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Guide to Creating Custom Private Apps for Your BigCommerce Store

Dec 18, 2023   •   5 Min Read

What is A BigCommerce Private Web App?

BigCommerce private web apps are pieces of software that are custom-developed and hosted on the cloud. This software is then only accessible to approved users with login credentials. These applications are typically purpose-built for a single use case, three of which we explain with examples below.

These specialty apps are created around the principle of a controlled and secure digital environment. This environment is then tailored to meet the specific needs and objectives of a business or organization. Unlike public web applications, which are accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a license to use it, private web apps require authentication and are often hosted through secure cloud services.

BigCommerce Private Web App Large

The key features of a BigCommerce private web app include:

  • Restricted Access: Access to these applications is typically controlled through secure login credentials, ensuring that only authorized personnel can use them.
  • Customization: Private web browser apps are often custom-developed to cater to the unique requirements of an organization. This development allows for a high degree of personalization in terms of both functionality and user interface.
  • Enhanced Security: Since an eCommerce web app is not publicly accessible through hyperlinks, they are less vulnerable to external threats like hacking or phishing attacks. Security measures like two-factor authentication can be further increased to the specific needs of the organization.
  • Data Control: These private web apps often handle sensitive corporate data. Being private, they offer better control over data storage, processing, and backup, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.
  • Integration Capabilities: They are frequently designed to integrate seamlessly with other external systems, such as BigCommerce, enhancing efficiency.
  • Support and Maintenance: Private web app development usually goes hand-in-hand with private web app hosting. A common element of hosting includes dedicated support and maintenance to ensure that any issues are swiftly addressed and the app remains up-to-date with the latest security protocols. 

Private apps for BigCommerce offer a tailored, secure, and efficient solution for eCommerce brands looking to optimize their internal processes and safeguard their data.

How We Develop BigCommerce Private Web Apps For eCommerce

Example #1: Barron Designs, Custom Products & SKUs

Heroku Web Apps Barron Designs
Source: Barron Designs

Challenge: Customization and Efficiency for Barron Designs

Specializing in custom products like indoor faux wooden beams, Barron Designs needed a system that could not only allow customers to order their products with custom dimensions and styles but also display accurate pricing for these bespoke items. 

The complexity of their product range meant that each customer's choice – from size to style – could significantly alter the product's price. Additionally, they required a method to generate custom SKUs for each unique product configuration, ensuring that these custom creations could be easily reordered in the future. 

This level of customization demanded a solution that was both dynamic and reliable, capable of handling intricate details without compromising on user experience or operational efficiency.

Solution: Dynamic Pricing and SKU Generation With A Private Web App

A private web browser app proved to be the best solution to address Barron Designs' challenges. A specialized connection between BigCommerce and a custom-built private web app was developed by our team here at Groove Commerce. This connection dynamically adjusts the displayed prices on Barron Designs' website based on the specific customizations selected by the customer. As a customer navigates through various options and variants, the system intelligently calculates and presents the correct price, ensuring transparency and accuracy in real-time.

Moreover, our BigCommerce private web app facilitates the on-the-fly generation of custom SKUs. Each time a customer finalizes a product with their chosen specifications, the system automatically creates a unique SKU. This SKU not only represents the specific combination of choices made but also simplifies future reordering processes for both the customer and Barron Designs. 

This seamless integration of dynamic pricing and custom SKU generation not only enhances the customer experience but also streamlines Barron Designs' operational workflow, allowing them to manage their unique product offerings more efficiently.

Example #2: Enterprise Toy Brand, Custom Data CSV Export

DALL·E 2023-12-18 13.18.54 - A simplified and neat homepage design for a fictional toy brand website, specializing in toy trucks. The header includes a simple brand logo and a nav
Note: This Website Mockup Was Created Using AI Tools & Does Not Represent Our Client's Website

Challenge: Streamlining Complex Operations for An Enterprise Toy Brands

This enterprise toy brand, which is known for its major bi-annual product launch events, faced significant operational challenges, particularly in managing its intricate internal returns and shipping processes. 

