Results for 'ecommerce api'

What is Heartbleed and How Does it Affect Your Ecommerce Website?

Earlier this week, a security flaw known as Heartbleed was published that affects approximately two-thirds of all websites…

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Earlier this week, a security flaw known as Heartbleed was published that affects approximately two-thirds of all websites that use SSL encryption. This issue greatly impacts ecommerce websites because every online store that accepts credit cards must use SSL encryption.

Since its disclosure, there have been many news reports about Heartbleed and how it’s affecting websites, software and services across the internet. We want to provide more details on Heartbleed and how it affects ecommerce merchants. Most importantly, we want to stress that merchants and their customers using Shopify are safe from Heartbleed.

What is Heartbleed?

Heartbleed affects SSL, the security technology that is used for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. You know when you’re browsing a site using SSL when you see “https://” and the lock icon in your web browser. Heartbleed is a serious security bug that is present in the popular OpenSSL library that is used by many web servers to provide SSL security.

The Heartbleed issue could allow an attacker to access private memory on a web server. That memory could contain user passwords, credit card numbers, private security keys, or other such information.

This is a major security problem that affected, and continues to affect, millions of websites that use SSL.

How Did Heartbleed Affect Shopify?

As mentioned earlier, every ecommerce website that uses Shopify is secure against Heartbleed.

During the middle of day on April 7th, the Heartbleed issue became widely disclosed. The Shopify network security and operations team immediately set to work to protect our hosting infrastructure. By 7:00 p.m. they had rolled out a fix across core infrastructure, and by midnight all secondary systems had been secured. The operations team continued to work into the night, and by the following day, all keys and certificates had been re-issued.

Because of the rapid response of our operations team (faster than Google and Yahoo, for example) we haven’t detected any sensitive data being compromised. As a general precaution, we advise that you regularly change passwords, and other sensitive credentials like payment gateway and API credentials. This would be a good time to update all such passwords.

You can check your account login history for unusual activity by logging into your store admin, clicking on your name at the top left, then clicking “View your user account.” This will show when all your recently logins took place, what internet provider was used, and so on. You can also expire all your store’s active user sessions by clicking the appropriate button on your Account Settings page.

What About Other Ecommerce Systems?

Heartbleed affects millions of ecommerce websites. To determine if your ecommerce website is vulnerable to the issue, you can use the following tool: Heartbleed Test.

If your site is found to be vulnerable, please contact your hosting provider or network administrator immediately and ask them to upgrade their OpenSSL implementation. They will also need to cycle your ecommerce site’s SSL keys and certificates (and revoke your old ones, if possible). You should then also update any passwords, including your payment gateway credentials.

It’s important to fix this issue as soon as possible as there are already reports of this vulnerability being abused.

Is It Still Safe To Shop Online?

Because of all the publicity surrounding Heartbleed, one would assume that the majority of ecommerce sites will soon be secured against the issue. To re-iterate, all Shopify stores are safe from the Heartbleed vulnerability.

Meanwhile we do suggest the Chromebleed Checker extension for the Google Chrome web browser, as it will warn you if any website you enter your credit card details on is vulnerable to Heartbleed.

You can learn more about Heartbleed here.

HackDays Toronto, and Shopify will be there – Saturday, February 12th!

Creative Commons photo by paul (dex). Click to see the original. HackDays -- the gatherings that bring together…


Creative Commons photo by paul (dex). Click to see the original.

HackDays -- the gatherings that bring together Canada's brightest geeks to build projects in a single day -- kicks off 2012 with a session in Toronto on Saturday, February 12th. This one's an interesting one, as it's a part of the extended Social Media Week, the global multi-city conference taking place from February 13th through 17th. Here's a quick explanation of what Social Media Week, and this year's theme, Empowering Change Through Collaboration, are all about:

In keeping with the idea behind Social Media Week and HackDays' spirit of building stuff with readily-available APIs, the theme of this Toronto HackDay is "Apps for Good". Take the APIs -- including Shopify's ecommerce API -- to build applications that can change the world around us for the better. You'll have a day to do it, and the best apps, as determined by a panel of judges, will be awarded prizes (the prizes are usually pretty sweet: we've handed out MacBook Airs and iPads to the winners).

