Important Product Updates for Shopify Partners

What’s new

In this edition of our monthly product newsletter for Shopify Partners and Developers, you’ll find the most important updates you need to know to continue your work with your clients or app users. 

Read on for more information. If you’d rather receive these updates via email, please sign up for our monthly What’s New with Shopify email below.

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Partner updates

Learn more about all the platform updates from Shopify for developers and partners.

Partner Town Hall

Partner Town Hall is an extension of a long standing tradition at Shopify. Here, we gather to listen, reflect, and stay aligned on what’s happening at Shopify. It’s an opportunity to hear directly from Shopifolk on various subjects in real time, while gaining timely product knowledge and practical advice on how to best support merchants. 

Our next Partner Town Hall is Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 12 pm EDT, and will be re-streamed Friday, December 4, 2020 at 6:30 am IST / 9:00 am CST / 10:00 am JST / 12:00 pm AEDT / 2:00 pm NZDT. We will share an update of what's changing in the online store in 2021, including Sections Everywhere, online store app extensions, and building faster themes. Plus, tune in for a recap of all the partner and developer changes and updates throughout the past year. Don’t miss it! Register below.

Register now

Announcing a new collection of subscription and post-purchase upsell apps

whats new: webpage of a person holding a handful of coffee beans

We’ve introduced a new collection of apps for both subscriptions and post-purchase upsells in the Shopify App Store. These are the first apps built directly within Shopify Checkout using the new Shopify Subscription APIs and Product Subscription App Extension, creating a smoother and more integrated experience for merchants and their customers.

With this release, the previous subscription and post-purchase upsell apps that bypass the Shopify Checkout will no longer be available for download. Merchants who are currently using subscription apps that are not listed are able to continue doing so, but any new clients will need to select from one of the publicly available options integrated into Shopify Checkout.

This update means that merchants can now sell subscription products and surface post-purchase promotions seamlessly within checkout, no longer compromising the customer experience or checkout performance. View the collection of checkout apps below.

View collection

Deprecation of Sass on themes

As part of our ongoing initiative to improve the experience of working with themes, Shopify has decided to deprecate the use of Sass within theme stylesheets. 

Removing Sass from themes avoids depending on a legacy version of Sass, and improves performance on the theme editor. In the short term, Sass will continue to work on Shopify themes, but we are actively migrating our themes to use only CSS stylesheets.

Developers can leverage native CSS features such as CSS variables to create reusable properties on stylesheets, and ensure themes become leaner and more performant. 

Learn more

Merchant insights

At Shopify, we regularly survey our merchants to gather insights about the state of their businesses and make sure we’re still meeting their most pressing needs. This month, we’re sharing some of our recent key findings, to keep you informed, and able to continuously build new solutions for your clients or users.

Here’s the feedback we’re seeing this month:

  • As BFCM approaches, merchants are anticipating challenges with shipping. Consider ways you could help your clients or users present shipping options to their customers, and manage fulfillments in their stores’ backends. 
  • This holiday season, the majority of merchants plan on spending more on marketing than any other business need. They’re seeking guidance on developing a marketing strategy during this busy time. 
  • Merchants with retail stores are planning on using those spaces during BFCM as locations for curbside and in-store pickup. More than half of retail merchants will be open for in-person shopping, whether it be with regular, reduced, or extended hours. On the other hand, some will just be using their retail location as a mini-fulfillment centre for staff. With these new ways of using retail spaces, consider new tools that could help merchants create great customer experiences and efficient back office operations. 

These insights present unique opportunities to build apps and processes that support merchants during a changing time in commerce. For tutorials to get started or expand on app development specifically, check out our developer tutorials playlist below.

View tutorials

Collaborator account request code

To maintain a safe and secure working relationship between merchants, developers, and partners, we have added an additional layer of security to collaborator accounts. Merchants can now choose to set a four-digit collaborator request code to their store. When this feature is enabled, they will only receive collaborator requests from those who have the matching code. If you require access to a client’s store, you will now need to ask them for their request code in advance.

The collaborator request code is automatically generated for merchants when they enable it. They do not need to generate a new code for each request, and it will not expire automatically. If merchants choose to, they can manually set their existing code to expire and generate a new one at any time from their Shopify Admin.

Here’s the new process for requesting access to client stores:

  1. Confirm whether your client has enabled the collaborator request code, and ask them to send it to you.
  2. In your Partner Dashboard, click Stores, then Add store. Choose Managed stores.
  3. Enter the URL of the store, and the code that the merchant sent to you if they have the feature enabled.
  4. Select the permissions appropriate for your request.
  5. If you’d like, include a message to the store owner in the Add a message section.
  6. Click Save.

