As the name suggests, custom Shopify apps are exclusively built for your Shopify Store. In order to develop a custom app, Store Owners often contact a third-party developer, who will then build an app as requested.
So how is it different from private apps? Private apps are also only available to your store, but only work in your stores. Custom apps on the other hand can be moved to the Shopify App Store as a public app if the client chooses to do so.
In simple terms, custom apps are built for you, private apps are built for you and you only.
(for more information, please visit this article about the 04 types of Shopify apps)
Benefits of custom Shopify apps
Now that we’ve identified the differences between custom apps and the rest, it’s time to dive into its benefits and if you – a Shopify Store Owner, might need it.
Solve specific problems
As we’ve mentioned before, custom apps are built to address your own specific needs. Even though there are a wide and diverse range of public apps on the Shopify App Store, there are definitely issues that are only specific to your business. When such an issue arises, you will have 03 options.
This approach, even though imperfect, might just be the easiest one to pull. Public apps are made for the masses, so oftentimes their features will still address the majority of what everyone needs. If those specific issues you have are not crucial to your business operation, or if you could solve them through some DIY methods, public apps are the way to go.
Generally, non-app solution refers to the process of altering Shopify’s codes. If you have the necessary coding skills, this approach is the answer to every technical problem under the sun. But you are a Store Owner, not a programmer. Even in the case that you find some guides online that walk you through the process, it’s more than likely that you will still struggle to do so without much knowledge of the coding world. It’s cheap, it works, but it’s certainly not easy.
Instead of relying on some apps that are not specifically built for you, or some coding solutions that take half of your brain cells to even read, why not try custom apps? Since it was built for you, it will not only solve your problems, but will do so in a very simple and efficient manner. The only catch here is the cost. Since it is custom-made, you’d think that it will cost far more than a public app. So why don’t we move onto the next section to find the truth?
No monthly subscription
To address the cost issues of custom apps, we will go back to the good old argument of “Subscription or One-time payment?”.
Subscription is a very popular payment method for public apps. One-time payment on the other hand, is a very popular payment method for custom apps. With subscription, you pay the developer a small amount of money every month. With one-time payment, you pay the developer a big amount of money up-front, but never again.
So it really comes down to the cost-benefit comparison. You could pay $30 every month, $360 a year or you could pay $1,000 for the rest of your life. We think it’s fair to assume that you plan to do business on Shopify for a long time, with objectives far beyond the monthly outlook. If you think that the features you desire are crucial to your business, we must suggest that you try custom apps to save money for years to come.
We can’t promise that it won’t be a big investment, but we can promise that it will be an investment worth investing.
Direct technical support
As we’ve discussed, Shopify Store Owners are generally not coding or programming experts. They are businessmen, which means that using technical tools to support their business might not be their forte. They need them, yes, but if something were to go wrong, they’ll need to contact the developers for technical support.
The problem is, they are not alone. There are many other Store Owners out there that need helps from developers, which oftentimes overload them with requests. It’s not easy to receive support when there are thousands of people out there just like you. But it won’t be if you use custom apps.
If you have a custom app, you are always prioritized by the developers. Your needs will be their needs and your objectives will be their objectives. Your problems will be solved in a timely and effective manner, by people who have worked with you in the past.
Also, there’s nothing to worry about when they are contractually obligated to assist you.
Better performance and security
There are other benefits to a custom app other than just solving specific issues. When an app is built for you, it’ll be optimized in a way that you could benefit the most from. This will effectively eliminate all the burden other apps might have on your stores’ function and speed. Better yet, if your custom apps can do many things, perhaps it can do what 02 or 03 apps on the App Store could, you will experience even better performance overall.
As for security, you’ll first need to understand the servers’ dynamics between the developers, Shopify and Store Owners. Public apps are stored on both the developers’ and Shopify’s servers, with customers interacting with both of them simultaneously. However, for custom apps, developers will deploy a separate server from Shopify to store them, and only the developers and the users have access to it. This will take Shopify out of the equation, improve security and the interaction process.
Through the key benefits of custom apps identified above, we hope that you now have a clearer understanding of custom apps and whether or not you need it for your Shopify stores.
We at HappyPoints are happy to assist you if you have any other questions or feedback. After all, we are now providing a Custom App development service ourselves! We’ve tried our hands at many other aspects of Shopify, from public apps to store services, and had gone through over 300 different projects. We think now is the time to pursue custom apps to fulfill our mission of helping businesses overcome their capacity and capacity challenges.