15 Refreshing Marketing Ideas For Shopify Apps

A new ecommerce mobile app is one of the best ways to drive sales for your Shopify store. Mobile apps convert higher than the mobile web, so generating sales from your app won’t be a problem. But the app will only have success if customers actually download it.

That’s why ecommerce mobile app marketing needs to be a top priority for your Shopify store. 

Whether your app is already complete, in development, or still in the pre-development planning stages, you need to start brainstorming marketing ideas for your Shopify app today. 

Marketing a mobile app for ecommerce isn’t necessarily the same as promoting a traditional product or service. You need to take a unique approach to this process.

I’ve personally overseen the launch for dozens of ecommerce apps. It’s abundantly clear which ecommerce sites were prepared with marketing ideas for their Shopify app. 

After learning from the success and the mistakes of others, I want to pass my knowledge to you. Use this guide to learn how to implement the best mobile app marketing tactics for ecommerce.

1. Build Hype Early

If you wait until launch day to promote your new ecommerce mobile app, it’s too late. You need to start promoting the app as early as possible, even if it’s with something as simple as a “coming soon” page.

Even if you haven’t started development yet, the sooner you can get exposure for your app, the more successful it will be. 

If you review the top reasons why you need an ecommerce mobile app, you’ll quickly learn that mobile commerce is trending upward, and consumers prefer to shop from apps. 

Promoting the app as early as possible builds anticipation in the minds of your customers. This is an age-old psychological marketing strategy. When the app finally launches, they’ll be ready to download it and start shopping immediately. 

Just avoid publicizing a firm launch date until the app is actually complete. So if you’re starting to build your app in March, don’t start running promotions saying the app will be live in June.

Things happen during the development process that are sometimes out of your control. You don’t want to promise an app and not deliver, or worse, rush through development to meet a deadline that results in performance issues. 

2. Leverage Your Website For App Promotion

It sounds simple, but it’s shocking how many websites don’t have a direct download link for their app. Even more surprising, some ecommerce businesses don’t have any mention of their app at all on the website.

You just went through all of the effort to build a mobile commerce app. Don’t let those efforts go to waste by failing to promote it on your biggest platform.

Shopify owners make the mistake of thinking that customers will go to great lengths to find their app. But that’s simply not the case. You need to make this process as easy as possible for them.

Here’s a great example from the H&M website.

mobile app ecommerce marketing

H&M has a global presence. It’s always a good idea to follow the lead of companies that succeeded before you.

The menu on this ecommerce site has a direct link to download the app for both iOS and Android. 

Just saying “we have a mobile app” on your site isn’t enough. It forces customers to take extra steps to search for your Shopify app in the app store. Each additional step reduces your chances of getting a download.

But think about how much traffic your Shopify site gets each day, week, or month. Imagine if just 5% or 10% of that traffic downloaded the app. That’s how you get thousands of downloads at a time.

3. Showcase Your App in Confirmation Emails

You want to promote your app through distribution platforms that have the most exposure. So take advantage of your email list.

The best emails for mobile app promotion are confirmation messages. That’s because confirmation emails outperform every other type of marketing email.

value of receipt emails

As you can see from the graph, a confirmation email has higher open rates, click-through rates, and viewing time. They also generate the highest revenue per email sent. 

These are the type of confirmation messages that should include a promotion for your Shopify app:

  • New subscriber confirmation
  • Order confirmation
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Delivery confirmation

Each app promotion can have a slightly different angle, depending on the content of the message.

For example, “use the app for faster ordering” works well for an order confirmation message. But you could use something like “track shipping status directly in the app” for both shipping and delivery emails.

Here’s another reason why this mobile app ecommerce marketing idea is so useful; you’re targeting customers who are already interested in your brand. These are people who either signed up for email promotions or just purchased something from your Shopify store. This makes them the most likely candidates to download your ecommerce mobile app.

4. Offer an Incentive For Downloads

Why should someone download your new ecommerce app?

No, this is not a rhetorical question. You actually need to tell people why the app will benefit them personally. 

According to our app download and usage statistics page, the average person has between 60 and 90 apps installed on their device. However, 77% of time is spent on just three apps. 75% of apps are used once and then never used again.

Consumers know this. They aren’t going to download another app to clutter their phones unless they are given a good reason. 

Monetary incentives usually get the job done. You could offer something along the lines of 20% off the first purchase using the app. If you really want to make sure the app continues getting used, consider extending that discount for the first 30 days after installation. 

Target has a dedicated landing page on its ecommerce site to promote the app. 

all in one place

The page highlights some of the top features of the app, which gives users even more of an incentive to download it. Any feature, benefit, or advantage that adds value or makes the customer’s life easier needs to be mentioned when you’re marketing your Shopify mobile app. 

5. Look For Guest Posting Opportunities

Does your Shopify site have a blog? If so, you’re already on the right track to increase the exposure for your brand and app.

But only publishing blogs on your website limits the exposure to an audience that already knows who you are. While you can still use your blog for mobile app ecommerce marketing, the readers likely know about it already. 

Guest blogging allows you to increase the exposure of your app to an entirely new audience. You just need to find the right opportunities. 

Use Google search strings as a resource for finding these opportunities.

  • “Keyword” + “write for us”
  • “Keyword” + “guest blog”
  • “Keyword” + “guest post guidelines”

These are just a few examples of what you can search for. The benefits of guest blogging are tremendous and will help you drive Shopify sales with a mobile app.

Just make sure it’s not overly promotional. Most websites allow guest authors to include a handful of links to their website and other pages. So rather than promoting your app directly, simply include a download link embedded within the content. 

6. Use Influencer Marketing to Your Advantage

Influencer marketing and guest blogging have similar benefits, in the sense that you’re getting exposed to a new audience. The difference between the two is that you’ll likely have to pay for an influencer to promote your app.

With that said, this mobile app ecommerce marketing strategy delivers strong results and high returns.

According to a recent study, 28% of online marketing managers named influencer marketing the fastest-growing customer acquisition strategy. 

online customer acquisition

As you can see from the graph, this response ranked first on the list. Furthermore, 67% of brands say they plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in the next 12 months. 

The reason why influencer marketing is so effective is because consumers trust these people.

You don’t need to work with professional athletes, singers, or famous actors to have success with this strategy. Instead, you can partner micro-influencers with a strong reach within your niche. This is also much more cost-effective.

Check out these statistics about the rates for micro-influencers:

  • Instagram post — 84% charge less than $250
  • Facebook post — 90% charge less than $250
  • Blog post — 87% charge less than $500
  • Twitter post — 90% charge less than $150

These rates are very reasonable. In some instances, you could develop influencer relationships without having to pay for anything. Try offering free merchandise in exchange for a post about your ecommerce mobile app. 

7. Use SEO Best Practices

We live in a world that’s completely driven by SEO. Every marketing campaign, including mobile app ecommerce marketing promotions, needs to be developed with SEO in mind.

Earlier I explained the importance of using your website as a promotional tool for your Shopify app. That strategy is useless if people aren’t actually visiting your site. 

93% of all website experiences start with a search engine. 

Take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of a current or prospective app user. If you want to do something online, where do you find it? Personally, I rarely go directly to a website. I almost always start with a Google search.

If you can apply SEO best practices to your app landing page and top-performing pages promoting your new ecommerce mobile app, it will drive traffic to those pages. As a result, this traffic increase will ultimately boost your Shopify app downloads as well. 

8. Create an In-App Referral Program

One of my favorite ways to market an ecommerce app is by letting your existing app users do all of the work for you. All you need to do is set up a referral program and let the rest take care of itself.

The best in-app referral programs are simple and straightforward. 

Using the “give $20, get $20” model is an excellent example of how to set this up. Allow app users to invite their friends to download the app in exchange for $20 per referral. The referred user gets $20 off of their first purchase, and the customer who referred them gets a $20 account credit once that transaction happens.

This mobile app ecommerce marketing strategy gives your current users an incentive to invite as many people as possible. If just five of their friends make a purchase, they can get $100 in credits. 