Despite a user-friendly external facade, the complexity of their system often led to inefficiencies, especially during peak sales periods. One of the critical issues was handling order returns. With only one or two major sales days per year, the volume of transactions was immense, and the company struggled to track returns efficiently. This oversight in processing returns not only resulted in a subpar customer experience but also led to an increase in chargebacks, incurring unnecessary costs for the company. 

The need for a solution that could adeptly manage and streamline their returns process was evident to avoid these operational bottlenecks and enhance customer satisfaction.

Solution: Automated Data Management with A Private Web Browser App and BigCommerce

To tackle these challenges, this brand turned to our team at Groove Commerce for a solution. In turn, we built a connection that integrated a custom-built private web browser app with their existing BigCommerce platform. The creation of the eCommerce web app involved setting up an automated system where, every minute, files containing critical order and return information were exported from BigCommerce into our hosted application. 

Our app then compiles this data into a Master CSV file, providing a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of all return information.

This streamlined process allowed this enterprise toy brand to have real-time insights into their returns, significantly improving their ability to manage and process these returns promptly. The data in the Master CSV file could be easily accessed and utilized by the brand's warehouses and distribution centers, ensuring that the returns were handled efficiently and accurately. 

This solution not only mitigated the issue of missed returns but also played a crucial role in enhancing the overall customer experience. By reducing the incidence of chargebacks and operational hiccups, this brand was able to maintain customer satisfaction and trust, crucial for a business with such a concentrated sales period.

Example #3: Hello Divorce, Custom On-Site Formstack Field Population

Hello Divorce Heroku private Web Apps for eCommerce

Source: Hello Divorce

Challenge: Enhancing Efficiency and Accuracy for Hello Divorce

Hello Divorce offers a unique online platform that simplifies the divorce process, making it more accessible and cost-effective. A key feature of their service is the 'Divorce Navigator', a tool designed to guide users through their divorce journey by tracking completed steps and indicating what remains. As users progress, they input personal information, which is crucial for the accuracy and legality of the process. 

However, Hello Divorce faced a significant challenge: they needed a robust system to not only store this sensitive user information securely but also ensure it seamlessly populated on-site fields. Additionally, this system had to integrate effectively with their existing tools, including Formstack for form management and HubSpot as their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform. 

The goal was to create a cohesive ecosystem where data flowed smoothly across all platforms, maintaining consistency and reliability without compromising user experience.

Solution: Custom Development with A Private BigCommerce Web Browser App

To address these complex requirements, our team got started on the custom development of a private web browser app. The objective was to build a connector that would act as a bridge between the Divorce Navigator, Formstack, and HubSpot.

This BigCommerce web app development and web app hosting solution proved to be a game-changer for Hello Divorce. With this solution in place, the Divorce Navigator now functions seamlessly, accurately tracking user progress and managing data input. The information entered by users is securely stored and correctly populates the necessary fields on the website. 

Moreover, this data synchronizes flawlessly with Formstack and HubSpot, ensuring that all platforms are consistently updated. This integration has significantly enhanced the efficiency of Hello Divorce's service, providing a smooth and reliable experience for users navigating through an often stressful life event.

Need Help Developing Private Apps for BigCommerce? We’re Here To Help

The challenges and solutions presented for clients like Barron Designs, an enterprise toy brand, and Hello Divorce demonstrate how powerful a BigCommerce private web app can be in the eCommerce space. Each case highlights how the custom development and hosting of private apps for eCommerce can be tailored to meet specific business needs. Whether it's managing complex product customizations, streamlining intricate operational processes, or ensuring seamless data integration across various platforms - private web browser apps deliver.

If your business is facing technical challenges or if you're looking to harness the potential of custom app development and hosting for BigCommerce, our team is equipped with the expertise and experience to assist you. We understand the nuances of web app development and hosting which help us to develop solutions that meet your unique business requirements. We not only aim to deliver a solution that addresses your current needs but also to provide a system that supports your business's growth and evolution. 

Contact us to explore how we can bring your ideas to life with a BigCommerce private web app, ensuring a solution that is as unique and dynamic as your business.

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