One of our long-standing customers, ProPack (formerly known as CloudLink), is a great partner of ours. For one of their projects, ProPack, a productivity app provider for Android, needed an app store. Their needs were unique, however, because they also wanted to charge for the apps. Those needs extend past the capabilities of the curated app store, and ProPack needed a solution to fit.

This isn’t unique to ProPack—another customer of ours, Game Tree, had a similar need for its product App Legions. We also have several prospects that want to do similar things for different markets, making this a trend worth talking about.

Enter the commerce-based app store. Through our partnerships with Propack, Game Tree, and others, we worked to develop a commerce-based app store tailored to each client’s specific needs. They’re interesting use cases, and the commerce-based app store is also a potential prospect for the rest of the enterprise app market.

Here’s the gist of it: commerce-based app stores are only possible on the Android platform. For a few reasons, they’re not technically (or legally) possible through iOs. That said, they allow people to purchase, download, and use apps, make in-app purchases (one-time and subscription-based), and handle digital rights management, all in a curated platform. There are cases where a curated app store makes sense, but there are also cases where companies need an app store they can charge for apps in, and commerce-based app stores obviously fall into the latter category.

The commerce-based app store is certainly a departure from the normal enterprise app store—in fact, we’d describe it as completely separate from most enterprise app stores—but it’s an exciting new development and a potential new revenue source that we’re glad to be a part of. Developing new solutions and adapting existing ones with current clients is always fun, and especially here, we think this idea as it’s being discussed could be very promising. 

Though these are only a couple of examples of commerce-based app stores in use, across the industry, we’re seeing the pipeline starting to fill as companies look to expand into new niches and grow their businesses.

It’s not a matter of competing with Google Play—trying to be cheaper, or prettier, or faster—it’s trying to address the same thing we talk about when we mention curated app stores. There are millions of apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, and it can be exceedingly difficult for employees to find apps. When companies pick a niche and stick with it—from productivity tools to games to other very well-defined markets—they have the opportunity to have a big impact and generate new revenue.

Commerce-based app stores aren’t an ideal solution across all situations for businesses, but in some cases, they can be very useful. They’re becoming more and more common, so if you’re thinking about targeting a specific niche and looking for a new way to generate revenue, a commerce-based app store may be the way to go.

Are they the way of the future? Hard to tell. But at the very least, commerce-based app stores could be an interesting avenue for companies to pursue.

Want to learn more about the logistics of running a commerce-based app store, or interested in any of App47’s other enterprise app store solutions? Reach out in the comments, or get in touch via the contact page of our site and let us know—we’d love to hear from you!