How Walmart is simplifying building cross-platform apps
- Walmart’s used Electrode Native to update its mobile app’s shopping cart, the retailer said in a post on Medium.com. These apps originally were responsive web apps that were served in an embedded browser. The team also changed the Thank You page that appears after a customer finishes a purchase, and will also update the checkout page.
- Electrode Native means Walmart can write code for iOS and Android once. Walmart, which offers an iOS and Android app for all of its main brands, can use React Native code inside the app and update it later without requesting that users download an updated version.
The news points to how marketers continue to look for ways to streamline app development, which can be expensive and cumbersome, in recognition of the fact that apps still provide the most robust mobile experiences. Walmart currently has two teams of mobile developers for each of its brands building apps for iOS and Android separately. The goal is for Electrode Native to help streamline the process.
Walmart’s Electrode Native means the retailer is building a new platform and tooling for integrating React Native into its app, avoiding the need to rewrite apps from scratch or quickly jerry rig an integration that will be harder to update in the future.
Walmart Labs has deepened its experience with developing open source applications, with 151 projects featured on its GitHub page. As Grigoryan explained to TechCrunch, the move to open source helps to motivate developers at the company who want to share their contributions with the developer community, and to educate engineers outside of the company who want to understand Walmart’s cultural and technical goals.
The retailer’s Walmart Labs division previously developed an open source solution for the React-based framework in Walmart.com’s front end. That makes the integration between React Native and other native apps less cumbersome. React Native becomes a third-party library in the native app, while React Native code works in what Walmart Labs calls an “Electrode Native MiniApp.”