This is the first App Maker Showdown of the second round. We’ve already seen both of these app builders, Bizness Apps and ShoutEm, in previous Showdowns. Since this is the second round, we aren’t going to waste much time discussing the importance of mobile development or why comparing the different app builders on the market matters. Instead, we’re going to focus solely on these two builders and what makes them competent builders.

In its last appearance in our Showdown series, ShoutEm lost a very close matchup to GoodBarber. It was a virtual tie, but GoodBarber just managed to scrape by with the win. The loss was thanks in large part because of ShoutEm’s overall poor ease of use and a lack of design options compared to their competitor.

Bizness Apps, on the other hand, had a pretty clear win over AppMachine, in their first bout. While they suffered from poor ease of use as well, their many support options and features allowed them to shine.

While ShoutEM is the clear underdog, with a 0-1 record to Bizness Apps’ 1-0, they just barely lost out in the first round of Showdowns. Will their focus on social media integration be enough to snatch victory over the first-round-victorious Bizness Apps?

 

Round 1: Ease Of Use

Both of these app makers stumbled in their initial contests when it came to ease of use. For ShoutEm, the issue is that many parts of their platform aren’t as user-friendly as beginner app builders typically prefer. Adding features, for example, requires the user to navigate through multiple menus. Considering this is one of the most repeated processes in app building, it should be one of the most intuitive. Additionally, they have a separate set of processes for creating tablet-based apps and smartphone-based apps, which often leads to user confusion, according to reviews. The one plus side is that ShoutEm does offer a very comprehensive video tutorial library that helps simplify some of these more complicated aspects of the app building platform.

Bizness Apps lost the Ease of Use round to AppMachine, a builder with arguably one of the best building interfaces out there when it comes to ease of use. So, despite faltering in the round, Bizness Apps has an easy to use platform. The biggest drawbacks are that the builder doesn’t automatically save and image dimensions can sometimes produce pictures and graphics that are too large in the app. This requires the developer to tweak the sizing until they find the right fit, which can waste a lot of time if you plan to include a lot of images in your app.

Round Winner: Bizness Apps – While neither of these app makers excels at ease of use, ShoutEm just has a few more negatives than Bizness Apps.

 

Round 2: Design and Flexibility

ShoutEm didn’t secure a win in the Design and Flexibility round either, but that’s because their opponent was throwing some serious punches. They have eight unique, initial templates to choose from. While this might not seem like a lot, ShoutEm then offers a broad range of customization options from there. Thus, anyone building an app with this platform can take that starting template and make it their own. Plus, they grant access to the CSS editor of the apps, so a developer with the right coding knowledge could get under the hood and make a truly terrific, customized app.

Bizness Apps also brings a lot of different design and template options to the table. Because of their extensive library of templates, they even allow users to search by the type of business. There are different templates focused on art galleries or golf courses or restaurants. This makes it easier to find the right template suited for a business’ precise needs. However, this can limit the number of options a business has. While it appears that the builder has many templates to choose from, there may only be a couple that caters to your business type. One design feature that is unique to Bizness Apps is the animated slider, which can showcase different pictures and even be linked to other pages or sections of the app for enhanced navigation.

Round Winner: Even – Both builders offer a number of basic templates and allow users to customize from there. Bizness Apps has more templates, but they are industry-specific, which means most businesses are limited to only a few options.

 

Round 3: Social Media Integration

Social media integration is a definite strong suit of ShoutEm. They were a standout winner in this round against GoodBarber and for a good reason. While many DIY building platforms only focus on integration with the major social media players (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), ShoutEm goes beyond these and connects to niche-specific social media networks, like EventBrite for events, SongKick for music and many others. If your business connects with customers on any less-than-mainstream social media networks, there’s a good chance you can integrate those channels with your ShoutEm app.

Bizness Apps is one of those aforementioned builders that focuses on the leading social media networks. That said, they do have some great newsletter integration options that let you connect an existing MailChimp or other newsletter services. The one tricky part of their interface, regarding social media integration, is that connecting to Facebook or another feed is done through the “add web page” option, which can be a confusing, misleading label.

