Why Do You Need a Hybrid App For e-Commerce Rather Than a Native App?


Applications or apps as we know them today have become quite a common terminology these days especially considering the boom of the smartphone era wherein it’s a common phenomenon to see mobile hardware evolve to accommodate better mobile software and application simultaneously evolve to better use the hardware in your smartphone. And mobile applications or apps as we better know them are being developed all around the world to combat real-life barriers over a virtual and personal level to simplify even the hardest of tasks. This in itself is a crucial challenge as app design is something the average consumer often overlooks or takes for granted because when taking into consideration the nature of an app, the one thing that everyone needs to wrap their minds around is that, this is easier said than done and there are a lot of tricky aspects about this, that if not handled well could backfire against its purpose almost immediately. This is quite simply because not every app is designed in the same way.

We, at iLeaf Solutions, believe in proper customer service and satisfaction. But to achieve that we understand that it is integral for our client to fully understand our scope as well as the options we provide. In our previous blog post “10 Reasons Why You Should Invest in an E-Commerce Mobile Application to Boost Your Business”; we have outlined the various reasons as to why and how an E-Commerce Mobile Application would be beneficial to a business. In this article, however, we would like to further enlighten you, I.e., once you have committed to the idea of an E-Commerce Mobile Application for your business; as to the different types of apps based on their design and also why a Hybrid app design using latest technologies like would be more resourceful than a Native app design.

Hybrid App or Native App and Why do you need it?

Now as mentioned above, let’s take a look at how native and hybrid applications differ from each other. A native app is designed by the operating system (OS) like Android, iOS, or even Windows. And when your Native app is in the stage of development, the process of coding involved is directly related to that very same mobile’s operating system; e.g., an app developed for iPhones will have utilized coding that corresponds to iOS and so on with the other operating systems as well. Native applications are created for a single platform and deal with a single working framework that can take full advantage of all of that device’s features.

Hybrid apps however work a bit differently as they are mostly designed in such a way that they better utilize proper web development software and coding, coding that is not employed in the designing of Native applications. As its name suggests, hybrid applications are quite simply put designed under the umbrella of the Operating system and the coding involved is predominantly performed using modern-day web development tools and software. They are planned and designed in such a way so that they can be run and used on various platforms and are written in languages like HTML5, CSS, or JavaScript, and is quite neatly enclosed by a native holder. Such app design allows a single app to run across multiple platforms as it fills all the needs of the entire working framework. Picture a single app developed and designed specifically to run across all platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, or even Blackberry.

Now we are glad that you are still with us, for we need to take a small detour off-topic to ensure that we have covered all our bases and provide you with a better and wholesome understanding of the different types of app design. The reason we need to do so is to run by you for a moment the concept of Web Apps and how they relate to Native and Hybrid apps.

Web apps unlike what their name may suggest are not real applications but quite simply websites that in many ways look, feel and run like a Native app but are not implemented as such. These apps rose to popularity when HTML5 came around and clients realized that native app-like functionality can now be obtained and offered over a browser. These days as more and more sites online run with the help of HTML5, it’s getting harder to tell where the line between Web apps and Native apps lies. If you were to take a step back, you would immediately be able to conclude that Hybrid apps are in a sense simply part Native app and part Web app; and you would be right about that. In a Hybrid app, the browser is simply embedded within the application itself.

Advantages of Native Applications

Having a Native Application designed for your E-Commerce platform comes with many advantages as they are apps that generally respond quickly and are quite efficient because they follow the OS. They also have the complete support from major OS players in the business like Apple and Google that ensures little to no restrictions to such apps in terms of being creative and being innovative and game-changing in the App market. Also since they are intended for the dedicated OS, they quickly adapt to the UI or the User Interface; thus providing its users with the benefit of simple and easy operation of the app. A few other features of such apps lie in their ability to be progressively secure and dependable while also being able to provide their users with an accessible offline mode.

Disadvantages of Native Applications

Unfortunately for an E-Commerce platform that is developed to boost the revenue of your business, dedicating yourself to a Native mobile application and its expansion over both iOS and Android would require you to have, fund, and maintain proper development teams for each OS; thus driving up the development cost of the app, which sounds counterproductive, especially to anyone just breaking into the virtual marketplace. Also, a factor that is generally overlooked in the beginning but then later creeps on out to surprise you out of nowhere is that an app’s response to various platforms and different OS is unpredictable, and with this, its implementation and the algorithm used while in its development stage also vary; thus affecting its relative performance. This requires complex coding as well as a high application development time; both of which hinder the speed of app development and drive its cost through the roof.

Advantages of Hybrid Applications (Flutter or React Native)

Now we here at ILeaf Solutions would like to provide our clients with quick, easy, flexible, and cost-effective long-term solutions to all our clients and that is why we generally advocate for Hybrid App development (react native or flutter) over its Native counterpart and one of the major attributing factors is its coding. To make and develop Hybrid apps one only needs to know the basics of web development languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, or Typescript along with the umbrella of the considered mobile OS. Perhaps the most significant factor one needs to understand is that the development of Hybrid apps will generally cost less than Native app development because most of the front-end developers are using frameworks and libraries for the web which are also used for Hybrid apps such as Angular and Native to name a few. This in turn quite simply means that fewer people can work on more platforms as one developer would be able to create an app for multiple platforms thus drastically cutting down on its development cost as well as effectively saving time in the process.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Applications

To be completely objective about the task i.e., enlightening you on the types of apps based on their design, it’s only fair that we simultaneously bring to your notice the few disadvantages that come with opting for a Hybrid E-Commerce mobile application for your business. Hybrid apps are known to be inefficient in terms of response when taken in comparison to Native applications as their development solely relies on HTML, CSS, and other such web development coding which in turn may not deliver the most user-friendly experience that most users might come to expect.

Conclusion: Hybrid App or Native App

It has been generally observed that Hybrid mobile apps are much more financially savvy and are preferred practically by all small businesses, companies, and individuals who are looking to expand their market and boost their revenue through E-Commerce, while on a firm spending plan. And safe to say it’s a sound investment as hybrid apps end up looking almost similar to their Native counterpart except for the fact that it runs over a web motor. And even though each type of app design has its pros and cons, it all comes down to how much you want from the app. With all this knowledge we at ILeaf Solutions hope you will make the apt choice that blends well with your business model.