Shopify is a popular eCommerce platform that enables entrepreneurs to build and manage their eCommerce stores. In 2020, POS Technology or Shopify processed over $5.1 billion in transactions, and now over 2.3 million e-commerce shops are built on Shopify.

These Shopify applications are divided into multiple categories:

  • Product sourcing and product sales
  • Store Layout
  • Conversion
  • Merchandising
  • Fulfillment
  • Store Administration
  • Delivery and Shipping
  • Customer Care

    Shopify apps enable you to add capabilities and features to the Shopify platform which help you improve and personalize your online storefront.

    Hiring the right Shopify app developer would allow you to:

    • Manage inventory better
    • Attract more customers
    • Process payments effortlessly
    • Run your business more smoothly, etc.

    APIs for Shopify Apps

    APIs for Shopify Apps

    When Shopify app developers want to collect and change data from another app, they usually choose from two options: GraphQL and REST. These are special technologies that facilitate communication between multiple apps. With Shopify, you can access both of these technologies.

    With these Application Programming Interfaces, your Shopify app development company can make your eCommerce app better and faster.

    Types of Shopify Apps

    Types of Shopify Apps

    Shopify App Distribution Types

    There are four primary types of Shopify apps based on their distribution model:

    • Single-merchant-install or Custom Apps: These apps can accommodate a single store and it doesn’t support listing on the Shopify app store. However, in this type of app, the access token for your Shopify API is automatically generated immediately after setting up.
    • Public Apps: You can publish these apps on the Shopify App Store. After you are done setting them up, they can work with many stores. However, they need to pass the Shopify app review to be accepted.
    • Private Apps: These apps have ceased to exist after January 2022 and custom apps are a great alternative to them.
    • Draft Apps: These are used for testing purposes and can be installed on development stores.

      Standalone or Embedded Apps

      Depending on the location of the user interface, Shopify apps can again be divided into two types. Embedded apps are incorporated into the admin dashboard of Shopify. Whereas the Standalone apps are separated from your Shopify admin and they run on their apps.

      Considerations for Building a Shopify App

      Considerations for Building a Shopify App

      Determine the Purpose

      The apps are meant for solving specific challenges so you must consider your app’s purpose before building it. Determine your end goal in creating the app.

      Determine the Type of the App

      There are two types of apps that can be added to a Shopify store.

      Public apps: These can be listed so they appear in the Shopify App Store for purchase.
      Custom apps: Shop owners can hire developers to design a custom app specifically for their store.

      Determine the cost to build a Shopify app?

      Shopify apps generally cost between $15,000 and $25,000 to build, depending on how complex they are. Fewer features lead to lower price range. Average cost is about $20,000.

      Determine Difficulty Level and Timeline

      The apps might take up to a year and hundreds of hours of labor to build based on the difficulty level and features to be implemented. Hiring a professional developer is a wise idea.

      Create your Shopify App

      Step 1: Register Your Shopify Partner Account

      First, create your Shopify partner account.

      Step 2: Create a Shopify Test Store

      A test or development store is a Shopify account that is free of cost but comes with a few limitations. You can create multiple development stores as a Shopify partner.

      With a development store, you can test any apps or themes that you want to create or set up a test Shopify store for your client.

      Setting up a Shopify development store and then transferring it to a client will provide you with a recurring commission.

      • Log into the Shopify Partner Dashboard
      • Click Stores and then click Add Store
      • Now go to the Store type section and select the option Development Store
      • Go to the Login information section, enter the name of your online store, and create a password
      • Create a non-transferable store that utilizes a developer preview by choosing a developer preview version from your drop-down list (this step is optional)
      • Go to the Store address section and enter your address
      • Now go to the store purpose section and choose the reason for building this development store (this step is optional)
      • Click Save

      Step 3: Install the Latest Node.js Framework

      If you want to use the Node.js framework for your Shopify store, you need to download its latest version.

      Step 4: Install your Shopify CLI

      You need to first install Ruby+Devkit if you want to natively use Shopify CLI on Windows 10. Alternatively, you can use your Shopify CLI through the Windows subsystem for Linux.

      Step 5: Use the CLI to log in to Shopify

      Type Shopify Login in the terminal to open the browser tab from where you can log in to the partner account.

      Step 6: Build a New Project

      You are ready to develop a new project after you have installed the Shopify CLI. You need to navigate to the directory where you wish to create your project using Node.js.

      Step 7: Begin a local development server

      After creating your app, you can start a local development server.

      Step 8: Install your App

      When the server is running, you need to open the URL that the terminal printed out in the prior step. The URL will prompt you to install the Shopify app on the development store.

      Step 9: Start Developing your App

      From this step, you start adding specific functionalities to your app.

      Step 10: Populate Products

      You can use your Shopify CLI to produce records for your customers, products, and draft orders.

      Now follow these steps to populate products in the Shopify development store:

      • Go to a new terminal window
      • Navigate to the applicable project directory
      • Run the Shopify Populate Products function

      Step 11: Add Empty State

      Now you can test and view your frontend components as you develop thru. You can use the React component library of Shopify to develop your user interface.

      Step 12: Integrate a Resource Picker

      Now integrate a resource picker to be able to select products from your Shopify app. You can utilize App Bridge which is the standalone vanilla Javascript library of Shopify to perform this function.

      Step 13: Add your Resource List

      You can use the GraphQL Admin API to retrieve products and ultimately display them in your resource list.

      Step 14: Update all Product Prices

      Now, you need to utilize GraphQL to modify your product data. Set up the “Product Variant Update” GraphQL mutation to update the product prices in your app.


      Building a Shopify app can be challenging if you are not well versed with APIs, technology stack, and coding. Before you start with the Shopify app development process, make sure that you have installed npm and Node.js. You must have familiarity with API integration, web development fundamentals, and Express.js to streamline the development process. Also, you need a good understanding of web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to develop the user interface of your Shopify app. For complex UIs, front-end frameworks such as Vue.js or React.js are recommended.

      This makes it essential to hire an experienced Shopify app developer to help you with all the technical aspects of developing your Shopify app. Also, it is important to note that your Shopify app development process doesn’t stop at completion. You need to at least test it once to ensure proper execution of the app and ignore concerns like poor quality media, bugs, etc.

      Categorized in: