Writing a Shopify App Store listing

The app listing is your first point of contact with a merchant, and it’s where they’ll look to see if your app is right for them. It’s also your biggest marketing tool — an effective app listing will encourage Shopify merchants to try out your app for themselves. Make sure that your app listing is clear, and that it answers the questions that a potential user might have.

The app listing submission form lets you do the following:

  • highlight app features so merchants can easily see what your app can do for them
  • suggest a category for your app so merchants can find it easily
  • provide clear pricing information
  • specify which merchants can install your app

Follow this guide when you're filling out the app submission form to make sure that merchants can easily find your app, understand what they can use it for, and see how much it costs.

A. App information

1. App name

Your app name is an important part of how you brand yourself to merchants and how they refer to your app. Follow these requirements when deciding on an app name:

  • The app name can't include the word "Shopify."
  • The app name must be 30 characters or fewer.
  • The app name can't be a generic description of your app's functionality, such as “Banner Slider.” Your app name should be distinct and to the point.
  • The app name can't include the name of your Shopify Partner account, which appears right next to the app name on the Shopify App Store.

Tagline

Your tagline should be unique and summarize your app to help promote it. Your tagline can't contain “Shopify” or the name of your Shopify Partner account.

2. App icon

You can add and update your app icon from the app submission form. When making your app icon, follow these guidelines:

  • The app icon's dimensions should be 1200px by 1200px.
  • Don't include text in your app icon.
  • Don’t include screenshots or photographs in your app icon.
  • Use padding around your app icon. Your logo shouldn't touch the edge of the image.
  • Keep the corners square. The image's corners are automatically rounded when it's displayed.
  • Use bold colors and recognizable patterns.
  • Make it simple and focus on one or two elements. Visual clutter can make an image less effective.

Download image templates

3. Category

You can suggest a top-level category for your app, which determines where your app will be grouped in the Categories menu on the Shopify App Store. If your app fits into multiple categories, then choose the category where merchants are most likely to look for it. Shopify's App QA Specialist team will then review the category that you've suggested, and will further subcategorize your app to make it easier for merchants to find it. For more information, see the current list of categories and subcategories.

For example, if your app adds a countdown timer to a merchant's store, then it likely fits best under Store Design. If you choose this category, then the App QA Specialist team will review the app, and tag it for appropriate subcategories within Store Design, such as Countdown timers.

4. Search terms

The Search terms field lets you enter a maximum of five search terms for your app. To help merchants discover your app, include only relevant terms that you want to rank higher when merchants search the Shopify App Store.

Follow these guidelines when picking your search terms:

  • Use complete words. For example, use "dropshipping" instead of "dropshi" or another partial form of the word.
  • Include the single, complete form of a term instead of several versions of the same term. For example, if you include "dropshipping" as a search term, then you don't need to include other terms such as "dropship", "shipping," or "drop ship."
  • Don't include "Shopify" in any of your search terms.
  • Don't list your competitors as a search term. If you do, then the App QA Specialist team will reject your app submission.
  • Don't convey more than one idea in a single search term. For example, "email marketing" is appropriate, but "email marketing for leads" is not.

B. App details

1. Promotional video

A promotional video isn’t mandatory, but we strongly recommend including one to help show merchants more about your app. The promotional video should be created to promote the core features and functionality of your app and how it interacts with Shopify. Merchants want an honest picture of what to expect from your app and how it will help them run their business. An effective promotional video will encourage the merchant to take a deeper look through your app listing to learn more about the features that were introduced in the video.

Follow these guidelines when making your promotional video:

  • The video should be no longer than 2-3 minutes.
  • Don’t include long screencasts of someone using the application. Up to 25% of the video can use screencasts for demoing features, but the video should be promotional, not instructional.
  • Be mindful of any third-party logos or elements that you include in the promotional video to avoid potential trademark issues.

2. Key benefits

This section lets you highlight three key benefits that your app offers to merchants. Make sure to use this space to speak to the merchant's needs, not the specifics of how a particular feature works. You can talk about specific features in the Detailed description section.

You can include an image for each benefit and a brief description about the problem that each benefit solves. The key benefit descriptions don't support markdown, so make sure to write your descriptions in plain text.

