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Hybrid vs Cross Platform Apps The Right Strategy for Retail Mobile Apps

Here’s a take at the hybrid vs cross-platform apps development dilemma to make an informed decision
In today’s digital world, running any business without a mobile application is impossible. But, developing multiple apps for different platforms is challenging and expensive. The pandemic has created a massive surge in mobile adoption as consumers want mobile to learn, work, and shop to cope with the pandemic.
But even before the pandemic, famous Dutch lingerie designer brand Marlies Dekkers saw more than 75% of their revenue through mobile. Brands like Nike and many others had already started diversifying business practices to avert the retail apocalypse. Walmart had begun consolidating multiple apps into a centralized one to bring greater choice and diversity to consumers.

Leading eCommerce major Shopify achieved 10 years’ of growth in just 90 days. Retailers have to roll out new features faster in their mobile app experiences while ensuring feature parity across the different platforms. Popular brands such as Amazon, Apple, Remote POS, and Baskin Robbins have gone the hybrid way to meet this challenge.

But what’s the critical first step in crafting a sustainable hybrid or cross-platform app? Well, if you are aiming for success, you will need to kick things off by building an MVP. To achieve this efficiently, you’ll require a suite of enabling services combined with the expertise of both domain and tech professionals. They will be instrumental in helping you build an MVP in the fastest possible time.

Why Cross-platform Mobile App Development?

A hybrid app is your best bet to launch your mobile app quickly. According to a recent report, 74% of the top iOS retail apps are hybrid apps. These statistics might defy the conventional wisdom that was once in favor of native apps for their superlative performance and seamless user experience. After perfecting the infrastructure built for the web for several years, it didn’t make much sense to rebuild it for mobile. That would duplicate effort and result in a huge loss of time and resources. But then, the game changed altogether with hybrid apps.

While offering total value for your investments, hybrid proved to be a smart choice thanks to low-code development tools. A hybrid app would mean 60-80% savings compared to a native app with a 234% ROI. But despite being a time and money savior, the hybrid does pose a challenge in achieving the ideal UI and UX. These overheads of having to develop separate native apps for iOS and Android are effectively addressed by cross-platform apps that offer an elegant means to code once for both platforms.

Today, there is a growing inclination towards cross-platform apps that ensure feature parity and work equally well for all platforms, such as Android, iOS, and Windows. Hybrid apps followed by cross-platform apps have ushered in so much functionality that both strategies are adopted as needed. The world clearly cannot stop raving about cross-platform apps. So, if you are wondering if a cross-platform app is right for your retail business, here’s what you should know.

Migrating to Cross-platform

You get to experience just the tip of the iceberg when you download an app. The infrastructure behind the app is evident only after you start using it as you browse through product catalogs, access purchase history, view shipping information, etc. Modern cross-platform apps now respond and react as quickly as their native counterparts, providing users with everything they need. With a full-fledged native-quality mobile experience, retailers are now jumping onto the cross-platform app bandwagon.

Experience matters

A bad mobile experience will drive away customers. A cross-platform app offers the perfect solution to the changing needs of businesses. It is a single-codebase app created using tools like Flutter, Kotlin, Xamarin, React Native, etc. and common examples of this app include Facebook Ads Manager, Airbnb, Reddit, and Zipcar. Cross-platform app development is gaining a lot of momentum, allowing hybrid mobile app development companies to create cross-platform apps that deliver exceedingly well on the performance front.

Benefits of Migrating to Cross-platforms

  • Efficient use of developer resources – Developers need to maintain just a single code base when building these apps, thereby saving a considerable amount of time typically required by native apps.
  • Maintain feature parity across platforms – Brands can ensure common experience and functionality independent of the platform’s capabilities.
  • Faster time to market – Once app development teams learn how to handle the OS differences or platform-specific store publication procedures effectively, the design-to-launch time will drastically reduce. Cross-platform apps also enable simpler and quicker updates, a boon considering the speed with which updates keep coming up.
  • Lower development and maintenance cost – They are easy to create and maintain with simple tools that can be used in-house, eliminating the need to hire new talent for the job.
  • Consistent user experience – Due to the cross-platform approach with just one codebase running on desktop, web, and mobile, redundancies across channels are removed, ensuring better design and UX consistency across platforms.

Cross-platform vs Hybrid App Development

A mobile app is rarely made for just one platform since users would want to use it across devices and platforms. Unlike a native approach that requires separate apps for each mobile platform and sometimes with very specific customization for tablets and smartphones, the cross-platform approach offers adaptive styling to ensure that the look and feel of your retail app automatically adapts to each platform. It enables retailers to reach a wider audience while saving costs and ensuring platform consistency.

With immense potential, it serves as the perfect gateway to opportunities for custom mobile app development companies. Therefore, accelerating your mobile app development with cross-platform makes a lot of sense.

Build with Trigent

As you re-evaluate your Mobile App strategy to address the scale and speed expected by your consumers, consider the Hybrid and cross-platform alternatives. We at Trigent have powered apps for some of the most incredible companies out there. Trigent AXLR8 labs enable businesses to build and scale hybrid and cross-platform applications with API framework, ensuring seamless integration of apps with faster time to market and improved user experience. We choose the right architecture, the ideal cloud computing platform, and an appropriate technology stack to ensure that the cost of building and maintaining an app is minimal while the experience is seamless. We also pay much attention to security and compliance testing to ensure you get a secure, high-performing, cross-functional app.

Embark on a software development journey with our experts. Contact us today to give your retail business a digital high


  • Abishek Bhat

    Abishek Bhat is the Vice President of Business Development at Trigent Software. He enables businesses to adopt strategic outsourcing to make their processes and workforce more productive and improve ROI. A passionate advocate of digital transformation, he guides organizations on their journey towards digital maturity and excellence with a keen focus on QA.