When developers build an mobile app, you choose between Apple itunes, Google Play and Microsoft; when building eCommerce apps, developers choose between Shopify, Magento and other shopping carts and platforms. Here are 6 key factors when consider which platforms to launch your app.
1. Simple APIs with clear docs
Beautifully designed APIs allows developers and product owners to understand the technical possibility and limitation to build an app. Some platforms still use XML instead of RESTful API, which one will you choose to integrate?
2. App store with fair ranking & review system
Don't consider building an app for a platform if you cannot figure how to promote it. An app store without a fair ranking system is also useless. For us, a great ranking algorithm should be based on number of recent positive customer reviews, number of active installs and recent updates.
3. Basic analytics
By learning number of active installs of your apps, and number of positive and negative feedback - you can find ways to improve your apps. Of course some even give you details like customer contact, country or you can plugin google analytics for your app page.
4. App approval speed & Technical support
Do not underestimate the importance of app approval speed and developer supports for technical questions. Imagine you plan to launch an app in Q2 - one app store takes 4 weeks for approval, and one takes only 3 days. Which one do you choose?
5. Easy app installation
The more frictionless for store owner to install an app, the better the user experience, the more app downloads for every app on that platform. Comparing a platform supporting oAuth vs one require you entering API key - which one is easier for non-technical store owners?
6. Reasonable or no listing fee
Do note that some platforms charge a handsome fee for listing your app at their app stores, and some make it totally free. We tend to choose one platform that do not require any fee or charge a reasonable amount (like iTunes). It is not easy to estimate return of investment (ROI) for a new app or developers who just want to build something cool - making the entrance bar low allows more developers to build apps for that platforms.
In the next post I will analyse the available eCommerce platforms and give you my top 5 choices.