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Definitive Guide to Google Flutter based mobile apps for Retailers

April 12, 2024
12 min read
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Online retail sector is booming at its fastest rate. With an impressive CAGR of 18.28%, the industry looks very promising. However, increasing competition & digitization could act as a roadblock on your journey to tap its full potential.

While you cannot stop innovations and technological advancements that your rivals are adopting, you can surely build and leverage digital tools to stay ahead of the curve. Such tools like websites, mobile and web apps can help you provide that visibility much needed in the crowded market. 

In this guide, following areas are covered to get you comprehensive perspective of Flutter based mobile apps & why it is by far the best platform to build mobile apps for retail business:

  • Why mobile app are critical to your success in future
  • Technology options to build mobile apps
  • What is Flutter and what is in it for Retailers
  • 5 key business benefits of using Flutter for mobile apps
  • Retail trends and how Flutter is geared to meet growing customer demands

Continue reading the guide to discover how Flutter based mobile apps can help transform customer experience.

5 Challenges of the Retail Sector that Mobile Apps can Solve

Mobile apps in the retail sector help businesses in various aspects, e.g., customer data collection, brand image management, broader market reach, and customer relationship management from remote. But that’s not it. These apps, if developed using the right tech stack, can enable you to address the biggest retail challenges you face day in and out. 

The top 5 of them are:

#1 - Re-engaging the buyer is next-to-impossible for a retail brand. Whether the customer forgot to bring a wallet or the product is unavailable in your shop for the time being, you won’t see people coming back for the same or different needs very often. However, with mobile apps, there are tons of ways to re-engage your prospects and buyers.

#2 - Brand Loyalty is not a thing anymore in 2023. People focus on in-store/online experience and product quality nowadays. So, if you have a unique mobile app that loads fast, delivers user experience, and has some unforgettable features, you are in the game.

#3 - Market Trend and Customer Behavior Analysis in your offline store will obstruct people from making purchases and result in a bad shopping experience. On the contrary, a mobile shopping app can collect precise customer data and help you understand the market better.

#4 - Customer safety is a big concern in the post-COVID era, as only 23% of people find in-store trustworthy and safe at present. Online shopping through mobile applications is a savior everyone trusts in.

#5 - 83% of retailers find it hard to recruit the right people, as stated in the McKinsey Survey. Mobile apps,  by decreasing the need for more and more people, can save you here.

What is Flutter and Why Should Retailers Care?

Flutter Logo

By now, you will probably agree that having a mobile app for your business is the biggest necessity for a retail business. While you are at it, the first step will be to decide your tech stack for your mobile app. And even before that, you need to finalize the Mobile OS your app will work for. 

Android? iOS? Both?

Well, if you went the traditional way, the mammoth development cost awaits you.

Google Flutter, on the other hand, is the modern way to develop apps that you can launch for iTunes as well as Google Play Store with minimal modifications. The framework can help you develop user-friendly, fast-loading, and easily maintainable apps in the least time and budget.

Let’s tell you more about Google's innovation.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is Google's open-source SDK, launched in 2017. It allows developers to use the same codebase for their native iOS and Android applications. To create a Flutter mobile application, you must use the Dart programming language

Flutter's features like Hot Reload, widgets, and Flutter mobile app templates have made it super-famous. (explained later in the article).

Not only does Flutter code have the ability to work in synchronization with Java, Kotlin, Swift, or Objective-C, it can integrate well with firebase. In fact, you can compile it to native ARM code when your app requires interacting with platform-native APIs.

Be it user experience, interface elements, app functionality, or code performance, Flutter doesn’t disappoint on any front. The framework has a small but enthusiastic developer community, which is backed by Google and is growing at a fast rate.

How can Retailers Use the Flutter app to Improve their Business?

Retailers, to succeed in their eCommerce business, need their apps to perform well. An app delivering absolute native performance, great visual feel, superfast rendering, customized solutions, and quick updates is surely a big help in this mission.

6 Key Benefits of using Google Flutter for Retail Mobile App Development

Flutter mobile apps for retail can accelerate your business growth in multiple ways. It lets you:

  • Cater to Android and iOS device users through one codebase;
  • Launch your apps faster for faster digital transformation;
  • Update apps and add features in the least time to boost user engagement rate;
  • Integrate your existing applications and APIs for flawless functioning;
  • Customize and beautify your UI to appear unique and interesting to your buyers;
  • Load app elements faster to ensure an excellent shopping experience for buyers.

Flutter Vs. React Native – Which is Better Framework for Mobile app development?

React Native can be considered the closest rival technology to the Google Flutter framework. 2 years older than Flutter, it has quite a good market share at present. However, React Native is a JavaScript-based cross-platform development framework for the web that might not be a good choice for retail development in 2023. 

See this comparison of Flutter Vs. React Native and decide for yourself: 

Is Flutter Good for eCommerce Store Development?