Here are some examples of how you can write an app feature as a benefit that will appeal to merchants:

App feature Merchant benefit
Reports that use push technology so they're never out of date

Data when you need it

Get your real-time sales data all in one view

30 different chart options, including bar charts, line graphs, scatterplots

Easy-to-read charts

Spot trends easily with graphically displayed data

Sign up for alerts to your phone

Stay in the loop

Get notified about any significant spikes or dips

WYSIWYG editor for creating reusable email templates

Spend less time writing emails

Quickly and easily create reusable email templates

Follow these guidelines when you're preparing images for your app's key benefits:

  • Each image's dimensions should be 1600px by 1200px (4:3).
  • Don't use text in your images.
  • Don’t use screenshots.
  • Don’t include the Shopify logo in your images.
  • Keep the corners square. The image's corners are automatically rounded when it's displayed.
  • Avoid using a white background. Instead, use bold, recognizable colors or patterns.
  • Make it simple and focus on one or two elements. Visual clutter can make an image less effective.
  • Be consistent. The icon and key benefits images for your app should look like they belong to the same brand and product.

Download image templates

Here's an example of how the key benefits for your app will be presented on a Shopify App Store listing:

3. Staff picks banner

The App QA Specialist team regularly selects outstanding apps to be featured in the Staff picks banner on the Shopify App Store home page. If you want your app to be considered for the feature banner, then you need to provide an image that can be used to showcase your app.

Follow these guidelines when you're preparing an image for the Staff picks banner:

  • The banner image's dimensions should be 1600px by 900px.
  • Don’t include any text in the banner except for your app name.
  • Keep the corners square. The icon's corners are automatically rounded when it's displayed.
  • Leave a margin of 100px around the outside edges of the image. Keep the icon and app name inside the safe zone, as shown in the example images below.
  • Avoid using a white background. Instead, use bold, recognizable colors, patterns, or photography.
  • Be consistent. The icon, benefits, and Staff picks banner images for your app should all look like they belong to the same brand and product.
  • Don’t use screenshots of your application. Screenshots are too small to see at the size that the banner appears on the Shopify App Store homepage.

Download image templates

It's a good idea to use the template provided to create your Staff picks banner image. This template outlines a safe zone for placing your app name and icon. Before you generate your final image, make sure that you remove the embedded assistance elements, such as the help text and the dotted line highlighting the safe zone.

The following example images show the correct and incorrect placement of these elements relative to the safe zone.

Incorrect placement of app icon and name:

Incorrect placement of app icon and name

Correct placement of app icon and name:

Correct placement of app icon and name

4. Screenshots

In the Screenshots section, you must provide screenshots to show what your user interface looks like in action. Add annotations or highlighting to draw attention to important elements, such as any links that your app inserts in the Shopify admin.

Follow these guidelines when you're preparing screenshots:

General screenshot guidelines

  • Provide alt text for all images for accessibility and to improve SEO.
  • Don’t use a merchant's personal information without consent in the images. This includes information like store names, phone numbers, and .myshopify.com URLs.

Desktop screenshot guidelines

  • Each screenshot's dimensions should be 1600px by 900px (16:9) for desktop, and 900px by 1600px (9:16) for mobile.
  • Include between 3-6 screenshots of your app on desktop.
  • Include at least one screenshot of your app's user interface.
  • Provide alt text for all images for accessibility and to improve SEO.
  • Don’t include desktop backgrounds and browser windows in your screenshots. Crop them so your images aren't cluttered and don't distract merchants from your app.
  • If your app is embedded, then don't include Shopify admin header content in your screenshots, such as the store name, the search bar, or any user information. You can include the left-hand navigation.

Mobile screenshot guidelines

  • Each screenshot's dimensions should be 900px by 1600px (9:16).
  • If your app is mobile responsive on the storefront, then include screenshots that show your app's mobile functionality. This helps merchants visualize how your app will look to a customer on their storefront.
  • Your mobile screenshots should not be duplicates of your desktop screenshots. This means they must display the responsiveness of your user interface when viewed on a mobile device.

Point of sale screenshot guidelines

  • Each screenshot's dimensions should be 2048px by 1536px (4:3).
  • If your app is for Shopify Point of Sale or has features that work with it, then you must include a screenshot showing this. This helps merchants specifically looking for point of sale apps understand that yours integrates with it.

5. Detailed description

The Detailed description field gives you 2800 characters to tell merchants all about your app. This field supports a limited set of Markdown formatting options. Markdown is simpler to use and less error-prone than HTML because it requires fewer tags.

The following table lists supported formatting options and the corresponding markdown notation to use:

Format Tag Example
Title # # This is a title
Ordered (numbered) list item 1. 1. Ordered list item 1
2. Ordered list item 2
Unordered (bulleted) list item * * Unordered list item 1
* Unordered list item 2

You can toggle between the Edit and Preview tabs to see how your description will be displayed in the app listing.

