WooToApp is rebranding.

In the last few months, WooToApp has been through amazing growth!  Hundreds of people have downloaded our demo apps and been in touch to let us know what we can add or change. Sometimes it’s not all good though.

So what’s up?

I’ve been approached by Automattic (owners of WooCommerce) and asked not to use “Woo” in the name of our native app solution for WooCommerce.  I love WooCommerce and it’s super important to stay on the right side of the team (and the law, kinda).

I’m getting on the front foot and changing both the platform name and branding to make clearer use of the WooCommerce brand mark, and open WooToApp up to our other potential future uses. It’s a blessing in disguise, and a good problem to have (the big guys noticed us!)

Down the road, I’ll be expanding the reach of the platform to create mobile apps for Shopify and Magento too. It’ll be as easy as a few clicks to get your native app delivered and ready for your customers.

What have you been up to?

Behind the scenes, I’ve been very busy. I’ve overhauled the whole platform to be far more secure using token based authentication to keep your API keys secure from even the app source code. We’ve built out our caching layer to ensure multiple users in the same location will receive lightning fast responses from our servers. We’ve rolled out dozens of bug fixes from our early beta testers.

What’s it called now?

So, onward and upward! We are now NativeStore. NativeStore will provide downloadable App Store and Play Store apps for your WooCommerce store, extending to Shopify and Magento soon. After the rebrand is complete, I’ll be rolling out the end-to-end custom app wizard.

The existing WooToApp product will soon become NativeStore for WooCommerce and we’ll shortly be live at https://nativestore.app.  Everything will continue to work as before (including this domain name), you’ll just notice our logos and branding slowly change to remove the Woo mark.

Our Incredible Journey

We haven’t been bought or sold, and there’s no incredible journey to speak of yet. Just back to work on the best mobile app for WooCommerce 🙂

A useful Cart Abandonment plugin

Cart abandonment is a low hanging fruit for a growing ecommerce business. Anywhere from 10-70% of your customers who add an item to their cart will ultimately move on from your site, never to return.

Why is cart abandonment a problem?

Customers are hunting for the best price, or currently cooking dinner, or browsing while watching TV before bed. How often do you look up that item you’re definitely going to buy, realise you don’t have your wallet with you, and close the tab – just to buy another day?

It can take me weeks to ultimately get around to making a purchase on an item I 100% intend to buy.

What can you do?

As the owner of an ecommerce store, you can target these prospects and ask them if they’d like to finish their transaction or if anything went wrong. Most cart abandonment solutions consider a cart abandoned when a user has visited the checkout page, entered their email, and not completed a purchase.

Having an email address tells you this person intended to buy, and something went very wrong.

We’ve recently integrated Cart Catch into WooToApp. Cart Catch is a cart abandonment tool for WooCommerce that comes set up, out of the box, ready to email your customers and ask if they’d like to finish their purchase. You don’t need to come up with the email text, or the re-email timeframes, or integrate your platform API code. Just connect it up with an ID and a key and you’re on your way.

The outreach email also makes it clear to customers that they can hit reply to directly chat to the store about their order, so you have an opportunity to capture blockers that caused the customer to stop. Maybe they’re having trouble with your payment gateway, shipping is too expensive, or they couldn’t find the right product image to check for that killer feature they need.

A sample email from CartRebound
A sample email from Cart Catch – a free Cart Abandonment tool.

Cart Catch is completely free to use (now and forever), so you should try it out on your store and recover some lost sales.

 

Localising: showing your native app in different languages.

We’ve got some great news! Multiple language support is coming to WooToApp.

Multiple language support in WooToApp

For customers who sell in non-English markets, your customers will automatically see WooToApp apps in the same language their device is configured to show. We’ve rolled this out for French, English, German, Chinese (Simplified) and Arabic.

If you need a language we don’t support yet let us know so we can get the translations set up for you!

Facts about internationalisation.

  • Categories, product names and descriptions will show in the language they are served from your website.
  • Interface components (buttons, notifications, menus, modals, placeholders) will all display in the locale the user has configured
  • Additional languages are easily added. Just ask us.

Here’s a language heavy screen rendered in a few languages to show off what we mean:

New in the app builder: Interactive color picker

We regularly make small updates to  WooToApp so your life is easier. Today, we’re announcing the live color picker. The mobile app builder interface features a styles tab, where you choose your mobile app color scheme.

Now, you can view your progress in real time using the on screen demo app. Check out the gif below to see what we mean.