Shopify will be there! More specifically, I'll be there, representing Shopify, along with some other Shopifolks, to help run the event, help participants with the Shopify API and generally provide moral support to everyone there. We'll also be sponsoring the event and providing a prize for the best use of our API.

If you're looking to take on a hacking challenge and put your skills to the test, meet your fellow geeks and build an app for the greater good, HackDays Toronto is for you!

[ This article also appears in Global Nerdy. ]

Attention Contract Developers: Shopify Wants You!

Shopify has some big customers with online stores that need apps written for them. We've been getting a…

Shopify has some big customers with online stores that need apps written for them. We've been getting a lot of custom work requests from customers who need applications for their ecommerce website's fulfillment workflow - that is, making sure the right things get put into the right boxes, and sending them to the right people for the right price. We also get requests for other things that online shops need: analytics, promotions, CRM-integration-jazz, or some kind of automatic client-retention. But for now, I'd like to talk about fulfillment.

Fulfillment: it's that part of the shopping cart transaction where the order has been placed and paid for, and now it's time to send something to the customer. This sort of app is a web application that will typically talk to a couple of APIs:

  • The Shopify API, which will have the relevant data from the shop, most notably information about the order that was placed,
  • Webhooks (see Dave Underwood's Syncing with a Store tutorial in the Shopify Wiki to find out what they are. Webhooks are used for about 90% of all Shopify apps),
  • and some fulfillment API, which the app will use to get the order to the customer.

If you're looking for some contract programming work writing software that does useful stuff for reliable customers and you're a reliable, responsive type who can be counted on to write stuff that people need to make their businesses go, Shopify would like to pay you for your services. The application you're writing will be interacting with APIs, which means that you're free to use the programming languages, frameworks and technologies you prefer, as long as you can solve the problem. And because this project is about fulfilling ecommerce orders and not socially networked cat pictures, this  contract will pay nicely.

Is this the sort of development you can do? If so, drop me a line at joey@shopify.com and let's talk.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

Import from osCommerce and WordPress to Shopify

Import from osCommerce and WordPress to Shopify Have you always wanted to migrate to Shopify but never wanted…

Have you always wanted to migrate to Shopify but never wanted to take the time to actually upload all of your products? Have you told friends on other ecommerce platforms they should switch to Shopify, only to hear that it’s too much work to change platforms?

Well, now there’s no excuse, just use Importer

Importer is an application that uses the Shopify API to import content from other platforms on the web into Shopify. Currently, you can import all of your products from an osCommerce shop into Shopify, and you can import all of your blog posts, comments, and pages from a WordPress blog into Shopify with Importer. We plan to expand the options in the future to include other platforms on the web.

We would love to hear feedback from anyone who uses Importer, and suggestions for the future, what do you wish you could import into Shopify?

Importer has been released as an open source project via GitHub if anyone is interested in the source code. Contributions to the project are also welcome.

Here are two screencasts showing you how to use Importer.


We recommend watching the high-resolution version on Vimeo.


We recommend watching the high-resolution version on Vimeo.


Write a Shopify/Twilio App and Win a MacBook Air, LEGO Mindstorms or a Kindle Fire!

Shopify and Twilio are Holding a Contest! Shopify, the ecommerce platform that makes it easy to set up…

"Shopify/Twilio Developer Contest": 1960s photo of a woman at a "futuristic" computer console

Shopify and Twilio are Holding a Contest!

Shopify, the ecommerce platform that makes it easy to set up online shops, is teaming up with Twilio, the platform for voice-over-phone, voice-online and SMS messaging, to create a developer contest where you’re challenged to write an app that makes use of both platforms.