Another reason why I love this strategy is because referred customers are the best types of customers to have. 

referred customers

Furthermore, everyone trusts a referral. 92% of consumers say they trust a recommendation that comes from someone they know. 

If my friend, sibling, coworker, or cousin sends me a referral to download an app, I’ll probably download it. Other people have the same mentality. 

For those of you who are in a position where you’re comfortable giving away store credit for a download, it’s a great way to get downloads from people who will actually buy something from your new Shopify mobile app. 

9. Improve Discovery with ASO (App Store Optimization)

In addition to SEO, you also need to prioritize ASO. 

You want to make sure that your app is easily discoverable when a user searches for relevant keywords on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. 

While app store optimization isn’t the most exciting mobile app ecommerce marketing strategy, it’s a necessity. 

ASO best practices vary, depending on whether or not your app is available on iOS or Android. Let’s say you’ve previously built a Shopify app for Apple users, and now you’re thinking of developing one for Android. Don’t assume that those same ASO tactics will work on the Google Play Store.

I could write for days on how to implement proper ASO techniques for mobile app ecommerce marketing. But it will be easier (for both of us) if you check out these helpful guides instead:

Remember, you can always subscribe to the BuildFire blog to be the first to know when we release helpful guides for your ecommerce mobile app.

10. Run a Contest or Giveaway Promotion

Contests, giveaways, and other promotions are a great way to get people excited about downloading your Shopify app. That’s why it’s one of my favorite app marketing ideas for ecommerce.

This relates back to one of our previous ideas about giving people an incentive to download the app. But a giveaway has additional benefits, which is why it deserves its own mention.

I’d recommend a “download, share, and win” promotion via social media. Instagram is the best place to run a contest since engagement rates are so high compared to regular posts. 

instagram engagement


Here’s how it works.

To participate, users need to download your app, share it on their profile, and tag your company for a chance to win whatever you’re giving away. You can choose the parameters for the prize and how many winners you’re going to select.

Always include a deadline in these types of promotions. This creates a sense of urgency and gets people to start participating immediately. 

In addition to the initial users who download the app to participate in the promotion, other people will also be exposed to your Shopify app as well. Anyone who follows users participating will see the post. It’s essentially free marketing for your ecommerce app. 

I love this strategy because it combines the advantages of offering incentives, influencer marketing, and referrals into one campaign. 

11. Leverage Free Distribution Platforms

This piggybacks off of my last point. It’s always going to be in your best interest to find as many free app marketing ideas as possible. 

User acquisition doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Just enhance your presence on popular social media channels. Hopefully, you already have a profile set up on the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Twitter

Research your target audience to see what platforms they’re using the most. That’s what you should be prioritizing. 

If your Shopify app sells products intended for younger generations, you can even consider setting up accounts on Snapchat and TikTok. I definitely missed the boat on those platforms (I’m getting old). But if my customers were on there, I’d make sure to use them as promotional channels for my Shopify app.

12. Facebook Ads

While free app marketing is obviously ideal, there’s nothing wrong with paying for ads if it’s in your budget. This is especially true for Shopify store owners who don’t have a strong presence on social media yet.

If you have a new ecommerce app and haven’t established your brand name, you’ll be pretty limited in terms of social media reach with a few hundred or a few thousand followers.

I prefer using Facebook ads because it gives you the opportunity to target certain people. It’s the best way to reach your audience.

Facebook even has specific ad campaign objectives for driving app installs.

facebook ads

The steps are simple:

  • Pick an objective
  • Choose your audience
  • Decide where your ad is run (can be on Instagram too)
  • Choose a format
  • Set your budget

You’ll get detailed reports to measure the results of your ads as well. This is the perfect way to know if your campaigns are actually driving app downloads. 

13. Geofencing PPC with Google Ads

For those of you who have physical brick-and-mortar store locations, in addition to your Shopify site and ecommerce app, geofencing with Google PPC is definitely something you should consider.

This Google Ads tool allows you to target customers in a specific area. This can be based on neighborhoods, zip codes, or areas near your store.

So if a customer walks by your shop or into one of your stores, it will trigger an ad for them when they visit a website in the Google advertising network. 

You can take advantage of this app marketing idea, even if you don’t have a physical store presence. 

For example, let’s say your Shopify mobile app sells bathing suits, shorts, sandals, and other warm-weather apparel. It wouldn’t make sense to run ads targeting people in New York City or Chicago during the winter. But southern California, Miami, and Hawaii are perfect locations to target year-round.

14. Create a Customer Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs encourage your existing customers to spend more money. 

By integrating a loyalty program into your Shopify app, it becomes an indirect promotion of the app and its benefits. Here’s why.

For a customer to receive rewards, they must be logged into their customer profile. But this is a hassle when shopping from a computer or mobile device. The customer will either check out as a guest or just ignore the loyalty benefits. 

The app will make it easier for users to track and receive the benefits associated with the program. They’ll know exactly how many rewards they’ve earned for the month, year, or given time frame.

15. Encourage and Promote App Reviews

App reviews and ratings can impact ASO, which is something that we previously talked about. But beyond app store optimization, you can highlight the top app reviews on your website and social media platforms. 

Think of it the same way as a product review or testimonial on your Shopify site. Those reviews motivate people to buy. Well, an app review will persuade people to download. 

The only way that this works is if you’re getting app reviews in the first place. Most people won’t go out of their way to write a review unless they had a really good or really poor experience. But 90% of users will fall somewhere in the middle.

So it’s up to you to find ways to encourage Shopify app reviews. Incentives and popups are usually enough to get the job done.


Mobile marketing for ecommerce is crucial to the success of your app. 

Coming up with creative marketing ideas for a Shopify app is the best way to get your name out there and drive downloads. Otherwise, nobody will know that your app even exists. 

I realize that implementing 15 tactics for your new ecommerce mobile app might be a bit overwhelming. But you don’t need to use all of these at once. You can pick and choose which strategies to start with based on the status of your app.

A Shopify app that’s still in development will need a different marketing approach than an ecommerce app that launched two years ago.

Regardless of your situation, make sure you subscribe to the BuildFire blog. We’ll provide all of the tips, tricks, and ecommerce app tools you need to make sure your Shopify app is successful.

How to Increase Agency Profits With a White Label Mobile App Reseller Program

Every agency needs to do two things right in order to survive and thrive. You must sign new clients and then find ways to retain them.

In a nutshell, that’s the foundation for any successful agency. 

Today’s digital landscape has made the demand for creative agencies higher than ever before. Businesses of all shapes and sizes across every industry are seeking professional help from marketing firms, web development agencies, branding companies, web designers, and advertising agencies. The list goes on and on.

The most successful agencies are able to leverage market trends to make more money. 

By offering additional products and services that your current and prospective clients need, it puts your agency in a position to generate high profits.

With mobile trends on the rise, the mobile app industry is booming. Historically, helping clients create apps was reserved for mobile development agencies. You needed to have a background in tech, coding, and app development to enter this space.

But times have changed. Today, any agency can get its share of the mobile industry profits with a white label reseller program. The best part about being a reseller is that you can do it with zero app building experience and without ever needing to write a single line of code. 

Use this guide as a reference to learn more about the benefits of these programs and how your agency can profit by becoming a white-label mobile app reseller.

Attract New Clients

As I said before, the demand for agencies is seemingly at an all-time high. Every business has recognized the importance of establishing a digital presence. Lots of those companies need help from third-parties to reach their goals.

On the plus side, it’s nice knowing that there is a high demand for your services. But this high demand has created an increase in competition as well.

A recent study identified the biggest challenges for agencies in 2020. 

As you can see from the graph, increasing competition ranked first on the list. Adapting to new technology is the second biggest challenge faced by agencies in the coming year. 

By becoming a white label app reseller, you’ll be able to address both of those barriers at the same time.

You need to find ways to stand out from your competition. If you’re offering the exact same services as everyone else in the market, signing new clients is going to be nearly impossible. 

But the more services that you offer, the more appealing you are to prospective clients and new leads. Businesses who want to develop a mobile app won’t even consider your agency if you don’t offer that service.