Learn more about requesting access to merchant stores below.

Learn more

Adding myshopify.com to the public suffix list

In January, the myshopify.com domain will be added to the public suffix list, meaning that it will be interpreted as a top level domain by mainstream browsers.

This change will mean more secure storefronts for your clients or users. However, cookie-setting behavior may be impacted for partners and developers who are intentionally setting cookies for the root domain rather than eTLD+1, if the shop you are setting a cookie for does not have a custom domain.

You will still be able to set cookies for subdomains of myshopify.com, and on custom domains without any changes. 

Merchant updates

These updates came into effect for merchants this month.

Introducing the TikTok channel

whats new: shopify X Tiktok logos with image on a yellow background

Merchants in the US can now leverage TikTok as a channel. They can create new shoppable video ads, target users, track results, and manage orders from TikTok all in one place. This new channel makes it easier for merchants to get their brand in front of millions of highly engaged TikTok users.

Merchants can also implement the TikTok pixel for customer tracking and ad performance and optimization with one click. As a partner or developer, you can use this new marketing channel to help your clients connect with more customers leading into BFCM and beyond.

Install

Product status

Merchants can now manage products with draft, active, or archived statuses. Merchants can set new products to be in draft so that they can keep working on them until they’re ready to be sold, and archive them when they’re no longer available.

In the 2020-10 API version release, the status field was added to the product resource in both the REST Admin API and the GraphQL Admin API. Partners and developers can use the status field to identify, filter, and manage products based on their current product status: draft, active, or archived.

Learn more how to use product statuses to identify, filter, and manage products with our tutorial below.

View tutorial

Stay in the know

That’s all for this month. To stay up to date with changes that impact the Shopify platform and app development, subscribe to the Shopify developer changelog by email or RSS for updates as they happen. Or, sign up to our What’s New with Shopify email below.

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Previous months

Read previous editions of our monthly product updates to stay in the know with everything happening at Shopify.


October 2020

In this edition of our monthly product newsletter for Shopify Partners and Developers, you’ll find the most important updates you need to know to continue your work with your clients or app users. 

Read on for more information. If you’d rather receive these updates via email, please sign up for our monthly What’s New with Shopify email below.

Partner updates

Learn more about all the platform updates from Shopify for developers and partners.

Build apps that integrate with Shopify Checkout with the new Shopify Subscription APIs

We’re excited to introduce the first APIs and tooling that will enable partners and developers to build new subscription experiences directly within Shopify Checkout. You can use the new Shopify Subscription APIs and Product Subscription App Extension to build apps that support emerging business models for merchants.

These new APIs and app extensions will enable you to:

  • Build on Shopify Checkout. Build subscription apps that are native to Shopify Checkout. Focus on improving the subscription buying and management experience on top of Shopify’s fast and reliable checkout.
  • Fully integrate with Shopify. With subscription orders created and managed by Shopify, your app remains compatible with platform features (like Shopify Payments, shipping, discounts, reporting, etc.) and the entire app ecosystem. 
  • Solve for emerging merchant needs. Power new business models not yet available on Shopify. Selling subscription products is a known merchant need today, while our new APIs are built to empower you to create new ways of selling for tomorrow.

Learn more about why we built these app extensions and how to get started developing with them on our blog.

Read more

Coming soon: Updates to Shopify Polaris

Soon, we’ll begin rolling out an update to Polaris, Shopify’s design system. In this phase, merchants will see a new look and feel in their admin. There are no breaking changes to any apps as a result of this change. 

App developers will be given access to guidance about the changes when they are live. This is the first step towards the release of Polaris v6.0, which will add more ways for developers to create user experiences within apps that are consistent with Shopify, while letting your app’s unique branding shine.

When the changes are live, you’ll find updates about the new Polaris design language below.

Learn more

Preparing for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is coming, and it’s more important than ever to help merchants prepare for the influx of business headed their way. We’ve been sharing a series of tutorials and guides on the blog to help prepare your business for this selling season. Check them out below:

Celebrating the best in the business

Calling all Shopify Partners and Developers in good standing! If you have built custom Shopify store experiences or apps from 2018 to 2020, we have an exciting opportunity coming up for you to potentially be recognized by Shopify and the community for your great work.

This is all we can say for now, but you won’t want to miss this! Register now to be the first to know all the details when they become available.