The answer is a hundred yeses. Flutter is highly recommended for eCommerce development. While Flutter based mobile apps require too little initial investment, the framework is perfectly-suited for scaling businesses. Simple put, Flutter has everything that can help you deliver an unmatched shopping experience, such as -

  • Custom UI with attractive and performant elements
  • Cross-platform capability
  • Speedily-loading interface
  • Secure app architecture 
  • Clean and optimized code
  • Awesome Integrability and maintainability
  • Easy and quick error-handling and debugging
  • High scalability – suitable for regional, national as well as global retail businesses

Flutter’s 5 Advantages you might want to Consider 

Flutter Advantages
  1. Fast Development

Creating Flutter mobile apps may take as little time as a few weeks. Not only it speeds up the development but eliminates the need for writing code for Android and iOS applications separately. App version updates and UI content updation can also happen superfast with Flutter.

  1. Cross-Platform Support

Retail businesses can use the same codebase for Android and iOS through Flutter app development. If not 100%, 95% of Flutter code can easily be used in your app while launching it for these 2 platforms, cutting the development cost and time to less than half.

This one Flutter feature improves the usefulness of the framework multifold – making the maintenance, testing, releases, debugging, and launch of your apps super-convenient.

  1. Hot Reload

App releases and feature updates can be made live in milliseconds when you use Flutter. Thanks to the frameworks Hot Reload feature that automates UI content update in real-time (well, almost!) – without any downtime. Prototyping and testing is simplified with it.

  1. Widget Support

Flutter has a wide range of widgets for interactive interfaces. Their appearance can change with state and configuration change. Supporting buttons, texts, cards, layouts, and even animations, Flutter widgets can alone enable you to build native-like UI. 

  1. Community Support

Though Flutter started with a small developers community, it has the support of its creator, Google, and Google’s developer community today. Google has repeatedly used it in its products, e.g. Google Ads and Google Fuchsia, confirming that it has plans to invest for much longer in this disruptive mobile development SDK framework.

Real world examples of retail apps built with Flutter

  • eBay Motors is a fascinating Flutter mobile app example that allows people to browse, buy, and sell vehicles or their parts using their mobile devices. It is very convenient and a big time-saver.

eBay example
  • Groupon delivers a perfect browsing and shopping experience to its users using Flutter. Its global e-commerce marketplace application caters to travellers and daily shoppers.
Groupon Example
  • Philips Hue, a well-known brand in Smart LED lights, has its mobile application for smart home lighting control developed using Flutter. The app has 5+ Million installs and is absolutely loved by its users.
Philips Hue Example
  • Dream11 has its mobile app developed using the Flutter framework. Though not exactly a retail app, it’s one of the top successful Flutter app examples. The app attracts enormous traffic and deals with a good number of transactions every single day – just like a retail app.
Dream11 Example
  • Xianyu is a used goods application by Taobao that sits on Alibaba Cloud's serverless architecture and serves 50+ million users on a regular basis. The app allows flawless collaboration for the internal team while letting buyers shop without difficulties.
Xianyu Example

Is Flutter Future-ready for Your Business?

The framework has spent a time span of 5 years in the market, and is under the banner of Google. While the Flutter developer community and the list of industry pioneers opting for Flutter is growing, the technology seems to innovate a lot too. The flawless native experience of Flutter 3 for Android and iOS platforms also doesn’t seem to compromise with product quality or performance. In fact, it has a lot many new features, especially for game developers. 

All-in-all, Flutter applications surely have a great future and support for years to come.

5 Emerging Retail Trends that will Affect Mobile App Development in 2023

1. More & More Transactions for Online Retail Purchases

According to a report by Oberlo, retail eCommerce is expected to grow at a rate of 10.4%. With eCommerce having a significant global online transactions through mobile wallets, retail applications will attract even more buyers in 2023.

2. Rise in Mobile Apps Usage

COVID era increased the mobile apps usage by 40% and the trend is expected to take an upward route in 2023 too. Where 47% of adults in the US cannot live without their smartphone, app development opportunities and scope for good apps is bound to increase only.

3. Shopping on Phones will remain a preference

As per jmango360, mobile shoppers spend 201.8 minutes per month shopping, while for web, this duration is 10.9 minutes/month. 2023 will further widen this gap in favor of mCommerce.

4. Personalized Experience is the top priority

80% of buyers will prefer to buy from an online app/shop that offers a personalized experience, as per an Epsilon survey. Mobile apps, developed keeping this fact in mind, will generate greater revenue in 2023.

5. It’s the Decade of Flutter 

Flutter is the top trending mobile app development technologies this year, as Yellow Systems confirms, and this trend may continue in 2023 as well. 


Flutter is based on Dart and is a full-fledged software development kit that comprises everything required for creating high-quality digital solutions. From buttons and sliders to off-the-shelf widgets, command-line tools, visualization aids, and API interfaces - it has it all to empower your retail mobile app. So, if you want a cost-effective yet reliable framework to develop iOS and Android apps for your business, Flutter is the one.

How can CodeWalnut help?

CodeWalnut has a proven track record of delivering performant, scalable and secure applications, developed using Flutter – just in weeks. CodeWalnut is learning, utilizing, experimenting with, and watching the Flutter technology since its inception in 2017. With a skillful team of software engineers who are proficient at using this app framework for Flutter development, you won’t have to worry about anything when it comes to eCommerce apps. 

Gotta discuss your requirements? We are all ears.


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