10 Things To Know Before Building A Shopify App

10 Things To Know Before Building A Shopify App

Shopify provides everyone with a new and easy-to-use platform to create their own store and conduct business worldwide. Potential merchants can easily build a Shopify app or website on the Shopify store and can grow their business online.

Merchants can choose from over 6,000 apps available on the Shopify App Store for different business activities. Merchants are always in need of the best apps to take care of various things like inventory management, records, designing, ordering and management, price calculator, listing, CRM, and so much more.

There are thousands of activities in businesses that need a specific service that merchants can browse from the Shopify App Store.

Still, nothing is going to suffice because it’s business.  Expansion and Scalability is a goal of every business and it also provides greater opportunity to other businesses as well. The success of one business is an opportunity for other businesses to grow.

A few years ago, there were around 3200 apps available on the Shopify App Store; now the count is nearly double. So, if you are a developer or want to start your journey with the Shopify app store, you can do it now.

You can develop your own Shopify app for merchants and can provide specific services.  There is competition, but not much more than in the other markets.  Once you launch your app, it is instantly viewable by over 800,000+ merchants. I think that’s why more and more startups are starting their online business journey with Shopify. Make your own startup journey or scaling business journey with Shopify by developing your own app.

It all sounds good, but there are things to know before building a Shopify app. Don’t freak out, we’re here. For the successful launch of your app on Shopify, we will tell you 10 important things you should focus on before building the Shopify app. Read on.

  • What app to build on Shopify?

This is quite an interesting question if you’re going to develop your own app on the Shopify eCommerce platform. This question may have the following answers, such as;

If you have a running business and want to convert it into an app, then there is no point in asking this question.

If you don’t have any business or you’re a developer and want to set up your Android or iOS app development business on Shopify, then you should do market research.

Market research is one of the biggest factors you must consider before starting your project.  You can start researching what types of apps are actually growing in the Shopify app stores and what is trending. You can start your research with Shopify App Stores. After all, this is your market.

Try to speak directly with Shopify merchants and get to know what problems they’re facing currently, what apps they want to get on Shopify App Stores, what inefficiencies they might be having operating their business on Shopify, and more.  These conversations will help you to find something to build that will help the merchants improve their business.

Quora, Reddit, and Shopify’s forum, Social Media platforms that can also help you take ideas for building an app on Shopify.  Oftentimes, merchants share complaints about the difficulties they are facing on Shopify on these platforms.  The fact is that they took the time to post their problem, which shows the level of problem they are having.  You can directly reach out to these merchants to offer help and can build an appealing solution for them. 

If you’re still in doubt, don’t worry. We also have a list of Shopify App business ideas that you can start today.

  • Launch your app on Shopify or on your standalone website

When you create your app on the Shopify platform, you will have only 2 choices.

First, you can launch your app on Shopify and sell it directly from the Shopify App Store. 

Second, you can redirect customers to a separate external website.

These two options have their own pros and cons. Let’s see:

Embedded App

  • Pros

Merchants don’t need to leave the Shopify Admin portal to access the app. Shopify provides an in-app access service to merchants via the App Store. Merchants can access any app via the Shopify App Store and can check the features and functionality of the app. It not only provides a seamless experience but also saves time and boosts energy.

With the Embedded App, Shopify allows you to access features and extensions such as admin links, bulk actions, and POS cards. These are only allowed for embedded Shopify apps.

  • Cons

Embedded apps can only be viewed and accessed by Shopify merchants. If you want to expose your app to the public, you’d need to additionally host it on your own website.

Embedded apps limit certain development items you may want in your app.

External App

  • Pros

You can control your app development better as you’re not on the Shopify platform.

You can integrate your app with as many platforms as you want.  You can take advantage of just one hosted domain and build integrations for all sources.

  • Cons

Shopify merchants don’t get that “in-app Shopify” experience.

Some features & services may not available to your app because you are not directly within the Shopify admin portal.


If you are already running a business and want to scale it as an app on Shopify, you can take help from leading Shopify app development companies like enAct eServices.

  • Which Tech-Stack do you want to use for your app?

The right tech stack is really important for your app development. It ensures the bright future of your app and even years from now, customers can find your app.

There are two ways in which you can develop an app for Shopify.

You can create a custom app for a client using the Shopify API to build and sell an app on Shopify. It will add features and functionality to a client’s Shopify store.

You can create an app from your own sources and can sell it in the Shopify App Store.

