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How to sell physical products through Android and iOS apps?

bkc1969bkc1969 USMember

This question has been asked at different times in different ways and, of course, has received a range of different answers over the years. It's difficult at this point to know what is and is not valid in today's landscape.

I have built a Xamarin Forms mobile app for a local shop that sells physical products. The app runs on both Android and iOS (currently not published to either store). Their catalog is available to view and now they would like to offer customers the ability to make purchases from within the app. They are looking for something similar to how the Starbucks app works. The customer can load their account with a certain amount of money which they can use to buy physical products using the mobile app. They will not be making “in-app” types of purchases. Once the physical product has been paid for, the customer will either stop by the store and pickup the product, or the store will ship it to them.

I’ve read that there’s no way this type of app will get approved, especially by Apple. I’ve read that ApplePay will have to be involved and a 30% fee will be incurred. I’ve also read that both of those opinions are hogwash. Can someone with knowledge of current policies (as of September 2019) tell me if this can be done, and if possible, direct me to some online guidance?

Thank you!


  • XamarinProblemsXamarinProblems Member ✭✭✭

    Thats a big question, for that to work in general with app development for all apps you will need a server with a Rest-Service that you can call from your app. The rest-service would then recieve your orders or commands from the app. The server would also need to be equipped with some sort of database to manage the money applied to their app as well as tracking possible-, incomming-, current- and finished orders. This Database would then also be the one you could access to expose the data for the local shop in form of another view in the app or a interface installed on-site. That is the shortes way i can explain it.

    If i may come with a suggestion, it would be to use a already establised product:

    most of those will support viewing the online store from a mobile interface. Most of them will also take a cut like apple, but i doubt the end result will be anywhere near the cost of developing your own system and maintaining it.

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