According to a recent Facebook IQ study, 3 in 10 online purchases made between January and May 2015 took place on a mobile device. If you think that’s surprising, consider this: the same study also projects the number of online purchasers who buy on a mobile device will increase 30% before 2016.
It won’t be long before phones and tablets are the most common ways people buy online. That’s why Shopify released the Mobile Buy SDK, a set of tools that helps business owners sell physical products in their mobile apps.
About the Mobile Buy SDK
The Mobile Buy SDK makes selling physical products through mobile apps easy. With just a few lines of code, you can add native buy buttons or embed a responsive online store into your app. Your app’s users can then securely checkout using either Apple Pay or their credit card.
Whether you build it in-house with your own developer, or work with one of our Shopify Experts, the Mobile Buy SDK can help you get an app launched quickly. You can learn all about the Mobile Buy SDK and how to get started on our Shopify Docs page.
See what other business owners have made
Many of you have already used the Mobile Buy SDK to build incredible things, from app-based versions of your Shopify stores to entirely new mobile experiences. We interviewed five Shopify merchants to find out what they love most about selling in apps, and get their thoughts on using the Mobile Buy SDK to make it happen. Here’s what they had to say.
HODINKEE’s app pairs curated news articles about upscale watches with a section that lets users shop their collection of watch straps and accessories. It’s been so successful that they recently had a $52k order placed via Apple Pay!
Pretty crazy morning, we just had a $52k order placed via Apple Pay on the @HODINKEE app, that has to be a record thumb purchase— Kevin Rose (@kevinrose) October 20, 2015
Here’s what they had to say about implementing Apple Pay:
"While it doesn't seem like much, the added ability of using Apple Pay within our app allows our customers to quickly and securely buy our products with ease." - HODINKEE
Apple Pay lets customers pay for products using only their thumbprint, removing the need to find and enter their credit card and shipping information. Simplifying the checkout process can lead to fewer cart abandonments and higher spontaneous sales for your business.
Seedling Comic Studio lets kids build comics using photos taken directly in the app. Parents can also use it to buy toys, props, costumes, and other comic-related items for their kids' next project. Here’s what they had to say about what's possible using a mobile app:
“Seedling Comic Studio is our first digital creative experience (the first of many!), and lets kids create and share their own amazing comic book creations.” - Seedling
Native apps can take advantage of more smartphone features than a responsive mobile web page; access to cameras, GPS, and push notifications are just a few ways how. Access to these features can also provide new ways to engage with your customers, like sending a push notification when an order has shipped, or right before a flash sale starts.
Man Outfitters’ app lets smartphone users browse and purchase items from their collection of men’s apparel and accessories. Here’s what they had to say about the importance of being mobile first:
"Mobile is at the center of our commerce strategy. In fact, 73% of our traffic comes in through mobile." - Man Outfitters
This trend isn’t unique to Man Outfitters. In fact, according to comScore, 87% of time on mobile devices is spent in apps vs. 13% on mobile web browsers. Not only do apps see more use, they also make it easier for customers to discover you; in iOS 9, content within apps is searchable through Spotlight, Safari, and Siri. This means that when a customer searches “blue pants,” the blue pants product in your app could appear in the results - even if your app isn’t installed!
Chubbies Shorts’ mobile app lets users quickly explore and shop their collection of men’s shorts. Here’s what they had to say about how fast and responsive their mobile checkout is:
"Never before has a single app allowed humans to purchase phenomenal shorts so quickly, easily, and refreshingly enjoyably as this." - Chubbies Shorts
The tiny (but noticeable) delay people tend to experience on mobile websites is actually a commonly talked about problem. Despite being about 0.3 seconds, it’s actually very noticeable - especially when you're trying to quickly browse multiple pages. Native apps are usually faster, more precise, and more responsive, providing a much more enjoyable mobile shopping experience for your customers.
American Tea Room’s app is loaded with helpful features and tools like tea recipes and a steep timer. Here’s what Ivytides (creator of the American Tea Room app) had to say about how easy it was to add ecommerce with the Mobile Buy SDK:
"Being able to integrate our app with the Mobile Buy SDK saved us hundreds of man hours in research and development and management time." - Ivytides
The Mobile Buy SDK is the quickest way for merchants to make the transition to selling with a mobile app. It includes a set of tools and sample code you can use to turn your responsive online store into a mobile app that accepts Apple Pay and credit card payments. If you’ve been thinking about building an app, it's the easiest way to get started.
Get Started with the Mobile Buy SDK
Ready to start selling in an Android or iOS app? First, browse the documentation and download the zip file with sample applications. Once you're ready to use the SDK, either add the Mobile App sales channel to your existing Shopify account, or create a new Shopify account.
If you aren’t a developer but are interested in adding buy buttons or an online store to your mobile app, you should contact a Shopify Expert.
About The Author
Jordan Simas is a copywriter, all you can eat sushi lover, and content creator at Shopify.