Here, we update the navigation bar to feature white text on black background, instead of black text on yellow background. You can see that changing the color scheme of your whole app takes just a few minutes.

The color picker for our mobile app builder.

Once you’re happy with the color scheme you’ve chosen in the app builder, simply hit ‘Save Changes’ to update your live mobile app in real time. It couldn’t be easier.

Soon, we’ll feature a few easy to load pre-configured color schemes to get you up and running even quicker.

To get started with the woocommerce app builder, simply install the app builder plugin to your store using our simple guide and visit WooCommerce > Settings > WooToApp > Styling & Branding. WooToApp is free to use, and we only ask for payment when you’re ready to publish your app to the app stores.

Choosing The Best App Builder For Your WooCommerce Store

As an easy-to-use online e-commerce platform, WooCommerce is used by millions of ecommerce store owners worldwide to ease the flow of their business. With WooCommerce, they easily manage their inventory, provide  information for their products, and make it easy for customers to purchase their products and check their order status.

WooCommerce is built with third-party integrations in mind. You can add much more functionality to your store by adding various plugins and third-party extensions. Many app builder tools also work with WooCommerce , so it’s easy for users to turn their WordPress-based online store into a mobile application.

There are quite a few WooCommerce app builders that you can choose from. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, and features that enhance the functionality of your WooCommerce mobile app. So, choosing the best app builder for your online store is important to get right the first time.

Deep Customization Options For The Users

The best app builder software for WooCommerce should simple customization options for the whole app. For example, if you want to change the way your app looks or its navigation structure, you should be able to customize it from within the app builder dashboard. You want to make sure your customer is getting the best experience possible.

Some small details like colors, fonts, background images, or even the possible addition of custom code should be available for you in the customization options.

Direct Links To Android And iOS App Store

Most app builder tools provided by third party vendors will offer you easy steps to convert your WooCommerce store into a mobile application. Hopefully, you’ll also receive direct links to the Android and iOS app store.

WooToApp is available on itunes.

The app builder should also provide the hosting service for your app. This is the middleware to process payments securely and redirect users back to your store. You shouldn’t need to manage this on your own.

The uploading process to the app store should be done seamlessly. Ideally, your app builder will also provide instant patching and regular updates for your apps.  

Push Notification And Other Additional Features

The main advantage of having a mobile app for your WooCommerce store is that you can reach your audience whenever they are. Your customers have their mobile devices with them wherever they go.

Girl using WooToApp mobile App Builder

rom a marketing standpoint, it gives your business the advantage of having easy sales from your mobile audience. So, to accommodate this, the app builder software should be able to provide customizable push notification features, as well as additional features that you might need later.

You should be able to send push notifications to your mobile audience whenever you have a new product or a new deal. Other functionality to look for is a wishlist, a rating system, user reviews, multiple payment gateways. These all enhance your app functionality.

Try the best WooCommerce App Builder completely risk free.

We’re WooToApp – our app is free to use, configure and share. Try the app builder and see what we’ve been talking about.

Creating your own WooCommerce mobile app: Why it’s important

WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform built for WordPress. It’s the most popular solution on the market for fully functional, secure, extendable online stores, built to run inside WordPress. It is the most cost-effective way to present an e-commerce store to your customers. There’s thousands of free plugins available for your store, including WooToApp, our WooCommerce mobile app solution.

With WooCommerce, you simply need to build a WordPress site and install this platform into your existing WordPress installation, and you are ready to go. Once the installation is complete, you can add products, manage your inventory, set the payment gateway, and ship the products through your e-commerce store.

Why it's important to create your own WooCommerce Mobile App

Turning Your WordPress Online Store Into A Mobile App

If you have established an e-commerce store with WooCommerce, you can manage all the business transactions that you have from the WooCommerce dashboard. People can visit your website and buy your products from there.

But, you can also build an Android/iOS application based on your online store to make it possible for people to buy your products on the go.
There are many tools that you can use to turn your WooCommerce online store into a mobile app, and usually, these tools are easy to use.

You can also get the Android/iOS installation for your store without doing any tweaking. For instance, the online tool like Reactor from AppPresser and TMStore can be used to host your mobile e-commerce app and convert your WooCommerce site into a mobile app in just a few simple steps. Give ours a try here.

The Benefits Of Having A WooCommerce Mobile App For Your Business

Having your own e-commerce app will help you to expand your business further. First of all, it will give your audience the ability to purchase your products on the go just by opening your mobile application.