30% of small business owners are planning to build an app in the future. Your agency can’t afford to ignore one-third of your target market. 

Businesses seeking agencies are always looking for an all-in-one solution. Working with separate firms for web design, marketing, and app development is too complicated. If your agency can meet all of these needs under one roof, new clients will be much more inclined to sign with you.

Reduce Time to Market

You’ve already decided that you want to be part of the mobile app industry. There are lots of different ways to enter this space. But being a white label reseller is the quickest and easiest.

The alternative methods of developing apps for your clients are much more complex. 

Your existing in-house talent probably won’t be able to take on this additional workload. They may not be qualified for it either. In this case, you’d have to find experienced developers and train a completely separate department. 

To build these apps properly on your own, it could potentially pull your focus and efforts away from your core services. This is a long and grueling process, especially if you don’t have any experience with coding and development. 

But with a white-label mobile app reseller program, you can offer app development services immediately without hiring new staff or hurting the quality of your existing services. 

Time is of the essence. Your target audience wants to build an app today. So if you wait six months or a year to offer these services, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Prospects won’t wait around for you. They’ll simply find another agency that can provide what they’re looking for.

Furthermore, a white label reseller program will make it easier for your clients to get their apps to market faster as well. Here’s a look at how long it takes to build an app. 

Several factors affect the mobile app development timeline. But as you can see, the majority of apps can be built in less than six months. 

However, using an app builder instead of coding from scratch will ensure faster development. 

You and your clients won’t even have to worry about publishing the apps. If you use BuildFire’s platform for your reseller program, we’ll handle all of that for you. 

Low Risk, High Reward

Any time you consider entering a new market or expanding your services, the cost is always a factor. You must ask yourself if the price is worth the risk before you spend money on something, especially if you don’t have any experience in a particular industry. 

Fear of failure is a common reason why agencies don’t expand or enter new markets. 

But being a mobile app reseller through a white label program is a cost-effective way to increase profits at little to no risk. You can add this service to your agency even if you’re on a tight budget. 

In most cases, the only cost is the monthly fee for the platform that you’re using. Your clients can easily offset those costs.

You won’t need to worry about hiring developers or expanding your team. You don’t need any new hardware, or have to deal with the costs associated with managing that equipment. 

As a reseller, you don’t need to develop your own tools or system. Everything is already done for you. 

A white label reseller program is by far the most cost-effective way for your agency to build and manage apps for your clients. With little overhead costs, the opportunity for profits in this space is virtually limitless. 

Set Your Own Margins

This piggybacks off of my last point in terms of high profits. With an app reseller program, you have complete control over your own pricing. 

It’s a common misconception that you are bound to certain price restrictions with a program like this. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The reseller programs don’t come with price restrictions. You can market and offer these services on your own terms, based on the value you’re providing to your clients. 

Think of it like any other tangible product. A retailer selling shirts may buy them in bulk for just a couple of dollars each. They can slap their logo on them to resell for hundreds of dollars per shirt.

You’re essentially doing the same thing as a white-label app reseller. Your logo and branding will be on everything. The product is yours to do what you want with. 

The beauty of providing app development solutions as an agency is that you have so many different options for how you’d like to approach your pricing strategy.

One way to set this up is by offering the mobile app service completely separate from your current offerings. So theoretically, a client could build an app with your agency without signing up for your other services. 

You could also offer an all-in-one bundle for app building included with your existing services. This is a great opportunity for you to add value to your total package and charge higher rates.

Whether you’re a web designer or marketing agency, there is a massive opportunity for high profits with both of these pricing strategies. You can even offer a combination of both techniques to give your clients as many options as possible. 

According to a recent study by HubSpot, here are the average agency profit margins. 

As you can see, these figures are all over the board. But the average falls in the 11% to 25% range. While that might be a standard industry benchmark, it’s pretty low if you ask me.

You can aim to be in the 30% to 50% or more range by becoming a white label app reseller. 

There is lots of money to be made in this space if you can price your services accordingly. 

Recurring Revenue Opportunities

Signing new clients is excellent. But agencies make their money by retaining their clients in the long run. The most successful agencies in every industry have a low churn rate and find ways to retain their clients for years.

The best way to do this is by continuing to provide value to your clients. 

Mobile app services are the perfect solution for recurring revenue over time. This goes far and beyond the initial set up fee and launch.

You can continue charging your clients for maintaining the app on a monthly basis. There is also a huge opportunity for other ongoing services like updates, submissions, and maintenance.

When someone builds an app, they don’t just set it and forget it. The process is never complete. You can always make changes to improve the performance of an app.

In fact, roughly 30% of apps are updated at least once per month. 

Furthermore, more than 80% of apps are updated at least every six months. Each time your clients want their app updated is another opportunity for you to make more money.

You won’t always have the same opportunities with other standard agency services. 

For example, let’s say your agency specializes in web design and development. Once you build, set up, and optimize a website, there really isn’t a need for the client to keep paying for your services in the long run. 

Sure, maybe they’ll need help once a year or so with a redesign. But there isn’t always a need for you to actively add value on a monthly basis.

Or maybe you have an advertising firm. Your agency handles all social media ads and PPC campaigns for a client. You might be able to sign them on for six months or a year for your services.

But once you lay the groundwork down, the client could continue running those ads on autopilot once your contract is up. They won’t necessarily need to resign from your agency. 

With white label app development services, you can generate monthly recurring revenue for the lifetime of the app. 

No Coding Required

As a white-label app reseller, you and your clients will be using an app builder for development. The benefit of this system is that anyone can use it, regardless of their technical skill level.

Whether you build the apps or let your clients build them on their own, nobody needs to know how to code. 

The ease of use is what makes this so appealing for everyone. There isn’t much of a learning curve for you, your staff, and your clients. 

As a result, the service is straightforward to pitch. You won’t have to put your clients through a rigorous training program or anything like that. You’re also not restricted from selling only to clients who know how to code.

Make sure you choose a development platform that has all of the tools you need to succeed. Training manuals and how-to guides will be a big help for everyone. You can simply rebrand these materials and pass them along to your clients. 

Furthermore, the best white label platforms also offer premium support. If you choose a platform like BuildFire, you’ll benefit from a dedicated white label support team that can be reached via phone an email. 

Upsell Existing Clients

We already discussed how mobile app development services will make your agency more appealing to prospects. But when you become an app reseller, you won’t necessarily get new clients that same day. 

You’ll still need to promote those new services appropriately so clients can find you. This can take some time before new leads start coming in.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t start profiting from your app development services immediately. 

In addition to attracting new clients, you should also look at your existing customers for revenue opportunities. There’s a good chance that these businesses are interested in building an app as well.

You already have an existing relationship with them. They are familiar with your brand and services. In many cases, these businesses have already benefited from your current offerings.

If you’re able to add even more value to their companies, then they will be excited to hear about a new opportunity. 

Leverage these relationships. You already have an open line of communication and billing information on file. Upselling these clients will be a breeze.

In fact, the chances of selling to an existing customer are up to 14 times higher than selling to a new prospect.

mobile app reseller

Furthermore, existing clients are 50% more likely to try a new product offered by your company. They will also spend 31% more money than a new lead. 

So you don’t have to worry about waiting for new clients to profit as a reseller. Those new leads will come with time. But in the short term, you can start pitching your app services to the businesses you’re already working with.

Based on all of these numbers we just discussed, there is a high probability that they will be eager to try it out. 

Your Own Branding

Branding is another top benefit of your agency becoming a white label app reseller. 

Your brand name, logos, and everything else will be all over the platform and the app, even on the back end. So your clients won’t know where you got the platform from. 

This means that you aren’t given a cookie-cutter solution. You’ll be able to configure the platform so that it fits the needs of your agency and its customers. 

For example, if your agency targets a specific type of business or industry, you can set up the platform so it appeals to those clients. 

You’ll be able to manage all of your clients’ apps and even clone apps to make the process more scalable if you’re building lots of similar apps for different businesses. 

Your clients will be able to log in to make real-time changes as well. When they do this, your agency’s branding will be all over their dashboard. 

