We’re introducing several new capabilities that will allow Shopify App Developers to bill merchants in more flexible and creative ways. These new capabilities are available now to public app developers who use the Billing API to process app charges to merchants.
We’re continuing to make improvements to our developer platform and program to help partners succeed, and this new update is a continuation of changes we’ve made in the past year, such as updating our revenue share plan to 0% revenue share for the first $1M they earn annually on the platform, to introducing new payout methods that provide more coverage and support for partners around the world.
In this article, we’ll share details on some of the new billing API capabilities and how to use them, as well as some information on additional capabilities coming later this year.
More flexible billing capabilities
Making improvements to provide more flexibility. This allows you to get more merchants using your app. Provides more incentives for consideration, and then allows more tools to attract them to install, use and retain your app.
New features are:
- App Subscription Discounts
- Prorated App Credit on Cancellation
- Trial Extension and Proration Options on App Subscription Charges
Read on to learn more about the new capabilities, how to get started, and where to get support.
App Subscription Discounts
We know that offering discounts can be an effective means to get new merchants to subscribe to an app. However the process to date has required workarounds and hasn’t been well integrated into the user experience. We’re pleased to announce that you may now offer limited time discounts by a percentage or fixed price, such as 20% off for 6 months, or $100 off the initial subscription charge.
Using the Billing API, partners now have the flexibility to offer different types of app discounts, such as introductory pricing offered in email marketing campaigns or one-time discounts to retain merchants. Discounts can be applied on a new app subscription or as part of an update to an existing subscription. Our billing system will take care of proration and apply the appropriate discounted amount.
Want to implement discounts? Read the documentation for App Subscription Discounts on Shopify.dev
The new App Discounts API helped encourage merchants to trial and upgrade a higher priced plans and help us retain existing merchant subscribers
Currently, we offer discounts by applying a credit through the API, which is awkward and hard to explain to merchants. This is much better! I would send this feature back in time 12 months if I could!
Prorated app credit on cancellation
When merchants uninstall an app the associated app subscription is immediately canceled, which can lead to merchants losing whatever unused value was left on their subscription. This often required developers to have to manually issue refunds, which can be time-consuming and an administrative hassle.
We now offer the ability for you to automatically issue prorated app credits when you cancel a merchant’s subscription. Developers have the choice of issuing these prorated app credits when using the AppSubscriptionCancel GraphQL mutation.
For example, if a $10.00 app subscription is canceled and prorated half way through the billing cycle, then the merchant will be credited $5.00 and that amount will be deducted from your Partner account.
Want to implement prorated credit on app uninstallation? View the API on Shopify.dev
Trial Extension on App Subscription Charges
Trial periods offer merchants an opportunity to test out an app, yet in some cases, the real value an app offers may take more time. Additionally, if a merchant needs to address other business matters, they may not get a full opportunity to discover and learn the functionality of an app during the trial period.
We’ve now made it easier for developers to extend a trial, at their discretion, to allow merchants more time to get to know the app. Using the appSubscriptionTrialExtend API, developers may now specify a number of days by which to extend a trial without merchants re-approving the app charge.
Trial extension is now available for early preview on the unstable GraphQL API version.
Want to implement trial extensions? View the API on Shopify.dev
What developers need to do
These updates have now been deployed and you may use them right away. Find information for each at the links above, or visit Shopify.dev for more information.
We want to equip developers with the tools and resources needed to succeed, and these new billing capabilities represent a continued step in that direction. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing more updates on additional billing capabilities.
Combined with new payout methods, and our updated revenue share plan, this is another update that empowers partners to thrive alongside our merchants.