For a long time, every new technology was a solution to a problem. When the world went digital, non-tech businesses faced a dilemma: how do we provide our customers with an app for the least amount of money? White label apps quickly emerged as an appealing solution. However, as with any other technological advancement, this one has both advantages and disadvantages. So here’s a detailed breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of white label app development.
What is the Definition of a White Label Mobile App?
A white label app is a generic app created by a company for resale to another company, which can then rebrand the app as their own. The concept of white label apps arose to assist businesses in obtaining their app with the least investment.
As a result, white label apps are mostly designed for the industry.
For example, a white label mobile app development company, let’s call it Company A, may create a generic framework for a food delivery app. However, most food businesses require a similar set of features to launch their delivery app. So, instead of creating an app from scratch, they can purchase one from Company A, modify it slightly, and rebrand it as their own.
As a result, Company A can resell its app framework to various businesses, increasing its revenue. The business that purchases a white label app, on the other hand, can have a fully functional app in its name without having to go through the complex app development process.
Many agencies consider purchasing white label apps solely to resell them to other businesses. These resellers typically have a large network of software companies that create white label apps and businesses that purchase such apps.
Types of White Label Mobile Apps
There are two ways that white label mobile apps are sold to businesses. First, the white label seller sells you the app’s back-end code and gives you the freedom to write the front-end code.
The main idea behind this white labelling approach is to give you more control over the design and UI of your app as a client. However, this cannot be considered a fully white label solution because you need to develop the front end.
A seller can also sell you a complete mobile app solution that includes both the back-end and the front-end. They do leave some room for you to replace the branding elements on the front end with your own. This approach, however, will leave you with very little customization and scalability.
White Label Mobile Apps vs Custom Mobile Apps: What’s the Difference?
As previously stated, a white label is a ready-made solution designed for businesses in a specific industry. All you have to do is rebrand it and position it in the market as if you created it. As a result, white label apps may or may not cater to all of your company’s specific needs.
A custom mobile app, on the other hand, is created specifically for your company, taking into account all of your specific needs as well as your target audience. You could create the app in-house or hire a reputable mobile app development company to do it for you.
Purchasing a white label app and developing a custom app for your company are two very different approaches to getting an app in your company’s name. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, and they cater to different types of business needs.
ADVANTAGES OF WHITE LABEL APPS OVER CUSTOM APPS
Let’s look at how white label apps became so popular so quickly. First, consider the following top benefits of white label apps:
The most significant advantage of white label apps is their low cost. Purchasing a ready-made app solution is usually less expensive than developing a custom app.
When creating a custom app, you must hire in-house designers, developers, project managers, and so on. Alternatively, you can outsource app development to a software agency that will create your app from the ground up.
In both cases, the app development process necessitates extensive research, one-of-a-kind design, efficient development, and extensive testing. As a result, when carried out solely for one app, each development phase is extremely costly.
White label app development companies, on the other hand, sell their apps to a variety of businesses. As a result, they do not charge you for the entire cost of app development but only a portion of it.
- No Participation in the Project Management Process
The ability to save money is a significant benefit of using a white label app. But do you want to know what’s even better? Your company does not have to be concerned about the development process at all!
Assume you hire an app development firm to create your custom app. You must understand how they work and how they manage projects. Someone from your internal team will keep track of progress, raise issues, communicate with the project management team, and so on.
However, if you purchase a ready-made white label app from a reputable seller, you won’t have to worry about the project management process at all. They may already have a tried-and-true solution for your company.
- Solutions are Readily Available
They say that luck occurs when opportunity and preparation collide. The business ecosystem is rapidly changing, and you never know when other companies will take over yours with their cutting-edge solutions.
The day you decide to build a custom app and the day it is released could be months or even a year apart. App development is a time-consuming process that includes several stages. While developing the app, your competitors may have already received their first thousand downloads.
Businesses decide to purchase white label apps instead of lagging apps to avoid the risks of lagging. The app is already built; you have to buy it and customize it slightly to position it under your company’s name. This significantly reduces time to market.