In addition to the professionalism associated with this branding, it’s also an opportunity for you to get more business. 

Research shows that 90% of agencies name referrals as the best source for generating leads. 

Clients talk. Prospects will communicate with colleagues who publish apps, wondering how they were able to build it. Depending on the relationship they have, your clients might even show them how they were able to build it using your platform.

As a result, new leads will be exposed to the dashboard with your name all over it. So it’s a great opportunity for you to gain more business. 


Agencies need to adapt to the latest trends. Understand what your clients need and find out how you can offer it to them.

Mobile trends are at an all-time high and aren’t slowing down any time in the near future. 

Your current and prospective clients are looking for mobile solutions. So if they can’t get it from you, then they’ll just find another company to meet their needs. 

By becoming a white label mobile app reseller, you’ll be able to attract new clients while simultaneously retaining and generating more profits from your existing customers. 

This is the fastest way for an agency to enter the mobile market. App reseller services are cost-effective and have the opportunity for massive margins. 

No coding is required from you or from your clients. Plus, the platform will be completely branded with your agency’s name and logos.

Now that you understand the benefits of becoming a white label app reseller, it’s time to find the right platform to use. Here at BuildFire, we have the perfect mobile app reseller program for agencies. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. We have the tools you need to scale your agency to the next level. 

8 Reasons Why Your Agency Should Become a White Label Mobile App Reseller

The mobile app industry is rapidly evolving. You could argue that the popularity and penetration of mobile apps in our daily lives are growing faster than the Internet. As a result, the demand for mobile apps is seemingly at an all-time high.

This is especially true for businesses both large and small. In fact, 42% of small businesses currently have a mobile app. An additional 30% of small business owners plan to build an app in the future. 

Young business owners are early adopters. 55% of Millennial business owners already have an app for their small business, that’s 13% higher than the overall average.

As an agency, you can use this information to your advantage.

You already have clients that you’re managing and consulting with. So why not add some value to your services and make some extra money on top of it?

If your current and prospective clients want a mobile app, they might as well get it from you instead of looking elsewhere. Becoming a white label mobile app reseller is a great opportunity for you to gain a competitive advantage over other agencies while offering all services under one roof. 

We’ll talk about all of this in greater detail as we continue through this guide. 

For those of you who are on the fence about adding white label reseller services to your agency, I’ll explain the top reasons why this is a great idea. 

1. High Demand For Mobile Apps

Businesses want to invest in mobile apps. As I mentioned earlier, more than half of the small business owners who don’t have a mobile app plan to develop one.

They’ve recognized the trends with mobile app usage among their customer base. Launching a mobile app is the only way to deliver an excellent mobile experience to those customers.

But business apps go far and beyond just appeasing customers. There are so many businesses out there that need an app for internal uses as well. Companies can use mobile apps to improve HR inefficiencies or enhance communication with deskless workers. 

The possibilities are endless. So even if a current client of yours already has an app for their customers, they still might be in the market for an internal business solution.

According to Google Trends, the search term for “mobile app development” is at an all-time high.

Mobile App development google trends

As you can see from the graph, the global interest in this topic has been trending upward at a steady pace for the last decade. There has also been a sharp rise in search popularity over the past two years.

Think about that for a second. 

Honestly, I was blown away when I saw this. How long have mobile apps been around for?

The Apple App Store officially launched back in 2008. There were just over 500 apps available at this time. That’s the most modern version of mobile apps as we know them today. 

All of us have been using mobile apps on a daily basis in the smartphone era. But people are still searching for app development on Google, today, more than ever before. 

This means that the demand and need for app development solutions still haven’t reached its full potential. There is no sign of this trend slowing down in the near future, and you’ll see more proof of this as we continue through this guide.

Let’s get back to your clients and their needs. Here’s a look at the top reasons why small businesses are building mobile apps. 

Why small business build mobile apps

Attracting new customers, gaining a competitive advantage, and increasing sales are the top three responses. 

Do these reasons look familiar? What are the selling points at your agency?

I’m willing to bet that you sign new clients based on your promise to help them with these three factors. Essentially, the benefits of mobile apps are synonymous with your agency’s value proposition. 

2. Inexpensive Entry to Market

Like any business venture, the cost is obviously something that needs to be taken into consideration before you make any decisions. You’ll need to weigh the cost of your investment against the potential risks and profits. 

How much will it cost you? What can you expect to get in return?

But unlike other business opportunities, you don’t need to invest huge sums of cash to become a mobile app reseller. The cost structure for a white label app is very friendly for the reseller agency.

In most instances, you’ll pay a monthly fee for the app building services. Then you can upcharge your clients whatever price you see fit to meet your desired margins. 

Once you start onboarding clients there is a huge potential for growth. 

In addition to the inexpensive costs, becoming a white label app reseller can deliver massive ROI for your agency. No matter how you set up your pricing structure, there will be plenty of room for profits. 

For example, you could bundle mobile app development to be a standard feature with your existing agency services. By nature, this will increase the base prices of your packages. Alternatively, you can offer app development plans as an add-on or supplemental feature for your clients. 

Either way, you’re offering a service that your clients have a need for. So it’s a win-win for both of you. 

3. It’s Easy to be a Reseller

Basically, anyone can become a mobile app reseller. 

You don’t need to learn how to code or anything like that. App building platforms, like BuildFire, allow you to build an app from scratch without any experience. 

Already owning an agency gives you even more of an advantage. Your business structure is already set up. So all you have to do is add a service, as opposed to starting a new business from the ground up.

Plus, if you have multiple clients that are in the same space or industry as each other, there’s a good chance that they will need similar apps. So you can basically offer the same app to more than one client, just branded differently for their needs.

Find a reseller program that allows you to clone your existing apps. With just one or two clicks, you can have a brand new app ready to sell to another client without doing any extra work.

You’ll just need to change the logos, color schemes, and branding. You could always make other minor changes based on the client’s requests.

For example, let’s say your agency specializes in marketing consulting for law firms. An app for one law firm probably won’t be very different from another. So you won’t have to change much to sell it to multiple clients.

With less time and resources required to build additional apps, your returns can be massive.

Depending on the reseller program you choose, you can set it up to be completely hands-off instead. Rather than building the apps yourself, you can just focus on selling the clients the software. Then your agency clients can build, edit, and manage their apps through your own branded dashboard. 

You may not charge as much for this type of package, but it’s much less work on your end. The best reseller programs give you the option to do both.

So your agency can build and sell apps, just sell the software or a combination of the two. This will largely depend on the wants, needs, and budget of your clients. 

I’d recommend working with a reseller platform that will be there to help you through each step of the journey. If you’re building apps on your own and run into a problem or get stuck, it’s nice to know that a customer support representative will be there to help you out.

The best reseller programs will also offer extensive guides for how to use their platform.

White label reseller tutorials

Here at BuildFire, we have 33 tutorials just for white label resellers. 

The step-by-step guides cover everything from getting started to user onboarding and sales. We include in-depth videos and screenshots to walk you through the process of using our system. 

So when you’re shopping around for a potential reseller program to choose for your agency, this is definitely a top feature that you should be looking for. 

That way you’re not just left to figure out everything on your own without any help or resources. 

4. You Can Offer Affordable Apps to Your Clients

Becoming an app reseller only makes sense if your agency can actually sell app services to clients. So you’ll need to do some research here.

Take a moment to look at your current and prospective clients. Why don’t they have an app right now?

If you ask them directly, it’s unlikely that their response will be, “I don’t need one.”

Business owners understand the importance of mobile adoption. We talked about this earlier. So there are other reasons holding them back. According to a recent study, these are the biggest perceived barriers for small business mobile apps.  

Perceived barriers

As you can see from this graph, more than one in five small business owners believe that building an app is too expensive for them. 

But reseller programs allow your agency to make mobile app creation affordable for your clients.

All you need to do is charge an initial set up fee based on the complexity of the app, then bill a recurring monthly fee for managing the app and software. 

Aside from the price, look at the other barriers on the graph above that are preventing business owners from creating a mobile app.