Moreover, it gives them more convenience in browsing the products that you have via their smartphones/tablets, as well as going through the entire transaction process.

There are more advantages that you will have by creating an Android/iOS app for your WooCommerce store:

  • You can send push notifications to your mobile audience whenever you have special deals for them.
  • You can synchronize all the product and transaction data between the mobile app and your main WooCommerce platform on WordPress in real time.
  • From the mobile app, customers can easily order your products and view the progress of their order until their ordered products are delivered.
  • You can expand your audience and engage them in a variety of new methods using the mobile platform.
  • You can also run ads for your Android/iOS app and lead the potential customers to install your app directly from the app store.

Increase Sales And Easier Management With WooCommerce Mobile App

The availability of your WooCommerce mobile app can add more convenience for your customers both to find more information about your products and do business with you.

Instead of accessing your website from the desktop or laptop computers, they can simply install your mobile app on their smartphone and tablet and make transactions on the go. Ultimately, the addition of a mobile application for your e-commerce store will help to increase sales for your business.

Moreover, with the integration to the main WooCommerce platform, your mobile app can be used for easier management of your online store. All sales that you get both in the main website and the mobile app will sync in real time, making it easier for you to keep your product information up to date for your customers.

Create your WooCommerce mobile app risk free.

We’re WooToApp – our app is free to use, configure and share. Build your app here and see what we’re talking about.

Using our WooCommerce mobile app builder

Mobile devices are taking over the world, and native apps are coming along with them. So what’s that got to do with your small ecommerce team who’s just trying to stay up to date?
We’ve created a WooCommerce mobile app builder that’s designed to work with you and create a native app for your ecommerce store.

Who is WooToApp designed for?

Solo store owners or small teams who run an ecommerce store will love our WooCommerce mobile app builder.

  • Your business doesn’t have the budget to spend $100k+ on a native app, and a mobile app builder suits your budget.
  • Your store traffic is large enough and your analytics data suggests enough mobile users that some of your customers will definitely use the mobile app.
  • You’d like a personalised app built and released on the App Store and Google Play sooner rather than later.

Who is it not designed for?

It’s important to point out that WooToApp isn’t for everybody. Some teams will be too large to use our mobile app builder and have too specific requirements. While we’re happy to build anything you need into the app, there comes a customization point where you should head to an agency for a quote.

Our rough number that we throw around is if you’ve been quoted <$100k for a native app, you receive between 5 and 150 orders per day, and you need an app built quick, we should be right in the sweet spot for you! If you’re turning over 500 orders a day, have $2-300k to burn on an app and you’ve got 6 months to wait… Better call an agency 🙂

Why should I use the mobile app builder?

Firstly, because you’re looking for a native app for your ecommerce store!
Secondly, because it takes only 5 minutes to get up and running and see what you think. We’ve got a super slick onboarding process so you can receive your personalised mobile app download in minutes.

How to use the WooCommerce Mobile App Builder

Getting up and running with the Mobile App Builder is a very simple process, breaking down to:

  • Fill out a 2 step form entering your details (It’s called Build My App – here)
  • We’ll send you a special personalised email with a link to download your customised app

    Fill out step 1 of the WooCommerce mobile app builder.

  • You install the WooToApp WordPress Plugin and continue to customize the mobile app.
  • That’s it! Enjoy your new mobile app. When you’re ready to publish to the app stores and personalise your home screen icon and loading screens, get in touch with us. We’ll get more info about your store (marketing copy, mostly) and work together with you to get you published ASAP. It usually takes about 5 days for App Store final approval.

Question: Does it build truly native apps?

Answer: YES. There’s a few competing platforms out there that you should evaluate for your business. Make a list of what you’re looking for in an app, then check them all out and see which suits your needs the best. A few of these providers do not create truly native apps. Their platforms instead wrap up your existing store HTML into an empty wrapper application (this is called ‘webview based’).

So why should you care? Building a native app for your ecommerce store is a financial investment and a branding investment. You’re putting the image of your store on the line. It’s a chance to level up in the eyes of your customer and bring a new level of professionalism.

Using a webview based app means that your customer has just downloaded and installed your app and opened it to find.. The same website they were just on. Native apps are faster, intuitively designed and mobile first for your customer. Do it properly and make it a native app the first time.

