Creating an App that Matches Your Brand

Sandbox Commerce’s App Builder offers a robust set of tools that make our apps feel like a natural extension of your brand.

A blank canvas can be a daunting place to start, but we try to make it as easy as possible for you to customize your app and have it look great on iOS and Android. We’ll outline all the steps and show you how easy it is!

  1. Upload Logos: Our image uploader makes it easy for you to upload all of your brand’s logos. There are only two different logo sizes we require to make your app look fabulous. First, we’ll need a rectangular 3:2 logo. This will live in the top nav bar of your app and a couple other menus. Secondly, you’ll need to supply a square favicon logo. This will live on your splash screen and most importantly — your app icon.
  2. Brand Colors: We did our best to simplify all color options down to just a few choices. You’ll have to pick a background, button and a few text colors for your app. This can all be easily done with copy and pasting a hexcode or using or color picker.
  3. Adding Items & Categories: When I build an app for a customer, the first thing I do is see what items and categories are featured on their website’s homepage. On our App Builder Homepage, you can easily drag-and-drop the order of different selections and items. This makes it easy to adjust for a seasonal change or emphasize a flash sale.

Striking the balance between customization and simplicity is a constant balancing act. The Sandbox App Builder walks the tightrope and easily let’s e-commerce stores publish apps that fit their brand.

Turning Your Shopify Store into an App

Small side hustles have a lot more in common with mega-brands like Red Bull, Budweiser, and Tesla Motors then you might think. The common denominator here is that they all manage their content with Shopify.

Shopify has done an amazing job at leveling the playing field and offering enterprise level tools for a small monthly fee. With the existing landscape, these established brands have had to come up with new ways to stand out (queue the intro music for mobile apps). They’ve used mobile apps to create sleeker shopping experiences for their customers and distribute more engaging content.

The problem smaller retailers traditionally had was that they couldn’t justify the cost of building iPhone and Android apps – it was just too far out of reach. In the same way, Shopify leveled the playing field for organizing inventory and SKUs, Sandbox Commerce can turn your existing Shopify store into an app with 3 easy steps.

  1. Login and Connect your Shopify Store: as soon as you connect your store, we’ll import all of your inventory, items, and collections. We’ll also track them in real-time – no extra hurdles.
  2. Design Your App: Upload logos and match your branding guidelines with our intuitive app builder. You can easily drag-and-drop to customize your home page and show off your seasonal products
  3. Publish: As soon as you finish customizing your app, you can hit publish! From there, our team of internal testers will run through a quality assurance test and make sure your app is up to our standards. From there it’s ready to submit to Apple and Android marketplaces.

Just like Shopify, we only collect a monthly fee to maintain and deploy updates to your app. There are no setup fees and we’re constantly adding new features. Design your own app with a 7-day free trial!

Mobile Experiential Shopping (Not the Gimmicky Kind)

Creating a mobile app that nearly clones the mobile-browser shopping experience offers little value to consumers and business owners. E-commerce platforms like Shopify and Big Commerce have gotten so good at mobile-browser shopping, that the need to purchase items in-app is nearly non-existent.

Brands and retailers that are hoping to offer more to their loyalist have been forced to refocus on creating mobile apps that offer value through experiences, rather than seamless shopping experiences. Here are a few trends that are taking off to create amazing user shopping experiences:

  • AR (that actually gives customers value)

Furniture retailers are dominating this area and solving one of their oldest and most daunting issues…. the question of ‘how will it look in my house?’. These apps just require you to point your camera at an area of the house and like magic, you can see exactly how it looks. Check out this great demo from Magnolia and Ikea’s app.

  • User-Specific Personalization 

Brands are beginning to use big data to create better and more meaningful products for customers. Combine a slick interface with on-demand manufacturing and you have great companies like Son of a Tailor. They’ll make high-quality t-shirts to your exact specs. It’s easy to imagine how a customer becomes an evangelist of a great fitting shirt with their initials on it.

Going beyond the standard mobile shopping app is inevitable. What that feature looks like for each brand and industry is still a bit of a mystery, but it’s an exciting time at the least. Making the barrier of entry lower for turning a Shopify store into an iOS app is just the first step. We’re excited to keep working with ambitious brands and create immersive ways to engage customers.