Half of the small business owners without an app say they haven’t built one because they don’t know-how. An additional 23% says they don’t have time to build a mobile app. 

As a reseller agency, you can eliminate both of those barriers immediately with your services.

You’re consulting with a client that doesn’t know how to build an app; no problem—you can build it for them. One of your clients doesn’t have time to manage an app? No problem—you’ll manage it for them.  

All of this just means more money in your pocket for the added services. We’ve already discussed how easy it is to build, edit, manage, and maintain an app. So this won’t be an issue for you as a reseller. 

5. The Mobile App Industry is Still Growing

It’s not too late to join the party. There is plenty of room for mobile app resellers in this industry.

Earlier I explained that the demand for mobile apps is currently at an all-time high. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve reached the peak just yet. 

The demand and growth for mobile apps are still on the rise. I don’t see any signs of this slowing down in the foreseeable future.

Just look at the trends for mobile app revenues worldwide. 

mobile app revenue growth

From 2014 to present, mobile app revenue has more than quadrupled. App revenue has more than doubled between 2016 and 2019 as well.

Now, look at the growth projections moving forward. We’re on pace to see app revenue doubling again within the next 4 years.

That’s because apps are penetrating every industry. Smartphone usage is growing worldwide. Ecommerce mobile trends are on the rise. 

Users are spending more and more time each day on their smartphones. The vast majority of that time is spent using apps.

There is an app for virtually anything. This means that the demand for mobile apps will still be here in the coming years. 

As I said earlier, even if one of your clients already has a mobile app, they still might be in the market for another one. A retail store and eCommerce site might have an app for driving mobile sales. But they might also want an internal app for their HR department. 

You can potentially sell more than one mobile app to the same client. 

The opportunities for your agency signing new clients for app development is endless. In addition to signing new clients, you’ll also continue to get recurring revenue from your existing clients for maintaining their mobile app services.

6. You Can Measure Your Success

One of the most challenging parts of entering a new market or starting a new venture is figuring out if your choices are paying off.

Did you make the right decision? Are you making wrong moves? How can you avoid bad decisions moving forward?

With an app reseller program, your mobile app KPIs are obvious and easy to track.

For example, let’s say your building an eCommerce app for one of your small business clients. You can look at metrics like downloads, conversions, and cart abandonment rates.

Did their gross revenue increase after the app launch? 

It’s not a guessing game. You’ll be able to see real numbers if the app is working or not. 

These metrics will be slightly different if you’re building an app for something like internal business communication. You’ll need to get more feedback from your clients and their employees.

This feedback will be directly related to the user experience. Based on what your clients say, you’ll be able to make changes and improve your apps over time.

Your first app won’t be perfect. Your second app won’t be perfect either. But I guarantee that you’ll get better as you continue. You just need to figure out what works and what doesn’t. 

Even for an internal business app, you can track metrics related to how much money the app is saving your clients. Things like less paper, fewer office supplies, and improved productivity will boost their profit margins. 

By measuring your success, it gives you the opportunity to make any adjustments to your pricing structure for your reseller program. 

I’m not saying you should change your rates for an existing client. You wouldn’t want to go against numbers that you already agreed upon. But you can always increase your rates moving forward if it makes sense for new clients. 

7. Easy Branding

A white label reseller program means you’re not actually building a mobile app development system. Leave that to the professionals.

You’re basically just taking a platform that’s already set up and slapping your name on it.

Admin control panel

So when a client logs in to their administrative dashboard, they’ll see your name, logo, and everything else associated with your brand. 

This is super easy to do. The reseller tools provided by the app builder make it possible for you to manage all of this. Basically, you’ll be given templates to make your own. The branding process is as easy as it gets. 

Overall, this will make your agency look very professional from the perspective of your clients. 

Managing all of your customers is simple as well. Both you and your clients will have access to individual customer control panels. This is where the app building process takes place. 

8. Adds Value to Services

White label reselling means that your services become more valuable. You instantly become more appealing to prospective clients.

As an agency, you know how challenging it can be to sign a new client.

There are lots of agencies out there offering similar services. It’s tough to stand out in a highly competitive space if you’re just doing the same thing as everyone else. 

But being a mobile app reseller can become your differentiation strategy. 

Not everyone out there is doing this. So if a prospective client is deciding between your agency and a few other options, you’ll definitely stand out among the competition for this unique value that you’re offering. 

Ultimately, this makes the lives of your clients much easier too.

They don’t want to take the time to research and meet with an app developer. They already spent enough time trying to find an agency to help with other needs. Your agency can essentially become a one-stop-shop for everything a client needs. 

Continue handling your existing services, whatever that may be. Some of you might specialize in website management, conversion rate optimization, web design, marketing, SEO, or a combination of these things.

Now you can add mobile app development to this list of services.

This will widen your reach, and help you focus on specific audiences who can afford your services. If a client is willing and able to pay for a mobile app, it’s usually safe to say they have room in their budget for other agency services as well. 

At the end of the day, you’ll be able to charge more for your services, make higher profit margins, and keep your clients happy at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone. 


The mobile app industry is booming. 

We’re living in a time where all mobile trends are at an all-time high. There is no sign of these slowing down in the near future. 

As a result, the demand for mobile apps is higher than ever before.

Businesses need mobile apps. Your agency is in an opportunistic position to provide your current and prospective customers with mobile solutions.

The best way to do this is by becoming a white-label mobile app reseller. 

For those of you who want to take advantage of this opportunity, you need to find an app builder that offers white-label platforms for resellers. Here at BuildFire, we have the mobile app reseller program that you’ve been looking for. 

Our services are agency friendly. We’ll give you the power to scale as you grow.

Your clients can even sign up to build an app through an automated free trial and sales process, which gives them a chance to try the platform out without having to spend any money.

When the apps are built, you don’t have to worry about getting them into the app stores. BuildFire takes care of publishing for you and your clients. 

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile App? (You’ll be surprised!)

LAST UPDATED: December 4, 2017

The mobile revolution has ushered in an exciting era for business.

Websites and social media platforms are no longer the only way to build brand equity and generate sales.

Building custom mobile apps is now the new money move for businesses.

And it’s no surprise.

In 2017, there have been 197 BILLION app downloads. That number will explode by a factor of three in a couple of years.

Exciting stuff? You bet.

Chances are, you may still be relying on your website to fulfill your business goals.

Perhaps the seemingly hefty time and money investment of an app have kept you back.

The truth is, you can easily catch up. A mobile app can be built without too much hassle these days.

This brings us to the critical question:

Just how much money will a custom app set you back?

I’ll tell you right off the bat. There’s no magic formula to determine the cost of building an app.

Platform matters. Complexity matters. Talent matters.

And so do a dozen other factors.

In this article, I’ll get into all the variables that will affect the cost and some exact figures. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.

But first…

Continue reading “How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile App? (You’ll be surprised!)”

Mobile App Development Timeline: A Realistic Perspective

Time is money.

The longer an app takes to build, the more it will cost.

If you’ve started pricing out different options for development, you’re probably starting to realize that this process isn’t cheap.

There’s no one size fits all answer for an app development timeline.

Every app is unique, and there are lots of different factors that will impact how long it takes.

We’ll go into more detail about those elements shortly.

For the most part, it will take roughly six months to develop an app.

If you’re lucky, and I mean very lucky, it could be done in about four months.

I’ve seen it done.

But I’ve also seen apps take 12 or even 18 months to build.

It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

You’ve got to weigh your options.

On the one hand, you want the app to get built fast. That will keep costs down and get your app to market faster so you can ultimately start making money.

After all, that’s the whole point of this, right?

But if you rush through the development process, it could end up costing you more money in the long run.

You don’t want to cut corners.

However, being too much of a perfectionist can stretch the development stages too long, which can bleed your pockets dry.

That’s definitely not something you want either.

So it’s important to find a middle ground between those two ends of the spectrum.

A word of warning – while you’re mileage may vary, there are always ways that you can gauge how long it will take to build your app before it launches.

I’ll go over the factors that impact your development timeline.

