Loyalty mobile apps offer powerful ways to foster long-term relationships and reward customer loyalty. Yet, developing a mobile application can often involve significant financial commitments and resource constraints.
Now, as a loyalty manager, imagine a situation where you must amplify customer engagement and add another communication channel. The choice was a mobile app because, nowadays, it's not a trivial add-on but rather a requirement for most businesses.
The cost of implementing a loyalty mobile app may be overwhelming… (read more about the true costs of developing loyalty software in-house). You need a complex technical team of developers, testers, PMs, and designers to make the solution public. In addition, such a team must often work on Android and iOS versions simultaneously. This means you might need to double the development costs and hire two teams!
Sounds daunting? This does not have to be your reality if you choose the right tech stack!
Along comes Flutter, Google’s revolutionary cross-platform development framework that has become a breakthrough in the mobile app creation arena. Flutter enables businesses to build stunning, feature-rich loyalty apps for the Android and iOS platforms simultaneously, while greatly reducing development costs.
In this article, we'll explore Flutter's transformative potential for loyalty mobile application development, focusing on revealing practical strategies and insights for using this technology to maximize cost efficiency without compromising app quality and functionality.
- Flutter allows you to build mobile loyalty solutions for both iOS and Android platforms using a single codebase. This means creating and maintaining a single app for multiple platforms reduces development time and effort.
- Flutter provides a rich set of pre-designed widgets and allows for easy customization to create visually appealing and brand-specific mobile app interfaces. The framework offers extensive support for animations, transitions, and effects, enabling you to create smooth and engaging user experiences.
- Google, Alibaba, BMW, Philips, and eBay are just a few companies that have embraced Flutter for their mobile app creation. The adoption of Flutter continues to grow across various industries due to its versatility, efficiency, and cross-platform capabilities.
Flutter is a popular open-source user interface (UI) toolkit developed by Google. It allows a development team to create natively compiled mobile, web, and desktop applications using a single codebase.
Since its initial release in 2017, Flutter has gained immense popularity among experts globally due to its ease of use, high performance, and capacity to produce visually impressive and adaptable apps.
Key characteristics and benefits of Flutter
Building an app for a loyalty program can often be an expensive undertaking, with soaring costs and budgets stretching thin. To overcome this challenge, savvy organizations actively seek ways to reduce costs without compromising the quality or functionality of their solution.
And here's Flutter, which reduces app development time and costs by almost half and cuts maintenance costs. With Flutter, you only need one team of developers to roll out the app, and any maintenance costs Note that actual savings may vary depending on the complexity of the application and specific project requirements.
Now, let's browse some of Flutter's characteristics and benefits that can significantly reduce your financial and time investment in developing a mobile app for your loyalty program while providing an outstanding user experience. Whether you have limited resources or an optimized budget, Flutter will allow you to achieve your own loyalty app goals more efficiently while keeping costs in check.
1. A single codebase to manage them all
Thanks to Flutter's versatility, the development team can create cross-platform apps that run natively on multiple devices. It makes the apps look and feel native, meaning they blend well with the operating system and have a familiar user interface.
As a result, developers can write code once and easily use it across multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, web, desktop, and others while ensuring a unified user experience. This approach empowers businesses to reach a wider audience, boost development efficiency, and deliver polished apps that flawlessly run on various devices and operating systems.
Note that using a single code base for both IOS and Android platforms can reduce costs by 50% and speed up development. Flutter's pre-built UI components further increase budget savings and speed up time-to-market. This approach empowers businesses to reach a wider audience, boost development efficiency, and deliver polished apps that run flawlessly on various devices and operating systems.
Also, by selecting Flutter, you not only streamline the development workflow but also minimize the overhead associated with maintaining and updating separate codebases. With Flutter's code reusability, maintaining separate development teams for different platforms can finally become a thing of the past. Instead, a unified codebase allows one team to work together seamlessly, supporting efficient cooperation and rapid development cycles. Such a unified approach will enable experts to focus on writing unique code without wasting valuable time duplicating efforts for each platform.
Implementing any changes, fixes, and updates with a unified codebase becomes a breeze, as they can be effortlessly applied to all supported platforms simultaneously. This commitment to consistency minimizes the likelihood of platform-specific errors or discrepancies.
Another advantage of reusable code in Flutter is the ease with which you can incorporate new functionalities. The development team can swiftly introduce exciting enhancements to the loyalty app by writing code once and integrating it seamlessly across multiple platforms. This speeds up the development process and guarantees that all users across different platforms can enjoy the latest features at the same time, fostering inclusivity and user satisfaction.
Ultimately, harnessing code reusability in Flutter simplifies the development workflow, enhances code maintainability, and optimizes costs associated with cross-platform development.
