May 19, 2022

Cannabis Mobile App Development

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There are a number of reasons why cannabis or specialty retail businesses should develop mobile apps.

Perhaps the most important reason is that cannabis and specialty retail businesses can use mobile apps to better connect with their customers.

Mobile apps allow cannabis businesses to communicate with their customers directly, and send them updates and notifications about new products, sales, and events.

Mobile apps can also help cannabis or speciality retail businesses track customer data.

This data can help cannabis or specialty retail  businesses learn more about their customers, specifically, their spending habits, product preferences, location, demographic information and more.

With this data, cannabis or speciality retail businesses can tailor their marketing efforts to better appeal to their target customers.

Finally, cannabis businesses can use mobile apps to process payments.

Mobile apps allow customers to pay for products and services with just a few taps on their phone screen.

When it comes to mobile app development, there are these three development approaches: native, hybrid, and cross-platform.

All three approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the decision to choose which approach to use is contingent on the five factors that will be discussed in this article.

Before diving into those factors, it’s a good idea to have a basic overview of all three approaches.

1. Native

Native app development refers to using platform-specific programming languages, software development kits, and other tools to create an app.

Creating the same native app for Android and iOS would require entirely different codebases and tools from scratch, without reusing any of the assets used in each.

This approach makes for greater complexity in development, but it allows developers to maximize the hardware-related features unique to each platform.

2. Hybrid

Hybrid app development blends web elements with mobile functionality. The process starts with creating a codebase using web elements, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and wrapping it in a native container, such as the WebView.

Because it is using web elements, the codebase can be reused across platforms.

This approach is a lighter option compared to native and is favored by clients who want to prioritize getting to the market rather than the performance and user experience.

3. Cross-platform

Like with hybrid development, cross-platform development allows for code-sharing—but that’s where the similarities end.

Instead of using web elements, cross-platform apps are developed using a native rendering engine. The codebase is written in JavaScript, and it links to the engine through bridges.

Its performance is closer to native development, but the development time is typically slower than the hybrid’s timeframe.

Which app development approach suits the Cannabis and Speciality Retail Industries?

There are many reasons why you would choose one over the other two. Before settling on one approach, consider these four factors:

1. Functionality

Some complex features are just impossible to execute with HTML, CSS, or Javascript alone. If you want access to the device hardware and support for third-party applications, you’ll want to stick with native app development.

That being said, if you only need simple features, like that for a blog or cannabis news app, you may get away with using hybrid or cross-platform development.

2. Time Before Launch

If you have less than three months to market and want to be available on all platforms all at once, then hybrid app development is the best way to go. However, you will have to lower your expectations when it comes to features and performance.

If you have a little bit more time and want better performance, then going for a cross-platform approach would be optimal. However, should you have at least five to six months to burn and have a really good team of developers, then going native is the best option.

3. Budget

Having more money to spend means that you can go for a native approach and hire two teams of developers to make the same app for iOS and Android simultaneously. That being said, having a bigger budget doesn’t always mean that you should take this approach.

Most of the time, other factors, such as functionality and time, can be just as important in your decision making.

4. UI and UX

Statista reports that in 2018, one in three people abandoned and uninstalled mobile apps within minutes of first using them. When it comes to the user experience, natively developed apps are king. These apps are much more refined with better scrolling, dynamic animations, and the like.

If you can’t go for native development, the next best choice for an excellent UI would be a cross-platform approach.

Key considerations before building a Cannabis App:

  • Market Research
  • Determine app features and functionality 
  • Business model
  • Cost Estimation (based on features functions)
  • Third party platform or custom development
  •  Choosing your technology stack
  • Knowledge-based development
  • Understanding your development timeline
  • Maintenance & Support
  • Security and Privacy
Things to consider before building a app

The Bottom Line

When it comes to mobile app development, as crucial as it is to find the best approach, the biggest challenge is in finding the right team of developers that can do the job!

Instead of going through the hiring process yourself, you can entrust your project to experienced mobile app developers—like us here at Uncut Lab.

We won’t just develop a great mobile app for you; we’ll advise you with the best approach to take for the best results!

Are you looking for a reliable partner to help you with mobile app development? Uncut Lab is a group of distinguished engineers and talented designers based in Boston, Massachusetts that can help you with your product development needs! Aside from handling mobile apps, we also do web development, product design, and code analysis. Contact us today to learn more about our services.


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