Web app development: Off the shelf or bespoke web applications for your Shopify store?

Jon Kennett
2 August 2023

Having held a senior marketing position in a fast paced ecommerce business for close to a decade, I can empathise with those that are tasked with solving day to day website conundrums. Keeping up with changing customer preferences and forward thinking competitors can leave you scanning the web app directories late at night for the perfect tech tools to keep your brand in the race.

Almost everyone that runs a Shopify site will, at some point, leverage third-party applications to add new functions to their stores. While these readily available apps offer a quick solution, they may not always be the best choice. When it comes to unique business needs, custom-built applications can be game-changers. Let's dive into the world of custom Shopify web app development.

Third-Party Apps: A Double-Edged Sword

Third-party apps can be a godsend, offering a host of functionalities right off the shelf. They allow Shopify store owners to implement a myriad of features without needing extensive coding knowledge. Additionally, these apps often come with support from the app creators, adding a layer of reliability.

However, the advantages of third-party apps can sometimes be their Achilles heel. While they're designed to cater to a broad spectrum of needs, they may not meet specific business requirements or integrate seamlessly with existing systems. Moreover, there's the inherent risk that the app developer might cease operations or support, leading to potential disruptions.

Custom In-house Apps: Tailoring to Your Needs

Enter the realm of custom web app development. By investing in your own applications, you take the reins in crafting an app that perfectly aligns with your business model and customer needs. This is potentially a massive game changer for brands who have previously compromised, using tools that “kinda” do the job, but in reality, fall short of everyone's expectations. 

The power of custom app development lies in its adaptability. You're no longer bound by the constraints of pre-existing tech. Instead, you have the freedom to create, innovate and execute your vision without compromise. Custom apps are almost certainly going to require more up front investment but the ROI can be substantial, and worth serious consideration. 

One significant advantage of custom apps is that you control the development timeline and feature set. Unlike relying on third-party apps, where you might have to wait for enough user requests for a new feature to be implemented, you can prioritise the features that matter the most to your business.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Choosing between third-party apps and custom in-house app development ultimately boils down to your specific needs, budget, and long-term business goals. It's crucial to weigh the immediate ease and lower costs of third-party apps against the flexibility, control, and potential long-term benefits of custom app development.

While third-party apps offer quick solutions, a custom in-house app can be a strategic investment in your business's future. We tend to think the right mix of third-party and custom apps might be a match made in heaven for your Shopify store. 

You may also like...

Twitter moments: Available for everyone

Twitter have now made their ‘Moments’ feature available to everyone! Twitter Moments was originally designed to give users easy access to news.

Why Sports Sponsorship is Great for Your Brand

When our telecommunications and broadband client italk announced an official three-year partnership with Brighton and Hove Albion, we were instantly caught up in the Premier League buzz. Content Specialist Alicia Lewis offers insight into the lucrative world of sports sponsorship.

5 ways hashtags have changed our lives

This week marks the 10th birthday of the trusted hashtag. Our head of content, Sophie Turton, explores how the symbol has transformed our lives.

Unlock your online
potential today

If you want to showcase your offering, convert more leads, provide resources, or all of the above, we can build a website that separates you from the competition. 

Get in Touch