Perhaps it’s an app that phones customers or sends them an SMS message when their order has been shipped. Or voice notification to a bricks-and-mortar store that tells the staff that a customer is coming to pick up their order. With a little creativity, some coding and our APIs, you can write an app that’s both useful and cool enough to win one of our prizes…

The Prizes

First prize: Macbook Air and Apple Cinema Display

First prize is from Shopify: it’s Edward from Shopify’s preferred rig! A hot-rodded 11-inch Macbook Air with 256GB solid-state drive and 1.8 GHz CPU along with a gigantic 27-inch Apple Cinema Display. Small and light for when you’re on the go, a nice big screen for when you’re at home, the office of wherever you decide to keep the display and plenty of horsepower to build apps.

Second prize: Lego Mindstorms robot

Second prize comes from Twilio and it’s a robot hacker’s dream: a stacked LEGO Mindstorms swag bag with the NXT 2.0, a bundle of touch, light and sound sensors, and a Bluetooth dongle to keep your creations connected. I, for one, welcome our new LEGO robot overlords.

Third prize: Amazon Kindle Fire

Third prize is a joint Shopify/Twilio effort: a Kindle Fire, the newest multi-touch full-color hotness from the world of ebook readers.

The Rules

We try to keep things simple – it’s about building cool apps, not being buried in regulations!

Okay, How Do I Get In on This Action?

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

Why Email Marketing is the Key to Ecommerce Success

Whether it’s social media, SEO or content marketing, you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to…

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Whether it’s social media, SEO or content marketing, you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to marketing your business online.

But when it comes time to have a sales conversation and drive conversions, there's one channel that continues to outperform the rest: good old-fashioned email.

According to recent research and surveys:

  • Email has an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association)
  • 80% of people say they receive marketing messages alongside their personal emails on a daily basis.
  • 70% of people make use of coupons or discounts they learn about from email.
  • 60% of people say that receiving special offers is the top reason they subscribe to an email list from a business.

In other words, if your ecommerce business hasn't taken the time to adopt email marketing, then you're leaving money on the table.

And if these stats don't convince you, here are some other factors that might motivate you to start building your mailing list today.

Email Is Outperforming Twitter and Facebook for Selling Stuff Online

The top social networks that most small businesses use are Facebook and Twitter - and historically they've been great free tools for content distribution.

But if you have a Facebook fan page, then perhaps you've heard that only about 16% of your fans will actually see the updates you post to your timeline.

That's because Facebook wants you to buy their advertising to promote your message. This even has some considering it a bad investment for small businesses

Facebook is not the only social network where your reach can be limited. If people are using Twitter search to locate information, they have to specifically click "All" to see all tweets or profile bios with a specific keyword.

Developers also have the option to use a filter in the Twitter APi that will value tweets as none, low, medium, or high meaning that users of those applications may miss out on tweets that algorithmically check out as having little value. So again, small businesses not investing in advertising may see a decline in engagement.

In short, you can't just assume that if your target audience is on Facebook or Twitter at the time you post a new update, they will see it. 

More importantly, when it comes time so have a sales conversation with your audience, email simply out performs social media.

Custora recently did a study that analyzed data from 72 million customers shopping on 86 different retailer sites. 

They found that over the past four years, online retailers have quadrupled the rate of customers acquired through email to nearly 7 percent.

Meanwhile Facebook and Twitter barely registered.

 

They also found that the average customer lifetime value (CLV) of users acquired via email is considerably higher than those coming from social media.

However, email is not just a superior channel for customer acquisition. Some people are seeing it drive way more traffic than social as well. 

Noah Kagan recently sent a tweet to his 13,000 Twitter followers. It got 109 clicks for a click-through-rate (CTR) of 0.8%.

He sent the same information to his email list of 3,547 people and got 882 clicks for a CTR of 24.8%. An 8x improvement over Twitter. (Hat tip to Justin Premick for this info).

The reason email is so much more effective at driving traffic and sales is because you get to take the conversation about your products and business to your customers most personal online space - their inbox.  

While platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great for free content distribution and engaging your community, they're also noisy and your audience may not be on them when you post an update.

Email, however, gets seen every time. 

Google is Making Search Rankings Harder to Acquire

As the CLV graph above shows, customers coming from both paid and organic search are extremely valuable to your business. However, climbing the search rankings in Google is getting harder and harder. 

For those that keep up with the latest in search engine optimization news, you probably know that a lot of the tried and true methods that SEO's have used in the past to gain higher keyword rankings are being devalued by Google.

Algorithmic changes have (rightfully) targeted low quality content (building links via article marketing and blog networks), keyword-based anchor text (trying to rank your men's clothing company by creating a high volume of links using that term), paid links (typically links that are sitewide in sidebars or footers), and many other linking strategies.

And the newest tactics that are under scrutiny include guest posts, infographics, and press releases.

This has put many businesses that have used these into the famed Google penalty box, and many more business in a state of constant fear that they may lose their rankings in the future. 

Most of the SEO strategies that are safe and work well (like content marketing) take time to build upon before desired rankings are achieved, leaving new businesses with only one option to get on the first page quickly: buying Google AdWords. The ins and outs of PPC can be enough to make ones head spin.

This is why businesses that are investing in PPC to build their mailing list. This way, instead of just getting a potentially one-time click in search, they are opening the door to future communications with their target customer base. One that they don't have to worry about getting penalized.

Email is Content Marketing's Best Friend

Content marketing is undoubtably the hottest marketing strategy right now because it can help you in both of the above areas. It gives you something to share and promote on social media, and it also helps you earn more rankings in search results. 

The trouble with it is, quality content takes a major investment. First, you have to decide what to focus on. Do you want to have text-based blogs posts? Video explainer videos and commercials? Slideshare presentations? Fun and informative podcasts? Viral infographics?

Then, you have to decide who is going to create all of that content for you. Do you have an in-house team of content creators? Do you outsource? How do you find someone who excels at creating different types of media?

In other words, content marketing is tough. The thing is, it works. Really, really well.

And that's why collecting email addresses from your visitors is so important. It gives you a way to keep in touch and follow up with them over time and ensures all the time and money you've spent on creating content isn't just resulting in one-time visits.

Not to mention building a mailing list to consume your content is going to help increase your overall conversions as you will see more purchases from your email list than your blog readers, YouTube subscribers, or podcast listeners as mentioned above.

Email Drives Traffic and Sales

Now that you know why you need a mailing list of your ecommerce business, let's take a look at what you can do with it. Depending on the service provider you choose to deliver your email content, you can use your mailing list to reach your customers in a wide variety of ways (which we'll be exploring more deeply in future posts).

Here are just some ideas to get you excited.

  • Let customers know about your new products and other interesting company news that affects them.
  • Set up autoresponders - a series of drip emails with a goal of getting a customer to buy or learn more about your products over time.
  • Send timed discounts for holidays, birthdays, and other personal events (anniversaries, for example).
  • Remind customers about an uncompleted purchase in their shopping cart.
  • Reward loyal customers with a discount.
  • Re-engage with customers who have not shopped in a while by offering them a discount to stop by.
  • Get testimonials from customers.
  • Share your newest content (blog posts, videos, etc.) with your customers to engage without a sales focus.

As you can see, you can engage your customers through email in much deeper ways and use it to drive traffic to your ecommerce website.

While social media and search are great ways to get discovered by your customers, email is the way to really build a relationship with them.

Now that you know how important email marketing is, it's time to get started actually building your email list.


Want more email marketing tips? Get free email updates by signing up in the sidebar on the right.

The Shopify Fund

Shopify Gets Funding (Again)! If you haven’t heard the announcement yet, let me tell you: Shopify has secured…

"The Shopify Fund: A cool million for cool apps": Stacks on hundred-dollar bills arranged into an "S" shape

Shopify Gets Funding (Again)!

If you haven’t heard the announcement yet, let me tell you: Shopify has secured a second round of funding – 15 million dollars’ worth.