Register now

Introducing the Customer Privacy API

The Customer Privacy API helps public and custom apps track cookies properly, and achieve compliance with GDPR and CCPA.

This API is a browser-based Javascript API that enables you to read and write cookies related to a buyer’s consent to be tracked. The API is implemented as a property on the global window.Shopify object and is accessible to all Shopify online stores. The API can be used to determine if a buyer has consented to region-specific tracking laws such as GDPR or CCPA.

Learn more about the Customer Privacy API in our docs.

Learn more

Join us for October’s Twitch livestreams

Join us on Twitch at the dates below to learn more about theme performance, the Subscriptions API, and preparing your apps for BFCM.

  • October 15 at 1pm EST: Tune into the {{ Kelly | plus: Kelly }} live stream on theme performance to join Kelly Vaughn, CEO and Founder of The Taproom, and Thomas Kelly, Shopify Developer Advocate, for the fourth and final installment of their theme development series.
  • October 20 at 1pm EST: Shopify Developer Advocate Shayne Parmelee will host a one-hour live stream to walk through a demonstration of the new Subscriptions API, and how it enables developers to customize buyer experiences directly within the Shopify Checkout.
  • October 21 at 1pm EST: Shopify Developer Advocate Shayne Parmelee and Shopify Developer Sophie Deziel will spend an hour exposing app vulnerabilities live, to help you secure your apps and prepare for the holiday shopping season.

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on Twitch at the link below.

Follow us

Introducing the Resilient Retail podcast

The new Shopify podcast, Resilient Retail, features retailers, trusted industry experts, and special guests sharing their insights and takeaways on surviving as a retail business. Discussions focus on overcoming challenges, thriving in the current landscape, and sharing specific tactics that help merchants—and the partners who work with them—grow their retail businesses.

Listen to our live episodes and sign up to get notified when a new episode is released at the link below. And if you’re interested in receiving more updates about Shopify POS, subscribe to our retail newsletter.

Listen in

Merchant updates

These updates came into effect for merchants this month.

  • International domains: Merchants can create unique domains for each country they sell in to offer a truly localized buying experience and improved SEO. Learn more about international domains in our Help Center.
  • ABC analysis: The new ABC analysis tool allows merchants to identify their best and worst performing products. Learn more about the ABC analysis tool in our Help Center

Stay in the know

That’s all for this month. To stay up to date with changes that impact the Shopify platform and app development, subscribe to the Shopify developer changelog by email or RSS for updates as they happen. Or, sign up to our What’s New with Shopify email below.

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September 2020

In this edition of our monthly product newsletter for Shopify Partners and Developers, you’ll find the most important updates you need to know to continue your work with your clients or app users. 

Read on for more information. If you’d rather receive these updates via email, please sign up for our monthly What’s New with Shopify email below.

Partner updates

Learn more about all the platform updates from Shopify for developers and partners.

Partner Town Hall

Partner Town Hall is an extension of a long standing tradition at Shopify. Here, we gather to listen, reflect, and stay aligned on what’s happening at Shopify. It’s an opportunity to hear directly from Shopifolk on various subjects in real time, while gaining timely product knowledge and practical advice on how to best support merchants.

That’s why we launched Partner Town Hall in April: It’s a way for developers and partners building for Shopify merchants to stay informed and connected with Shopify and the wider community.

Our next Partner Town Hall is October 8th at 10am EDT. Join us for important information and tips to help you prepare for the upcoming Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Shopify Director of Product Glen Coates will also be sharing exclusive information on the release of subscriptions. See you there!

Register now

ShopifyDevs Live on Twitch

We’ve launched ShopifyDevs on Twitch, to share live streams, builds, paired programming sessions, AMAs, and more. Join us to catch these upcoming streams:

KellyxKelly livestream on theme development

Join Shopify Developer Advocate Thomas Kelly and Shopify Partner and Developer Kelly Vaughn on the following dates: 

  • Sept 17 at 1pm EST
  • Oct 1 at 1pm EST 
  • Oct 15 at 1pm EST 

Weekly Coffee and Forums with Shopify Developer Advocate Shayne Parmelee

Join Shopify Developer Advocate Shayne Parmelee weekly at these times:

  • Mondays at 1pm EST 
  • Wednesdays at 1pm EST

Follow the ShopifyDevs account on Twitch to see our weekly schedule and join the conversation.

Follow us

API deprecation reminder for October 1st

On October 1st, 2020, API version 2020-10 will be released and support for custom and public apps calling the 2019-10 API version will be removed. The 2020-01 API version will become the last supported stable version. 

