White Label App Development – Pros, Cons, Features & Challenges

Nowadays, white-label apps are becoming more and more popular. Even regular SaaS solutions are forced to add a white-labeling feature. But what is it, and why is there such a high demand for this kind of solution?

If you’re about to develop your own white-label app and set up your own business, it’s definitely an article for you. In this text, you’ll find answers to your questions about the pros and cons of white-label web development and hints about the software development process and development services.

If you already have a SaaS solution and think about white labeling, you’ll learn how to start with that, which elements should be customized and how to approach your current app improvements from a development perspective.

If you’re thinking about investing money in subscribing to a white-labeled app SaaS solution, I refer you to my other article in which I compare white-label and custom apps.

What is a white-label app?

A white-label app is a type of app offered in a Software as a Service model (SaaS) that allows its clients to brand and use it as if it was theirs.

White-label app solutions are usually built for businesses from a particular industry and address a unified need for similar development services (which means that white-label web development is distributed as a B2B solution).

Let’s think about restaurants and their needs. They might need a white-label food delivery or restaurant ordering app that allows customers to log in and order a meal. Although such an app might look like a custom app of a particular restaurant, with its colours and logotypes, in fact, this can be a white-label SaaS solution that the restaurant subscribes to.

Another case might be a SimplifiedBody white-label app that we built for one of our clients. It was a dietary app that allowed trainers to create their own personal branded apps and grant access to their clients (end-users).

Usually, white-label apps have a multi-level construction as there are several elements needed: an app for end-users (the final clients, e.g. so they can order a meal), an admin panel for businesses (companies that bought the white-label SaaS subscription) and a super-admin panel for the app owner (the company who actually developed the white label website or app, like yours).

Because of admin functionality and easier management, a white-label system is usually based on a web app. A mobile app might be a part of it, but it doesn’t have to. It all depends on goals.

What if you have a SaaS solution and want to add a white-labeling feature? When is the time to do so?

Now, let’s assume you already have a SaaS solution and need to extend its functionality to allow people to customise it more. But how should you know it’s the right time to do so?

There are several situations when it may be a good idea to white-label your SaaS custom app:

  1. When you want to offer your app to a wider audience – by white labeling, you can offer it to other businesses or individuals who may be interested in using your technology but want to customize the branding and design to suit their needs.
  2. When you want to improve customer satisfaction – by offering white-label services, you can give your customers more control over the branding and design of the app, which can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
  3. When you want to enter new markets by white-labelling your app, you can enter new markets or target new customer segments that may have unique branding or design requirements.

Overall, white-labelling your SaaS custom app can be a great way to generate additional revenue streams, increase customer satisfaction, and expand your reach into new markets.

Pros of turning a regular app into a white-label web solution

You might also think about making the custom app that you developed for your company into a white-labelled SaaS solution. In such a case, there might be a few additional benefits.

  1. You can generate additional revenue streams – a white-label website or app can be a great way to generate additional revenue streams by licensing the technology to other businesses. This can be a particularly attractive option if you have developed a unique or innovative solution that has potential value to other companies.
  2. You can optimise development costs – white-label web development can be a cost-effective way to leverage your existing technology and infrastructure to serve multiple customers with minimal additional development work.

However, it’s important to carefully consider the costs and benefits of white labelling before making a decision, as there may be trade-offs to consider.

What are the cons of white-labelling your SaaS app?

While there are many benefits to white-labelling an app, there are also some potential drawbacks that you should keep in mind.

First of all, you need to be aware that white labelling will increase support costs. Since each business may customize and deploy your app in different ways, you may need to provide more support from the white-label agency to ensure that the app works correctly for each customer. You also might need to invest in extending documentation and creating additional materials so they have a chance to cope with customisation on their own.

The second huge challenge is your system’s limitations. While white-labelled apps are designed to be customizable, the possibilities are not endless. There always will be something missing that many companies might lack. That, in return, may limit the appeal of the app to certain markets.

Overall, going for white-label development services can be a great way to generate additional revenue streams and expand your reach into new markets. However, it’s important to carefully consider the potential drawbacks and weigh them against the benefits before deciding whether or not to pursue a white-labelling strategy.

