Is there a mobile app I can give my customers to access my Pressero storefronts?
No, mobile apps have a number of disadvantages compared to using a mobile web browser. Using their phone's web browser, Pressero storefronts already work on a phone and tablets with the full functionality they would get on a desktop computer. And everyone has that app already installed on their phone.
A special app sounds like a great idea until you start looking at cost, limited functionality, limited user use, and then on-going costs for every new phone OS version across several platforms.
With Pressero, the message is, "No App download and installation needed! Use your phone's web browser. Easily order your print from us on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop."
I want to invest in having an app made, what do I need?
If you want to pursue a mobile app, the Aleyant API for XML Web Services is what would be used for a mobile app. There are many mobile app software development firms available today. Evaluate them as you would any other service. If you find one that's great, please let us know.
There are some considerations to keep in mind:
- First, you'll want the mobile app to be specific to your storefront, not to Aleyant or Pressero.
- There are four major platforms for apps: iOS (Apple), Android, Windows, and BlackBerry. Others may arise in the future. Ideally, you'll want a version of your app for each platform.
- Each of the four platforms above has many versions. Which do you want to support? You want to have your app work with at least the current version, and probably the two or so previous versions.
- As new versions of iOS, Android, etc. are released, you'll need to make sure your app keeps pace. Be prepared to update the various versions of your app as needed.
- Capability. What do you want your app to do? Many apps are very specialized, and narrowly focused, often doing one thing very well, and nothing else. Your mobile app developer will need clear guidelines from you on what you need and what you can live without. For example, you'll notice that the Amazon app does not work the same way as it does in a browser. Instead, it's a more stripped down version without some of the features the "full" browser version contains. You will likely need to make similar hard choices. The more concise and specific you are, the more likely your app developer will be able to deliver what you want.
Mobile App Disadvantages:
- The lack of user experience parity across different OS's (iOS vs android vs Windows Mobile)
- The ongoing maintenance costs of those apps (in maintaining each environment's frameworks, Swift vs Kotlin, then security, then supporting them),
- A special app is actually much less capable than using the phone's web browser, and a lot more problematic as a result.
- You will need to drive adoption of the app. Forcing them to download and install an app to do business with you would be more a roadblock than a road to more sales.
- The payoff after download and install is more limited capability than their phone's browser experience.