It’s no secret that website conversion rates suck.

In fact, statistics show that the average conversion rate for a website in 2020 is just under three percent. There are a number of reasons why website conversion rates are so low (and getting lower), but most issues comes down to 4 main things:

Lack of trust and credibility. When people visit your website, they want to know that it’s safe and trustworthy. If they don’t trust your brand or your website, they’re not going to convert.

Poor design. A poorly designed website can be very frustrating for users and can cause them to leave without converting.

Slow. Arguably worse than a poorly designed website is a slow one. Frustrated customers abandon carts full of products they want to buy simply because the web page won’t load.

Confusing or overwhelming content. If your website is cluttered with too much information or if it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for, people will likely give up before converting.

In addition to attracting and converting new customers, websites pose problems for your existing customers as well. Despite the increase in time and money spent on website development and user optimization, organic engagement on websites remains almost non-existent. Most websites lack content that can be easily engaged with and organically shared. This lack of engagement on websites makes it nearly impossible for the voices of your most vocal supporters to be heard.

Brands are looking for better ways to communicate with their core audience and build upon their already established relationships. They’re also needing to adapt to the new ways in which customers shop and view their content (hint: it’s mobile-first for the foreseeable future)

Apps are the answer to a lot of the problems that websites possess. They create an easy-to-navigate mobile shopping experience that promotes engagement and community building while focusing on converting lookers into buyers.

People generally view 4.2x more products per session within apps, compared to mobile sites. Apps also have 3x higher conversion rates than mobile websites and 1.5x more conversions per session vs desktop.

Tapcart aims to solve all of the problems that websites create by easily converting your Shopify store into a mobile app in minutes. With its simple drag-and-drop builder and easy onboarding process; Tapcart makes it effortless for users of all experience levels (even those without any coding background) to quickly convert their existing Shopify stores into apps that can be used on iOS & Android devices.

Today we’re going to review Tapcart and show you how it can help increase your conversion rates in minutes.

Contents

Overview

When it comes to ecommerce; Shopify walked so Tapcart could run.

What Shopify has done to revolutionize the ecommerce industry by making it easy and effortless to sell your products online, Tapcart aims to mirror the friendly user experience through mobile app commerce.

Just like us here at DarkRoast Design, Tapcart’s primary goal is to streamline brands’ marketing efforts and make their lives easier by creating a cohesive, branded experience across all marketing channels.

Tapcart uses a simple drag-and-drop builder that allows anyone to create their very own mobile app from their existing Shopify store.

With Tapcart, you can easily: 

  • Create a customized, branded app for customers on both iPhone and Android devices 
  • Import all your Shopify store data with real time pricing and inventory
  • Effortlessly add features like product videos, photo galleries, and social media integration 
  • Track sales data through the app including sales volume, product conversion rates, average order value, and much more

Who It’s For

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Tapcart was created specifically for Shopify merchants who want to sell more on mobile but don’t have the time or resources to create and maintain a custom app for their brand.

It’s important to note that Tapcart isn’t going to miraculously increase your sales 5x overnight (or ever), and to be fair, they don’t promise to. 

Instead, Tapcart focuses on the parts of the business that make brands stand out from one another, including things like branding, content and design. Its platform allows merchants to easily create exclusive content, change the colours and fonts, add videos and more to make the app look and feel fully customized (Tapcart is a white label product so their branding/logo will not appear anywhere on your app).

Its primary goal is to leverage those loyal customers and increase the conversion rates of the existing traffic that would typically filter through your website.

These features make Tapcart the perfect sales channel and marketing companion for:

Fashion brands with large, seasonal product lines that are looking for a mobile-first solution to simplify and organize their catalog.

Consumable products that are typically purchased on a recurring basis multiple times throughout the year.

Subscription services where different products are included and shipped each month

Community-focused brands that have a strong following and rely on content marketing to to tell their story and deliver their message.

With that being said, the ideal customer for Tapcart is a well-established brand that already has plenty of repeat, loyal customers that are dedicated to the brand itself and shop with them on a regular basis (think around $1 Million/annual revenue)

Who It’s Not For

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Shopify isn’t for everyone, and neither is Tapcart.

If you’re just starting out or your company doesn’t have a well-established brand with plenty of loyal customers already, then this product probably isn’t for you.

