Shopify Partner-friendly Apps

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Shopify recently announced they’ve put together a list of partner-friendly apps that allow free testing within development stores. These apps allow you to try out apps in a development store without any upfront costs.

Why this is great for Shopify merchants and partners

Before the partner-friendly app list was created, you never knew what to expect when installing an app in a dev store. This could require reaching out separately to each app developer to ask for a free trial which could be a painful process.

Now the partner-friendly app list makes it easy for merchants and partners to try out apps in their stores without any upfront costs to see if they are a good fit.

Why this is great for Shopify app developers

Making your Shopify app partner-friendly makes it easier for stores to try out your app with less friction. The partner-friendly app list is also a much smaller section of the overall Shopify store, so it should be easier for your app to stand out.

How to make your Shopify app partner-friendly

A few weeks before the Shopify announcement about the partner-friendly list, the topic of developer-friendly apps had recently come up in an e-commerce Slack community I belong to. I was chatting with Gavin Ballard of Disco and Eric Davis of Little Stream Software and we ended up settling on a simple solution that matches Shopify’s recommendations for developer-friendly apps.

The solution involves checking the Shop API data to see if the shop’s plan_display_name is equal to affiliate, and if so skip the billing process for this store. A billing plan of affiliate means this is a Shopify development shop.

Keep in mind some development stores can be set to a non affiliate plan, such as if a Shopify Plus store uses a separate staging site. In this case, the plan_display_name technique would not work. You will need to also be able to support manually overriding a shop’s billing plan to be free to support this case.

To get your partner-friendly app added to the list, just email apps@shopify.com.

Summary

The Shopify partner-friendly apps list is a great resource for finding apps that play nice with development stores. As a merchant or partner, the partner-friendly apps list should be a good starting point when looking for apps that are easy to work with when setting up your store. As a developer, you should be sure to make your apps partner-friendly to make them more appealing to merchants and partners.

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