As an industry expert who has lots of experience building apps, I’ve narrowed down the most important elements that you need to consider to plan a realistic timetable.

After you read through this guide, you’ll have a much better idea of how long it will take to build your app.

Continue reading “Mobile App Development Timeline: A Realistic Perspective”

How do Free Apps Make Money?

Once the app development process is completed, you’ve got to make a crucial decision before you make it available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Are you going to charge users to download it? Or will you make a free app?

One of the reasons why so many people decide to charge for downloads is because they don’t know any other way to generate money for the app.

After spending so much money on development, they think the only way to get a return on the large investment is by charging a fee per download.

This is a common misconception.

Free apps can generate real money.

That’s right.

You’ve just got to make sure you take a smart approach to this strategy.

There are lots of big players out there who are making lots of money. You can achieve this similar success as well if you follow a few very important monetization strategies.

  • Understand the users
  • Understand the competition
  • In-app purchases and advertisements
  • The art of subtlety

So if you’re up in the air about whether or not offer your app for free, I’d say that free is definitely your best option.

All you need to do is follow these tips, which I’ll outline in greater detail as we continue.

The majority of apps that get downloaded are free.

majority free

What does this information tell you?

Mobile users are not used to paying for their apps.

So it’s unlikely they’ll make an exception for yours.

I’m sure there’s something similar that’s available on the market, so they could just get it for free somewhere else.

So your best choice is to offer or it without charging anything. Then try to get as many free app downloads as possible and look to other options for revenue streams.

As an industry expert who has been through this before, I can tell you from personal experience that it works.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how free apps make money and how to have success with a free app.

Continue reading “How do Free Apps Make Money?”

IOS vs Android: Which Should You Build Your Mobile App on First

Now that you have finally decided it’s time to build a mobile app, there are some decisions that need to be made.

One of those decisions is choosing which operating system you’re going to launch on.

You have to decide between the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

It’s not an easy choice.


Well, for starters, Android and iOS app users behave differently.

So if you launch on the wrong platform, you could be neglecting your primary target audience.

If only there were a solution that didn’t force you to choose.

Spoiler alert – there is.

But we’ll get to that later.

For now, we’ll operate under the assumption that you’re building a native app.

In this case, you’ll have to pick between Apple and Android. But iOS and Android app development are very different.

Here’s why.

The code for native apps doesn’t work on both platforms.

If you want to have an app that’s available in both stores, you’ll need to develop two different ones from scratch in order to meet the requirements for each operations system.

It’s a long and expensive process.

Trust me, I know from experience.

But with experience also comes knowledge.

I’m here to share expertise with you so that you can make an informed decision before you dive head first into the wrong operating system.

I’ll even show you a way that allows you to launch on both platforms simultaneously.

Here’s what you need to know.

First, I’ll break down all of the factors that you need to consider before you finalize a decision between iOS and Android apps.

Feature sets

The features are related to the basic functions of your app.

What exactly is the purpose of your app?

The answer to this question will depend on the code that gets written for development.

Apple – iOS App Development

Apple is restricted to a closed ecosystem.

A closed ecosystem means that Apple regulates entrance to use their platform.

All of the content is restricted to specific iOS devices that are supported by that ecosystem.

This means that iOS developers must use Apple’s features, and there are a lot of them.

The advantage to developing your app on a closed ecosystem like Apple’s means that there’s more control and stability.

But with that said, there will be more restrictions for the developer.

From the user perspective, purchasing a device that operates on a closed ecosystem means that it will have a higher price point.

So in general, Apple devices are more expensive than Android devices.

This gives you some more insight about the user, but we’ll get into that in greater detail shortly.

Android App Development

Android operates on an open source ecosystem. This makes it easier for Android developers to build an Android app.

This allows for tons of modifications as well as lots of functionality.

Open source platforms are less secure.

So sometimes updates get blocked by mobile network operators.

Android has an open platform to encourage developer innovation.

You can get Android’s source code for free and port it to your app’s hardware.

This means you won’t have to jump through as many hoops to develop your app on the Android system because there are less restrictions.

How to make money

The purpose of every mobile application is to make money, right?

If that’s not your primary goal, you’ll probably need to reevaluate your decision to build an app in the first place.

So how do you plan to make money?

Here are a few of the most common business models.

  • Subscriptions
  • In-app purchases
  • Advertisements
  • Pay per download

Depending on which strategy (or strategies) you decide to implement can impact your decision for developing on Apple or Android.


If you’re going to charge users to download your app, you should develop on Apple first.

Take a look at the distribution of free vs. paid apps between Apple and Android.

As you can see from the graph, there is a clear difference between the two platforms.

So if you’re going to charge for downloads, the Apple App Store is the place to do it.

That’s because those users are used to seeing more paid apps and less free apps when they’re searching for something to download.

Whereas Android users don’t see as many apps that require payment to download.

So if they see yours, they’ll probably consider just finding another one that has similar functions and is offered for free.

Just know that if you’re going to charge Apple users to download your app, it’s going to be an expensive strategy.

You’ll have a much higher customer acquisition cost than if you offered it for free.

But with that in mind, you’ll also make more money all at once.

Your users will be more engaged as well.

If they’re willing to pay for it, that means they probably won’t abandon it.


If you’re going to make money off of advertisements and in-app purchases, then you should build on Android first.

Just don’t expect your in-app purchases to be too significant.

You’re going to get less money per purchase, but that’s spread over way more people.

Android users dominate the market share.

I’ll show you some more specific numbers when we talk about the different types of people using your app in a little bit.

The advantage of releasing your app for free on the Android platform is that you’ll be able to get more downloads.

But your users may not be as engaged since they’re not investing anything into the download.

So the key to this strategy is coming up with a way to get money from people who use the app the most.

Charge for app upgrades and premium services to enhance their experience.

Release cycles

Here’s something that developers don’t always think about right away when they’re trying to figure out which platform is better for their business.

You’ve got to consider which software version your users are using within their respective platforms.

Obviously, your app needs to be written in code that’s compatible for with the most up to date software versions.

But there’s a major difference between Apple and Android devices here.


The majority of Apple users are running their device on the most current version.

In fact, 95% of Apple users have one of the two latest operating systems installed on their devices.

This makes programming and development easier because you can estimate what your app is going to be able to do.

You’ll just need to be prepared to come up with more updates to optimize the user experience based on the software they’re using.

But for the most part, you won’t need to worry about software from a few years ago.


Android users are not all up to date on the most current operating platform.

Since these users are all over the place, you might have to develop for older versions that are out of date

Oreo and Nougat are the two most recent versions of the Android software.

Less than 20% of users are operating on these systems.

This makes your development process more complicated since you have to accommodate such a wide range of versions.

Tablet usages

When people think about building mobile applications, they immediately think of cell phones.

But you’ve got to take tablets into consideration as well.

Look at how tablet ownership has been trending.

Over a stretch of five years in the United States, we saw a 42% increase in tablets owned.

That number is continuing to rise.

So you need to keep tablets in mind when you’re developing your app.


Most people like to use iPads because they are user friendly.

These tablets are sleek and easy to use.

They are a popular choice for young children as well as older generations.

The users who use Apple tablets will watch movies, play games, or spend time doing other fun activities.


On the other hand, people who own Android tablets are more technical.

They may be using these devices to work on a project or own one because they use it for their job.

Overall, Apple tablets seem to dominate Android.

You may even see some people who have an Android phone but use an iPad tablet.

But iPhone users are much more loyal to Apple’s tablets and other devices.

You’re way less likely to see an iPhone user with an Android tablet than an Android smartphone user with an iPad.

Enterprise adoption

Remember when Blackberry used to dominate the workplace market?

It seemed like everyone wearing a suit and holding a briefcase had a Blackberry in their hand as well.

But those days are over.


Apple devices are known to be more secure.

We discussed this earlier when we talked about their closed ecosystem.

That’s why you’ll see major corporations like IBM partnering with Apple for their corporate devices.

But with increased security comes fewer features.


Since Android is open source, it’s less secure.

But with that said, there are way more devices and even more features.