Round Winner: ShoutEm – ShoutEm just does more and does it better than Bizness Apps. This doesn’t mean that Bizness Apps has poor social media integration options, they just don’t focus in this area like ShoutEm.

Round 4: Features

When it comes down to features, ShoutEm offers an excellent array of the most popular and typical features: loyalty/rewards program, location-based services, push notifications, E-Commerce, etc. While this package of features is very typical of app builders, ShoutEm does a terrific job delivering a platform where all these features work seamlessly and in sync with one another. For example, push notifications can be created based on the user’s location. Alternatively, loyalty points can be tracked and used on the E-Commerce pages of the app. The loyalty program is the high point of ShoutEm’s repertoire of features because it has so many options, in terms of the type of program, the rewards you can offer and even how points or rewards are earned. Its low point is E-Commerce, which doesn’t integrate with every major existing online store platform (Shopify, WooCommerce and so on).

The bad news for ShoutEm is that Bizness Apps’ focus is on their features, which means they aren’t holding back in this round. Similar to ShoutEm, they use location-based services to target messages and even loyalty coupons based on the user’s location. But, where Bizness Apps shines is in their E-Commerce platform. Not only can you integrate an existing online store that’s hosted through Magento, Shopify or others, but the app has its own catalog feature, which allows a business to build their own app-based store from scratch. When it is checkout time, Bizness Apps also has a lot of connectivity options for how orders are processed, whether the user wants to use PayPal, Braintree or another service. The final standout feature of this mobile app solution is the tutorial feature, which lets new downloaders of your app choose to get a quick guide or walkthrough of all the features on your app. This ensures that they use each part of your app and see your whole mobile experience.

Round Winner: Bizness Apps – Again, this is a case where one side (ShoutEm) doesn’t inherently have a bad lineup of features, the other side just has a good one. Bizness Apps’ attention is remarkably devoted to their features, which makes this a difficult round for ShoutEm.

 

Round 5: Support

Given that their builder isn’t as simplified as some of the others, ShoutEm understands the importance of having a lot of available support options. As aforementioned, they do have a number of video tutorials to help explain some of the more complex features and topics surrounding their app builder. There is also a comprehensive collection of online articles and how-to guides. If a user cannot find their answer in these videos or articles, ShoutEm has email support. Sometimes this can be an area of trouble, as email-based help can be slower than a more direct means of communication, like calling a phone number. That said, ShoutEm has outstanding email response times, and their staff is thorough in their replies, which makes up for their lack of call support.

Next to features, support is Bizness Apps greatest area of strength. There is a vast library of written guides that are complete with step-by-step instructions, graphics, and even videos to help users learn. Bizness Apps also routinely publishes blog articles. Many of these pieces talk about future development trends, as well as contemporary ones, which creates the opportunity for small-time app developers to learn about the industry as a whole and how to prepare their apps for the future. For live support, Bizness Apps offers live, online chat support or email support. Both respond quickly and efficiently. They will point you in the direction of an article or tutorial that is relevant to your problem and offer their own solution.

Round Winner: Bizness Apps – In terms of direct support, both of these app builders are very evenly matched. ShoutEm has a great support platform and lots of videos and guides. What puts Bizness Apps above ShoutEm is their blog content, which analyzes a number of small business marketing trends. Thus, their support is not only focused on helping people build apps, but also improve their business.

And The Winner Is…

Bizness Apps is the clear winner with three round wins to ShoutEm’s one (and one round ending in a tie), but that doesn’t give ShoutEm the credit they deserve. Despite being 0-2 in App Maker ShowDowns, ShoutEm is a comparable app building platform; it isn’t bad by any means. They’ve narrowly missed out on wins in numerous rounds. It boils down to what you want out of your app maker. ShoutEm’s strong suit is in their social media integration. If that is an important quality for the unique goals and objectives of the app you hope to create, then it is likely the better option over Bizness Apps. From an overall perspective, Bizness Apps just delivers a more complete app builder.