Follow these guidelines when writing your detailed description:

  • Explain each of your app's key features in detail. Merchants want to know what your app is capable of doing for their store.
  • Don’t use special characters or emojis in your description.
  • Don’t include testimonials in the detailed description.
  • Don’t use personal merchant information without consent from the merchant.
  • Don't include links and URLs in the detailed description. The submission form lets you provide links to your website's homepage, your FAQ page, and your pricing information, where you can host whatever additional information you want.
  • Don’t include support information such as emails and phone numbers in your detailed description. Support information should be included in section D of the submission form.
  • Don’t include data or statistics in your detailed description since Shopify can't confirm this data. Feel free to share this information on your website and landing pages.

6. Demo URL

Provide a link to a demo store that showcases your app so merchants can see a live demonstration of how the app works. If your app requires a more in-depth walkthrough, then you can instead link to a demo video that shows the app in action. This lets the merchant get a sense of how your app can benefit them.

7. Integrations

The Integrations field lets you list a maximum of six integrations. If your app has more than six integrations, then list the ones that merchants will be most interested in.

Don't include the following in your list of supported integrations:

  • Shopify
  • other shopping carts, unless you provide synchronization or cross-platform compatibility
  • other apps in the Shopify App Store, unless your app directly integrates with them

C. Pricing

The pricing section lets you clarify app pricing information for merchants.

1. Pricing details

Select your app's primary billing method in the Pricing details section. There are three primary billing methods that you can use for your app:

Free to install Select this option if you won't charge the merchant anything for installing the app. Apps that are free to install can have additional usage charges or charges that are charged outside of the Shopify Billing API. If there are no additional charges, such as commissions or usage charges, then your app will appear as Free in the Shopify App Store. If you do specify additional charges, then your app will appear as Free to install.
Recurring charge Select this option if you will charge the merchant each month (every 30 days) or each year that they have the app installed. If you select this option, then you’ll be able to add information about the different monthly or yearly plans that you offer.
One-time payment Select this option if you will charge the merchant a single fee for installing the app.

Set up an app subscription plan with recurring charges

To describe how merchants will be charged for using your app:

  1. Enter the length of the free trial period, after which you will begin to charge for the app. If the free trial length is 0 days, then charges begin immediately. When you choose the length of the free trial period, make sure that it's enough time (at least 14 days) for the merchant to try your app.

  2. Enter the details of your recurring plans. For each plan, specify whether it is free, billed monthly, or billed yearly:

    1. If your app charges the merchant monthly, then select Monthly charge and enter the amount that the merchant will be charged every 30-day billing cycle.
    2. If you offer a monthly plan that also has a discount option for the merchant to make a one-time yearly payment, then select Monthly charge and enter both the regular monthly charge and the discounted yearly charge. For example, if you have a plan that is $150 per month and you offer a yearly discounted price of $1200 a year, then enter $150 for the amount billed every 30 days and $1200 for the amount billed as one charge per year:
      Set up monthly charge
    3. If you offer a plan with a recurring charge that has only a yearly charge option, then select Yearly charge and enter the total charge per year. For example, if you have a yearly plan that is $1200, then enter $1200 for the amount billed as one charge per year:
      Set up yearly charge
    4. Select whether your plan has additional charges, such as usage fees or commissions. Provide a detailed description of these fees so that the merchant can understand how the charges are calculated. Do not enter yearly plan information in this field. Instead, enter yearly plan information either as a yearly charge or a yearly discounted price.
    5. Optional: In the Plan details section, enter a name for the plan and a list of features that it includes. Enter each feature on a separate line, without any bullet points or leading characters. Bullet points will be added when the feature list is rendered in the app listing.
    6. If you want to add another plan, then click Add another plan.
    7. The app listing lets you describe up to four pricing plans for your app. If you offer more than four plans, then you can provide a URL for an external pricing page that describes the additional plans. You can also let merchants know that you offer additional plans by selecting This plan has additional charges for one of the plans (typically the plan with the highest price) and then entering a note in the Description of additional charges field. For example, the note might say "Additional plans available. See our pricing page for details."

Plans will be displayed from lowest price to highest price in your app listing, regardless of the order in which you specify the plans.

Apps with only a free plan

You can have a maximum of one free plan. If your app has only one plan for the entire app, and that plan is free, then that plan cannot be listed as a recurring charge. For this type of a pricing model (with or without additional charges), select Free to install as your primary billing method.

Apps with free and paid plans

If you have more than one plan and one of them is free, select Recurring charge as your primary billing method, then specify one of your plans as Free in the Plan pricing section. When your app appears in search results, it will be flagged as Free plan available.

Charges outside the Shopify Billing API

All app charges must go through the Shopify Billing API unless you have prior approval from Shopify. If you've received approval from Shopify, then select I have approval to charge merchants outside of the Shopify Billing API and provide a link so that merchants can read about the external charges and sign up for any external services that are required.