To minimize merchant impact, apps that continue to use the unsupported API after October 1st will be delisted from the Shopify App Store and have new installations blocked.

For help migrating your app to a stable API version, reach out to us on the API forums or through the Support section of the Partner Dashboard.

Check the API health report for more details about the deprecated API calls your apps are making, and learn more about the upcoming deprecations on the blog.

Learn more

Update to Shopify App CLI: Support for Windows and better installation and runtime stability

The Shopify App CLI helps you build apps faster by automating common tasks in the development workflow, like scaffolding code, tunneling, and populating test data to your development stores.

With this update, we’ve added additional installation options to make getting started with the CLI tool even easier, and we now have native Windows support so you no longer need Linux Subsystem for Windows.

Try the Shopify App CLI tool to see how it improves your development workflow.

Learn more

Update your emergency developer contact details

Heading into the holiday shopping season, developers should ensure that their emergency contact information is up to date. 

Having this information ensures that Shopify can communicate critical, targeted technical information to developers who maintain Shopify apps, and inform you of any bugs or outages affecting a significant number of merchants.

Visit our docs to learn how to update your emergency contact information.

Visit docs

Online store speed report now available in the Partner Dashboard

Previously, the new Online store speed report was only available via the merchant admin. Now, partners working on a merchant store as a collaborator can view speed scores and rankings for their clients’ stores on the Stores page in the Partner Dashboard.

This gives you the ability to see which of your clients might need your help to make their store faster. The report also allows you to sort stores by their speed score, so you can prioritize which clients need the most support. View the report on the Stores page below.

View store performance

Merchant updates

These updates came into effect for merchants this month.

Shop channel early preview

Merchants will soon be able to customize their Shop profile in the Shop app. This includes choosing which products will be featured and recommended to customers using the app to help drive repeat purchases, bringing them back sooner to the merchant’s online store. 

Help your clients optimize their Shop profile by getting them set up with the early preview of the Shop channel when it’s released later this week.

Install Shop

Automate replies to order status requests with Shopify Chat

Merchants can automate order status updates to customers with Shopify Chat. This new feature allows customers to provide their order number and email address, and receive an automated response that includes the fulfillment status of their order, a tracking link, or an order status link.

Learn more about Shopify Chat by visiting the app store.

Install Shopify Chat

Stay in the know

That’s all for this month. To stay up to date with changes that impact the Shopify platform and app development, subscribe to the Shopify developer changelog by email or RSS for updates as they happen. Or, sign up to our What’s New with Shopify email below.

August 2020

In this edition of our monthly product newsletter for Shopify Partners, you’ll find the most important updates you need to know to continue your work with your clients or app users. 

This month, we look at ways to stay connected with the Shopify community, tools to help your workflow, updates for Shopify merchants, and more.

Partner updates

Learn more about all the platform updates from Shopify for developers and partners.

Connect with the ecosystem via the new community hub, Partner Town Hall, and Twitter office hours

As the long term impact and experience of COVID-19 continues to evolve, it’s important for you to have a source of up-to-date information and points of connection to the Shopify ecosystem. That’s why we’ve launched the community hub: a resource for Shopify Developers and Partners to access insights, events, and resources that you need to support merchants and each other.

You can also connect with the Shopify ecosystem via Partner Town Hall, where developers and partners connect with Shopify and the wider community. Save the date for our upcoming broadcasts on October 8 and December 3.

Finally, you can also join us on Twitter for monthly office hours with members of the Shopify App Review team, where you can ask questions and get insights on building apps for Shopify merchants. Upcoming #AppReviewAMA sessions are August 20 at 12 pm EDT, and September 17 at 12pm EDT.

Explore the community hub for all the ways to get involved.

Explore the hub

ShopifyDevs YouTube tutorials 

We’ve officially launched our ShopifyDevs YouTube channel, a hub of technical content for developers. This channel has how-to content and tutorials to support your development needs. You can learn about building on the Shopify platform, and get answers to your questions on how to implement APIs, webhooks, GraphQL, Theme Kit, and more.

Subscribe to the new ShopifyDevs YouTube channel to get the latest technical tutorials to help improve your app and theme development work.

Subscribe

The Complete Guide to Web Design Project Management

Leading projects from start to launch can mean managing countless tasks, deliverables, and stakeholders. Without a strong project management strategy, you risk missing the mark or falling short of expectations.

To help you tackle your client projects with ease, we’ve launched a project management guide filled with partner and developer advice so your next project stays on track.

Access all the insights and tools you need to keep your projects running smoothly and your clients happy.

Read guide

Black Friday/Cyber Monday

This year, Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) is taking place November 27 to 30. That means there’s just over three months to get your clients and app users ready for the busiest time of the shopping year. 

The realities of COVID-19 mean that it’s more important than ever to help merchants prepare for the influx of ecommerce sales. Use the resources below to get organized before BFCM 2020:

Shopify storefront performance score

Merchants can now view how fast their store is performing in relation to other Shopify online stores via the online store speed report in the merchant admin.

This score will help merchants and partners understand:

  • How fast their online store is
  • How online store speed is calculated (using Google Lighthouse)
  • How their store stacks up against other Shopify stores that are similar to them
  • Where to go for more information

This score will help build greater transparency around site performance and the understanding of how important it is to build scalable, performant themes and apps.

As a partner or developer, you may receive questions from merchants about their store. Our docs have more information where you can learn more.

Learn more

AWS EventBridge integration and Quick Start Guide

A new integration is now available that allows developers to use AWS EventBridge to receive webhook events from a shop as part of the 2020-07 API release

Scaling to accept webhook traffic directly from Shopify can be difficult, especially if a large shop uses your app during flash sales. Our EventBridge integration allows you to directly pipe event data into AWS, and forwards it to SQS or a Lambda for processing.

Shopify’s EventBridge integration is a highly scalable and resilient solution that will help you dependably accept more webhook traffic, without having to manage the complexity of a queueing system.

The new quick start guide can help you build a scalable and performant app quickly.

View guide

Locking development stores

Moving forward, newly-created development stores on Shopify will be password protected. This password will not be disabled unless you choose a plan or transfer the store. Existing development stores created before August 10, 2020 are exempt from these changes.

This change is being made to help protect you and Shopify merchants, while still enabling the various use-cases of development stores. To learn more about this, please read our docs.

Read docs

Cookieless authentication with Shopify App Bridge beta

With the current strong focus on privacy, browsers have recently started phasing out support for third-party cookies. This has caused issues for embedded apps, which until now have required the use of third-party cookies to authenticate.

The new Shopify App Bridge authentication will allow you to build faster, more flexible embedded apps that are compatible with all major browsers, using session-token authentication as opposed to cookie-based authentication. Session-token authentication is also much faster, and will empower you to create faster, more flexible, and less disruptive apps.

Get started

Polaris React v5.0.0

Polaris v5.0.0 includes a number of technical infrastructure changes and improvements that will lay the foundation for future updates to the library.

As part of this release, Polaris has removed several dependencies in order to make the library lighter and less complex, and removed any deprecated features of Polaris v4, including support for Shopify App Bridge. 

With the AppBridge component and its integration with other Polaris React components removed from v5.0.0., developers building embedded apps with Shopify App Bridge should now use the @shopify/app-bridge-react package to supply React components.

We have created the Shopify/shopify-app-bridge repository for issues related to the new Shopify App Bridge packages. Visit our guide to help you migrate to Polaris React v5.0.0.

Visit guide

Merchant updates

These updates came into effect for merchants this month:

  • Scratch App: Use this app to remove backgrounds from product photos. Download for Android or iOS.
  • Lower Canada Post rates with Shopify Shipping: Canadian merchants using Shopify Shipping can now access lower rates.
  • Manual exchange rates for Shopify Payments: This update allows merchants to lock in a fixed rate for each currency they have enabled with Shopify Payments. 

Stay in the know

That’s all for this month. To stay up to date with changes that impact the Shopify platform and app development, subscribe to the Shopify developer changelog by email or RSS for updates as they happen.

July 2020

This month, updates include information on the activity requirement for merchant-referring partners, annual subscriptions for app developers, a migration toolkit, Go Digital Canada, and merchant improvements.

Read on for more information.

You can also scroll to the bottom of this article to review product updates from previous months. If you’d rather receive these updates via email, please sign up for our monthly What’s New with Shopify email below.

Partner updates

Learn more about all the platform updates from Shopify for partners.

Partner Town Hall schedule for the remainder of 2020

We launched Partner Town Hall in April as a way for developers and partners building for Shopify merchants to stay informed and connected with Shopify and the wider community. In the three Town Halls we’ve hosted, we’ve received feedback from you about what you would like to see in future iterations—and we’re listening!

Partner Town Hall will now broadcast every seven weeks, so we can bring you more robust and relevant programming. We’ll announce the theme and speakers of each broadcast in the weeks leading up to the event, so you know what to expect. 

