How to be Successful on the New Shopify App Store

How to be Successful on the New Shopify App Store

Yesterday, we launched the new Shopify App Store. It’s a reinvented app store that makes it easier for merchants to search for, evaluate, and install apps that help them grow their business. With better recommendations, new sub-categories, and improved app listing pages, the new Shopify App Store was built to help connect your app with the right merchants at the right time.

To help you take full advantage of these new benefits, we’ve put together some pointers on how you can improve your app discoverability and messaging. In this article, we’ll cover three key areas in building and running your business that will help set your app up for success on the new Shopify App Store.

Check out the new Shopify App Store

Visit the new Shopify App Store, and see how it can get your app in front of the right merchants.

Visit the app store

1. Optimizing your app listing for search and conversion

app store success: app listing page
The app listing page.

Your app listing page is the main place where merchants can learn more about your app and decide if it will help them solve their problems or grow their business. We’ve redesigned these pages in the new Shopify App Store to prioritize the information merchants want most, including app descriptions, support details, and pricing structure.

The information on your app listing page is important for two reasons:

  1. It helps merchants understand what value your app provides, and if it will help them with their business
  2. When a merchant performs a search, your app listing content helps determine if your app is a relevant search result

To set your app up for success, you need to optimize your app listing to maximize merchant understanding and search relevance.

Help merchants understand and trust your app

Your app listing is where you communicate the value of your app to merchants. It’s important that your app details are clear and concise. Using copywriting techniques can help to effectively communicate how your app works, and how it will solve a merchant problem.

In addition to having a well-written listing, it’s also important that you include additional details relating to pricing, privacy, and support. When you submit your app, you will be asked to fill out both mandatory and optional information fields. You should aim to fill out as much as you can — the more information a merchant has about your app, the more they will understand how it can help them with their business.

In particular, ensure you have the following information:

  • Easy-to-understand pricing plan(s), to help merchants understand what they're paying for, and how they will be billed
  • A complete privacy policy, so merchants understand why you need their data (if your app requires the use of data) and how you will use it
  • FAQ and support links so merchants know you’ll be available to assist if questions or issues arise

Including this information will signal to merchants that your app—and the team behind it—can be a trusted part of running their business.

Optimize your app for the Shopify App Store search engine

app store success: search results
Search results on the new Shopify App Store.

Your app listing page should also be optimized for the Shopify App Store search engine. The search engine uses information in your listing to help determine which merchant searches should return your app.

Keywords are at the heart of optimizing your app listing page. Keywords are the words and phrases closely related to your app, and are what merchants are likely to use when searching the app store for a specific solution. You should brainstorm a list of these phrases, and ensure you include them in your app listing.

A word of caution, though—using too many keywords, especially irrelevant ones, can hinder your success. Keep in mind the following to optimize your app:

  • Don’t have too many keywords—it’s best to keep it laser-focused. Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner (free) to generate ideas and suggestions for relevant keywords that help convey the value of your app.
  • Try to use your most relevant keywords in the various fields of your app listing, including the title, key benefits, tagline, and detailed description.
  • Don’t use the keyword excessively in your copy, but do include variations of your keywords—for example order template, and order email templates. The search engine recognizes plural and singular forms automatically, so no need to explicitly optimize for both.
  • Remember that using anything misleading or irrelevant will hurt your app’s discoverability and conversion (see below on avoiding actions that lead to search penalties).
  • Keywords and phrases should flow logically within the content of the sentence or paragraph.
  • Use the ‘search terms’ field in the app submission form to include the most important terms that are highly relevant to your app.
  • Use the ‘integrations’ field accurately for direct integrations only (and remember that there’s no value in listing Shopify as an integration).
  • Test, test, test! The key to successful optimization is to continuously ensure that your app is showing up for the keywords and phrases you’re targeting, so keep testing until you’re satisfied.
  • Optimize your brand name. If it’s too generic, you’ll be competing with every other app that has your name in their listing—so get creative and specific with your naming.

These considerations, and some knowledge of on-page SEO, will help you build an app listing page that is highly relevant, specific, and targeted towards your ideal merchants. This not only helps merchants find exactly the app they need at exactly the right time—it helps you improve your conversions and grow your business.

2. Driving traffic through external marketing activities

While the new Shopify App Store is designed to make your apps more discoverable, if you want to achieve rapid growth you should also consider developing your own marketing strategy to help drive merchants to your listing.

Your marketing approach could include a website, social media, networking, blogging, and offline activities. Whatever approach you choose, dedicate time to marketing your app consistently to a targeted audience. Remember, the app store is a very important part of the puzzle, but not the whole puzzle—for real success, combine it with your own marketing efforts to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

In addition, if you choose to run paid ads, we now offer a branding kit for apps listed in the Shopify App Store.

Running paid ads for your app?

We now offer a branding kit for apps listed in the Shopify App Store. Follow the link below to access the kit.

Go to branding kit

Below are some resources to help you start flexing those marketing muscles:

3. Avoiding actions that lead to search penalties

While you may have worked hard to build a great app, and carefully designed a clear and search optimized app listing, there are still many parts of running an app business that you need to manage carefully. What helps merchants trust apps—and helps you retain merchants—is a great merchant experience.

Similarly, there are some actions that can hurt the merchant experience, as well as your overall ranking in the app store. Some of these actions include:

  • Poor support: We expect all app developers to respond to merchant inquiries and requests in a timely manner, and for these support interactions to be carried out in a fair and professional manner.
  • Frequent bugs and crashes: Your app should function exactly as promised on your app listing page. Merchants often abandon buggy apps, and continuous technical issues can lead to your app being removed from the app store. Make sure to frequently test and maintain your app, and stay aware of API changes that could affect your app’s performance.
  • Incentivizing or writing fake reviews: While positive reviews help build trust, fake reviews can break trust irreparably. If fake or incentivized reviews are discovered, we will take strict punitive action.
  • Any violation of the Shopify Partner Program Agreement: This agreement helps ensure a fair and consistent environment for all developers, and a safe and positive experience for all merchants. Any violation of the agreement can result in penalization, suspension, or even removal depending on the severity of the violation.

Running your app business in a fair and consistent manner, while keeping your app quality and support top-notch, will help you maintain a good ranking on the app store and build trust with merchants.

You might also like: Introducing the New Shopify App Store.

Setting your app up for success

The new Shopify App Store was built with you in mind, to give your app the best chance possible to reach the right merchants. Taking these extra steps to optimize, market, and perfect your app will pay off—meaning more installs for you, and more merchants benefitting from the solutions your app provides.

Optimize your app, drive traffic, and avoid common pitfalls, and you’ll be well on your way to success on the new Shopify App Store.

Check out the new Shopify App Store

Visit the new Shopify App Store, and see how it can get your app in front of the right merchants.

Visit the app store

About the Author

Jonathan is a Senior Product Manager at Shopify, focused on helping merchants win through apps and services in Shopify’s Partner Ecosystem. He specializes in conversion optimization and advertising. Jonathan is also a storeowner on Shopify, to always remember what it feels like to be a merchant.

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