"$15 million in funding (the budget for the film Slumdog Millionaire)": "Who wants to be a millionaire" scene from "Slumdog Millionaire"

We’ve been profitable for a while now, so landing this money wasn’t about survival; it’s about ambition. We’re aiming to be the number one ecommerce platform, so we’re using the money to fuel our growth: more staff, more stuff, and more services.

As we like to say, “When the train comes in, everybody rides!” And by everybody, I’m including developers who build on the Shopify platform.

Screenshot of the Shopify Fund page

That’s why I’m very pleased to announce the Shopify Fund!

The Idea Behind the Shopify Fund

"Supporting indie app developers": Photo of a software developer's home office

The idea behind the Shopify Fund is very simple: we want to support developers who build apps for the Shopify platform by giving them money so that they can work full-time for a few weeks on those apps without having to worry about paying their bills.

Dr. Evil, pointing his pinky finger at the corner of his mouthAnd I’ve got a million dollars to make it happen! Say it with me: One. Meeeellion. Dollars.

Many of us at Shopify, myself included, have worked at small or one-person development shops, so we know what it’s like to have to pick and choose projects in order to stay afloat. We hope that the Shopify Fund will make that choice easier and make it possible for you to build apps for our great ecommerce platform and fill your wallet at the same time.

The Shopify API and App Store

(This section’s for developers who aren’t familiar with Shopify. Feel free to jump ahead if this is old news to you.)

Bob Marley: "One love, four verbs"

Those of you new to Shopify might not be aware that it’s not just a hosted ecommerce system, but also a platform that offers a RESTful API. This API gives you the capability to programmatically perform many of the actions that a shopowner can perform from his or her control panel. With the API, you can automate tasks to make shopowners’ and customers’ lives easier, provide shopowners with different views and insights into their shops’ data, integrate Shopify with a world of online services and generally expand that capabilities of Shopify shops.

(If you’d like to know more about Shopify’s API, check out our API documentation.)

Screenshot of Shopify's App Store

Shopify also provides a place for developers to sell their Shopify apps: the Shopify App Store. It’s a one-stop shop that:

  • Makes it easy for shopowners to browse, purchase and install apps for their Shopify shops
  • Makes it easy for developers to reach a market of over 15,000 active shopowners and make money (there’s an 80/20 revenue share; you get 80% of the sale price of your app, Shopify gets 20%)

In 2010, almost half of our active shopowners had installed at least one app.

How the Shopify Fund Works

"Got an App Idea?": lightbulb

If you’re a developer with an idea for a Shopify app, we’d like to hear from you! Drop us a line at fund@shopify.com and we’ll evaluate your idea. If we think it’s worth funding, we’ll provide an advance in the neighbourhood of $5,000 to $10,000 (and hey, maybe more if we think it’s going to be big) on future sales in the App Store.

If this sounds like a literary advance, that’s because that’s the model we’re using – but a little bit nicer. Here’s a quick description of how it works:

  1. If we think your app idea’s a good one and we fund it, we’ll give you half the advance up front.
  2. Once you finish the app, you get the other half of the advance.
  3. Your app goes in the store. Until the app’s sales reach the amount of the advance we gave you, the revenue share is 50% for Shopify, 50% for you. That’s right, you’ll still be making some money!
  4. One the app’s sales reach the amount of the advance we gave you, the revenue share goes back to the standard 20% for Shopify, 80% for you.

Gecko playing with an Xbox 360 controller: "Mad Skills: I has them"

If you have programming skills but can’t think of any Shopify app ideas, check out the App Wishlist in our wiki. It’s full of ideas, and one of them might be right up your alley.

If you still can’t think of any Shopify app ideas but have killer programming skills and would like to work on a Shopify app, we’d still like to hear from you. We might be able to assign you to a project of our choosing.

Once Again…

Screenshot of the Shopify Fund page

…be sure to check out the new Shopify Fund page and if you’re interested, drop us a line at fund@shopify.com to find out more or to propose an app that you’d like to have us fund!

