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.

Turn your WooCommerce Store into an iPhone App

We’ve been slogging away lately working through the App Store submission process and we’ve got some good news! WooToApp is now available on the App Store so you can turn your WooCommerce store into an iPhone App.

It’s been the most highly requested feature so far. We’ve been working away on our iPhone app in private testing forever but now it’s official.

Download WooToApp Store for WooCommerce – iOS

How much does it cost to turn a WooCommerce Store into an iPhone app?

Whether you sell 10 products on your store or 10000, WooToApp has pricing plans to suit your business now and into the future. Loading your data into our demo app is free-forever and super easy. When you’re happy, sign up for a paid plan. The cheapest paid plan is $49/mo, which we think is a great price even for tiny businesses.

How hard is it?

It’ll take about 5 minutes of reading and about 5 minutes of work. You need to create a set of WooCommerce API keys, fill out a short form, and download the app (iPhone, Android). It’s even easier if you just install the plugin, simply allow us access to your API keys and it’s done..

From there, just upgrade to a paid plan and we’ll get started building and submitting your app to the stores.

What features does it have?

  • This is why we’ve been working so hard! There’s multiple payment gateways built in and other external integrations.
  • We’ve built a design configurator so you can skin your app in one sitting, choosing colours and schemes and updating in real time.
  • We’ve been testing with both enterprise grade and shared hosting providers to make sure the app is performant no matter what the back-end.
  • We’ve built a push notification platform so you can keep the relationship active with your users, telling them about your sales and reminding them to come back often.
  • We’re still actively working on WooToApp, releasing new builds on average every week. This means we’re on top of industry trends and your app will always be at the front of the field.

What are you waiting for? Turn your WooCommerce Store into an iPhone app.

Setting the color scheme of your mobile app

Once you’ve got WooToApp up and running, and the plugin installed, it’s time to set up the colors of your app.

There’s 22 customisable colors and counting – below is a detailed list.

1. Main Background Color
2. Main Fore Color
3. Inactive Background Color
4. Header Color
5. Control Background Color
6. Control Border Color
7. Control Color
8. Header Background Color
9. Header Fore Color
10. Subtle Fore Color
11. Bright Fore Color
12. Button Primary Background Color
13. Button Primary Color
14. Nav Background Color
15. Nav Active Foreground Color
16. Nav Inactive Foreground Color
17. Hyperlink
18. Drawer Auth Background Color
19. Drawer Auth Color
20. Drawer Background Color
21. Drawer Border Color
22. Drawer Color

Here’s some annotated screenshots that show the actual location inside the app of these colours:
(TBA)

Creating a Facebook App – Tutorial (for facebook signin)

WooToApp allows your users to sign in with facebook, to make checkout faster and easier. Ultimately, creating the Facebook App will lead to increased mobile sales.

Note: “Facebook App” is really just an identifier that facebook uses. It’s not a real app, and requires no work after this initial setup.

Note
#2:
If you get stuck on this step, email us at [email protected] and we’ll help out. We can do this for you.

 

Creating a Facebook App – Tutorial

Here’s a quick guide to creating a Facebook App so your users can sign in with their facebook account.

  1. Visit https://developers.facebook.com/apps/ and hit “Add a New App”.
    (Facebook may ask you to create a developer account first if you’ve never done this before)

    Choose "Add a new App"

  2. Name your app, and enter an appropriate contact email. Hit “Create App ID”

    Name your Facebook App

  3. Select “Facebook Login” to configure the facebook login parameters.

    Select "Facebook Login"

  4. (Take note of the Facebook App ID – we’ll need this!)

    (Take note of the App ID)

  5. Configure the app settings. This includes uploading a nice icon, linking your terms of service and
    privacy policy if you have them, and choosing a category. Your customers will see this icon when they
    attempt to sign in with Facebook. Your category is almost definitely shopping!

    Configure the app, including uploading a nice logo.

  6. Click “Add Platform” as highlighted in the screenshot above. First, Add iOS.
  7. The only configuration needed for iOS is to add “host.exp.Exponent” Bundle ID.

    Paste in the config value to configure iOS login

  8. Click “Add Platform” again and add Android.

    Paste in these two key hashes (don’t try to type them!):
    /CcbGHdvqoupxH/yOk6PusWWJnU=

    rRW++LUjmZZ+58EbN5DVhGAnkX4=

    Paste in these two keys to configure Android login

  9. That’s it! We’re done. Hit “Save Changes”. Don’t forget you need the Facebook App ID when you head back to the plugin to finish setup.
  10. If you’re setting this up for a WooToApp Facebook login, switch back to the WooToApp Settings now in your
    wp-admin dashboard and paste in your Facebook App ID. (Don’t have the plugin? get it here)

 

Convert your WooCommerce Store to a mobile app for free

Using WooToApp, you can convert your WooCommerce Store to a mobile app for free. This way, you can see how it looks and feels before investing in the ‘real’ version (What’s the real version?).