Tapcart is meant to help brands that already have an established Shopify store and are looking for ways to drive more conversions – not create them from scratch. The brands that will see the most value out of Tapcart are one’s that see it as a marketing companion to their existing website and sales channels.

This tool is not intended to attract new, outside audiences into your app. It’s built to improve online conversion rates, create a better user experience for your existing customers, build loyalty and retention and most importantly — create a differentiated and elevated experience over your competition.

Brands that typically do not see repeat purchases from the same customers will struggle to find true value in creating an app with Tapcart. But if you’re still wondering if Tapcart is for you and your brand, you should ask yourself these questions:

“Do we have a product that customers truly love and value?”

“Do our existing fans/customers love us enough to tell their friends?”

“Do we have a message that people genuinely care about?” 

Pricing

Tapcart offers 3 different plans – Core, Ultimate, and Enterprise – depending on your usage needs. However, based on the drastic differences in available features on the plans, it’s obvious that they want you on the Ultimate or Enterprise premium tiers.

The Premium plans are significantly more expensive ($550/month for Ultimate, $1200/month for Enterprise) compared to the entry level $250/month Core plan, but the additional features you get access to with the higher plans is worth it.

With the Ultimate & Enterprise plans, you’re given an unlimited number of design blocks to fully customize your user’s shopping experience to your liking (we’ll get more into design a little later).

Tapcart’s premium plans also allow you to integrate 3rd party marketing tools you may already be using like Klaviyo, Nosto, Yotpo, Facebook SDK, and more.

You’re also given access to more advanced analytics for tracking your app’s performance and multi-page layouts that allow for you to have multiple pages built within your app (this is great to have if you create blogs or other consumable content in support of your actual products)

Ultimate vs Enterprise

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The real debate when it comes to pricing is between the two top-tier plans. Even though Tapcart Enterprise is more than double the price of the Ultimate plan below it, there are features that are included with Tapcart Enterprise that some brands will find worth the additional cost like:

  • Dynamic Layouts – with Tapcart Enterprise you’re able to create unique page designs for each of the products you sell. This comes in handy when you sell a variety of different products that require their own unique layouts or if you want to run product-specific sales banners on specific product pages only .
  • Klaviyo Integration – Integrating your mobile app with Klaviyo allows you to send automated and segmented push notifications to your existing customer lists. By utilizing this integration you can send automated push notifications based on user behaviour or even create segmented push notifications based on user location.
  • Design Scheduling – with Tapcart Enterprise, you’re able to schedule app design changes and alterations so that they take effect exactly when you want them to at a pre-planned scheduled time. With Ultimate, these changes must be manually done in real-time.

Our recommendation is to start with the Ultimate plan which allows you to test a lot of the premium features that will ultimately create a better user experience for your customers and help your app stand out immediately at launch. If you end up needing the additional features included in Enterprise that we mentioned above including the premium integrations and dedicated account manager, you can always upgrade down the road.

Before You Get Started

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In order to launch an app with Tapcart, your business must be recognized as a legal entity. This means your business must be a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company.

It’s worth noting that the Google and Apple Store enrolment processes can take some time. The Google Play Account can be set up in as little as 30 minutes, while the Apple Developer Account may take between 3 to 14 business days. To host an app in the Apple Store, there is an annual $99 fee. Its recommended to set this to auto-renew to make sure your app doesn’t expire each year.

To enroll in a Google Play Developer account, there is a one-time $25 fee.

In order to sign up, you must have a Google email account. If you don’t have one, you can create one here.

In order to submit your app to both the App and Google Play Stores, you will need to have a privacy policy listed on your website. If your store does not have one, you can easily create one with Shopify’s privacy policy generator.

What You’ll Need

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Now that you’ve set up you’ve verified your business information and created your developer account, there are a couple other things you should be thinking about or have ready before you begin designing your app:

Professional Product Photos – a picture is worth a thousand words, for better or worse. If you’re going to be sending your most dedicated, loyal customers to something new and exciting, you better have studio-quality photos of your products ready for them to view (and hopefully purchase). Don’t have good photos? You can get them done remotely and have them ready in time for your app’s launch using soona.