Mark the following dates on your calendar. We hope you’ll be able to join us live at upcoming Partner Town Hall events.

  • August 13
  • October 8
  • December 3

Register today for the next Partner Town Hall.

Register

Resuming the activity requirement for certain recurring commission payments

Under normal circumstances, partners who build development stores for merchants must refer at least one merchant to Shopify through a development store or affiliate link, or upgrade at least one client to Shopify Plus during a consecutive 12-month period to continue receiving recurring commission payments on previous development store referrals. This activity requirement does not apply to ongoing earnings from app sales, theme sales, or any partner activity other than development store referrals.

Beginning March 26 in response to COVID-19, we temporarily paused this requirement so that all recurring commission payments continued, and did not reset to zero. Now, as the business climate continues to normalize, we are reinstating the activity requirement for these partners beginning August 4, 2020. Affected partners have been notified through the Partner Dashboard in late June and early July. 

As of August 4, 2020, active partners who build development stores for merchants will have, at minimum, the same amount of time they had remaining before we paused on March 26 to complete an activity. In detail:

  • If you completed a partner activity while the activity requirement was paused, such as a merchant referral or a Shopify Plus upgrade, then you will have the full 12 months to complete another activity starting on August 4, 2020. 
  • If you didn’t complete a partner activity while the activity requirement is paused, then you will have the same amount of time to complete an activity that you had before the pause. For example, if you had seven months left to complete an activity when the pause began, then you will still have seven months to complete an activity starting on August 4, 2020.

Please review the date by when you’ll need to complete another activity on the Payouts page of the Partner Dashboard.

See payouts

Annual subscriptions are now available within the GraphQL Billing API

One of the most requested features from our app developers is now generally available. The annual subscription billing model is now available for apps within the GraphQL Billing API. You can use the appSubscriptionCreate mutation to create a charge while specifying interval: ANNUAL, and Shopify will bill merchants for the app once every year.

Annual subscriptions are great for apps that are useful or required year-round. It can be much easier for merchants to subscribe for the same service all year, and only be charged on an annual basis. More convenience for merchants, and a better way to secure app users and income for developers.

Learn more

You might also like: How to Choose the Right Pricing Model for Your App.

Migration toolkit for clients interested in moving their business to Shopify

Migrating clients to Shopify is a huge undertaking. To help you better navigate the process, we’ve launched a migration toolkit filled with resources and guidance to make your next migration project smoother.

Access all the tools you need to start migrating your clients to Shopify and growing their businesses via the link below. 

View toolkit

Go Digital Canada

As of July 15, Shopify is partnering with the Government of Canada to help Canadian business owners get set up online and take advantage of specific benefits available to them through the program. Learn more in our help docs or on the Go Digital Canada page by clicking below.

Visit page

Merchant updates

These updates came into effect for merchants this month:

  • Walmart marketplace sales channel: US merchants can now list their products on the Walmart Marketplace. Learn more.
  • Shop Community: Merchants can join the Shop Community forum to stay in the loop with product development and share feedback with the Shop product team. Join the community.
  • Product analytics in context: Merchants can now view key insights into the sales of each of their products over the past 90 days directly on their product page. View analytics.
  • SMS messaging using Shopify Chat: Merchants with Shopify Ping and Shopify Chat installed can now allow shoppers to provide their phone numbers when not available to chat. Merchants can reply to shoppers via Shopify Ping, and shoppers can talk to merchants through SMS. Learn more.

June 2020

In this edition of our monthly product newsletter for Shopify Partners, you’ll find the most important updates you need to know to continue your work with clients and users. 

This month, updates include registration for the June edition of Partner Town Hall, API versions 2019-04 and 2019-07 becoming unsupported on July 2, an update on the 90-day trial offer for new merchants, and more. Read on for more information.

You can also scroll to the bottom of this article to review product updates from previous months. If you’d rather receive these updates via email, please sign up for our monthly What’s New with Shopify email below.

Partner updates

Learn more about all the platform updates from Shopify for partners.

Partner Town Hall

Be sure to mark your calendar for this month’s Partner Town Hall, being held June 24 or 25, depending on where you are in the world:

  • North America — June 24: 6 pm PDT / 7 pm MDT / 8 pm CDT / 9 pm EST
  • Europe — June 25: 2 am WET / 3 am CET / 4 am EET 
  • Asia Pacific — June 25: 9 am CST / 10 am JST / 11 am AEST / 1pm NZST

Head over to the Town Hall landing page to register, so you can stay informed and connected with Shopify and the wider community. 

