In the past, there’s been some confusion within the developer community about what it takes to be featured in the Shopify App Store. This is partly because the requirements we’ve curated have changed consistently, in order to ensure the best experience for our merchants.
It’s about to get a lot clearer.
The App Store homepage gets over 100,000 pageviews weekly, meaning getting featured (which lasts one week) can increase your app’s installs dramatically.
Today, I’m going to dive into what guides our new set of standards, and how you can get your app featured on the Shopify App Store.
Delivering the best merchant experience
Every day, merchants depend on Shopify and their installed apps to run their businesses. It’s critically important to them that this experience is of the highest quality and offers real, tangible value. We want to ensure that the experience each merchant receives when using any app in the App Store, is the best and most user-friendly it can possibly be.
By looking at some of the most successful apps on our platform, we’ve found that there are a few stand out features that can make or break the experience for a merchant. Following these principles can help you get more installs and ensure you're one step close to getting featured in the Shopify App Store.
1. A simple sign-up flow
Many apps require merchants to sign up and create an account to use their service. This can be a nuisance for many merchants, and may even result in the merchant abandoning the app.
This is a great opportunity to make your app easy to use with a one click sign-up. Most of the important information that you need to complete this can be grabbed from the merchant’s store, via the Shop Endpoint of our API.
A one click sign-up allows the merchant to start using your app much faster. If a password isn’t needed, creating a login based on the merchant’s credentials is a much better way to handle sign-up (plus they won’t need to remember yet another password!).
2. A clear onboarding flow
Everyone likes software that’s simple and easy to use, but onboarding a merchant from the initial install of your app, to a complete set-up can be tricky. By having step-by-step instructions, and making it super clear what the end user needs to do, you can quickly make them feel comfortable and confident while using your app. Having your app drive home this understanding is a great way for merchants to feel engaged with your app immediately, and can help nudge that someone who is on the fence about purchasing your app.
You Might Also Like: How to Improve Your Shopify App's Onboarding Flow.
3. A great user experience
Part of a great app is how clean and user friendly it is for each merchant. I can’t stress how important this is, since this is the first impression someone gets when using your app. When effort is put into the quality and design of an app, people notice. It lets them know they are in good hands, and that the developer has made the app with them in mind.
Example of quality UI using the Embedded SDK:
Example of quality UI not using the Embedded SDK:
Some quick things to note:
- The information is laid out clearly and looks professional, while representing data clearly to the merchant.
- The UI is simple enough that seemingly any merchant could install this app, and know very quickly how to use it.
- The app is completely mobile responsive and looks great on any device size.
Getting your app into New and Noteworthy
The New and Noteworthy section of the App Store is curated by the Shopify Apps Team. We want to make sure that this section is full of the newest and coolest apps on the marketplace. These are hand-selected based on uniqueness, design, and overall quality — much of what we’ve already mentioned above.
You Might Also Like: What the Most Successful Apps Launched in 2016 Can Teach You for 2017.
Getting featured on the main banner
Being featured on the main banner of the Shopify App Store can heavily increase your app’s visibility and installs, and is the first section that merchants see when visiting the App Store.
For this section, we have a list of requirements each app must meet before being considered. We also check for quality, similar to the process for the New and Noteworthy section.
Currently, for your app to be considered for the featured banner, we look to see if the suggested minimum requirements have first been met :
Installs - As a general rule, we like to see at minimum 100 active installs, but this is heavily dependent on category, function, and the price of your app.
Reviews - Reviews are very important and highly weighted on the App Store. We like to see around 10 reviews, with an average star rating of at least four.
Positive support rating - Support for your app is very important, and having great merchant communication when issues arise will build trust between you and the merchant.
Once your app hits these milestones, our Merchant Experience team will test it for overall quality and functionality. If there are small features that need to be updated in order to be featured, we will be reaching out to let you know.
A great experience = great results!
Being on the front page of the Shopify App Store can drive tremendous traffic to your app, and give you a notable presence with over 325,000 merchants.
Understanding merchant needs and pain points, and addressing them in a simple yet powerful way is the best way to get traction, especially in a competitive category. As demonstrated in this post, by really delivering a great merchant experience - you’re much more likely to drive traffic to your apps.