Apps are central to the Shopify platform. Merchants around the world and across industries draw on over 8,000 apps in the Shopify App Store to customize their stores and extend their businesses in the way that best suits their needs. Because apps are so critical to their stores’ operations, these merchants need to feel confident choosing, installing, and using apps.
That’s why we created Built for Shopify: a program that champions apps built to Shopify’s highest standards for quality, design, and performance. Starting in March, developers can apply for their apps to officially join the Built for Shopify program, the highest level of recognition that an app can achieve, outranking all other highlights and indicating excellence across the board.
In this article, we take a look at the details of the Built for Shopify program, and how you can leverage this new opportunity to stand out to merchants and grow your business.
Catch up on the latest developer announcements from the Shopify Winter ’23 Edition
The Shopify Winter ’23 Edition was full of big announcements for developers who work with Shopify. Visit our roundup on the Shopify Partner Blog to get caught up on all the news.
The benefits of being Built for Shopify
To build a successful app business, you need to find your niche, stand out among your competitors, and continuously maintain a positive reputation. Built for Shopify helps you achieve all these goals by highlighting the high level of quality your app offers to merchants. We’re doing this with three key features.
1. Search boosts
As a Built for Shopify app, you can get in front of more merchants with preferential placement in Shopify App Store search rankings. This means that your app listing will get more visibility and stand out from the competition.
2. Easy-to-spot badge
You can also increase merchant trust with a Built for Shopify badge on your app in various key surfaces, from your app’s listing page to search results and more. This badge is a simple indicator for merchants to quickly recognize apps that are high quality, so they can focus on adding functionality to their store and achieving that next business goal.
3. Promotion opportunities
Apps that are Built for Shopify are eligible for promotion in high-converting Shopify surfaces. This includes the Shopify App Store homepage and in the recommended apps section of the Shopify admin, making your app more discoverable directly within the spaces that merchants work.
Why we’re recognizing apps Built for Shopify
Merchants want apps that are performant, easy to use, reliable, and safe. In fact, merchants have told us that these highlights on app listings influence their decision to install certain apps. While app highlights show the individual elements that your app excels at, Built for Shopify indicates a high bar of quality across the board.
Merchants have also told us that finding the right app is challenging. Built for Shopify makes it easier for them to choose apps that meet the needs of their businesses and exceed their expectations for quality, while making it easier for you to demonstrate that your app is a fast, useful, reliable, and easy-to-use choice.
Our goal is to make commerce better for everyone—that means both empowering merchants to build their businesses and enabling developers to build incredibly valuable commerce apps. When you invest in a better app experience, we commit to helping you grow your business across Shopify.
How to create a Built for Shopify app
By its very nature, Built for Shopify has a high threshold of quality. To make the path to achieving this status clearer for developers, we’ve built a tailored checklist, available in the Partner Dashboard, covering how you can improve your app quality.
In this section, we’ll go over the steps to creating a Built for Shopify app Built for Shopify.
1. Understand the criteria
The first step is to visit the Distribution page in your Partner Dashboard to review the criteria. We’ve broken down the criteria into four key categories:
- Protect app safety and security. Apps should treat merchant and shop data with care, which means uninstalling cleanly and using specific APIs and extensions.
- Build for performance. Apps should be optimized for performance, with a fast admin experience and little or no impact on store speed.
- Design for ease of use. Apps embedded in the Shopify admin or POS that have a consistent look, feel, and tone give merchants a seamless and delightful experience.
- Share app info and benefits. Accurate and updated listing content makes it easier for merchants to quickly understand the value of your app.
We’ve built out this page to give you a clear picture of what we’re looking for, and the next steps to get your app there.
2. Complete your tasks
Next, work through that quality checklist and update your app as needed to make it more performant, easy-to-use, and safe. Each task includes an explanation of why it adds value to merchants, and links out to detailed guidance on how to improve that element of your app.
A good early first step is to update your app to use the latest version of App Bridge. Using the latest version of App Bridge is a necessary step of improving your app’s performance and following Shopify’s design guidelines. Your app will need to use the latest version of App Bridge for at least 30 days to capture sufficient data on web vital performance, so it’s best to upgrade as soon as possible. We similarly recommend reviewing your app against Shopify’s design guidelines as soon as possible so you can make a plan for necessary improvements.
3. Apply for Built for Shopify status
When you’ve completed all the tasks, you can apply for Built for Shopify status in your Partner Dashboard when the program officially opens in early March.
Our app review team will then review your app and request further changes as needed. Once your Built for Shopify status is approved, you’ll start getting in front of more potential users when the program rolls out to merchants later this year.
Dig deeper into the developer products announced at Shopify Editions
Join our upcoming Shopify Editions-focused AMA sessions on our Discord channel. Learn from industry experts, including Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, ask questions, and connect with other like-minded individuals.
You can RSVP to whichever AMA sessions interest you on our Discord channel in the ‘Events’ category at the top left of the channel list. Join our Discord channel at the link below.
Grow your development business with Built for Shopify
Built for Shopify is an opportunity for you to connect your app with the merchants who need it to run their business. It recognizes the work that you invest in creating an excellent app experience. To get on the path to a better quality app that drives more installs, log in to your Partner Dashboard.
Visit our developer documentation to learn more.