Updated Graphics – you don’t launch an app everyday so you need to act like it. You should have new updated graphics and designs not only for your new app, but across all your website and social media channels promoting it. DarkRoast Design offers your own virtual in-house designer with unlimited designs for ecommerce brands for a flat monthly fee. With DarkRoast, you’re able to get website graphics, social media ads and email designs done effortlessly and without the cost and commitment of hiring someone full time.

Marketing Campaign – Prior to launch, you should think about how you’re going to get the word out to your existing customers about your new app. We’ll go over marketing strategies in detail later, but it’s important to keep in mind prior to launch. Sending out an email and updating your website are no-brainers, but consider what promotions you’ll be offering or what discounts you’ll have to incentivize your customers to use the app as their go-to for purchases.

How To Utilize Your Tapcart App (Best Practices)

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Getting your app up and running is one thing, getting the true value out of it is another. 

Having customers use your app is important for a variety of reasons. Not only have you just spent all this time, money and effort in designing your app, but having customers use your app also increases the likelihood that they make a purchase. As we said earlier, app users are much more engaged and less likely to leave your app in comparison to a website visit that typically sees a 47% bounce rate.

How to get your first 1000 users

Your app isn’t likely to be trending, hit the front page of the app store and be downloaded my millions (or even thousands) or new users once you hit publish. You’ll need to work to get the word out and a dedicated marketing campaign surrounding your new app is definitely recommended. You should be encouraging your existing customers to download your app by any means necessary through all the channels you have available:

Advertise the App on Your Website – create a landing page to highlight the benefits of your app. You should consider boosting downloads and sales by providing an exclusive app discount.

Add a Smart Banner to Your Mobile Site – Once your app is live, you can drive organic traffic to your app by implementing the ‘Mobile Download Banner’. The banner will populate anytime customers access your mobile website, prompting them to download the app on the App or Google Play Stores. Within this banner, you can offer an app exclusive discount or highlight an app exclusive product to incentive downloads.

Announce in Email Campaigns – Leverage your email list to get app downloads from the customers you value most. Regularly promoting your app within your email campaigns will help boost downloads within your email subscribers group.

Post on Social Media – Get creative with your social media posts to create buzz around your app. 

  • Post notice of the app on the day of launch to boost app downloads from your loyal followers (Pro-Tip: Continue to post a week, and a month after launch across your various social channels to keep the buzz going)
  • Create a teaser video to ignite the curiosity of your target audience. Utilize your design team or use a service like DarkRoast Design to put together an engaging video. (Pro-Tip: Keep it concise, focus on the app’s best features, and have a strong call to action)

Like we mentioned before; asking is one thing, but you may need to incentivize them with a giveaway or coupon code to make sure they actually download the app. Because you’re going to be giving something away, this is a great opportunity to encourage them to leave a 5 star review and turn on your post notifications, which is arguably the most important part of your app’s success.

Push Notifications

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One of the greatest benefits to having your own app is the ability to send push notifications directly to the customers that have downloaded it. Push notifications are a great way to send out important information and drive customer engagement at no additional cost. With your Tapcart mobile app, you can send push notifications in real-time at any time. The user simply has to opt-in to push notifications and they will begin to receive alerts even when they are not in the app.

With Tapcart, you’re able to send 3 types of push notifications:

  • Text – are simple, yet effective. You can edit the header (which is optional and will be bolded) and the main body of the message. Adding emojis is also a great way to catch a user’s eye.
  • Image – Make your push notification rich by adding an image to your push. Use this to highlight a product or collection from your store.
  • GIF – Create a dynamic experience for your customers by sending out a GIF push notification to highlight your products and collections. With this dynamic push, you can add up to five images. Simply select ‘Animate Push’ and the Tapcart dashboard will automatically create the GIF for you!

Important Note: If you are a Tapcart Enterprise customer, you have access to utilize the Klaviyo integration. With Klaviyo, you can create behaviour segmented and automated push notifications. Behaviour segmented will send push notifications automatically to defined groups including recent add to carts, abandoned carts, and favourites! Then automated push notifications for order confirmations and wishlists to back-in-stock alerts! To learn more about automated push notifications with Klaviyo, you can visit this link.

Disclaimer – Push notifications can be tricky and it’s important not to overwhelm your customers with too many pushy sales messages or content that isn’t relevant to them. Once someone has disabled push notifications, it’s hard to get them back.

