Epsi Dispatch

Built for Shopify: upgrading your app game!

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Hi there
Have you ever dreamed of reaching a remarkable accomplishment, such as Built for Shopify status for your app(s)? If yes, this issue of Epsi dispatch is for you. Today, we're sharing another batch of insights from the interview with SpurIT and all the secrets you have to know. Dive in to learn more about the evolution of the ‘Built for Shopify’ program.
This may be the image many of us are dreaming of dropping into our inbox one day
The story
It all started way back in 2022 when 'Built for Shopify’ was rolled out as an exclusive club for developers who wanted to take their apps to the next level.
Our Summer pilot launch, marked by the seamless integration of our app into merchant stores, was a standout experience. The initial journey was smooth, adhering to Shopify's technical criteria without affecting the loading speed or embedding code into the merchant's store. The boost was phenomenal - claiming the #1 spot, witnessing improved conversion rates from both Ads and organic sources, and experiencing a threefold increase in traffic.
Evolving Challenges
However, as many apps achieved this milestone, the landscape evolved. The once-valuable achievement saw a decline in significance, with the spotlight shifting to those explicitly labeled 'Built for Shopify.' The criteria for this esteemed status have become more stringent over time.
Shopify now rejects apps with limited trial periods and visible offers for paid tariffs or external apps. One key challenge lies in the requirement for embedding, especially for large and complex apps. With limitations on menu points, accommodating sophisticated functionalities becomes a daunting task.
The Shifting Landscape and Recommendations
Despite the challenges, apps with the 'built for Shopify' badge continue to rise. A noticeable trend emerges–the initiative that initially aimed to benefit merchants now prompts uncertainty as the funnel narrows. For smaller apps, securing this badge is a golden opportunity to claim top positions. A quote from our interviewee captures the essence: "If I had only one app, I'd invest all my efforts in obtaining this badge."
Looking ahead, as major competitors secure this achievement, lacking it may mean losing out on traffic altogether. 'Built for Shopify' becomes not just a badge but a rapid hypothesis-testing mechanism. Meeting its criteria propels your app upwards, providing a chance to evaluate merchant interest in your product.
'Built for Shopify' is not just an accolade, but a guarantee that your 2.0 theme will function seamlessly. For those with theme extensions, rest assured, it will work like a charm. As we navigate the evolving Shopify landscape, we remain committed to providing you with the latest insights and strategies for success. See some practical recommendations below.
Some practical aspects of getting ‘Built for Shopify’ badge
  • Time and Effort: It takes around 200–300 hours to get everything Shopify-ready.
  • Enhanced Results: For small apps, this could mean triple the traffic and conversions for 3–12 months. After that, you have to think about other ways to grow—and not only in Shopify.
  • Benefits for Merchants: For merchants, it's a stamp of a higher quality and a sign they can trust. Built for Shopify apps, It won't bog down their store, and they will work seamlessly with theme extensions in the editor.
  • Criteria for Recognition: There are 5 specific criteria to meet:
1. Protect app safety, security, and reliability (for storefront apps: don’t use the Asset API): apps that add code into theme files with the Asset API prevent theme version updates and clean uninstalls. Theme app extensions is the preferred way to integrate app functionality into storefronts. Shopify will manually verify if you’ve completed this task after you pass all the automatically checked tasks.
2. Build for performance
Minimize impact on store speed–a slow storefront can mean lost sales for merchants. Make sure your app is optimized for performance so it has little or no impact on store speed. Shopify will manually verify if you’ve completed this task after you pass all the automatically checked tasks.
Improve app’s performance in admin–a fast admin experience makes a better overall user experience for merchants. It also saves them time so they can focus on running their businesses.
3. Design for ease of use
Embed app into the Shopify admin–a merchant’s time is valuable. Embedding your app into the admin or POS lets them use it without interrupting their regular workflow.
Check that your app is embedded properly–an app that’s properly embedded includes core workflows within the admin or the embedded app. An embedded app should not force merchants to leave the admin. This provides a more seamless admin experience.
Use Shopify’s design guidelines–giving your app a consistent look, feel, and tone creates a predictable user experience for merchants that’s easy and delightful to use.
4. Share app info and benefits–make sure your app listing content is up-to-date, as merchants often compare their options in the app store when searching for an app that meets their needs. Updated listing content helps them quickly understand your app’s value.
5. Usefulness criteria–these criteria is based on merchant experiences using your app. It lets merchants know that your app is used by others who have positive feedback. There aren’t any tasks for this criteria.
- Number of app installs: minimum of 50 net installations;
- Number of app reviews: minimum of 5 reviews;
- App rating score: a minimum rating in the Shopify App Store.
Learn more about applying for the program hereStay tuned for more Shopify insights from Epsi team in the following newsletters. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line with your suggestion on what should be the next subject you’d like us to explore.
Best wishes,
Epsi Team
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