Keep an eye on this blog as well: we’re going to be talking about building apps on the Shopify platform for the next little while.

[ This article also appears in Global Nerdy. ]

Developing Shopify Apps, Part 1: The Setup

What is a Shopify App? Shopify is a pretty capable ecommerce platform on its own, and for a…

What is a Shopify App?

Shopify is a pretty capable ecommerce platform on its own, and for a lot of shopowners, it's all they need for their shops. However, there are many cases where shopowners need features and capabilities that don't come "out of the box" with Shopify. That's what apps are for: to add those extra features and capabilities to Shopify.


Apps make use of the Shopify API, which lets you programatically access a shop's data -- items for sale, orders and so on -- and take most of the actions available to you from a shop's control panel. An app can automate a tedious or complex task for a shopowner, make the customer's experience better, give shopowners better insight into their sales and other data, or integrate Shopify with other applications' data and APIs in useful ways.

Here are some apps that you can find at the Shopify App Store. These should give you an idea of what's possible:

  • Jilt: This is an app that makes shopowner's lives easier. It helps turn abandoned carts -- they arise when a customer shops on your store, puts items in the cart and then for some reason never completes the purchase -- into orders. It sends an email to customers who've filled carts but never got around to buying their contents after a specified amount of time. It's been shown to recover sales that would otherwise never have been made.
  • Searchify: Here's an app that makes the customer experience more pleasant. It's an autocompleting search box that uses the data in your shop that lets customers see matching products as they type. The idea is that by making your shop easier to search, you'll get more sales.
  • Beetailer: A good example of taking the Shopify API and combining it with other APIs. It lets your customers comment on your shop's products and share opinions about them on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to get people to come to your store!

Shopify apps offer benefits not just for shopowners and their customers, but for developers as well. Developers can build custom private apps for individual shopowners, or reach the 16,000 or so Shopify shopowners by selling their apps through the App Store. The App Store is a great way to get access to some very serious app customers: after all, they're looking for and willing to spend money on apps that make their shops more profitable. Better still, since a healthy app ecosystem is good for us as well, we'll be more than happy to help showcase and promote your apps.

If you've become convinced to write an app, read on, and follow this series of articles. I'll explore all sorts of aspects of Shopify app-writing, from getting started to selling and promoting your apps. Enjoy!

Step 1: Become a Partner

Before you can write apps, you have to become a Shopify Partner. Luckily, it's quick and free to do so. Just point your browser at the  Shopify Partners login page (https://app.shopify.com/services/partners/auth/login):

 

Once you're there, click on the Become a partner button. That will take you to the Become a Shopify Partner form, a single page in which you provide some information, such as your business' name, your URL and if you're into Shopify consulting, app development or theme design as well as some contact info:


When you submit this form, you're in the club! You're now a Shopify partner and ready to take on the next step: creating a test shop.

Step 2: Create a New Test Shop

Test shops are a feature of Shopify that let you try out store themes and apps without exposing them to the general public. They're a great way to familiarize yourself with Shopify's features; they're also good "sandboxes" in which you can safely test app concepts.

The previous step should have taken you to your Shopify partner account dashboard, which looks like this:


It's time to create a test shop. Click on the Test Shops tab, located not too far from the top of the page: 


You'll be taken to the My Test Shops page, where you manage your test shops. It looks like this:


As you've probably already figured out, you can create a new test shop by either:

  • Clicking on the Create a new Test Shop button near the upper left-hand corner of the page
  • Clicking on the big Create your first Test Shop button in the middle of the page. I'm going to click that one...


You should see this message near the top of the page for a few moments:


...after which you should see the My Test Shops page now sporting a test shop in a list.


Test shops are given a randomly-generated name. When you decide to create a real, non-test, customer-facing shop, you can name it whatever you want from the start.


In this example, the test shop is Nienow, Kuhlman and Gleason (sounds like a law firm!). Click on its name in the list to open its admin panel.