Discount Codes

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Offering discounts will convert anyone browsing your store into a buyer, but offering exclusive discounts to app users creates a unique sense of engagement with your customers. Discount codes can be generated for a dollar value discount, a percentage off, or free shipping. (Pro Tip: Add a banner on your app’s home screen or product detail page promoting the discount code)

Early Drops/Exclusive Content

You have the ability to send early drops to app users or offer exclusive content that only people that use your app can see. This could be a sneak peak of a new product or collection that will be released in the near future or early access to an upcoming sale or special app-exclusive discount.

What To Look Out For

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Like we mentioned in the “Who It’s Not For” section, don’t expect Tapcart to increase your sales overnight.

While launching an app with Tapcart is simple, it’s not a magic wand, and it will likely be several months before you start to see tangible results.

Here is a shortlist of recommended mobile metrics you may want to track:

App Downloads & Usage

  • What % of your existing customer base downloads the app?
  • What percentage of app users make a purchase within the app?
  • What % of app users opt into push notifications?

Sales & Revenue

  • % of overall store revenue coming through the app
  • The overall store revenue increase from launching an app

Conversion

  • Conversion rate on mobile app
  • % increase in conversion rate from mobile web to mobile app

Retention

  • % increase in repeat customer rate
  • Increase in order frequencies
  • Increase in CLTV

Integrations

  • Performance increases based on using X integration?
    • E.g., Foursixty shoppable Instagram block led to X additional revenue?
    • Klaviyo automated abandoned cart push notifications led to X increase in abandoned cart recovery?
    • Nosto product recommendations led to X increase in AOV?

It’s also important to remember that the majority of your customers aren’t going to download your app. In fact, Tapcart’s benchmark for existing customer usage is between 10-15%. And the one’s that will don’t engage with your brand every day, so you will probably need to promote it across all of your marketing channels for several weeks/months in order to ensure the people that are likely to download it actually see that it’s available.

It’s a harsh reality, but the sooner you come to terms with it, the faster you’ll be able to take advantage of its benefits and start increasing your conversions with the traffic you’re getting.

Conclusion

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Tapcart delivers on exactly what is says it does.

It is an easy-to-use Shopify app which transforms your website into a mobile application in minutes. Tapcart offers the perfect solution for anyone looking to quickly increase their web conversions without having to spend hours of time learning how to code (and pay thousands on development).

While it likely won’t help small businesses or brands that don’t already have an existing loyal customer base, Tapcart does create a unique opportunity to easily increase your web conversions and have a dedicated app to promote as a brand differentiator against your competition.

Tapcart should be seen as an extension of your existing website and marketing channels, not a completely new one altogether. And with the right amount of work and optimization, it will be the best performing one.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does it work?

Tapcart attaches to the backend of your Shopify store as a sales channel. Once set up, they are able to pull products, inventory, descriptions, pricing and more from your Shopify store and place it directly in your app in real-time.

Do I need to manage the app separately?

Short answer: No.

Any order that’s placed through the mobile app will follow the same back end process as if they place the order on your website. Tapcart uses your real-time Shopify store data so there’s no need to maintain two separate sets of inventory if you don’t want to. 

However, depending on the size of your team and the way you wish to utilize your app, you can offer app-specific inventory/promotions to create a more exclusive, VIP experience that incentivizes customers to download and use your app.

How customizable is it?

Tapcart is built upon “blocks” which are different types of content and design elements that are combined together to create your app. While customization options are numerous, don’t expect high-level app development features. It’s important to remember that Tapcart is designed so that people with no coding experience can easily create their own app from scratch, so there are some limitations.

Can I use Tapcart if my website isn’t on Shopify?

No, unfortunately Tapcart only works with Shopify websites and Ecommerce stores.

How do I update my app?

All updates and changes are made through the Tapcart platform and take effect immediately. With Tapcart Enterprise, you are able to schedule updates and design changes to take effect any time you want.

How Do I Know How My App Is Performing?

Tapcart Insights is an e-commerce analytics dashboard that gives you real-time information on what is happening with your app. You can view your key sales metrics that will empower you to spot trends, compare results, and make strategic decisions for your mobile business. Plus, this feature requires zero setup! As you grow and your app accumulates data, your Tapcart Insights Dashboard will scale with you.