Apple users have to get an iPhone or iPad to access your mobile app.

While there may be different versions of those devices, you can’t compare that to the number of devices that operate on the Android platform.

That’s probably another reason why Android dominates the global market share.

Why there are two platforms

To avoid any confusion, let’s start with the basics.

Apple devices run on iOS software and Google devices run on Android’s operating system.

On a global scale, Android dominates the market share.

But in the United States, it’s closer to an even split.

Apple users access the mobile store through their iPhones and iPads.

While Android users have more options with phones like the Google Pixel, HTC, Samsung Galaxy, as well as more phones and various tablets.

The variety of devices may explain why Android has more users across the world.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your development and launch strategy.

It all comes down to the primary function of your app and your company’s target market.

Mobile apps are a business.

This statement holds true whether you’re building a new app from scratch or launching one to improve your existing company.

But running a business, or in this case, a mobile app, means you’ve got to have a marketing strategy.

It’s much easier for those of you who already have a business with an existing customer base.

Look to those customers to tell you which operating system they prefer.

If you’ve never built an app before I know what you may be thinking.

Why can’t I just develop both?

Well, in theory, you can. But it’s going to cost you a lot of money.

If you’ve got a minimum of a few hundred thousand dollars to spare and up to a year of time to invest, you can probably build two native apps at the same time.

But for everyone else out there you’ll have to choose between Apple, Android, or the third (and probably most reasonable) option.

When to develop for Apple first

You’ve got to find some common connections between your customers and the behavior of Apple users.

So do some research.

For example, men spend more money on Apple products than women.

The graph shows that there is a significant difference between the two genders in this category.

Does that mean you should develop your app for Apple first if your company’s primary target market is men?

Not necessarily.

I included this graphic for a reason because it’s a perfect example of misleading information.

While the research may be interesting, it doesn’t necessarily translate to your marketing strategy.

I do lots of consulting with companies and see this mistake all the time.

Someone on their marketing team comes across something like this and starts making assumptions.

Don’t jump to conclusions.

This research just says that men spend more on Apple products. It doesn’t say that more men have Apple devices than women.

In reality, it’s the opposite.

There’s a greater chance of a woman having an iPhone than a man.

But 5% isn’t enough of a significant difference to develop your marketing strategy around.

Plus, this doesn’t account for tablets.

You need to dig deeper.

What about annual income?

On average, users who have an Apple device make 40% more each year than Android users.

So if you’ve got a company that targets a wealthier demographic, the iOS platform may be a better place for you to start.

In addition to their economic status, Apple users also:

  • Have more engagement
  • Spend more money per app
  • Have higher educational degrees

These are some valuable pieces of information that you can use to your advantage when making this decision.

Here’s something else to consider.

95% of Apple mobile users are running their devices on iOS 10 or iOS 11, which are the two latest software versions.

You want to make sure that your app is running smoothly and fully optimized at all times.

So iOS development isn’t a bad idea for your company if you have the ability to make constant updates for your app in order to keep up with Apple’s latest software requirements.

When else is the best to develop your app for Apple first?

If you have lots of time and money.

Despite everything else we’ve just covered about iOS users and how their behavior is related to your company, that’s the reality of the situation.

Developing an app for Apple is expensive.

It’s also going to take a really long time complete the process.

Once it’s built and your app finally launches, it will continue to cost you lots of money.

Regular maintenance isn’t cheap either.

Plus you’ll need to pay for third party subscriptions, server space, and other hidden expenses associated with development and maintenance.

Large corporations can afford this, but these costs aren’t reasonable for the average person.

When to develop for Android first

As we just discussed, there are definitely some circumstances where it makes sense to develop on the iOS platform first.

Well, the same holds true for Android.

While statistically speaking, Apple users may have more money and higher education, Android users just completely dominate global web traffic from mobile devices.

So the chances are higher that you can find your target market somewhere within this group.

But saying that you can’t go wrong by developing on Android first would be an overstatement.

As I said earlier, the split between Android and Apple is closer to 50/50 in the United States.

So if you have an American business and you’re building an app to enhance the customer experience, Android won’t always be the clear winner.

But here’s a scenario when it will be.

Do you plan on using push notifications to keep users engaged?

It’s a great strategy to drive sales and increase ROI.

3.48% of Android users open push notifications, while only 1.77% of push notifications get opened on Apple devices.

Android users are also more likely to opt-in to receive additional notifications.

So if this is part of your marketing strategy when it comes to targeting users after they’ve already downloaded the app, I’d lean towards starting with Android.

Here’s something else to consider when it comes to your marketing strategy.

Before you can entice users with push notifications, you’ll need to get them to download your app in the first place.

What’s your budget for cost per install (CPI)?

Well, the average CPI for Android is nearly half the cost of iOS apps.

So not only will you have a larger audience to reach, but it’s cheaper to get those people to download your app as well.

But those downloads won’t necessarily translate to money, depending on your business.

Android users are less likely to make an in-app purchase than Apple users.

So that’s not good news for ecommerce apps or for those of you who plan to offer paid apps.

However, if you have a great strategy set in place for mobile ads, developing on Android first could benefit you.

That’s the leading source of revenue for the Android platform.

Due to the points that we just talked about, it’s more expensive for you to develop a long term customer relationship on Android.

But even though that cost is higher, you have a better chance of getting more long term customers, simply because there are so much more Android users out there.

Remember earlier when we talked about how Apple users stay up to date on their operating software?

Well, here’s how Google stacks up.

Less than 20% of Android devices are running on Nougat and Oreo, which are the two latest operating systems that were released.

You will obviously still need to make changes and improvements to your app after it launches.

But you won’t need to do this in order to keep up with new regulations based on the most recent Android operating system.

You’ll just need to make sure that your app is compatible with older versions of the Android software as well.

It’s also easier for your app to get approved on the Google Play Store.

Basically, it’s a quick process that just makes sure you’re not violating any of the policies.

The approval process is automated and mainly focuses on violations such as spyware, malware, copyright infringement, and sexual content.

It’s a much more lenient approval compared to the iOS App Store.

Similar to Apple, if you’re going to develop on Android first, you need lots of time and money.

Actually, you’ll need even more money.

The Android development process costs 30% more than Apple.

It takes a long time too.

So if you’re in a financial position where you can afford to tie up the majority of your funds in development for the next year, go ahead.

But this isn’t realistic for all startups and small businesses.

There’s a third way: hybrid app

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of having to choose between Apple or Android development, building a hybrid app is the solution.

Hybrid development allows you to develop on both operating systems at the same time.

They get built using HTML5 and JavaScript on the web.

One of the best parts of a hybrid app is that it doesn’t require any complicated coding skills.

Anyone can do it.

Since you can build these without code, it’s not necessary to hire an app developer.

This cuts down on costs tremendously.

It also significantly speeds up the process.

You won’t need to wait a year to launch your app like you would through native development.

It’s all about finding the right platform to customize your hybrid app on the web.

I know that I’m a little biased, but I highly recommend BuildFire’s system.

Look at how affordable the pricing options are.

Now compare these numbers to the quotes you got from various app developer agencies.

There’s really no comparison.

What you pay for a month using BuildFire would barely cover an hour of work from a developer.

Cross platform apps are ideal for people who don’t want to choose between iOS and Android.

You can launch your app on both operating systems simultaneously without having to build two separate apps.

It’s also the best option for people who can’t reasonably afford native development costs and want their app available for users to download as fast as possible.

Final Thoughts on Android and iOS Development

So, which is the best operating system to build on first?

It depends.

There are certain scenarios that favor Apple, like if you’re targeting an American audience with higher education and a substantial annual income.

But there are circumstances where Android development makes more sense too.

Like if your target market is global and you’re planning to drive sales through ads instead of in-app purchases.

Both of these platforms have one thing in common. Mobile app development isn’t always easy.

It’s going to take a long time to develop your app, and it’s going to cost a ton of money.

Not everyone has unlimited time and funds.

That’s why hybrid apps are the solution.

Services like BuildFire can help you build your app without worrying about the operating system.

