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Shopify Web Development | 12 Min Read

How To Build A Shopify App: The Complete Guide

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Post Views: 2911 Views

Posted on: Wednesday May 19, 2021

Reading Time: 12 minutes

With a rise in usage trends of applications for all the E-commerce and merchant interfaces, it has almost become a compulsion to develop your app. If you are familiar with E-commerce development platforms, you already know about Shopify and its immense benefits for your E-commerce store. This platform gets even better with its support for building Shopify applications. You wouldn’t find a better ‘today’ to make a Shopify app. Why? Because more than 1.7 million retailers worldwide are creating, scaling, and managing their stores on Shopify. Apps are essential to the merchant journey as, on average, a Shopify retailer has around six apps connected to their store.


These apps are introduced to resolve several problems faced by merchants daily. Each step of a merchant’s entrepreneurial mission is a standalone billion-dollar business—from sourcing commodities, retailing, order attainment, customer administration, and more. The possibilities are innumerable. With the clarity that Shopify apps are necessary, it is important to know how to start building a Shopify app!


Shopify apps integrate with your Shopify platform:-


(a) Connecting with Shopify’s APIs enabling the apps to view and write data about goods, orders, inventory, customers, accomplishments, and more.


(b) Increasing new features within the already existing elements of the Shopify Admin.


(c) Improving the way stores present information to consumers.




It is essential to first look upon what kinds of apps are offered by Shopify. These apps give you an idea of which app you need to focus on and build for integrating with your shop.


Know the App types:


know the app types


There are three distinct levels of accessibility for an app on Shopify:-


(1) Public apps: Apps open to multiple merchants and found in the Shopify App Store. They are designed in your Partner Dashboard.


(2) Custom apps: Apps that are custom-built for a particular merchant. They are also created in your Partner Dashboard, but you can not list them on the Shopify App Store.


(3) Private apps: These apps are for developers creating apps for merchants with specific conditions that the custom apps cannot meet. They are made in Merchant Admin, and you can not list these on Shopify App Store.


What is a Shopify App Store?


The Shopify App Store is the simplest way to discover apps to facilitate the functionality their store demands. The Shopify App Store is designed for ease of merchants and has a robust search option along with a recommendation system that supports merchants to get the apps they need. You can find all the public apps on the Shopify App Store- both listed and unlisted(these apps have limited visibility).


Validating your App idea:


Now that you know how apps accommodate in the Shopify ecosystem and what’s a Shopify App Store with the difference between the listed and unlisted apps, you just need to understand if your app idea is suitable for this. Validating your thought is a start in the app-building plan you indeed shouldn’t leap.


Why validate your idea?


Validating the idea provides you a more imminent possibility of success because you will be sure this way that you’re developing an app that your target user requires—and, in turn, building something that will probably have high installations. Shopify experts suggest that this process helps you save time building apps that may already exist or are not of much importance.


After this step, you are ready to kick-start your designing process. Start by making a list of all the necessary details you would want to keep in mind while building the app.


Considerations for an App:


Devising an app that blends seamlessly into a merchant’s online shop enhances the user experience (UX) by making the app more accessible and enticing and the user interface (UI) spontaneous. The design policies you include in your app describe your user’s preferences as well. Obviously, if an application is more user-friendly, accessible, and beautiful, it is more likely to have higher retention rates.


The most important considerations are listed below; ensure that you have a clear idea of each of these before you start coding your application, as these may create hurdles during the design and development process.


  • Themes
  • Accessibility
  • Information Architecture
  • Internationalization


Pre-requisites and basics for App-building:


Before you get excited about building your app, here’s what you’re going to need:-


  • A Shopify Partner account and development store
  • A ngrok account
  • Familiarity using your computer’s text editor and command line
  • The idea of at least one of the backend programming language, like PHP, Python, Node.JS, Java, or Ruby on Rails
  • Ability to install software utilizing the npm package manager


These may sound pretty confusing if you are not a developer yourself, but a Shopify app development company can definitely provide you with all the assistance you need for these. Once you have all of these in place, congratulations, you are set to begin!


Get, set, go!


Your Shopify Partner Dashboard is the place you will design, inspect, and update your apps. A quick overview of the development of embedded apps on Shopify Partner Dashboard is presented here:-


  • Set up your app in the Partner Dashboard
  • Install your application in the Shopify platform
  • Create your user interface employing Polaris
  • Install and set up the GraphQL Admin API or REST API
  • Combine the Billing API
  • Obtain and respond to events utilizing webhooks or EventBridge


Well, usually the best idea is to hire a Shopify app developer for this process, this gives you a way to get the best development in place with the most unique features accommodate in your apps.


Have you heard of the Shopify App CLI?


The Shopify App CLI is a handy and supportive tool for building apps as it will save you from hassling with the starting codes. It:-


  • Formulates initial code for developing your app
  • Adds example data to your development store for app testing
  • It automatically configures your application in the Partner Dashboard




Building a Shopify application is easy but if you really want to develop an app that stands out with unique functionalities and best features, you will have to get a step ahead because believe it or not, there is a lot of competition that is exponentially increasing. This reason also suggests that if you have an idea, you start working on it right away, because what’s a better time than ‘today’ or ‘now.’ We understand it is daunting to read about all the technologies that these apps demand and all the pre-requisites can be confusion, just hire a Shopify app developer and launch your app with no hassles. Get started and see infinite possibilities unfolding!