2. Pre-designed widgets and tools
Flutter is built upon a programming language called Dart, which Google also developed. Dart focuses on making it easy to create user interfaces — it has features specifically designed for building visually appealing and interactive parts of an app.
Flutter offers a wide range of extensive collections of pre-designed widgets and tools, as well as a rich selection of libraries and packages, making it simple for development teams to create beautiful and responsive apps. These widgets serve as building blocks that can be easily combined to create the visual elements of an app, while the tools provide additional capabilities for enhancing the app's functionality. Flutter packages enable developers to access device-specific components, interact with databases, and support networking.
Flutter's extensive and versatile widget library is an invaluable resource for developers. These pre-designed widgets can be smoothly integrated into loyalty apps, accelerating development while maintaining customization options. The library covers a vast array of UI requirements, ranging from basic components like buttons and text boxes to complex layouts and dynamic animations. By leveraging these widgets, developers can save time by avoiding the creation of UI components from scratch and focusing on the application's core functions.
Moreover, Flutter's widget library empowers app creators with extensive customization options. The widgets can easily adapt to specific design guidelines, ensuring a consistent and visually appealing user experience. The flexibility of widget styles, themes, and animations allows development teams to create interfaces that fluidly adapt to branding and user expectations.
The app's performance improves when Dart and Flutter are used together. Dart ensures efficient code execution and early error detection, resulting in a more reliable app. Additionally, Flutter's optimized widgets and tools enable fast rendering and smooth animations, delivering a seamless user experience.
3. One click to reveal the progress
Another of Flutter's remarkable features is its hot reload capability. This feature allows developers to immediately check out the impact of code changes on a running app without restarting or recompiling the entire project.
This feature greatly increases productivity by enabling developers to experiment, troubleshoot, and adjust the look and behavior of the solution in real-time.
The effect? A fully streamlined development process that encourages iteration and experimentation with different designs and features.
4. A vibrant and supportive community of experts
Flutter benefits from a thriving community of creators who actively contribute to its growth and advancement.
This robust ecosystem offers a wide range of packages, libraries, and resources, providing app creators with ready-made solutions and accelerating development. The community's support, knowledge-sharing, and continuous improvement efforts contribute to the overall strength of the Flutter framework.
5. Greater availability of qualified experts
Flutter's reactive framework and widget-based architecture make it easy for developers to build complex user interfaces efficiently. The declarative nature of Flutter allows the development team to focus more on app logic and must-have functionalities rather than dealing with low-level platform-specific code.
For Flutter app development, the hourly rates of skilled and reliable developers can be as low as about $30 per hour, but can go so far as $200 per hour. Indeed, freelancers can be cost-effective for mobile app development with Flutter, especially for low-complexity projects. However, relying on a single freelancer may not be cost-effective if your mobile loyalty project requires many programming hours.
6. Development resources
One of the remarkable strengths of adopting Flutter for your mobile loyalty app development is its ability to optimize resources, leading to significant cost reductions.
In the traditional approach, building apps for iOS and Android required separate teams, each specializing in their respective platforms. But Flutter changes the game's rules by enabling cross-platform development so that you can achieve the same results with a leaner, more cohesive development team.
Taken this way, a single team proficient in Flutter can seamlessly share code and handle the development for both platforms concurrently. Any updates or bug fixes can be implemented in parallel, saving valuable time and effort. This unified resource allocation approach translates into significant savings and improves team collaboration and coordination.
Long gone are the days of duplicating efforts or managing separate codebases for each platform. You can allocate resources precisely with a leaner team, ensuring an agile and streamlined development process.
7. App performance optimization
Delivering a smooth and high-performance user experience is paramount when developing applications. Luckily, Flutter equips you with powerful techniques to optimize your app's performance. By implementing them, you can boost your loyalty app's efficiency while reducing infrastructure costs associated with hosting and maintenance.
One of the first techniques Flutter offers is code minification. By whisking away unnecessary characters like whitespace and comments from your source code, code minification reduces the overall size of your app's codebase. The result? Faster load times and improved performance. The smaller code size makes the application lightning-fast and contributes to lower bandwidth usage, which benefits users with limited data plans or slower internet connections.
Flutter also empowers you with the mighty technique of tree shaking. This technique optimizes business apps by meticulously analyzing the code and removing unused or redundant segments. This streamlines the loyalty solution, leading to improved runtime performance. Also, it eliminates overhead, resulting in faster execution and reduced memory consumption.
But Flutter doesn't stop there! It has an extra feature called ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation. This feature takes the developed code and translates it into a language that the devices can understand directly. This happens before the app is even run on the device. Think of it like translating a book from one language to another before you actually start reading it: you don't have to spend time interpreting it in your head. By doing this beforehand, Flutter can make the app start up faster and use less memory. It's like having a book that's already translated.
