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White Label Apps – The Reseller Option for Starting Your Own App Business

Author

15 May 2017

Florian

reselling-white-label-apps

Are you interested in creating and selling apps? It could be a lucrative career. According to a recent report, 67% of SMBs plan to have their own mobile app by the end of the year. Could you give them that solution?

Well, the good news is that you don’t need a team of iOS and Android developers to create an application these days. If your client's needs are simple enough, you could absolutely use an app maker and claim credit for their platform and development tools. In fact, they actively encourage it through their reseller, or white label app programs.

 

So what is a white label app?

Let’s say you use GoodBarber to create an app. You can log into their platform, play around, add features and publish it online. When you do, you will be using the GoodBarber website and backend. Their logo and branding is everywhere.

But are building a GoodBarber app for someone else? You could give them login details to see how their app is coming along. You could also give them access to add content and publish it themselves. But as a white label app, it will look like you created the backend yourself!

This is achieved through 3 white label features:

  • Hidden branding: whoever is using the app will not know the name of the app maker whose platform they are using
  • Customizable branding: you can replace the app maker branding with your own
  • Private domain name: your clients will access their app backend through a private domain name associated with your account

In short, you are paying for the right to replace any mention of GoodBarber with your own name or company name, while enjoying all of their features. Of course, any mention of their pricing will also be hidden from view.

Do I need to hide the branding?

Actually you don't. In fact, some resellers prefer to keep the name of the app maker to leverage the brand as part of their pitch to clients.

As an app maker CEO told us: “It reminds me how it used to be with web agencies. At the beginning they didn't say they were using WordPress to create the website for their customers. Now, they say they are WordPress gurus.

 

Ok I want to start – now what?

Time for research! You should ensure that your app maker is perfect for your new business. Below is a checklist of all the points you should consider:

  • Price structure: the app makers world is still fairly new, which means a lot of experimentation with pricing structures. While they are generally paid monthly, you can also pay a lump sum for a certain amount of apps. Some give you a discounted price per app volume. You have to make sure the pricing structure make sense for the kind of reseller business you will run, and that it allows you to scale your business over the years.
  • Features: are you going to focus on creating event apps? Or maybe apps for local shops? Different app makers offer different features, so don’t get locked into a contract with one that hasn’t got the features you need.
  • Custom features: because app makers focus on a one-size-fits-all model, you might need to implement extra features for your clients. Most app makers let you integrate those, so you could invest in a developer for the odd coding job.
  • Developer accounts: Once the apps are built, you will need to submit them to an app store. This is done with a developer account and it costs $99 / year for the AppStore and $25 forever for the Play Store. Some app makers let your clients submit through their own developer accounts, but make sure they understand the price and process.
  • Reseller dashboard: When you are building or managing several apps at once, things can quickly get confusing. All app makers should give you access to a good dashboard where you can see the status of your apps and  any recent updates (made by you or your clients).

 

GoodBarber-reseller-dashboard

The Goodbarber reseller dashboard. You can see the status of each app you build and publish there.

 

  • Team Management: In case you are working as a team. Your app maker reseller program should let multiple users access the reseller dashboard.
  • Client CMS: Letting your clients see the app backend is one thing. Giving them the tools to create their own content in the future is another. This is done through a client CMS (content management system) and it could be hugely beneficial if you want them to add regular posts or offers without having to oversee everything.
  • Priority support / training: By building multiple apps at once, you will become one of the app makers’ power users. You will also be responsible for any technical problems if something happens to your clients’ apps. So make sure the support is fast, reliable and efficient.
  • Marketing tools and resources: As a reseller, your main priority will probably be to find new clients. Some app makers will help you in your search by offering tools and resources to bring in extra business. Here is a post from AppInstitute, for instance.

 

An overview of resellers programs

The table below shows you a quick overview of 5 different reseller programs. Scroll down or click on their name for more information about each of them.

GoodBarber

Goodbarber

Shoutem

shoutem

BiznessApps

biznessapps

AppInstitute

AppInstitute

AppYourself appyourself partner logo
Price (billed yearly) $240 / Month $279 / Month $250 / Month $120 / Month

$552 / Month

$960 / Month

$100 / month

$150 / month

Number of apps unlimited 5 – 12 depending on features 10 5

30

75

5

10

Hidden costs Extra cost for certain features: $40 – 80 per year per app, or $80 / month for unlimited use on all the apps. Support isn't included:

live chat: $162/ month

live chat + 24/7 phone support: $576 / month

None None None
Custom branding check check check check check
Dedicated account manager check check check check check
Client access check check check check check
Pros Beautiful templates

Robust features

Excellent user experience when creating the apps

Easy to use for beginners

Powerful marketing tools

Great for ecommerce apps

Sliding scale is useful for testing the waters

Good for Directory Apps

Great CSM dashboard

Connect App to let users update their content on the go

Cons Not all features are free Expensive support

Limited amount of features at the moment

App creation platform could be a little easier to use. Limited design options Limited design options
Best for Offering unlimited apps makes them hard to beat for scaling your reseller business. Probably the nicest interface to use. They are also a great choice if you can code or know someone who does. BiznessApps give you all the tools and resources you need to actually sell your apps. The sliding scale is useful if you’re just launching your reseller business. They also have a unique Business Directory feature. AppYourself's CMS tools seem very attractive if your users need to update a lot of their app content themselves.
Link Try GoodBarber for free Try Shoutem for free Try AppInstitute for free Try AppYourself for free

 

GoodBarber

goodbarber reseller


Price:
$240 / month or $2400 a year for an unlimited amount of apps (!).

Extras costs:

  • Add-ons: some features need to be purchased on a per app basis (between $40 / $80 per year), but you can also buy unlimited add-ons, starting at $80 / month.
  • Geofences: each app comes with 6 free geofences, and you can buy 25 more for $6 / month.
  • iBeacons: you get 6 free beacons per app and can buy 25 more for $12 / month.
  • GoodBarber Takes Care Service: you can let Goodbarber submit and publish the apps to the AppStore or Play Store for you (you still need to provide your own developer account). The initial cost is $50, which buys you 10 “submission credits” and each app submission or update costs 1 credit.

Main features: A good range of features, from loyalty options to unlimited push notifications. You can read a full review of their offer here.

Reseller tools: good reseller dashboard. Cloning tool to easily duplicate an application. 6 weeks on boarding reseller training that includes a 45 min 1 on 1 call per week to help you get started. Ability to integrate custom code. Online resources (available for everyone).

Unique approach: GoodBarber are focusing on “progressive web apps”, so you can create apps that look and behave exactly the same on smartphones and web browsers (mobile or desktop). This means that you could potentially sell the results as a simplified website for clients! Their apps also tend to put content at the front, making them ideal for blogs, news publications and magazines.

Become a GoodBarber reseller

 

Shoutem

shoutem reseller

Price: The “Agency” pricing, as Shoutem calls it, starts at $279 / month. It doesn’t limit the amount of apps you can build, but instead lets you buy $310 worth of standard Shoutem app subscriptions. While it looks rather confusing, there are two advantages to this method: one is that you can create apps with the lite, basic or advances plans (different prices and different levels of features). Two, you get a discounted rate based on the number of apps you build.

Extra costs:

  • Live chat support: $162/ month
  • Live chat + 24/7 phone support: $576 / month

Main features: A small but decent list at the moment: coupons, community features, events and places.

Reseller tools: Shoutem offers personal training to help you get started with the platform. You also have a dedicated account manager, and will be able to access white label promotional material to sell your apps to clients.

 

shoutem-extension-marketplace

The new Shoutem extension marketplace. Not quite complete at the time of writing, but a good example of how well-designed their platform is.

Unique approach: Shoutem is taking a leaf from WordPress’s book by opening its code to developers. They aim to create a big marketplace of extensions that you can tweak and integrate with your app. If you know how to code or work with a developer, this could be a huge plus.

 

BiznessApps

BiznessApps-reseller

Price: Their reseller plan costs $250 a month (billed yearly). This includes 10 app credits.

Extra costs:

  • After your first 10 apps, you can purchase extra ones at a discount.

