections for sale through the admin panel on Shopify.

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Test Your App

Set up the necessary configurations to ensure seamless API integration, proper handling of payments, and support for universal links.

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Submit Your App to the App Stores

Add the Shopify Buy SDK to your mobile app project for both iOS and Android platforms, enabling interaction with the Shopify platform using dependency managers like CocoaPods for iOS and Gradle for Android.

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Maintain and Update Your App

Incorporate the necessary APIs for retrieving collections, product lists, product details, managing carts, and processing checkout and payments, utilizing GraphQL queries and mutations.

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Keep in mind this is only a high-level overview of a complex process. Building an app with Shopify's Buy SDK will involve many more detailed steps and customization based on your specific needs and requirements — which is why having an expert tech partner in your corner is pivotal.

It’s no secret that mobile apps are taking over: Smartphone users now spend around 90% of their screen time using apps — and with more than 40% of all online transactions now conducted via mobile, a thoughtful mobile commerce strategy is an essential part of any ecommerce business that’s eyeing major growth. As consumers increasingly turn to their phones for shopping, having a mobile app can drive sales and boost brand loyalty by providing a more personalized and convenient shopping experience.

For brands that have already built a significant customer base through a Shopify web store, providing an in-app experience that feels seamless for existing users is crucial: Loyal customers should be able to pick up where they left off on web (and vice versa), with a user interface that feels familiar and the ability to use their existing customer account.

Thankfully, Shopify has made this end goal more accessible with their iOS and Android Buy SDKs (software development kits). These powerful tools give developers the ability to create custom storefronts within native mobile apps, enabling customers to make purchases from their phones with just a few taps via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit card.

At Heady, we’re experts in building custom mobile apps that accelerate our clients’ digital transformation efforts by elevating their ecommerce capabilities. The top-performing brands on Shopify have revenues of more than $10 billion, and a thoughtful mobile app strategy can ensure your company is getting its piece of the pie. Read on to learn more about the benefits of building a mobile app for your Shopify store and how to unlock its full potential using the Shopify Buy SDKs.

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Building a mobile app for your Shopify store offers a long list of benefits, including an enhanced customer experience, increased brand loyalty, and of course, an increased ability to tap into the rapidly expanding mobile commerce market. With the Shopify iOS and Android Buy SDKs, you can create a custom native mobile app that provides a seamless shopping experience for your most loyal users while streamlining operations for your team on the backend.

As your friendly mobile app experts, Heady can help you unlock the full potential of your Shopify store with a fully custom mobile app. Our team of experienced product managers, developers, and growth strategists will work with you as closely as your own team to build an engaging app that will elevate your brand’s mobile commerce capabilities.

It’s no secret that mobile apps are taking over: Smartphone users now spend around 90% of their screen time using apps — and with more than 40% of all online transactions now conducted via mobile, a thoughtful mobile commerce strategy is an essential part of any ecommerce business that’s eyeing major growth. As consumers increasingly turn to their phones for shopping, having a mobile app can drive sales and boost brand loyalty by providing a more personalized and convenient shopping experience.

For brands that have already built a significant customer base through a Shopify web store, providing an in-app experience that feels seamless for existing users is crucial: Loyal customers should be able to pick up where they left off on web (and vice versa), with a user interface that feels familiar and the ability to use their existing customer account.

Thankfully, Shopify has made this end goal more accessible with their iOS and Android Buy SDKs (software development kits). These powerful tools give developers the ability to create custom storefronts within native mobile apps, enabling customers to make purchases from their phones with just a few taps via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit card.

At Heady, we’re experts in building custom mobile apps that accelerate our clients’ digital transformation efforts by elevating their ecommerce capabilities. The top-performing brands on Shopify have revenues of more than $10 billion, and a thoughtful mobile app strategy can ensure your company is getting its piece of the pie. Read on to learn more about the benefits of building a mobile app for your Shopify store and how to unlock its full potential using the Shopify Buy SDKs.

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The Heady Difference

We’re obsessed with building the best digital products for our clients, but we don’t stop there: Heady is focused on long-term partnerships, ensuring our clients’ digital products consistently provide value to their users while maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

Here’s what makes us an exceptional mobile partner:

Expertise in Shopify App Development

Our dedicated team of iOS and Android developers have extensive experience building apps for Shopify stores. Their expertise includes GraphQL, a flexible query language for APIs that enhances app performance and user experience by allowing developers to efficiently request precise data.

Custom Solutions Tailored to Your Business & Your Users

No templates here: We build every mobile app from the ground up, integrating the functionalities and third-party integrations you need while tailoring it all to the needs of your business and your users. We can design a fully custom storefront that provides a seamless experience for your most loyal customers.

Post-Launch Support and Maintenance

Our work doesn’t stop when your mobile app launches. We can manage the entire digital product lifecycle to ensure your app stays ahead of the pack. SDKs are updated regularly and need to be maintained, so having the right team on deck as Shopify releases updates will be vital to ensuring best performance and security.

Proven Track Record of Success

Heady is the silent partner behind top-rated mobile apps for brands like Hibbett Sports, Melissa Wood Health, and Heyday Skincare. Want to see our work in action? Visit the App Store to download the Heyday app and experience a custom-built mobile app built on top of a Shopify store.

Get in touch to explore how Heady can help you take your Shopify store to the next level with a custom mobile app.

 

It’s no secret that mobile apps are taking over: Smartphone users now spend around 90% of their screen time using apps — and with more than 40% of all online transactions now conducted via mobile, a thoughtful mobile commerce strategy is an essential part of any ecommerce business that’s eyeing major growth. As consumers increasingly turn to their phones for shopping, having a mobile app can drive sales and boost brand loyalty by providing a more personalized and convenient shopping experience.

For brands that have already built a significant customer base through a Shopify web store, providing an in-app experience that feels seamless for existing users is crucial: Loyal customers should be able to pick up where they left off on web (and vice versa), with a user interface that feels familiar and the ability to use their existing customer account.

Thankfully, Shopify has made this end goal more accessible with their iOS and Android Buy SDKs (software development kits). These powerful tools give developers the ability to create custom storefronts within native mobile apps, enabling customers to make purchases from their phones with just a few taps via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit card.

At Heady, we’re experts in building custom mobile apps that accelerate our clients’ digital transformation efforts by elevating their ecommerce capabilities. The top-performing brands on Shopify have revenues of more than $10 billion, and a thoughtful mobile app strategy can ensure your company is getting its piece of the pie. Read on to learn more about the benefits of building a mobile app for your Shopify store and how to unlock its full potential using the Shopify Buy SDKs.

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