Register

API versions 2019-04 and 2019-07 become unsupported on July 2

On July 2, API version 2020-07 will be released, and support for custom, unpublished, and public apps calling API versions 2019-04 or 2019-07 will be removed.

To minimize merchant impact, apps that continue to use these unsupported APIs after July 2 will be delisted from the Shopify App Store and have new installations blocked.

We’re always here to support you, especially now as we’re all adjusting to the impacts of COVID-19. If you need help migrating your app to a stable API version, please reach out to us on the API forums or through the Support section of the Partner Dashboard.

You might also like: Shopify Partners COVID-19 Response Hub.

For more details about the deprecated API calls your apps are making, follow the links below to the API health report on the Partner Dashboard.

Please note that this deprecation does not affect private apps.

Check API health

90-day trial offer for new merchants ended June 1

As of June 1, Shopify has ended the 90-day trial offer for new merchants. Shopify will continue to honor the 90-day trial offer for development stores created within the period of March 23 to May 31, 2020, as long as the store is transferred to a merchant no later than June 30, 2020. Learn more about transferring development stores in our docs.

Learn more

Online store performance dashboard beta

This summer, we’re releasing a performance dashboard, targeted at technical users and accessible through the merchant admin, to provide insight into how various actions—such as theme code customizations and app installations—impact their store’s speed. 

As a Shopify Partner or developer, this means you can see how changes to Liquid code or app installs impact your clients’ stores. This will help you and your clients understand the tradeoffs that sometimes need to be made between speed and experiences, such as when an app slows down a storefront but leads to increased conversion. It will also give you access to information like performance metrics over time, which will help you make data-driven decisions around performance.

A beta of the dashboard will be available soon. By signing up, you’ll get an early look and an opportunity to provide feedback on the dashboard. Sign up below to get access once it’s available.

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Shopify App Challenge winners and honorable mentions

We were thrilled to announce the winners and the honorable mentions of the Shopify App Challenge from around the globe. Since then, we’ve seen over 30 apps from the challenge get published on the Shopify App Store. To say that we were impressed with the quality of submissions received would be an understatement. We extend our congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions!

Whether you’re currently polishing up your app from the Shopify App Challenge, or are spinning up something brand new, we encourage you to learn more about submitting your app to the Shopify App Store at the link below. 

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Merchant updates

These updates came into effect for merchants this month:

  • Storefront sign maker: Merchants can now easily make custom signage for their storefronts to provide brick and mortar customers with up-to-date information.
  • Manual credit card entry: Merchants can now accept credit card payments for draft orders without needing to email an invoice.

May 2020

This month, we round up all of the important announcements from May’s Partner Town Hall, and Reunite, our first-ever broadcast event for Shopify business owners. Learn about everything we announced so you can stay informed about all things Shopify.

Partner updates

Learn more about all the platform updates we've announced in the past month.

90-day trial offer for new merchants ended June 1

As of June 1, Shopify has ended the 90-day trial offer for new merchants. Shopify will continue to honor the 90-day trial offer for development stores created within the period of March 23 to May 31, 2020 as long as the store is transferred to a merchant no later than June 30, 2020. Learn more about transferring development stores in our docs.

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Shopify Theme Inspector for Chrome: Collaborator account access

In January, we released the Shopify Theme Inspector for Chrome, a tool that allows you to assess the server-side rendering speed of your online store’s Liquid templates, and debug the slowest parts to improve server response time and overall page load.

We’ve now updated this tool so that it works with collaborator accounts. Collaborator account access allows you to use the tool on any live shop you’re working on with a client. Watch our video to see how it works:

With this update, you’ll be able to more easily fix problematic code, make your client’s store faster, and increase their conversion rate through your collaborator accounts. Download the Shopify Theme Inspector for Chrome below, and share your performance wins with the developer community.

Download tool

Cookies and app authorization

Currently, embedded apps load via full-page redirects and rely on third party cookies to authenticate with OAuth. We’re announcing the next generation of embedded apps, which introduces a new app session token as well as a new OAuth flow.

This new approach to embedded app authentication is 3 to 4 times faster. It is less disruptive, more flexible, and compatible with all modern browsers. It will be launching for general access this summer, so keep your eye on our developer changelog for updates.

View changelog

New design and development tools

To help app developers provide more native-feeling features and functionality, we’re introducing the ability to build more flexible, and performant apps that don’t rely on iframes to render inside the Shopify Admin.