Cons of turning your regular app into a white-labelled SaaS solution

There are also some case-specific problems when you’re about to turn your regular app into a white-labelled SaaS solution.

The most obvious is the fact that if too many businesses are using your white-labelled app, it can dilute your brand and make it less distinct on the market. If your app is white-labelled by multiple businesses, it may be difficult to differentiate your app from other similar apps on the market. That will weaken your brand.

Let’s assume you’re an e-commerce company that built a mobile app to provide people with a convenient shopping platform. It performs well, and now you’re considering whether or not to rebuild it to offer it in a white-label SaaS model to other companies like yours. That could generate profits, but if many companies like yours will operate on almost the same app, they won’t be seen as unique for their customers anymore (if they target the same groups).

If the businesses that use your white-label app become successful and well-known, they may be perceived as the primary brand rather than your own brand. From this perspective, sharing your app with other companies might lead to the cannibalization of your own brand.

Let’s say that you developed a social media app and now want to share it with others in the white-labelled SaaS model. The main risk is that your native app might be less popular than your client’s and, therefore, might be forgotten or abandoned. However, if you want to expand your company into SaaS services rather than competing with other social networks, it won’t be a pitfall anymore.

For those reasons, you need to define your goals and decide whether going into a white-labelled SaaS model is good for your business or whether it might turn out to be disastrous in the long run.

What do you need to remember when you’re about to develop a white-label app or add such a feature to your SaaS solution?

Overall, developing a custom white-label app requires careful planning and attention to detail. By such an approach, you can create a white-label app that meets the needs of your target market and provides value to your customers.

Now, let’s take a look at what to consider before you choose the development company aka white-label agency or start building your own team to bring the innovative idea to life.

Research your target market

Before you start developing your white-label app, it’s important to do thorough research on your target market. This will help you understand your future customers’ needs or pain points and decide what features and functionalities they’re looking for in a mobile app.

That also allows you to choose the right monetisation model (if you’re developing your app from scratch) or adjust the current pricing system to include white-labelling without discouraging users. In both cases, you need to define how people will gain access to this feature (by default, on a higher tier or paying extra) and how much that should cost so users can afford it and not switch to your competitors.

Remember that people must afford to subscribe to your app, and you have to generate profits to maintain and develop the app further. Although it might be tempting to increase prices as you increase sales (especially if you offer a unique and innovative solution of great value), beware of overpricing. If your app is too expensive, they might want to save money and invest in custom software development.

Therefore, focus on balance and keep prices on a level that will discourage clients from building their own custom apps but still provide you with a significant return on investment. User-friendly and business-friendly at the same time 😉

Develop a clear branding strategy

Since white-label apps are designed to be rebranded by other businesses, it’s important to have a clear branding strategy in place. That also means that you need a deep understanding of branding and design principles since the product must be easily modifiable to match the needs of different clients.

This includes developing customisable solutions for visual identity, a palette of colours and other features that can be easily adapted by other businesses that use white-label apps. This may involve creating a range of design options that can be easily customized and deployed. Talk to your dedicated team (whether it’s in-house or a development partner) – they will tell you all about white-label web design options.

Design for flexibility & modularity

Your white-label app (as a SaaS) should be designed with flexibility in mind. When you build a white-label app, you create a product that can be customized to meet the needs of different clients or end-users. For this reason, you should focus on modularity, configurability, and flexibility to provide your customers with a range of branding and customization options.

If you offer different tiers of subscription, the range of functionalities should vary depending on them. If you build an app from scratch, you need to keep that in mind (or hire developers who do) planning the architecture, features, design and the whole white-label web development.

However, if you need to extend the functionality of your existing SaaS solution, focus on every element that your customers might need to customise. E.g. when we were building the SimplifiedBody app, we offered people two modes: bright and dark. Because users were able to customise the main colour of the app, we implemented a feature that would warn them when the chosen mode was incompatible with the main colour they selected (the contrast was too small). Although we didn’t forbid users to blend low-contrasting colours, we let them know that it might worsen the end-user experience.

After all, it’s good to listen to your clients and provide them with as many user-friendly customisation options as they need (that might be your competitive advantage).


