Whether you are a developer or a tech entrepreneur, the Shopify app store is a great marketplace to showcase your apps, which can increase the value of a Shopify store. If you have an idea that can improve the features & functionality of many Shopify stores, then you can develop an app for it by an expert Shopify developer. After the development process, the only remaining is to submit it on the Shopify app for reviewing and publishing. But this is not a cakewalk for everyone. You must know the right steps before submitting the application. In this article, you will be knowing all the steps of how you can submit your App to the Shopify App Store.
It is obvious that you will want the online merchants and developers to purchase your app from the Shopify app store when you have dedicated all your time and energy to develop one. If you are an aspiring Shopify developer or ecommerce store enthusiast then you must read this article.
Why Choose Shopify App Store? What Makes Shopify Special?
Developing Shopify apps has become an industry in its own right. In today’s time, Shopify is one of the popular e-commerce store development platforms across the world. There are more than 4,000 apps present on the Shopify app store. These apps help online businesses to run efficiently without any obstacles. With such a huge number of apps on the store, there is an abundance of choices for the merchants and developers. Hence, it becomes imperative that you must properly market your Shopify app on the app store so that it will get the right spot in the app store.
Before we will be knowing how to market the app, let’s know how to submit the app on the App store.
You must know this as a Shopify developer
As a Shopify developer, there are some things that you must know before knowing anything else. To start with, Shopify apps are web applications that enhance the functionality of a Shopify store. Shopify e-commerce development platform doesn’t come with an abundance of features & functionalities and you can’t extend this by adding some lines of code. Depending on your app purpose and how you are going to market it on the app store, you have to choose what type of app you will build.
There are 3 different types of apps:
a. Public Apps
If you want many Shopify merchants to download and install your app, you have to come with a public Shopify app. Features of a public Shopify app are:
- Can be installed on multiple Shopify stores
- Must go through the approval process
- Sell the app in the Shopify app store
- Created and managed in your partner dashboard
b. Custom Apps
If you are developing an app for a single store, then it will be a custom Shopify app. It will be available in that store for which it has been designed. Features of a custom Shopify app are:
- Don’t go through the approval process
- Can’t be listed on the Shopify app store
- You can’t use billing API to charge merchants for them
c. Private Apps
Shopify development companies develop private apps for a merchant with specific requirements not met by the custom apps. Features include:
- Created for a single Shopify store
- Don’t go through the approval process
- Can’t be listed in the Shopify app store
- Created & managed in the merchant’s Shopify admin
Requirements To Submit A Shopify App
Don’t think that you will develop and Shopify will welcome it with a kind gesture. There is a criterion that all public apps have to meet. Regardless of your marketing strategy, if the app doesn’t pass through these checkpoints you have to re-work the entire thing again
1. Prohibited & Restricted App Configurations
There are certain types of apps that aren’t allowed to publish in the Shopify app store. You can’t come with these types of apps:
- Payment gateway apps or apps that modify an existing payment gateway
- Apps that pieces of standalone software that need to be downloaded to a computer
- Apps that rely on merchant/partner interaction to operate.
- Shopify apps that make little or no use of Shopify’s APIs.
- Apps that falsify data.
- Apps that process Shopify payments outside of Shopify’s checkout.
- Multiple apps with overlapping functionality created by the same Shopify app developer.
- Apps that host marketplaces on Shopify and offer capital loans.
- Apps with restricted beta API scopes enabled.
2. Listing Information For Shopify Apps
The online merchants must be able to find your Shopify app. The listing must mention the features of the app, UI, and functionality. There are certain things that you have to take care of while marketing your app –
Translate Your App Listing
If you are building a multi-lingual app then you can make it available in those languages for a wider reach. Either you can add or remove the translated app for any supported languages on the Shopify app store. For translating your app, you have to:
- Log in to your partner account
- Select Apps and then the name of your app
- Click App listings
- Click on add translated listing
Information Of Your App
It is important that you must convey the right information to your audience. Without paying attention to your app information, you can’t draft the Shopify app marketing strategy.
Name & Tagline Of The App
The tagline should be simple & catchy. Try to choose the name of the app which symbolizes its features. It would be an add-on to the marketing strategy.
- You can’t include the word Shopify in your app’s name and it should be within 30 characters.
- The name should be unique and to the point
- You can’t include Shopify partner account name in your app’s name
- Create a unique tagline without using the word Shopify.
Icon Of the App
Create a catch, minimalistic, and easy to remember the app’s icon. Here are some suggestions:
- The dimensions of the icon should be 1200pixels x 1200pixels
- No text, screenshots, or photographs
- The logo shouldn’t touch the edge of the image
- The corners should be squarish
Suppose your Shopify is focused on abandoned carts, then how the online retailers will find your app? Obviously by searching “abandoned carts app”. This is a search query. Shopify allows for only 5 search terms. Thus if you want your app to easily get discover then you have to take these 5 search words very seriously. Here are some suggestions:
- Always use complete spellings – like dropshipping instead drpshp.
- Don’t include Shopify word
- Don’t list your competitor in your search term
After entering the app’s basic information you have to serve this with some additional information. Not everything is compulsory in this section but if you want to truly market your app, you have to go the extra mile which can make all the difference.