Our WooCommerce mobile app builder exclusively generates native mobile apps connected to your store via WooCommerce API only. The only webviews in the app are those that load content pages from your site (such as your ‘Returns Policy’). Your customers will notice the difference!

Say YES to Native Apps.

What does the woocommerce mobile app builder do?

We’ve built out a detailed plugin that updates your native app in real-time. This means you can configure colors, styles, text and other parameters in real time through the plugin. A simple pull-to-refresh completely updates the mobile app with your new parameters.

The app builder allows customising the sidebar of the app, so you can include other content pages that will be relevant to your app users. We suggest Shipping Information, Returns Information,  Terms of Use. There’s no long setup here, you just enter a title and link to an existing page on your website.

Once you’re all set up (even in the free demo!) you can even send push notifications to installed devices, and share the woocommerce native app with other users.

The WooCommerce mobile app builder will automatically detect support payment gateways in use on your site and enable them in the app, such as Paypal and Afterpay.

Where can I see an app built with the WooToApp WooCommerce mobile app builder?

Head to the App Store or Play Store and download “WooToApp”. It’ll load up our full demo store including products, categories, and checkout flow.

Feel free to spend some time adding to a cart, creating an account, and checking out.

If you’re keen to see a real app, take a look at one of our customers. Search “Pioneer Gear” on the App Store/Play Store.

At any time you can hit our Build My App page to generate your own personalised mobile app download to see what your store looks like as a mobile app too. Try it out now, it only takes 5 minutes. You’ll get a real kick out of seeing your ecommerce store as a real life native app.

Once you’re ready to publish, let us know! We’ll get some marketing information from you and start preparing your mobile app for the app store.

Why do I need a WooCommerce mobile app?

In most cases, creating a native app for your ecommerce store is a big investment, fraught with risk and pitfalls*. In this article we’ll cover off why you should do it anyway.
(*Unless you’re using WooToApp to create your WooCommerce mobile app. It’s free to try, and our published apps start at $49/mo)

Why build a mobile app at all?

Mobile commerce is big business. Estimates say that by 2020, mobile purchases will make up 45% of all ecommerce – a $600B pie. If you’re a millenial or know a few, you know an iPhone or android phone is their primary device over ipads, laptops, and traditional PCs.

The fact is, your customers are on mobile devices, with 75% of them using iPhone and Android devices. Delivering a mobile app experience to your users can catch them where they are idle most often – on the lounge, on the train, or on their work lunch break.

Capturing a position on the users’ homescreen with a woocommerce mobile app cuts out a dozen or more keystrokes and means you’ve got pride of place when they’re looking for a distraction to fill some time.

strong store branding in your mobile app.

If it’s not helpful enough to have your logo on your customers device, regular push notifications are a handy addition to the mobile app warchest — reach out to your customers and remind them you exist and make them an offer they can’t refuse to revisit your store.

Not ALL of your users are going to flock to a native mobile app. The idea is that the users who do install and make use of your native mobile app should convert better and convert more often, building a loyal and returning customer base who see your branding more often.

What’s wrong with mobile commerce?

The typical mobile purchasing experience is hampered by a few deal breakers that hurt conversions and drive potential purchasers to do their browsing on mobile devices and finish the job on a desktop PC or tablet.

The numbers skew and say conversions and abandonment are high on mobile, and customers just appear and checkout on desktop! The reality is, the customer arrives, adds a few items to their cart, and spends too long fiddling around with remembering if they have an account and how to sign in.

They’ll then trigger a forgot password email and sign in. Then, if they get through that, comes time to pay. Will they have to enter 30+ keystrokes to enter their credit card details, or now need to do the forgot password dance with their PayPal account?

Friction is high on mobile checkout and the conversion rates show. The conversion killing issues above (frequent signins, difficulty of checkout, requiring >10 keystrokes) are mitigated when using a native mobile app over a mobile web experience.

How we fix the conversion killers

Finding the website. This is the sale you lose that you can’t measure. What happens if the user never finds your website again after their first visit? Offering a mobile app for download gives your users an easy way to remember your store and branding for later when they finish their shopping. If your customer adds a few things to their cart and forgets what they

Get your icon on the customers’ home screen and build the muscle memory for them to come back to the app, instead of off to google.

Keystrokes. I cringe when I’m visiting a mobile website and I need to fill out 10+ fields to checkout on a website I’ve checked out on before! This loses sales hands down. First name, last name, billing address 1, billing address 2, blah blah blah. If you’ve entered it, we store it and remember it.

