Stepping forward from TM Store Product
Over 2 years, TM Store has provided mobile app solutions for over 1000 eCommerce stores and we have earned some very loyal customers. But we have to announce that TM Store’s journey as a product is near its end. The decision to wind up TM Store was taken after putting a lot of thought on its future and we believe that in view of its inherent limitations as well as rapid changes in the digital world, continuing TM Store doesn’t make sense.
In the spirit of transparency, we want to share those limitations which have led us to change the track.
1. It’s not scalable
During its genesis, TM Store was planned as a plug and play product for WooCommerce websites. But after two years, we realize that because of so many variations in base technologies like CMS, Server OS and Mobile OS on which TM Store operates as well as a number of plugins and customization requirements, it has become more like a service for eCommerce stores. We had to confront
- Linux OS
- Linux installation version of the same OS
- WordPress (3 major Updates)
- WooCommerce (4 Major Updates since inception)
- 1,000+ Plugins on WordPress+WooCommerce
- Android and iOS updates (12 Different Variants)
- Different mobile handsets (17,000+ Android Variants)
Due to such heterogeneous ecosystem, a slight change in a website meant creating new APIs and putting corresponding manhours to make the app work. The open source ecosystem that nourished the diversity of software became our Achilles heel.
Gradually, it became a fight of 1 million developers vs product from a team of 20. Since every unit of eco-system is updating, we had to update our product that too with a small team. Despite that, we put our hard work and dealt software revisions with utmost patience. Innovation in our industry is shrinking due to the sheer scale of competition. As mentioned before, it ultimately became a contest of 1 Million developers vs 20 developers.
2. High Maintenance Cost
We intended for a fixed cost model for TM Store but the increasing cost of maintaining source code, supporting 200 plugins for over 1000 merchants and handling updates in WooCommerce, WordPress, Android and iOS proved to be just too much. We reckon that if we had chosen any other cost model, it would have become unaffordable for our customers.
3. Large gap between expectation and reality
The performance of an app depends on many factors like the quality of servers hosting the WooCommerce store and those are beyond our control. Companies like Amazon have far superior infrastructure supporting their websites and app. Comparing mobile apps from TM Store to that from large corporations with millions of dollars at its disposal like Amazon doesn’t stand to reason. Companies like Amazon and Alibaba have at least 200 developers for maintaining high-quality native apps for Android and iOS Users. It is hard to compete with proprietary store owners for open-source merchants, on quality and scale.
4. Mobile Apps are in decline
When TM Store was founded in 2015, mobile apps were far more functional than mobile browsers. In past few years, browser architecture has gone through tremendous change and apps don’t have the same niche anymore. According to Adobe research, US has seen 38% fall in app downloads since 2014 and this decline will be the general trend across the world in future. Our foresight is that Mobile apps would be replaced by Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP is a publishing technology launched by Google that improves the performance of web content. Its popularity can be demonstrated by over 200,000 downloads of AMP WordPress plugin. Whereas TM Store plugin got just 1000+ Installs in last 3 years. This shows that mobile browsers have the momentum on their side.
If you still want a mobile app from TM Store,
- You can purchase the source code for $2000.
- If you are an existing customer of TM Store, you can buy the source code with discount based on the package you purchased.
- You can wait for 6 months after which the source code will be available for free on github.com.
Note: We will not be able to provide maintenance support or customer service after providing you with the source code.