Shopify Experts FAQ
Here are some common questions that we receive about the Shopify Experts program. Have a question of your own? Read on to see if it's answered here.
What is the Shopify Experts Program?
The Shopify Experts Program is a cultivated community of trusted, motivated Shopify ambassadors who actively help merchants grow their businesses by providing them with high-quality services. The program was built to empower the business growth of our top-tier partners through exclusive resources, opportunities for learning, and more exposure within our ecosystem.
As a Shopify Expert, you’ll earn:
- Enhanced access to a dedicated Growth Coach - a personal Shopify contact who's ready to help you maximize your business and win more projects.
Opportunities to position yourself as a thought leader in the Shopify Community through:
- Hosting or co-hosting community meetups
- Ability to attend Expert-only events
- Speaking roles at large-scale events within our Partner and Merchant communities
- Mentions from our Shopify and Shopify Partners social channels
- Opportunities to contribute to the Shopify Web Design & Development Blog
Shopify Expert branding that you can use to build trust with merchants, including:
- The Shopify Expert badge
- The Shopify Expert forum badge
Opportunities to connect with other Experts around the world through our invitation-only Slack channel
Eligibility to apply for a public listing in our Shopify Experts Directory
Opportunities to participate in beta testing of new features and products on Shopify
Access to special offers from popular software and technology providers
What is a Shopify Expert?
- A Partner selected by Shopify that has proven to have a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of Shopify and a hunger to continue learning
- A resourceful, motivated Shopify brand ambassador — someone who helps us take the path to more entrepreneurs
- A member of an exclusive group that is trusted by Shopify merchants
- A Partner that provides a layer of value-added services to merchants to help them become successful, including any of the following services: Setup, Design, Development, Marketing, and/or Photography
- A Partner that is committed to Shopify for their clients’ ecommerce needs, helping us grow our merchant base
What's required of an Expert?
As a Shopify Expert, you must:
- Be a brand ambassador for Shopify
- Deliver top-quality work on time for Shopify merchants
- Maintain open and honest communication with Shopify merchants
- Provide Shopify merchants with a high value, positive experience
- Remain active within the Partner Community — attend or host Shopify Meetups, participate in the Shopify Forums, develop Shopify-related content and distribute it to your network
- Maintain active and open communication with your Growth Coach
Bring new merchants to the platform and/or upgrade current merchants to Shopify Plus. In particular:
- Setup, Design, and Development Experts are required to bring 5 new merchants to Shopify or Shopify Plus every 12 months, and work with existing merchants through collaborator accounts.
- Marketing Experts are required to bring 3 new merchants to Shopify or Shopify Plus every 12 months, and work with existing merchants through collaborator accounts.
- Photographer Experts are exempt from this requirement. However, we recommend applying for the Shopify Affiliate Program and leveraging your affiliate link where possible.
If you aren't able to meet the above requirements, then Shopify may contact you to determine your continued eligibility as an Expert.
How do I become an Expert?
You can apply to become a Shopify Expert in your Partner Dashboard by clicking Apply for Experts in the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner. Although each Expert specialization has its own eligibility requirements, each applicant must have:
- A Shopify Partner account
- Proven Shopify experience
- A Shopify-branded landing page on your business website with a Shopify logo or banner and your affiliate link (the link found in your Partner Dashboard on the Referrals page)
You'll also need to meet the eligibility requirements for the specific Expert specialization you’re applying for. These requirements include:
Setup Experts focus on setting up and launching functional Shopify stores, as well as migrating stores from other platforms. To become a Setup Expert, you must have created at least 5 stores (starting as development stores in your Partner Dashboard), and handed them off to your clients. Each store will be assessed on functional checkout experience, domain setup, navigation, and the usage of variants and images.
Design Experts focus on building unique, custom Shopify Themes and customizing existing theme templates. To become a Design Expert, you must have created at least 5 stores (starting as development stores in your Partner Dashboard), and handed them off to your clients. Each store must be highly customized, cleanly structured, and demonstrate your experience building custom themes for merchants.
If you're using an existing theme template as a base for your custom theme, then you must include the original theme name in your notes and where it was sourced from, along with the changes you’ve made to the theme.
Development Experts focus on building private Shopify Apps for online businesses and custom integrations using Shopify’s API. To become a Development Expert, you must meet one of the following sets of requirements:
- Have created at least 5 stores (starting as development stores in your Partner Dashboard), and handed them off to your clients
- Have at least 1 Shopify App or integration published in the Shopify App Store
- Each published Shopify App must have at least 100 installs, a support interaction score of 1.2 or higher, and at least 5 reviews with a minimum score of 4 stars.
