November 2020 Product Newsletter

Topic of the Month: Ecommerce & Shopify Integration

The ecommerce industry is booming. Online shopping has been trending upward for years, but the pandemic has caused these trend lines to spike exponentially. For example, the number of Shopify merchants have tripled since the COVID-19 outbreak. 

If you’ve recently launched a new ecommerce site to generate sales, you’re just barely scratching the surface with the opportunity in this space. To take your ecommerce business to the next level, you need an ecommerce mobile app.

BuildFire seamlessly integrates with Shopify. So driving mobile sales with our platform is a breeze for anyone.

Don’t think you need an app for your online store? Think again. Check out this data-driven article that explains why every ecommerce site MUST HAVE a mobile app.

COVID-19 has forced businesses to adapt or die. Launching an ecommerce site is a step in the right direction, but an app will take you to new heights. 

November App Spotlight: Courses and Educational Apps

Our team has seen a huge demand for educational apps over the last month. Again, this is directly tied to the pandemic. 

So many classes across all education levels have gone virtual. Some specific verticals that we’ve seen utilizing mobile apps for online learning include:

  • Cosmetology Courses
  • Work Seminars and Webinars
  • Life Coaching
  • Cooking Classes

Businesses and educational institutions need a way to get learning materials into the hands of users. This can be anything from video lessons to Zoom meetings. 

In addition to the simple way of displaying and organizing educational content, BuildFire also makes it easy to monetize courses with in-app purchases or subscriptions. You can set up a paywall, so users are required to purchase your learning materials.

We recommend the following plugins for educational apps:

  • Video Note Taker
  • Drip Content (for new courses every day or week)
  • User Created Checklists
  • Free Text Questionnaire
  • YouTube and Vimeo

Lots of businesses already have a database of users. You can seamlessly grant access to your current database by using our Zapier integration or SSO to translate purchases. 

Product Updates and Enhancements

Our developers and engineers have had a busy month. With the new iOS 14 release, we had to perform all of the compatibility checks for the platform, apps, and plugins. We also addressed some minor bug fixes and made enhancements to the following 14 marketplace plugins:

  • Free Text Questionnaire
  • Review and Approve
  • Loyalty 
  • Coupon and Deals
  • Folder 1.0
  • Media Center Manual
  • Image Carousel
  • Journal 
  • Home Page Grid Layout
  • Media Center RSS
  • Outline Action Item Folder
  • Dynamic List
  • People 
  • Questionnaire

Another noteworthy enhancement was made to the Image Previewer. Some users reported that they were unable to zoom on PWAs with this feature. We made a quick fix, so now you can zoom without any problems. 

Two new premium templates were released last month. We also have four brand new features that are currently in the works (so keep an eye out for next month’s newsletter for details).

Bluetooth and iBeacon Integration

We’re excited to announce the addition of Bluetooth and iBeacon to the BuildFire SDK. 

This really opens up the capabilities for IoT and smart devices. These integrations will allow us to create apps that interact with hardware and firmware in real life (use apps to control things in the physical world). 

There are tons of potential use cases here. Some examples include fitness, people tracking, device control, and so much more. 

I’m sure we’ll be keeping you updated with more on this subject as we start building more apps that leverage these integrations. So stay tuned to upcoming newsletters. 

Places 2.0 Enhancements

Places 2.0 got some seriously cool upgrades. Here’s a quick run down of everything we’ve done : 

  • Create a private chat directly with an individual business or location 
  • Add CSV Merge
  • Added import CSV loading bar
  • Added import CSV error log
  • Add Language Tab for configurability of buttons and wording  
  • Allow admin to turn on/ of “Get Directions” and “Contact Us” button

Search Bar for the Control Panel to help navigate to your plugins faster 

We have introduced a search bar for the Control Panel! You can search directly for your plugins by name, search by all the instances of a new plugin type, and even add new plugins directly from the search bar without having to navigate to the Marketplace.

It will even remember the last three plugins that you were working on for quicker navigation!

BuildFire Plus

BuildFire Plus is our newest service offering. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, and I’m super excited about its value to our clients.

This is perfect for anyone that is looking for a strategic partner in an app development project.

The service includes white-glove services that go above and beyond basic consultancy and development. Some of the noteworthy highlights of this service include:

  • Competitive analysis
  • Wireframes, design, and prototyping
  • App strategy sessions
  • User engagement reports
  • App store performance reports
  • Content updates

Here at BuildFire, we strive to be more than just a development platform. We consider ourselves a partner in your success. Click here to learn more about BuildFire Plus.

BuildFire webinars and new weekly trainings and refreshers

We are excited to announce that we have launched weekly Q&A training workshops! Monday through Wednesday we’ll have in-depth trainings on the Control Panel, what features you get with your subscription, publishing. 

We also have dedicated trainings and refreshers each week for our White Label partners.

Find the schedule and register here  

Check out the replays of our most recent webinars:

Check out all of our past webinars →  

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FAQs of the Month

Any time our customer success team gets lots of similar questions, we want to provide resources with solutions. 

The past month we fielded a significant amount of inquiries related to in-app purchases. So I want to quickly highlight our top support resources related to those questions:

These self-help guides will walk you through everything you need to know about in-app purchases. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you still have questions or need assistance (about in-app purchases or any topic).