Here's an example of how the pricing details for your app might be presented in your app listing:

1. A link to a page that describes the app's pricing in detail.
2. A link to a page that describes any charges that are billed outside of Shopify's Billing API.
3. The name of each pricing plan.
4. A free monthly plan.
5. The paid monthly plan price.
6. The discounted yearly price for a monthly plan.
7. A description of any additional charges for this plan.
8. A list of features for this plan.

D. Contact information

Contact information is an important part of your app listing. The information you enter here helps merchants learn more about your app and contact you with questions or issues. Shopify also uses this information to contact you about your app submission.

1. Review notification email

This email is used to notify you when a merchant has left a review on your app. The notification email includes the star rating the merchant left, the comment they left in their review, and the name of the merchant's store.

2. App submission contact email

This is the email the App QA Specialist team at Shopify uses to contact you about your app submission to the Shopify App Store. You should enter the email of the person that will be the primary point of contact for making any necessary changes to your app submission.

3. Sales and support

Email (Required)

This is the email that merchants will use to contact you if they have support questions.

Website URL (Optional)

Having a website that gives more information about your app can help merchants to decide if they want to install it. This URL needs to be set to the landing page of your developer website. If the URL goes to a special promotional page or a Shopify store, then you'll be asked to change it.

Phone (Optional)

Having phone support can boost merchant confidence when selecting your app. If you want to offer phone support for your app, then you need to include a functioning phone number that a merchant can call to get phone support. An App QA Specialist will call this phone number during your app review to make sure it can be reached. If the number can't be reached, then you'll be asked to remove or update the phone number.

Privacy policy URL (Optional)

Data and user privacy is extremely important to merchants and they value partners that take security seriously. We highly recommend that you include a privacy policy on your app listing especially if you are handling merchant data.

FAQ URL (Optional)

This is a great opportunity to answer frequently asked questions in detail to merchants. This URL must redirect the merchant to a dedicated FAQ page on your website. If the URL redirects to a cloud document or PDF, then you'll be asked to change it.

E. Tracking

You can track your app listing traffic by entering a Google Analytics code for your app listing. You can also retarget merchants who view your app listing by adding a Google remarketing code or an AdRoll retargeting code.

F. Merchant install requirements

You can specify which merchants can install your app by setting the install requirements in the app submission form. By adding install requirements in the app submission form, you can reduce the number of uninstalls and negative reviews related to merchant eligibility for your app.

For example, when a merchant installs an app that they can't use, such as a free shipping app that doesn't work in their country, they will uninstall your app shortly after installing it. They may also be frustrated about the experience and leave a negative review. Both uninstalls and negative reviews affect your ranking in the Shopify App Store.

1. Online store requirements

If your app embeds features in a merchant's online store, then you only want merchants who have an online store to install your app. For example, the Shopify Lite plan does not include an online store, so you want to prevent merchants with this plan from installing your app.

To set this requirement, select Merchant must have online store.

2. Geography requirements

Set the geography requirements to make your app available only to merchants who meet specific geographic criteria. For example, if your app is a tax app that helps merchants in Germany file their taxes, then you should specify that only merchants with a business address in Germany can install your app. You can restrict the installation of your app to merchants who:

  • have a business address in a specific country or countries
  • ship to a specific country or countries
  • accept a specific currency or currencies.

For each requirement, you can specify a list of countries or currencies that meet the requirement. For example, if your app works for stores who accept any of USD, CAD or GBP, then you can specify all three acceptable currencies.

3. Payment gateway requirements

Set the payment gateway requirements to specify whether your app should only be installed by merchants who have the correct payment gateways enabled.

If your app depends on the Checkout API, then select Merchant must have a payment gateway that supports the Checkout API. This makes sure that your app is installed only by merchants who have a direct payment gateway enabled.

If your app depends on Apply Pay, then select Merchant must have activated Apple Pay.

What if a merchant changes their store settings after installation?

Within your app, use endpoints and webhooks to check if a merchant changes their store settings after installation. If a merchant does change their settings, then you can notify them within the app or by email.

G. Testing instructions

In this section, you can provide the App QA Specialist team with instructions on how to test your app during your app review.

1. App testing instructions

Including instructions on how your app should be used lets the team give you valuable feedback if they encounter issues while testing. If you have an app that offers a lot of functionality, then you should consider including a link to a video walkthrough of your app. This helps the App QA Specialist team understand how to use your app.

If your app connects to other services, then you must include test accounts. For example, if your app requires account access to a marketplace, then you must include credentials for a test account on that marketplace. If testing your app requires a test account and you don't provide one, then your app submission will be rejected.

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