White-label products are often used in conjunction with other software or services, so the development process must focus on integration with existing systems and platforms. This may require specialized expertise in integrating with third-party APIs, data sources, and other software systems.

Provide comprehensive documentation

White-label website development (and any other white-label development projects) must be well-documented to enable easy customization and deployment by clients or end-users. Since other businesses will be customizing and deploying your app, it’s important to provide comprehensive documentation that clearly outlines how to use and customize the app.

You can also provide people with training materials like webinars, courses, quick-start tutorials or even remote consultations to help them to know your app or implement the new feature.

That’s crucial if you don’t want to hire additional employees to support all those people who cannot handle customisation. If neglected, all those users can abandon your app (customer loyalty drops) and go to competitors, but it’s not the worst thing. They might also become the most active critics of your solution and share their opinion with their acquaintances. That might not only affect in dropping the number of current users but also decrease the number of new ones.

Customer support

Don’t rely only on documentation and online sources. Once your white-label app is released, it’s important to provide ongoing support to your customers to ensure that they’re able to customize and deploy the app effectively.

Test thoroughly

Since white-label web development products are designed to be rebranded and customized for different clients, extensive testing is required to ensure that the product functions correctly across a range of configurations and branding options. You should ensure that it’s stable, secure, and meets the core business needs of your target market.

It’s a good practice to implement an early bug-detecting solution with your developers and project managers to fix all issues even before anyone notices they occur and avoid the overhead costs that may come with it. That’s exactly what we’ve built for Touchcom, a project which was a remote access control system.

Plan the roadmap

Most releasing apps don’t contain all the features that were planned for their final versions. It’s simply because it’s the most effective strategy to go to the market – launch the app as soon as possible, collect feedback and extend the functionality. That allows companies to gain profits and have money for further investments.

Because the app is evolving, it’s good to inform users about what they can expect in the nearest future and in the long run after multiple revisions. For this reason, many companies publish roadmaps with planned features. That not only informs that the system is maintained and expanded but also allows them to assess whether it will require functionality in the future (if it’s lacking now).

By doing so, you present your company as transparent and trustworthy, as well as ensure that the app is not abandoned but keeps up with the latest trends and regulations (which is especially important when it comes to personal or sensitive data processing).

Feedback loop

To plan the roadmap, however, you need to know what your target audience wants to do within your app (that brings us to the first point – market research). When your app is running, and you have some users, you can encourage them to share their thoughts with you. You don’t need other agencies to do that.

Collecting feedback is something that you should do over and over again. Therefore we’re often saying about a feedback loop. It’s like a never-ending story – you gather feedback, improve the app, collect feedback again and go through the bug fixes again…

The case is how to do that. First of all, you can ask your current users how satisfied they are with your project (and what they would change if they could) based on their Customer Satisfaction Score. You can also prepare more comprehensive surveys or ask your support team as they cope with the problems and challenges of your white-label website daily. But there’s one more way to go.

You can show people how open you are by providing them with a designated client space for sharing their thoughts about new features and improvements and sometimes even bug reporting. That not only gives you an opportunity to gather (and listen!) your users’ voices but also presents you as an open-to-people reliable white-label partner.

Ensure you have a maintenance team

Finally, make sure you have a maintenance team that will react immediately when any issue occurs. They can collect information from the support team, people’s feedback or internal quality assurance testing. When any bug appears, they must be ready to fix it immediately. During white-label web development, you can agree on further maintenance and project management of your app.

It’s not an exaggeration if I say that your business success depends on this team. They are an indispensable element in taking care of end-users’ satisfaction and loyalty.

How the white-label development process differs from regular software development?

If you’re about to develop your own white-label app or add such a feature to your existing app, the process will look as usual. We need to start by defining what you need to build and for whom, gathering requirements verifying doability. We’ll define those during the discovery phase.

Then, we need to take care of the white-label web design but in a more detailed way, as this will be the customisable element of your app. If you already have an app, we’ll adjust new elements to fit this style. We’ll prepare low- and high-fidelity designs and start coding.

The most important part will be testing. Quality Assurance Engineers should start working as soon as possible. In the case of a white-label app, it’s crucial to test all the customisation options. When the app is bug-free, it’s time to launch.