By optimizing your app's performance using available Flutter techniques, you can enhance its performance, skyrocket user satisfaction, and boost retention rates. Additionally, optimizing performance will alleviate the strain on your app's infrastructure, resulting in lower hosting costs and decreased maintenance efforts.
8. Integration with cross-platform analytics apps
When it comes to tracking and understanding the performance of your mobile loyalty solution, investing in separate analytics tools for iOS and Android can be a hassle, not to mention costly. But fear not! Thanks to the emergence of cross-platform analytics solutions that effortlessly integrate with Flutter, you can streamline the process and gain valuable insights into user behavior, app performance, and engagement — all without incurring additional expenses.
By embracing cross-platform app analytics, you can consolidate your data-tracking efforts and effortlessly gather comprehensive metrics from both iOS and Android users. Such analytics tools are tailor-made to work fluently with Flutter. They also provide a holistic view of your app's performance across various devices and platforms, empowering you to make data-driven decisions.
One of the tremendous benefits of using cross-platform analytics solutions is their ability to track and decipher user behavior. These tools offer invaluable insights into how users interact with your mobile app, shedding light on the features they engage with the most, the paths they traverse, or their actions. Armed with this knowledge, you can uncover patterns and trends, allowing you to make choices about app design, feature updates, or user engagement strategies.
Moreover, cross-platform analytics solutions enable you to closely monitor your app's performance across a diverse range of devices and platforms. You can keep track of metrics such as app crashes, loading times, or network latency, enabling you to identify and resolve any issues that may hinder the user experience. By proactively addressing performance bottlenecks, you can ensure your app operates flawlessly on both iOS and Android devices.
In addition to understanding user behavior and optimizing app performance, cross-platform analytics solutions also provide valuable insights into user engagement. You can measure user retention, session duration, and conversion rates to gauge how effectively your app captivates users and encourages desired actions. This wealth of data can help you refine onboarding procedures, fine-tune marketing strategies, and implement features that amplify engagement.
What brands are using Flutter in their mobile apps?
Several notable companies have adopted Flutter for their mobile app development needs.
The creator of Flutter, Google, uses the framework for various internal projects and products like Google Ads, Google Assistant, and Google Pay.
Alibaba Group, a multinational conglomerate, leverages Flutter to develop applications within their ecosystem, including their shopping and e-commerce platforms.
A leading Chinese technology company, Tencent, has utilized Flutter for developing applications like Now Live, a live-streaming platform, and K12 Education, an educational app.
The renowned automotive manufacturer, BMW, employed Flutter to build their BMW Connected app, which provides vehicle management and digital services to BMW car owners.
The financial services and mobile payment company, Square, utilizes Flutter to build apps like Square Register and Cash App, enabling seamless and secure payment processing.
The global health technology company, Philips, has used Flutter to develop the Philips Sonicare app, which helps users manage their oral health and dental care.
Realtor, a popular real estate listing website, adopted Flutter for their mobile app, providing users with an intuitive and feature-rich property search experience.
A well-known personal development and mental health app, Reflectly, relies on Flutter for its engaging user interface and smooth user experience.
Grab, a leading ride-hailing and food delivery platform in Southeast Asia, has incorporated Flutter into their consumer-facing mobile app for booking rides, ordering food, and getting loyalty points.
We used Flutter to develop the white label mobile loyalty app framework, which brands can use to quickly launch fully customized mobile apps equipped with various loyalty and gamification mechanisms.
Want to discover the market-proven mobile loyalty mechanics used by top brands to connect with their customers? Get inspiration from our recent article on high performing mobile loyalty programs!
To sum up, if you choose Flutter as your development platform for creating loyalty mobile apps, you can consolidate your efforts, streamline your development process, and achieve significant savings. Flutter enables you to develop mobile loyalty solutions for iOS and Android, web, and more, using a single code base, reducing development time and effort. Creating and maintaining a single application for multiple platforms eliminates the need to develop and support separate code bases for each platform, saving valuable resources.
In addition to cross-platform capabilities, Flutter provides a rich set of pre-designed widgets that can be easily customized to create visually appealing and brand-specific mobile app interfaces. The framework offers extensive support for animations, transitions, and effects, enabling the creation of smooth and engaging user experiences that increase customer loyalty.
Flutter's popularity is snowballing, with well-known companies such as Google, Alibaba, BMW, Philips, and eBay using the platform to develop mobile applications. These industry leaders appreciate Flutter's versatility and efficiency, using its cross-platform capabilities to reach a wider audience and reduce development costs.
Your complete guide dedicated to planning, setting up, and launching a successful loyalty program is waiting. Get our mobile loyalty implementation checklist now!