WooToApp Test Store on the Play Store

TL;DR: How to convert your WooCommerce store to a mobile app for free:

  1. Create a set of WooCommerce API keys. There’s a great short tutorial on the WooCommerce developer API docs here.
  2. Download WooToApp Test Store from Google Play or the App Store. Let us know at [email protected] if it’s not available in your country and we’ll roll it out to you.
  3. In the app, open the sidebar, tap “Load My Store”, then “Create A New Store”
  4. Enter your store name, email, URL, WC Key and WC Secret
  5. Tap “Load Store”
  6. (Quickly marvel at WooToApp)
  7. Install the WooToApp plugin on your store
  8. Configure your app instance from the plugin settings (as per instructions in step 7)

That’s it! It takes about half an hour.

Sharing with your co-workers or friends is just as easy.

How to share your free WooCommerce mobile app:

  1. Find your share key from the introduction email we sent you
  2. Ask your friend to download WooToApp Test Store from Google Play or the App Store.
  3. In the app, open the sidebar, tap “Load my Store”, then “Load from Share Key”
  4. Enter the 6-10 digit share key and press “Load Store”

Rolling out your WooCommerce mobile app worldwide:

Once you’re satisfied that WooToApp and your store are going to be a great combination, it’s time to bundle up your app properly and release it in the App Store and Google Play.

This step brings a whole bag of extra functionality to your mobile app that is missing or restricted in the demo app, such as:

  • Custom home screen icon and notification bar icon
  • Push notifications and scheduling
  • Detailed installation analytics and statistics
  • Deep Linking from your website to the mobile app
  • Regular security and maintenance app releases
  • Potential for additional custom development if required

We’ll reach out to you while you’re trying out the free demo app and get this process moving along if/when you’re ready.

What’s the difference between the demo and a live WooToApp mobile app?

The WooToApp demo is a way to publish your WooCommerce store as a mobile app for free. You can fully configure the store and try the whole pipeline without any commitment.

To make the demo easy and fast to use, we have to cut out significant functionality.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the features missing from the demo app:

  • The demo app loads your store data every time it’s opened.
    The production app has your store data embedded in the source code, cutting out a server roundtrip and increasing speed.
  • The demo app allows users to create/change the app to suit other WooCommerce stores.
    The production app does not have this functionality, making it 100% yours.
  • The demo app does not have fine grained analytics for you to review.
    The production app has detailed analytics.
  • The demo app will not appear on the Play Store, App Store, mobile device home screens with your logo and full branding.
    The production app will be fully branded to your business and does not mention WooToApp at all.
  • The demo app does not have any custom functionality or features.
    Production apps can have custom features added like third party payment gateways, integration of plugin functionality and custom code on your website.

  • The demo app cannot be distributed to your users.
    The production app is available on both major app stores, and the WooToApp plugin on your website will let your users know there’s an app available to use!

  • Push notifications are restricted in the demo app.
    The production app has a full push notification dashboard built in, ready to market to your customers at any time. Push notifications have your logo, message (including emojis!) and link to the page in the mobile app you need.

Installing the WooToApp plugin on your WooCommerce Store

You need to install the WooToApp plugin on your WooCommerce Store so the mobile app can communicate with your store correctly.

Follow the instructions below to get WooToApp installed.

  1. Download the Woo-to-app plugin from here
  2. In your WooCommerce store admin panel, visit “Plugins” and click “Add New”
  3. Click “Upload Plugin” in the header.
  4. Navigate to the zip file you downloaded and click OK
  5. Hit “Activate Plugin”
  6. The plugin is now installed and active!

Now we need to start configuring your store.

  1. Click “WooCommerce” on the wordpress navigation bar and navigate to “Settings”
  2. Visit the “WooToApp” tab in the tabstrip in the main window.
  3. Paste in your store ID and secret key from the WooToApp introduction email
  4. Hit “Save Changes”
  5. Work through the tabs in WooToApp settings and start configuring your app.
  6. To see the changes in your mobile app, open the sidebar and hit ‘Home’. This will force a refresh of store data.

 

Having problems? Email [email protected] and we’ll personally help you get up and running.

WooToApp Welcome Screen Banner Specifications

Your WooCommerce mobile app will make the best impression if the initial banners are crystal clear for customers.

Here’s the banner sizing details that WooToApp was designed to accept:

1080 px wide by 600 tall, PNG format.

Pass this PSD banner template on to your design team or partner to help them create perfect banners, ready to drop into your app.

 

(Don’t forget to download the banner template above to format your mobile app banners correctly).

Sharing your personalised WooToApp mobile app demo with others

The WooToApp Demo is a fully configurable mobile app that allows you to see your own eCommerce store on the app platform.

From the WooToApp plugin, you can configure your instance of the demo app completely, including colours, additional pages, homepage features, etc.

Once you’ve got the demo app looking just right, you should share it with other members of your team to gather feedback and any next steps. Here’s how:

  1. Fetch your share key from the welcome email we sent you when you created your app instance. It’ll be a 6-10 digit string that you’ll need on step 4. (Search your emails for WooToApp)
  2. On the new device, search the App Store/Play Store for “WooToApp Demo”, and install the app.
  3. Tap the menu button at top left, and tap “Load My Store”*
    *Note, this menu option will NOT be available in production apps.
  4. Tap “Load from Shared Key”. Enter or paste the 6-10 digit string from step 1.
  5. Your WooToApp Demo app will reload using the live configuration you’ve used to set up your store — including colours, additional pages, homepage features, etc.