- Without the Need for Costly Maintenance
In the case of white labelling, the apps are typically hosted on the sellers’ servers. The buyer receives a working app but does not have complete access to the back-end source code. While this approach has drawbacks, one clear advantage is that the headache of app maintenance is not yours to bear.
These white label app sellers typically have a dedicated team of developers and quality assurance experts who monitor the app’s performance. So, if there are any technical issues, simply notify the seller, and their team will take care of the rest.
On the other hand, a custom app is yours and yours alone to maintain. Unfortunately, after you’ve spent so much time and money developing the app, you’ll have to spend even more time and money maintaining it.
CONS OF WHITE LABEL APPS
Many businesses continue to invest in custom app development despite the benefits listed above. Why is this the case? It’s because of the following serious drawbacks of white label apps:
- Customization Options are Limited.
The main disadvantage of white label apps is very little room for customization.
As previously stated, white labelling companies create these apps as generic solutions for businesses across the industry. As a result, they only include industry-relevant standard features in the app.
On the other hand, a custom app is, well, a custom app. You build it or have it built with your specific business needs in mind. You can include any features that address your target audience’s pain points. Even minor details are important in this case.
A custom app is more likely to meet your customers’ needs, resulting in a high retention rate for your app.
- Overlap in Brand Identity
A white label app allows you to incorporate elements of your brand identity into the user interface. However, all businesses that purchase this app have the same placements of their brand elements.
Finally, the app design and user interface fail to differentiate your brand from competitors in the industry.
On the other hand, in the case of custom app development, you can design the entire app interface to match your existing brand tonality. If your company has a unique brand image, you can incorporate it into your custom app.
Similarly, if your company has established itself as a high-tech brand, you can reflect that in your app’s UX and UI.
- Risks Associated with Source Code Ownership and Data Exploitation
Most companies that offer white label apps will not give you access to the app’s source code or the server. As a result, you can’t tell how secure the source code is or how long your users’ data will be stored on the server.
If there is a data breach, it will harm your company’s reputation irreparably. Furthermore, you have no way of knowing whether your app data is being exported or sold to third parties.
However, because you own the exclusive rights to your app data, there are no such risks when you build your app. Even if you hire an app development company, the IP rights will be transferred to you to ensure the server’s security. You have complete control over the source code when you create your app.
- App Store Rejection is Very Likely
Remember when Apple made it illegal to publish white labelled apps on the App Store? Fortunately, given how many small businesses would lose their apps, the decision was quickly reversed.
However, if you look at the new App Store guidelines, you’ll notice that a “clone” app will almost certainly be removed. So, if you use a templated app with a very common design, you risk having your app removed from the App Store.
Even the Play Store is wary of businesses that appear to have copied the design of other apps and then published the new apps as their own.
The only solution is to create a custom mobile app for your company to avoid such risks.
If the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s always to be prepared for much more than you could ever expect.
Trends in your industry or how your company operates may change at any time in the future. As a result, your business app should be designed so that changes can be easily implemented.
- Adding or Removing Functionalities in White Label Apps is a Time-Consuming Process
First, you must notify the source code owner of your new requirements. They will then determine whether they can make the changes because they may host multiple apps using the same source code. The procedure can be a real pain.
On the other hand, scaling an app is much easier when it is custom-built specifically for your company. Even if you outsource the development process, you can still make changes quickly because you access the source code.
Finally, should you purchase a white label app or create a custom app for your company?
That depends on your company’s needs, how important brand image is to you, and how limited your development budget is.
There is no denying that white label apps are significantly less expensive to develop than custom apps. However, a more accurate comparison will be based on ROI.
You can get a white label app for less money, but how much will it help you build a stronger brand or generate more revenue? It’s not much. Because at least a few companies in your industry use white label apps with a similar design.
However, when you build a custom app and invest more money in it, your brand grows stronger, and your business gains user trust.
When recognized as a larger brand, you can generate higher revenues and retention rates.
So, depending on your long-term goals, you can choose between a white label app and a highly efficient custom app for your business.