Why building a SaaS white-label app is more expensive than a regular app?

The answer to the above question is quite simple – SaaS web or mobile apps are more complex than regular non-SaaS apps.


First of all, white-labelled SaaS solutions are designed for customisations, which makes the implementation way more complicated. We need more time to plan the app, build its architecture and bring it to life (by coding and testing).

The case is what elements should be customisable. If all you need is to allow people to add their logotypes in a few places or change the main app colour, it might be quite simple. The price difference in the case of such an app will be slight.

However, if you want to offer your clients the possibility to customise the app functionality or even structure, the price will be way higher. Let’s say you want to offer a digital wallet with dozens of features – expense tracking, charts, card storage, loyalty cards management, refunds and everything you can think of. Not everyone might need all of them. What is more, your client or its users might want to add each element, like widgets, to adjust it to their needs. What you need to do is to make sure everything will work as planned, with no surprises. That takes time and the best development services (but might provide you with more users and higher revenue).

Panel for customers

The second reason is that building a white-labelled SaaS application requires an additional panel for client management. When you’re building such a digital wallet just for your company, all you need is an admin panel for you and a client app for end-users. However, a SaaS solution also requires a middle-level dashboard – for your direct customers.

It’s not just a place where they can add or remove users, but they need access to all the customisation possibilities. They need to adjust the app to their needs and define brand identification. Let’s get back to the digital wallet example – they need to define what set of features users will be allowed to use (and which will be hidden) and what the app will look like.

It’s not easy to estimate such an app properly without a deep understanding of the needs of both your direct customers and end-users. For this reason, it’s reasonable to go through the discovery phase to define user stories and the app’s functionality.

I’m not saying that you can’t estimate the app without the discovery phase – you surely can. Keep in mind, however, that it won’t be precise, and you might pay way more in the future. For this reason, if you want to know the exact budget needed, it’s best to specify the requirements first during the discovery workshops.

Deployment complexity

Deployment complexity is the third aspect of a white-label SaaS app that affects the price. Your customers will undoubtedly want to offer the app on their domains, and we must make that possible. It’s quite a routine procedure, but remember that it will slightly increase the overall cost.

Want to estimate costs for your white-label app?

How to choose the right white-label development agency?

When you know you want to build a white-label app from scratch or add a white labelling feature to your SaaS solution, there’s one more thing to do. You need to decide who will bring it to life. Whose development services to choose?

Even if you have an in-house team, you might need to hire an external white-label development agency to bring their expertise to your company or simply to relieve your employees from too many responsibilities.

If you’re looking for an external contractor, you might be confused about which development services to choose – freelancers or software companies. Well, hiring an experienced team of developers brings better results. Why? You can read more about this in the comparison of freelancers and development agencies.

If you decide to choose one, check Mike Popov’s guide, which is helpful in choosing the best mobile or web development agency. If you’re wondering where to find them… well, you already did! Feel free to reach out to us 🙂

Good luck with your project! Don’t forget to let me know on LinkedIn how it’s going!

Lead Project Manager at TeaCode

Gabriela is a lead project manager and keeps in mind that the crucial thing in project management is always seeing the business objectives. She takes care of clients' business outcomes, and that's why clients usually give her a lot of independence.

As a web developer, she understands teammates, which is an asset in project management. UX designer background is handy when clients ask her for advice or consult their app ideas. Having this knowledge, she can address their confusedness or curiosity.

Data analysis and research have no secrets from her as she's a physicist. She knows how to discover data patterns and dependencies, which brings additional value to her everyday work.

Gabriela Jarzębska
Gabriela Jarzębska

Gabriela is a lead project manager and keeps in mind that the crucial thing in project management is always seeing the business objectives. She takes care of clients' business outcomes, and that's why clients usually give her a lot of independence. As a web developer, she understands teammates, which is an asset in project management. UX designer background is handy when clients ask her for advice or consult their app ideas. Having this knowledge, she can address their confusedness or curiosity. Data analysis and research have no secrets from her as she's a physicist. She knows how to discover data patterns and dependencies, which brings additional value to her everyday work.