103 search results for “ecommerce apps”

Shopify Apps and the Shopify Fund

The Shopify Fund is a one million dollar pool of money that we’re using to encourage the development of apps built on Shopify’s ecommerce platform. We’ve funded the first four apps, which I’ve summarized in this article, and we’re on the lookout for more! The video above (4 minutes, 11 seconds) explains both Shopify apps and the Shopify Fund.

If you’re an app developer and want to get in on some of this Shopify Fund action, take a look at the Shopify Fund page and use the form to tell us about your app idea! We might fund it.

If you’ve already applied for the Shopify Fund but aren’t one of the first four to get funded, keep working on your app idea and submit it to the Shopify App Store! The fund isn’t just about getting new apps built, but also enabling developers to work on improvements to their apps. Submit your app, go to the Shopify Fund page and tell us about it! We might fund that development.

If you’ve got an app in the Shopify App Store already and you have ideas for a revision, go to the Shopify Fund page and let us know what they are – we might fund that revision!

[ This article also appears in Global Nerdy. ]

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Sell More With These 9 New Shopify Apps


In today's App Store Showcase, we're bringing you nine great new Shopify apps to make your ecommerce store even more powerful. Most of these apps have a free trial so you can make sure they're right for you before you buy.

If you don't know already, the Shopify App Store is a collection of plugins (apps) that extend the functionality of your ecommerce store. We've got more than 200 apps for online store owners to choose from and we're adding new ones every week.

Are you a developer or know someone who wants to build apps for Shopify? We're offering $1 million dollars worth of cash advances to developers building Shopify apps. Learn more here

Here are 9 brand new Shopify Apps for you to check out, along with a special featured app at the bottom: 

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9 Fresh New Shopify Apps to Help You Sell More


Today, we're announcing 9 powerful new Shopify Apps that will help you sell more. In this App Store Showcase, every app includes a free trial - allowing you to try their service before committing to a purchase. 

If you don't know already, the Shopify App Store is a collection of plugins (apps) that extend the functionality of your ecommerce store. We've got almost 200 apps for online store owners to choose from and we're adding new ones every week.

Here are 9 brand new Shopify Apps for you to check out, along with a special featured app at the bottom: 

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Shopify App Store Showcase: 9 Powerful New Apps


Have you checked out the Shopify App Store lately? If you don't know already, our App Store is a collection of plugins (apps) that extend the functionality of your ecommerce store. We've got over 150 apps for online store owners to choose from and we're adding new ones every week. 

You'll notice we made a couple changes to the Shopify App Store this month. We improved search functionality to help you find the right app faster. We also added a Beta section that houses all the apps that are in the final stages of approval.  

Anyways, here are 8 brand new Shopify apps for you to check out, along with a special featured app at the bottom: 

Recomatic

Free for 14 Days, $14 / Month
Easily, automatically, and intelligently add product recommendations to your ecommerce store's products. Either show recommendations on a product-by-product basis, or based on the entire contents of a customers cart. You can also easily track the effectiveness of the recommendations using the built-in reporting panel.

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10 New Shopify Apps to Help You Sell More

We have 10 amazing new apps that cover a huge range of functionality to announce. Many of these apps are free (or at least include a free trial), so don't hesitate to give them a try – they'll really help your shop take off.

If you don't know already, the Shopify App Store is a collection of plugins (apps) that extend the functionality of your ecommerce store. We've got more than 200 apps for online store owners to choose from and we're adding new ones every week.

Here are 10 brand new apps to check out, along with a special featured app at the bottom: 

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Selling More Shopify Apps, Part 1: The Decision-Making Process

 

Shopify? Apps? I Thought It Was an Ecommerce Thingy!

It is. If you want to sell stuff or services online in exchange for money – a business model so crazy that it just might work – Shopify is the best, easiest and most hassle-free way to do it. You can use a store that lives on our hosted service or build a program that calls our API to do the ecommerce stuff: the catalog, the shopping cart, the credit card hoo-hah, and so on.

While Shopify does a lot, it can’t do everything. Perhaps there’s a feature that you wish Shopify had, but it applies only to a small vertical or maybe even only your business. Or there just might be some feature that we haven’t thought of implementing yet.

That’s where apps come in: they’re applications that make use of the Shopify API to:

  • Access a shop’s data (with the owner’s permission, of course)
  • Programmatically perform just about anything the shop owner can do on their shop’s admin panel

Want to declare a “happy hour” where you drop the price of an item from 5 to 7 p.m. next Thursday? Shopify doesn’t do it out of the box, but an app can! Want to send a Twitter direct message or SMS text to a merchant whenever a customer places a big order, so s/he can make sure it gets handled properly? You can write an app for that. If you can think of a feature to make the experience for customers or shopowners (or both) better, you can make it an app. And you can make money doing it!

You can reach the 15,000 Shopify users – a very focused, dedicated bunch – and sell apps to them through the Shopify App Store. We know a number of developers who are doing quite nicely selling apps and making Shopify showowners productive and happy, and when our customers are happy, so are we.

That’s what this series of articles is all about: selling more Shopify Apps. If you’re a Shopify App developer (or thinking of becoming one), this series will show you how to sell them better. We’ll also be publishing articles about writing apps, from how-tos to ideas for apps that we’d like to see become real.

The Decision-Making Process

Take a look at Shopify’s App Store, and I’ll walk you through the typical customer’s decision making process when they’re looking for apps.