It’s less expensive, faster to build, and easier to maintain.

This will help you focus on the user experience and get more customers on both the iOS and Android platforms.

Will you develop on Apple, Android, or decide to build both simultaneously with hybrid development?

iPhone Users vs. Android Users: How Do They Behave Differently?

Smartphones are becoming small extensions of us and send messages about who we are to those around us.

Our phones are now an integral part of our lives and we’re more mobile than ever. One of the most recent US Mobile App Reports from comScore indicates that:

  • We now spend 50% of our digital media time in smartphone apps
  • Time spent in mobile apps absolutely dominates over mobile web
  • We most often only access 20 or fewer apps in a month, but we position them on our screens in a way that makes them easily accessible

And what’s even more interesting is the fact that our choice of smartphone and mobile platform can speak volumes about our behavior, habits, and even personality.

This post will help you understand the different context your app may face between iOS and Android users. It will also show you why you may want to measure your app’s success differently because of this.

Let’s go!

But first, the basics on smartphone users and the mobile OS market share

Let’s begin by covering some basics on the mobile operating systems market. Android devices and Apple devices combined make up over 97% of the mobile OS global market share. And as of August 2017, Android smartphones take up almost exactly two thirds (64%) of those! 

Because of its broad price range and a lower entry-level price point, Android has the largest global share in lower income areas and developing nations. It holds an advantage over Apple in emerging markets such as Asia and Africa.

Apple, however, dominates the profit share despite Google’s global dominance of market share because the average iOS user is more active that the average Android user.

They offer different capabilities

While these two operating systems dominate the percentage of smartphones sold across the globe, there are several key differences between Android and iOS that affect user experience at its foundation and the choices we make when we engage with either of them.

Apple is incredibly strict when it comes to app submissions, push notifications, rules and timelines, and they push operating system updates to users to ensure consistent experience for them.

On another hand, Android apps and app listings can be updated without a human review. They are also fragmented across various phone manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola, which gives a customizable experience to the end user.

Now, both of these scenarios come with benefits and disadvantages, and if you ask the users of either iOS or Android, they will tell you it’s exactly what they want. Apple users are usually loyal to the consistent experience across all their devices and any updates that come along, while Android users vouch for the freedom and customizability their devices provide.

This just goes to show that, while all smartphones are similar in their core purpose, each user sees their own smartphone in a unique way.

Android vs. iOS Users: Differences in core demographics

As mentioned earlier, Android currently has the largest global platform share compared to the iOS market share, with a particular prominence in lower income areas and developing nations. Comparatively, iOS users typically have higher income, higher education levels, more engagement, and spend more per app. Of course, that doesn’t mean that those who have those same characteristics won’t own an Android device and will only use iOS devices. Instead, this data is simply indicative of the general Android population.

Men are slightly more likely to be iOS users than women. Android seems to be the most common platform among all age groups, but its edge over iOS was a bit smaller in the 65+ age bracket.

While the age and gender differences of users between platforms probably aren’t significant enough to influence a platform decision for an app, income and location definitely shouldn’t be neglected. As you’ll see below, this can impact actions like in-app purchases and paid subscriptions, which plays a huge role for a business model that relies on such behavior!

Does personality play a role?

Believe it or not, we apparently choose our smartphones based on how introverted or extroverted we are! According to a study, Android users are less extroverted than iPhone users, and they are perceived to have greater levels of honesty and humility.

Android users are also more likely to prefer saving their money and to say they tend to follow, while their iOS counterparts prefer spending their money and they’re more likely to say they tend to lead.

However, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the personality differences when it comes to the platform choice for an app; every user is unique in a much more granular way than a study can show. As long as you focus on your app’s goal and your user’s intent, you’re good to go!

The approach to technology

According to a poll conducted by Hunch.com, iOS users are more likely to be early adopters and to have first used the internet before 1992. They also seem to be loyal to Apple, as they are more than 100% more likely to own a Mac computer compared to Android users.

On the other side of the spectrum, Android users seem to be late adopters and they are less likely to backup their computer. They prefer a full-featured device at the expense of its appearance, and they are more likely to use Yahoo Mail as opposed to owning an email domain associated with work or their website.

Push notifications behavior

It’s fascinating to see that even actions like reacting to push notifications vary so much between Android and iOS users. This will help you benchmark your open rates better based on the device your user is on!

About 3.5% of Android users open push notifications, while just under 1.8% iOS users open them. One of the reasons for this discrepancy may be the fact that push notifications on Android stay visible on the lock screen until the user actions on them. On an iPhone, they disappear after the first screen unlock.

There’s a chance that this exact difference in features causes iOS users to open push notifications quicker. It only takes an average of 7 minutes for an iOS user to respond to a push notification, compared to 48 minutes for Android user. This may indicate a higher quality of interaction when it comes to Apple users.

Acquisition, in-app engagement and retention

Liftoff released an interesting set of data that covers the cost necessary to acquire a mobile user who subscribes to a paid service, as well as the post-install engagement activity.

This data is segmented based on whether the app main goal was registration, reservation, purchase, in-app purchase, or a subscription. Here’s how the cost per acquisition varies between iOS and Android:

iOS vs Android behavior

(source: Liftoff 2016 Mobile Index)

When it comes to user engagement after installing the app, iOS outperforms Android in all the mentioned categories, except for the registrations, where Android has a narrow advantage:

iOS vs Android behavior in app

(source: Liftoff 2016 Mobile Index)

On average, iPhone users engage with their smartphone apps for nine more hours in a given month than Android users.

iPhone owners are sometimes described as smartphone “power users” and tend to engage with more content on average. On another hand, the Android platform has a greater number of media users in each category.

This means you may want to consider whether audience size or engagement is the more important determinant of success for your app. Which one means more to you: a higher number of users, or the users that engage more? A lot will depend on the goal you set for your mobile app.

Consumer spend and mCommerce

As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a gap between the purchase power of an average iPhone user compared to an Android user.

The median iPhone app user earns $85,000 per year, which is 40% more than the median Android phone user with an annual income of $61,000. And even though Android has far more downloads than iOS, iPhone users spend twice as much as their Android counterparts. Also, in Q1 of 2017, iOS spending jumped 45% year-on-year, while Android’s grew 40%.

The average in-app shopping check is four times higher for an iOS user! If you’d want to develop a mobile shopping app, iOS development would make all the sense. However, Android users love digital utility apps like launchers, anti-virus apps and performance boosters, and they are ready to pay for those and spend on them 5 times more than iOS users.

iPhone owners are also more likely to make purchases on their phones on a regular basis. These are important considerations for both retail app developers and those seeking to monetize via paid apps or in-app purchase. Mobile ads are the main source of revenue generation in Android apps.

Loyalty to a specific platform

When compared to the Google Android user base, iOS users are more loyal and have more spending power. As I touched on briefly earlier, Android users love the openness of the platform and they like to customize their device, while iOS users like to keep their devices straightforward and spend more time on trying out various apps.

It seems that iPhone owners tend to think very highly of their devices, and are likely to remain iPhone users over time as a result of that. And while the percentage of highly satisfied Android owners is fairly high – 48% – it is quite below the 62% of iPhone owners that feel the same about their smartphone.

When to choose which one

With the growth of both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, the ideal development path you can take is hybrid development for both platforms. The majority of apps can work perfectly across both, and it’s easier to build that way upfront, instead of building for one app store and adding the other one over time.

If you’re set on choosing one platform over the other, however, keep the following in mind:

  • Developing for Android makes sense if your target audience is significantly focused on Android, as well as when you’re focusing on customizing Android user experience and adding to the personalization power that Android has
  • iOS first makes sense when your goals align with the consumer spend, high in-app engagement and loyalty that makes iPhone users valuable; Apple has also reduced approval times and the time to market is working to your benefit

Hopefully, this data gave you some insight into your current and/or future app audience. With some significant differences that we covered, you can now look at your engagement rates, in-app behavior and your success measurement with more insight into what lies behind your user’s actions.

Which differences do you find the most relevant to your current or future app development? Let us know!