In times of digitization, the interest in mobile apps is growing steadily. More and more companies want a place in the App / Google Play Store. However, new developments are usually very costly and do not pay off. And why should the wheel or “Call a Bike” be reinvented? White label solutions take up exactly this idea and allows you to market the same app with the same or similar functions several times in a different design.
At ZWEIDENKER we have developed various white label solutions for our customers. Anyone who gets into a car sharing vehicle may have booked it using the “Flinkster” app from Deutsche Bahn Connect without noticing. The “main” -Flinkster app can still be found in the AppStores (ÖBB Rail & Drive, Scouter, Ford Carsharing, Citroën Multicity Carsharing) in the look of other providers. Based on our good experience with this approach, many of our projects have been set up with the option of white labeling. If a basic white label structure is already in place, the effort for creating an “app twin” is very minimal.
When are white labels used?
In software development, especially in web and app development, white labeling can be used to make it easier for new customers to publish logic that has already been developed. In the best-case scenario, the customer only has to provide all brand-specific elements (images, colors, text, etc.).
What must be prepared for a white label?
The ideal case is when a white label functionality is already taken into account in the project planning. This includes a clear definition of all elements that are brand-specific. In addition, all important features should be listed for each element so that new customers who want to become part of the white label receive a list of requirements directly.
In the implementation, it is important for all element types that are to be replaced to create the most automated possible insertion of the correct elements and at the same time to design and create a structure for storing all elements of all brands.
Here, for example, each element can be assigned an ID which, depending on the brand, leads to the correct files / elements during the build process. However, the possibilities and obstacles for these implementations always depend on the platform and the development environment.
When inserting a new white label, it only needs to be built into the existing structure and the elements added. All supporting structures (pipelines, deployment, app stores, etc.) are then created.
What are the advantages of a white label?
- Low costs for each additional white label after the first
- All new features and bug fixes are automatically adopted by all white labels
- White labels can simply replace their elements without affecting all other white labels
What are the disadvantages of a white label?
- When changes are made to brand-specific elements on the developer side (e.g. the format of an image), the new elements must be replaced by all brands
- Adding new element types can lead to a lot of effort
- For the same reason, the implementation of white labeling in an existing project is usually even more work
Where are the limits?
In theory, there is no point where white labeling no longer works. However, at some point it quickly loses its usefulness. This happens when increasingly large parts of the logic are packed into white label elements.
This is not always a bad thing, for example constants such as API keys and URLs can be packaged relatively easily in white label elements. However, the more complex the logic within the individual white label becomes, the less you gain from the concept. Therefore, sooner rather than later, you should consider migrating the white label into separate products and possibly only sharing parts of the code through shared libraries, for example.
Sören Schmaljohann | iOS developer at ZWEIDENKER
How can I use white labels for my project? How can I develop a white label app with my ideas? Contact us! We are happy to help: firstname.lastname@example.org