Main features: Food ordering, push notifications, loyalty programs, mobile shopping cart, bookings.

Reseller tools: You get a dedicated Partner Success Manager, sales training, marketing materials, video tutorials, webinars and access to their Reseller Community. Plus access to a very handy lead-generation tool called Bizness Health where you can find new leads and monitor the state of your business.

Unique approach: BiznessApps are probably the most marketing focused of all app makers, offering tons of resources to really help you find leads and sell your apps.

 

biznessapps-lead-generator

One of BiznessApp’s advanced marketing tools – a very effective lead generator.

 

AppInstitute

Appinstitute reseller backend

Price: AppInstitute offer 3 different reseller pricing plans. Silver ($120/month) lets you publish 5 apps. Gold ($552/month) gives you 30. Platinum ($960/month) gives you 75. These are yearly prices, account for around 10% more when you pay monthly.

Extra costs:

  • You can purchase extra apps at different prices depending on your plan. $20 a month for Silver, $18 for Gold and $11 for Platinium.
  • There is also an undisclosed discount for (very) high volume partners (if you ever get more than 50K customers).
  • Discounted Hire a Pro service (app design and development service) $349 for Silver, $299 for Gold and $249 for Platinum.

Main features: Loyalty features, in-app store, directory, booking and more.

Reseller tools: 90 success plan (training) and marketing material for all plans. Free app resubmissions and free sales website for Gold and Platinum. The Platinum plan also comes with extras like free logo creation, domain registration, Google Developer License and 1st year Apple Developer License amongst others.

Unique approach: AppInstitute lets you create unlimited demo apps (or just 100 with the Silver plan) so your clients can preview an app before you sell it / add it to your plan.

Become an AppInstitute reseller 

 

AppYourself

Appyourself Reseller-Dashboard

Price: 5 apps for 100 € / month. 10 apps for 150 € / month or 1500 € / year.

Extra costs: Nothing to note.

Main features: Booking, table reservation, coupons, stamp card and more.

Reseller tools: Reseller dashboard, customer CMS.

Unique approach: AppYourself lets you create your own plans so you can give your clients different pricing options depending on the features they need.

Become an AppYourself reseller

 

AppyPie

appypie reseller

Price: AppyPie has 4 reseller plans: Starter ($100 / month – 10 apps); Pro ($200 month – 25 apps); Business ($300 month – 50 apps); and Enterprise ($400 a month – 100 apps)

Extra costs:

  • Certain features use third party solutions. These usually start free but could become expensive if you rely on them a lot.

Main features: In-app store, loyalty features, geo-localization and more.

Reseller tools: Nothing special here.

Unique approach: AppyPie offers lifetime subscriptions (which actually only remain active for 5 years). It’s essentially a discounted rate when you pay a big lump sum in advance.

Become an AppyPie reseller

 

AppMakr

appmakr-reseller

Price: Their only option is the reseller pack which costs $34 / month. You can publish 10 apps with it, with unlimited users and updates.

Extra costs: Nothing to note.

Main features: Pretty basic e-commerce and location-based services.

Reseller tools: Priority support.

Unique approach: AppMakr is one of the rare app makers to gives you the source code of your white label apps. Also: dead cheap.

 

Final thoughts

In conclusion, it is worth reiterating that, as a reseller, you will become the app makers’ privileged user. You should therefore expect a certain level of support and service to create the apps as easily as possible and focus on selling them instead.

The other good news is that you can easily test the waters by choosing the best app maker for one app and trying to sell it. If you are successful, you can then start thinking more seriously about setting up a stable business. And if you really want to grow it, there is no reason why you couldn’t invest in more than one app maker reseller package!

 

Did we miss anything? Considering another white label option? Let us know in the comments below as we’ll be exploring reseller programs more in depth in the future with complete comparisons and video reviews.

  • Brian Weck

    This article forgets to mention that Good Barber charges for App Store submissions – $450 for 4 submissions (initial submission + 3 updates)

    • @brian_weck:disqus this is a new offer that we are testing right now. It’s brand new, that’s why it may not have been noticed when the article has been written.