Android and iOS app developers use advanced technologies for app development on Shopify. The trending tech stack for Shopify apps is Ruby on Rails, Node.js, and Python.  Polaris is also used to create apps on the Shopify App Store.

If you’re less familiar with technologies, you can reach out to a Shopify app development company and they can guide you better on this.

Related: How to Choose a Technology Stack for Your Startup

  • App Responsiveness and Compatibility with all devices

Which websites or portals have more mobile app responsiveness and are compatible with all devices to attract more customers. This is something you should also consider when developing an app. Make sure you know which devices your app is going to use. 

Shopify offers a number of products such as Web, POS, and Ping. So, make sure you provide your customers with the most effective and fit-to-need solution.

  • Determine Revenue Model

Shopify offers 3 ways for an app revenue model through which you can charge merchants.  Let’s know about them.

  • Subscription-based

In this revenue model, you can charge merchants on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. Merchants will be charged at the beginning of each subscription cycle. These charges will appear on the merchant’s regular Shopify subscription bill.

  • One-time app purchase

These are the services where merchants have to pay one time for a specific service provided by an app. This means that merchants can access that specific in-app section for the lifetime of the app. These charges will appear on separate bills.

  • App usage charges

This revenue model charges the merchant on the basis of usage. It means that as usage of the app increases, charges will increase as well. These charges will appear on the merchant’s regular Shopify subscription bill.


The subscription-based revenue model is widely chosen as an app revenue model.

  • App Permissions

Every app comes with functionalities requiring permission that merchants have to approve to proceed. These permissions will give them what they need to access your app.

All these factors really matter to your app, but deciding what permission you should add to your app might be time-consuming. In this case, it’s recommended to add all the permissions you’d find right. Don’t think that the user will get annoyed with this. This is the initial stage and there are going to be a lot of implementations, changes, and faces in your app as it grows.

This way, you can watch the feedback and how merchants react to the permission that your app requires, and after that time, you can reduce the permission if needed. 

If you launch with so much less permission and then you think ahead to adding more permission, it may annoy merchants to approve all those new permissions and create a lot of confusion as well.

  • Provide apps that are useful and beneficial to a merchant’s business

Make sure your app fulfills the requirements of the merchant’s business. No one will appreciate your app until it solves a problem. Hence, make sure you develop an app that improves merchants’ businesses.

To do so, make sure you know your target audience and niche. After that, you should identify the problem, as we discussed in the first head.  Identifying the merchant’s problem will give the right app idea to develop that will solve a real problem for merchants. And when you develop an appealing solution with effective features, then there is high growth in your app.

  • Things to avoid when building a Shopify App

Not all things to be considered, there are the things you should avoid as well in order to get success in the Shopify market. Here are the following things you should avoid while developing the Shopify app or website:

In the app development process, testing the app is a major concern. Some app development companies do manual testing. For example, once the app is completed, developers download the app on their phones and start using it for a few days, so that’s how they do the testing process. But this is not the right way of testing apps. It needs professional services or app testing software or tools to verify that your app’s functionality is smooth and bug-free.

Avoid mid-planning in your app development. It does not only lead to confusion and disruption, but it also creates a lot of hurdles in successfully creating an app development project.

Make sure you do not use underdeveloped media assets when creating your app, otherwise merchants might judge your app solely based on this and assume that it’s a low-quality tool.

  • Level of support

When you sell your app on Shopify, make sure you provide complete customer support for the app.  There can be a complete guide on how to use the app or instructions so that customers can easily access your app. Customer support plays a crucial role in your app’s success. It creates value for the consumer, maximizes their satisfaction level, and helps them understand your goal, which ultimately creates better results for your business.

  • Give importance to feedback

Last, but not least. Ignoring feedback might be the real problem for your app development success. If you give importance to merchants’ feedback, it will help you to improve your product and build trust with merchants. Feedback helps you know what merchants want in your app and how you can improve it, and it also provides you with a better opportunity to grow and create a strong bond with merchants.


Hey, guys! This was the guide about “10 things to know before developing a Shopify app.” Honestly, things are endless to know before developing an app, and this may not exactly help. It is an ongoing process, and you will learn as you grow. So, don’t hesitate to make mistakes. You can’t learn and improve until you make mistakes. But it really doesn’t mean you ignore the most basic and most important factors to consider, which I have covered in this article. I hope you find this article helpful and that all the things mentioned will help you develop the best Shopify app.

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