- Have at created at least 5 active stores that demonstrate experience building a different custom integration for each store using the Shopify API
You must provide screenshots and/or video tutorials detailing each integration. Your written document must also specify which Shopify APIs were used in each instance. Please provide a link to the API from the Shopify API Reference. Make sure that you list custom integration services, and include examples of custom integration work on your company website.
Marketing Experts focus on creating, launching, and optimizing results-driven digital marketing campaigns for online businesses. To become a Marketing Expert, you must:
- Have created at least 3 stores (starting as development stores in your Partner Dashboard), and handed them off to your clients
- Provide detailed case studies of the marketing work that you completed for the 5 stores used within your application
- List digital marketing services (social media, SEO, digital analytics, etc.) as a discipline on your company website
If you need help finding new Shopify merchants, then see How can I find new Shopify merchants below. Reach out to Shopify Support if you have any additional questions regarding the requirements needed to become a Shopify Expert in this category.
Photography Experts focus on creating and curating high-quality product and marketing photography for ecommerce businesses. To become a Photography Expert, you must:
- Provide a link to your portfolio of work, showcasing examples of product photography projects you've completed
- List photography as a discipline on your company website
Reach out to Shopify Support if you have any additional questions regarding the requirements needed to become a Shopify Expert in this category.
What will cause my Expert profile to be unpublished after I've been listed?
- Not responding to merchant inquiries in a timely fashion or at all
- Not maintaining regular communication with your Growth Coach or not responding to inquiries from your Growth Coach in a timely fashion
- Shopify receiving complaints from merchants against the Shopify Expert and/or indication of low-quality service
- Not having Shopify branding on your business website
- Extended periods of inactivity within your Partner Dashboard including lack of new referrals and/or lack of collaborator accounts
- Not notifying Shopify of business changes including business name, business address, and contact email
The Partner Program Agreement sets out the additional obligations of a Shopify Expert as a Shopify Partner.
What is the approval process like?
You can apply to be a Shopify Expert from your Partner Dashboard. You must fill out the form completely for it to be reviewed. This means including a full business description, a logo or head shot, and multiple portfolio images.
After you submit the form, the Shopify Experts Team will review your submission. If your application is approved, then we'll let you know which Expert categories you've been approved for. If your application isn't approved, then we'll let you know if there are other steps you need to take to have your application assessed again.
If you're approved, then you'll then book time with your Growth Coach for your Shopify Experts onboarding to kick off your new partnership with Shopify.
How can I find new Shopify merchants?
There are many ways to find new Shopify merchants for your business and we've built a ton of resources to help guide you. Here are a few to get started with but check out our blog for more.
- Selling Shopify: Sales Resources for Partners
- (Free Ebook) Finding Clients: Building a Strong Portfolio Website
For Marketers, affiliate marketing can be a great way to earn extra income, as well as help you maintain the referrals required to remain in the Shopify Experts Program. To get started, apply for your affiliate link through your Partner Dashboard and review the strategies listed here. If you have any questions about affiliate marketing, then contact your Affiliate Manager from the Resources page in your Partner Dashboard after you've been approved for an affiliate link.
What's the best way to collect project requirements and scope from Shopify merchants?
Some Experts have created project requirement forms that help speed up store setups. The form gives merchants an idea of what content is required to get their store up and running. One example is the Shopify Content Delivery Toolkit.
What's an Expert testimonial?
An Expert testimonial is a review from a Shopify merchant that you've recently worked with. These testimonials directly influence your ranking among other Experts. You can request a testimonial through your Expert profile under the Testimonial tab. Enter the site URL and it will send a request to the store's account owner.
Where do I log in to my Expert profile?
You can log in to your Expert account here.
How are Experts ranked?
Our ranking algorithm gives you a score based on the number of active referrals (fully launched live stores) under your account, the number of testimonials you have, and your geographic location relative to the merchant. The more stores you have under your belt, the higher your ranking will be, and the closer to the top of the search results your profile will appear.
How can I set myself as overbooked?
You can set yourself as overbooked from your Shopify Expert profile at the bottom of the Account details tab. When set to overbooked, you won't receive any communications from Shopify merchants through the Experts Directory.
Is there a badge I can share to let people know I'm an Expert?
Yes. You can find Expert badges in your Expert profile under the Resources tab.
How do I cancel my Expert profile?
Log in to your Expert Dashboard and above the footer, click Cancel my account.