Frequent Signins. We use Facebook signin and Google signin as first class citizens in our native mobile apps. Users are encouraged to use the platforms they’ve already authenticated with so there’s no forgotten passwords. Stop forcing Password00!1  strong password requirements and no lost sales because your user can’t sign in.

Checkout pain. We’ve covered this a bit above, but it’s worth saying it again that every keystroke you require your user to enter drops your conversions over enough time. We’ve optimised checkout in our WooCommerce mobile app to require no keystrokes where possible, so the user can tap their way to the ‘Order Placed!’ page.
If your customer wants to place an order, stay out of their way!

Woocommerce mobile app showing easy checkout

Building a WooCommerce mobile app

I decided to build WooToApp because there wasn’t a just-right solution for a WooCommerce mobile app. The cheap end of the market were webview based apps that just showed the actual website wrapped up in an empty app. They were usually tricky to load, slow, and felt like I was just browsing the website anyway.

Say YES to Native Apps.

I heard of quotes being requested and sent for a custom mobile app build that started at $100k USD and kept going far north, to re-invent a wheel at an exorbitant hourly rate and hope it turns out to be useful! I have no doubt it would be a great mobile app — it would want to be for the price of a cheap house!

Try it out for free and make up your own mind

WooToApp offers a free mobile app for WooCommerce Stores that is built on a native platform and accesses your store via API to load your product catalog, color scheme, images and informational pages. With the help of our custom WooCommerce plugin, it’s easy for your customers to create accounts, place orders and pay securely. You only need to pay when you’re ready for us to publish to the App Store and Play Store for you.

Payments – Afterpay now available on native app.

We’ve got some big news about Afterpay this week – Australia’s payments revolution is now available in your native mobile app on the WooToApp platform! It’s available from today for all WooCommerce store owners who release a native app (as well as existing customers).

Afterpay is currently available in Australia, New Zealand, and has recently started rolling out in USA.

How does afterpay work in the native app?

If Afterpay is enabled on your WooCommerce store, customers will automatically see a breakdown of the payment amount when browsing your native app. For example, a $30.00 item will display “Or 4 payments of $7.50” to encourage your user to add to cart.

When checking out, your customer will see Afterpay as an available payment method. If they select it and continue, we’ll display the payment window seamlessly for them to checkout. It’s a perfectly smooth process, nice and polished for the end user.

How do I set up afterpay?

You’ll need an active merchant account with afterpay already, activated and tested on your ecommerce store.

You’ll also need WooToApp. The good news is installing WooToApp on your store is easy.

Search the WordPress plugin repository for WooToApp, install and configure and you’re on your way. It takes about 2 minutes of your time from first searching to opening the special demo app on your mobile device. You can follow the instructions here for a more detailed run down.

How much does it cost  to integrate afterpay in the native app?

The integration is free for users of the WooToApp platform – you’ll just pay the regular merchant fees you usually pay Afterpay to accept payments with them, no extra.

Fully featured TMStore Alternative: WooToApp Native Apps

TMStore have announced they are shutting down their native app builder available at https://www.thetmstore.com/. WooToApp is a fully featured TMStore alternative that is free to build your own app and evaluate on your own terms.

WooToApp is a TMStore alternative..

Why is TMStore shutting down?

TMStore mention the business model is not scalable and the maintenance cost is prohibitively high. This is an important reason why your mobile app supplier should be on a retained subscription or contracted services agreement. They’re incentivised to keep helping and keep improving the platform.

A one off purchase of TMStore makes it a very difficult business case for them to keep improving the product. WooToApp is and will always be a subscription platform which means we have to win your business every month and keep proving that we’re making your business money. Your mobile app platform is safer and more reliable because we’re all putting dinner on the table.

The TMStore Alternative

Give WooToApp a try and see that we’re a fully featured TMStore alternative. Install the plugin, link it to your app, and see everything we have to offer for you. When you’re happy that WooToApp is your provider of choice, start a subscription and we’ll get you submitted to the App Store and Google Play.

How to find our WooCommerce Native App builder

In the WordPress plugin directory, Search for WooToApp and start setting up our plugin to get started. We’re on the app store, play store and the WordPress plugin directory. We actively work with our customer stores to ensure all the functionality they need is in and ready. The app is skinnable and customisable, and features a full marketing suite for your team.

If you’re not sure about trying us out yet, consider joining our mailing list so we can keep in touch and keep you informed about WooToApp in the future.