FAQ about updates to our Partner Program Agreement

On Thursday, January 5, 2023, Shopify sent a summary of upcoming updates to our Partner Program Agreement ("PPA") and our API License and Terms of Use. These updates will come into effect on February 6, 2023, and include changes that clarify a Partner’s responsibility to promptly take certain actions, including as necessary to resolve failed requirements or violations of our terms, as well as other important updates.

The following are some frequently asked questions related to these changes, and how they affect Partners and developers.

Why is Shopify introducing new terms?

We're updating our Partner Program Agreement and our API License and Terms of Use to support the growth of Shopify Partners and developers, while maintaining the security and integrity of products and services offered on or through our platform.

Partner action requirements for failed App Store requirements or policy violations

How will Shopify notify Partners of failed App Store requirements, or policy violations?

When a Partner needs to take certain actions including, among other things, actions as necessary to resolve an issue with their app or other surfaces that are related to their Partner account, Shopify will notify Partners through various channels. These channels include, but aren't limited to, the business email that's associated with their Partner account. If a Partner needs to make a critical fix for an app, then Shopify will also send a notice to the emergency developer email.

These emails will come from various Shopify teams that help enforce requirements throughout our ecosystem. All emails requiring an action will be clear in communicating the change the Partner needs to make and in what timeframe. These emails will have a subject line with keywords such as "Important", "Action Required", "Critical", or "Final Notice", and include clear calls to action on how a Partner needs to resolve an outstanding request from Shopify.

What happens when Partners don’t adhere to our terms?

Maintaining a reliable and trustworthy app marketplace is a top priority, and each app and Partner in our ecosystem must meet our high standards. If a Partner isn’t responding to requests from Shopify including, among other things, requests regarding a violation of our terms and conditions or upholding our App Store requirements, then we might take a range of actions up to and including the difficult decision to remove a Partner's app from the Shopify App Store. In some cases, we might also need to remove a Partner from our platform.

For more information, refer to our Enforcement of Shopify’s Partner Program Policies FAQ.

Customer Privacy JS API integration requirements

Which apps and themes are expected to integrate with the Customer Privacy JS API?

Any app, theme, app extension, or theme extension (collectively "apps and themes'') that collects cookie consent or inserts a cookie into a merchant storefront is required to integrate with the Shopify Customer Privacy JS API. For example, an app or theme should use the API to help determine if a cookie banner should be displayed, determine what consent needs to be collected, and pass the collected consent back using the API, or use cookies or tracking scripts to track user consent for analytics and marketing data.

Privacy regulations vary by geography. However, Shopify requires that all apps and themes be compliant with this new policy regardless of where the app or theme is developed, or where the merchant that uses the app or theme is located.

Essential cookies are cookies that are strictly necessary to facilitate data transmission and make a website operational. These are automatically placed on a user’s computer or device when accessing a website or taking certain actions.

Non-essential cookies are all other kinds of cookies that don’t fall under the definition of an essential cookie.

Order syncing requirements for apps

Which APIs should I be using to update orders?

The core APIs that developers can use to update orders are the Order API, Fulfillment Orders API,, and Order Edit API. However, mutations that focus on other resources might also impact the Order resource. You should review all of the instances where your app interacts with orders to ensure that data is being automatically synced to Shopify.

As a Partner, how should I handle orders that are closed or completed?

If changes occur to an order field in your integration, then you should update the corresponding data in Shopify immediately, to make sure that Shopify and all other systems that connect to that order are in sync.

If an order is closed, then you can still update the fields on that order using Shopify’s Order Edit API.

Note that orders that are in an Archived state in Shopify, or placed before January 1, 2019, can’t be updated.

What if my integration has more order-specific fields, compared to what is available in Shopify?

Every app and service is unique, and might have its own set of fields or data sets that don’t map directly to the order fields in Shopify. You should use your best judgment to make sure there is consistency and continuity across data that is synced to Shopify.

How frequently should I sync order fields?

Partner-built apps should automatically sync order fields any time there is a change made by a merchant or other system to the originating order fields from Shopify.

For example: A merchant’s customer requests that their shipping address be updated for an order. If that address change is made in your system, then your app should update the order in Shopify to reflect this change before creating a fulfillment.

My app doesn’t currently automatically sync order data, am I compliant?

As this is a requirement of our Shopify API License and Terms of Use, you need to ensure that your integration is syncing order data by February 6, 2023.