1. They see your app’s icon, its name and the short description on the App Store page.

When you visit Shopify’s App Store, you see a page like the one shown above, featuring apps displayed on shelves. Rather than being broken up into pages, the App Store’s main page is an “infinite scroller”; you simply scroll down the page to see all the apps in the Store. For the user, scrolling -- especially in the age where most mice have scroll wheels and scrolling-by-flicking is increasingly common thanks to smartphones and tablets -- seems faster and more effortless than paging.

Each app is represented by its icon, with its name and a short description (140 characters maximum) to its right. Clicking on the icon, the name or the description will take you to the page for the corresponding app.

There are a number if ways users can sift through the apps in the store. They can filter the apps by category, as shown below:

They can also filter apps by which software or services they integrate with:

And they can also change the way the apps are sorted in the store:


The default sort is “from newest to oldest”, and the other three options are:

  • From highest-rated to lowest-rated
  • From most to least popular
  • Whether or not to limit the results to free apps

Ideally, you want your app to be as close to the top of the App Store page as possible – what they used to call “above the fold” in the newspaper world. Being on top of the list puts you in the user’s path of least resistance and makes it more likely that the user will move to the next step on the path to purchasing your app: your app’s page.

Your app will be on top of the list just after you submit your app for the first time, as it will be newest. However, your app won’t remain the newest forever, so your eventual goal will be to make your app the highest rated, the most popular, or preferably both.

You’ll also want to make sure that your app makes a good first impression on the App Store’s main page. The good news (and the bad news, too) is that once the user sees your app on the page, there are only three things that you have at your disposal to catch his/her attention:

  1. Your app’s icon. Is it visually appealing? Does it hint at what your app does or what its effects will be?
  2. Your app’s name. Is it catchy or memorable? Does it give the user an idea of what your app does or what its effects will be?
  3. Your app’s description. Does it clearly state what your app does or why someone would want to use it, all in 140 characters or less?

Get all three right, and you’ll increase the odds that the user will get to the next step in the decision-making process: moving away from the big list of apps and focusing on just yours.

2. They click on your app’s icon, taking them to the App Store page for your app

If your app has piqued the user’s interest on the App Store’s main page, s/he’ll click on it and be taken to your app’s page, which displays a lot of information about it, namely:

  • The app’s icon
  • The name of the app
  • The app’s publisher
  • The app’s rating
  • How much the app costs
  • Any additional software required by the app
  • The “Install App” button
  • The full description of the app
  • A list of the services that the app can integrate with
  • One or more screenshots of the app
  • [Optional] One or more videos of the app
  • User reviews and responses from the publisher

Each of these items affects the user’s decision-making process, and in this series of articles, we’ll look at what you can do with them to make it more likely that the user will buy it.

Based on experience with app stores of all sorts, from Shopify’s to shareware to smartphone and tablet stores, here’s what the users typically do next…

3. They look at your app’s screenshots and videos first.

Eye- and click-tracking studies show that once the user has landed on your app’s page, they tend to look at the screenshots and videos first. This means a couple of things:

  • You should make sure that you include at least one screenshot of your app in action. Better still, you should include a screenshot for every major feature of your app.
  • Although it’s optional, you should include a video. It could be a video capture of your app in action or something that explains what your app does and why you’d want to buy and install it. The better selling apps tend to include videos on their app pages.

In this series of articles, we’ll cover ways to get the most out of the video and pictures on your app’s page.

4. Then they look at the rating.

A very important factor affecting how well something sells online is the rating. Ever since Amazon, we’ve become quite accustomed to checking the ratings before buying something. It happens not just online, but in real life; I’ve seen people at all sorts of bricks-and-mortar stores – restaurants, liquor stores, big-box electronics stores, car dealerships – whip out their smartphones and check out the ratings for something they’re thinking of buying. That’s why social media and word-of-mouth marketing are hot topics these days: they influence people’s opinions, which in turn can make or break sales.

“Get a good rating” is the obvious advice. Less obvious is how you get that rating. We’ll cover what we believe are best practices for getting good ratings, and through them, good sales.

5. And finally, they read the description.

Once the user’s done with the quick-and-dirty visual scan of your app’s page, they then look at your app’s description. If the user has come this far in the process, they’re close to the point where they make the decision to buy or not buy. The description is where you close the deal, and we’ll show you what successful apps do in their descriptions.

6. That’s when they make their decision.

If you’ve done everything right, this is when the user clicks the “Install App” button. Get enough users doing that, and life’s like this:

Next: A picture is worth a thousand…bucks?

[ This article also appears in Global Nerdy. ]

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Introducing: 12 New Shopify Apps to Supercharge Your Online Store


In this month's edition of the App Store Showcase, we've got 12 amazing new apps that will extend the awesomeness of your Shopify store. Most of these apps have a free trial so you can take them for a test-spin without any risk. Better yet, some of the apps are entirely free. 

If you don't know already, the Shopify App Store is a collection of plugins (apps) that extend the functionality of your ecommerce store. We've got more than 200 apps for online store owners to choose from and we're adding new ones every week.

Here are 12 brand new Shopify Apps to check out, along with a special featured app at the bottom: 

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10 New Apps to Help You Sell More


The Shopify App Store is a collection of plugins (apps) that extend the functionality of your ecommerce store. We've got over 150 apps for online store owners to choose from and we're adding new ones every week. We have a really exciting collection of powerful new apps for you to take a look at this month, and we share them with you below. 

Curious about building your own Shopify App? If you're a developer, designer, or entrepreneur that may be interested in building a Shopify App, we have a $1,000,000 fund that will help you get started. See here for more details.

Here are 10 brand new Shopify Apps for you to check out, along with a special featured app at the bottom: 

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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 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
...

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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