Step 3: Launch Your Test Shop

Here's what the admin panel for a newly-created shop looks like:


If you're wondering what the URL for your shop is, it's at the upper left-hand corner fo the page, just to the right of the Shopify wordmark. Make a note of this URL; you'll use it often.


Just below that, you'll see your shop's password:


(Don't bother trying to use this password to get to my test shop; I've changed it.)

You're probably looking at that big text and thinking "7 steps? Oh Shopify, why you gotta be like that?"

Worry not. Just below that grey bar showing the seven steps you need to get a store fully prepped is a link that reads Skip setting up your store and launch it anyway. Click it:


This will set up your test store with default settings, a default theme and even default inventory. You'll be taken to the admin panel for your shop, which looks like this:


This is the first thing shopowners see when they log into their shops' admin panels. 

Now, let's add an app!

Step 4: Add an App

Click on the Apps tab, located near the upper right-hand corner of the page. A menu will pop up; click on its Manage Apps menu item:


You'll be taken to the Installed Applications page, shown below:


For the purposes of this exercise, a private app -- one that works only for this shop -- will do just fine. Click on the click here link that immediately followed the line Are you a developer interested in creating a private application for your shop?:


You'll get taken to the Shopify API page, which manages the API keys and other credentials for your test shop's apps:


For each app in a shop, there's a corresponding set of credentials. Let's generate some credentials now -- click the Generate new application button:


The page will refresh and you'll see a big grey box containing all sorts of credentials:


Here's a closer look at the credentials:

You now have credentials that an app can use. Guess what: we're ready to make some API calls!

A Quick Taste!

Here's a quick taste of what we'll do in the next installment: play around with the Shopify API. Just make sure you've gone through the steps above first.

The Shopify API is RESTful. One of the benefits of this is that you can explore parts of it with some simple HTTP GET calls, which you can easily make by typing into your browser's address bar. These calls use the following format:

api-key:password@your-test-shop-URL/admin/resource.xml
You could type in the URL yourself, but I find it's far easier to simply copy the Example URL from the lost of credentials for your apps and editing it as required:

  

For example, if you want some basic information about your shop, copy the Example URL, paste it into your browser's address bar and change orders.xml to shop.xml. Press Enter; you should see results that look something like this:


Nienow, Kuhlman and Gleason
Boston
185 Rideau Street
K1N 5X8
2011-07-22T14:43:21-04:00
false
US
nienow-kuhlman-and-gleason1524.myshopify.com
937792
555 555 5555

Massachusetts
joey@joeydevilla.com
USD
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
development shop
${{amount}}
${{amount}} USD
false

development

How about the products in your shop? There are some: since we skipped the full setup, your test shop comes pre-populated with some example products. Copy the Example URL, paste it into your browser's address bar and change orders.xml to products.xml. You should get a result that looks something like this:



Shirts
multi-channelled-executive-knowledge-user
2011-07-22T14:43:24-04:00

So this is a product.

The text you see here is a Product Description. Every product has a price, a weight, a picture and a description. To edit the description of this product or to create a new product you can go to the Products Tab of the administration menu.

Once you have mastered the creation and editing of products you will want your products to show up on your Shopify site. There is a two step process to do this.

First you need to add your products to a Collection. A Collection is an easy way to group products together. If you go to the Collections Tab of the administration menu you can begin creating collections and adding products to them.

Second you’ll need to create a link from your shop’s navigation menu to your Collections. You can do this by going to the Navigations Tab of the administration menu and clicking on “Add a link”.

Good luck with your shop!

Multi-channelled executive knowledge user 2011-07-22T14:43:24-04:00 47015882 Shopify 2011-07-22T14:43:24-04:00 Demo, T-Shirt 19.0 1 2011-07-22T14:43:24-04:00 Medium true 2011-07-22T14:43:24-04:00 deny true 110148372 0 Medium manual 5
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Check out the API Reference for more API calls you can try. That's what we'll be covering in the next installment, in greater detail. Happy APIing!

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