If a picture says 1000 words then a video says millions of words. Create an intriguing promotional video of your app which can demonstrate the features & functionalities of your app. Show how your app can enhance their existing Shopify store. Here are some suggestions:
- The video should be 2-3 minutes long
- Only 25% of the video can include screenshots for promotional
You can showcase 3 main benefits of your Shopify app with an image.
Featured App Banner
For featuring your app on the Shopify store, you have to provide an image that can showcase your app. Here are some suggestions:
- The dimensions of the banner should be 1600 pixels by 900 pixels
- Except for text name doesn’t include any other text
- The corners should be square and rounded when displayed
- Lave a margin of 100 pixels around the outside edges of the image
- Don’t use white backgrounds and use bold colors
- Don’t use screenshots of the app
Provide a link for the demo store so the merchants can see the live demo of the app. If your app needs a more in-depth sneak-peek can link a demo-video.
You can do a maximum of 6 integrations
In the pricing details section, select the billion option. You can opt for free to install, recurring changes, and one-time payments as billing methods.
The online merchants will know about your apps and get connected for any queries.
Sales & Support
If you are offering a translated listing then you have to offer phone & e-mail support in that language. Here are some things that you always mention:
- Site URL
3. Setup & Installation
There are certain requirements that will make sure to provide guidance for the Shopify merchants of your app.
Authentication – If the Shopify retailers click on the Add app, then the app must authenticate using OAuth before any other steps occur.
Make sure that the requests are for permission which is necessary for the functionality. It is related to the privacy and concern of the Shopify merchants. If you want to market your Shopify app properly, make sure you are blunt and generous.
4. Functionality & Quality
For the best functionality, there are 3 pre-requisites: UI, performance, and billing. As a Shopify developer, the UI must have – buttons, controls, setup, and onboard instructions.
5. Security & Merchant Risk
Before developing the Shopify app, make sure that it is safe and secure for the merchants. Here are some suggestions:
- There must be salted password hashed instead of actual passwords
- The app must be protected against cross-site request forgery.
- Should be served over HTTPS using an SSL certificate
6. Data, User Privacy & Support
There are some legal requirements that your app must follow for protecting the privacy and data of the users. After submitting the app, you have to support the merchants who support it. Here are a few guidelines:
- If your app is used by merchants in Europe or merchants with buyers in Europe then your app should meet the GDPR compliant.
- If your app runs marketing and/or advertising campaigns, then it must have a system for allowing users to provide data consent for marketing promotions.
- If your app requests or manage user data, it must subscribe to GDPR webhooks.
- You must have an email address through which merchants can reach you out in case of any help or queries.
- It must be easy to find your contact information
- Your partner dashboard must have up to date emergency developer contact information
All the above-mentioned are compulsory and every Shopify app must go through the previous checkpoints. However, there are some additional requirements that you also fulfill as a Shopify developer:
- Online Store
- Embedded Apps
- Product Sourcing
- Mobile App Builders
- Sales Channels
How To Market The App On Shopify
There are ample ways by which you can market your app on the Shopify store. While many developers expect this as a “growth hack” but it is not a definite answer. The success of the app depends upon its working, who your target merchants are, and what your short-term and long-term product road map looks like. There is no all-in-one approach for your Shopify app marketing. Here are some ways:
1. Run Ads On The Shopify App Store
You can create search ads so the seller can easily discover your app on the App store. The ads are not very different from the Google Ads, but you have to follow the Shopify partner terms of services. After reading all terms and conditions, you would be able to market your app on the Shopify store. Do great research over the keywords, as they will be search queries. Target those keywords which are relevant and can be searched by the merchants.
2. Track The Listing Traffic
After the first step, if your app starts getting discovered by the seller, you have to track how sellers are finding your app. You can track your listing traffic with Google Analytics or Facebook pixel. Many developers don’t focus on their traffic source. For implementing Google Analytics follow these steps:
- Log in to your Partner Dashboard
- Click on the app for setting analytics
In the E tracking section, within the Google Analytics code, enter the tracking ID and save it. For setting up Facebook pixels follow the same steps, but in the E tracking section, enter the Facebook pixel tracking ID, and click on save.
There are certain URL parameters that Shopify passes when a retailer checks your app on the store. Considering these URL parameters in your marketing strategy will segregate the traffic thus, you will know from which medium the merchants are coming and on which promotion you have to work most.
Reviews for a product can increase its authenticity. Just like an article, comes up on the top SERPs for its content, the app will also shoot up every time a merchant drops a review on the app. But not every merchant will leave a review after using the app. You have to take follow-ups from them till they end up giving a review. But don’t make your approach pushy as it can lead to a negative effect.
4. Create A Press Release
Getting reviews for your app is one of the best ways to market, but a press release can also help to get your product noticed. Connect with [email protected]. The team will review the release and get back to you.
5. Paid Advertising
Many Shopify app developers just run the ads within the ecosystem of Shopify. But for a greater presence, you may need to market your app on Google and Facebook platforms. On Facebook, there is a huge community of followers of Shopify. They don’t just follow but also show participation with keen interest.
In this article, we have to go through every aspect of submitting and marketing your Shopify app. You can get the limelight you always thought of designing and coding. At Emizentech, the best Shopify development company in India, we are having expertise in developing custom Shopify app and submitting & marketing the app on the Shopify store. Strategizing is always good rather than playing hunches. And we help you to strategize better