Using this new “frameless” approach, you’ll be able to take advantage of React components to build new features and integrations faster, and surface that functionality to Shopify merchants in-context, so they don’t have to leave their Shopify workflows.

These new development tools will also be versioned, allowing you to control which version of a component you’re using, and upgrade on your own terms. 

More information on this update is coming, so subscribe to our developer changelog to stay informed.

Annual app billing

To better support more business models on the Shopify App Store, we’re making annual billing available through the Billing API. Merchants will be able to easily approve yearly app subscriptions, and you can track annual revenue right from your Partner Dashboard. 

We’ll soon be inviting a small group of developers into a closed early access, with plans to launch annual billing to all app partners later this summer.

API versioning deprecation reminder for July 2, extension for private apps

As a reminder, support for custom and public apps calling API versions 2019-04 or 2019-07 will be removed on July 2, 2020.

However, in light of the continuing concerns around COVID-19’s impact on communities around the world, we’ve decided to further postpone the API version removal for private apps from July 2, 2020 to a future date. If you manage private apps on behalf of your clients, you’ll have at least three months’ notice in advance of the new deadline.

A private app is an app built exclusively for a merchant’s Shopify store, and is not listed on the Shopify App Store. Private apps are meant for developers building an app for a merchant with specific requirements that cannot be met by custom apps. We are exempting private apps from deprecation because of the high numbers of private apps built for (and by) merchant developers, in order to minimize the impact on merchant stores. Learn more about app types in our docs.

As a result, support for private apps will not be impacted by the July 2, 2020 deprecation, but support for custom apps and public apps will be impacted. 

If you manage private apps for your clients, this means you have additional time to update your private apps to account for changes in both 2019-07 and 2019-10 API versions. Specifically, the move from page to cursor-based pagination for all endpoints is now postponed. 

We’re closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on merchants, and expect to determine the new deadline once the crisis has eased. 

For those of you who’ve put in the time and energy to update already, thank you. 

If you have any questions, contact support or chat with us in the API forums. 

Go to forums

Merchant updates

There were plenty of exciting merchant-facing updates at Shopify Reunite about money, the online store, omnichannel, back office, shipping, and performance. Be sure to read our roundup post to stay informed of all the changes impacting your clients and app users.

Read post

April 2020

Learn more about the platform updates that impact you as a Shopify Partner.

Shopify Partners COVID-19 support hub

During the reality of COVID-19, it’s important for you to know where to go for help. We’ve created a hub for Shopify Partners that rounds up resources and tools for your business, to help support you as you support merchants during these challenging times.

Access hub

Introducing Shopify Partner Town Hall

Town Hall is a long standing internal tradition at Shopify, where Shopifolk gather to share knowledge and stay connected as a company. We want to extend that experience to our partners and developers, so you can stay informed and connected with Shopify and the wider community. 

We’ll be launching our first Partner Town Hall on Thursday, April 23. It will be hosted by Shopify’s CTO, Jean-Michel Lemieux. We’ll share timely product knowledge and learnings aimed at helping you better support merchants. Jean-Michel will also answer questions during the event, so share your questions for him here

Town Hall will be another tool for you to stay connected with what’s happening at Shopify. Join us at the link below.

Save the date

The Shopify App Challenge: Commerce & COVID-19

Businesses are facing new hardships around the world because of COVID-19. We’ve launched the Shopify App Challenge to encourage app developers to build unique, creative, and impactful solutions to address these challenges. 

All registrants will receive support and access to special workshops through the Shopify Community forums. Our expert panel of judges will then review and choose the winners. We’ll help winners grow their app businesses by:

  • Providing winning apps a share of a $100,000 USD prize pool, to a max of $20,000 USD per app
  • Awarding $1,000 USD in ad credits for the Shopify App Store, and a feature on the app store
  • Granting access to mentorship from the Shopify product and engineering team

Registration is now open. This competition requires a Shopify Partner ID, so sign up as a partner today if you haven't already. Eligible apps must be created in your Partner Dashboard after 9:30AM EDT on April 13, 2020. Deadline to submit your app for the challenge is 11:59PM EDT on May 10, 2020.

While all developers are welcome to participate and we’ll be highlighting as many participants as we can, in order to be eligible to claim prizes you must be a legal resident of any one of: United States (excluding Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Vermont, Delaware, Louisiana and Montana), the District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec), United Kingdom, New Zealand, or Denmark.

Learn more about the Shopify App Challenge by following the link below!

Register

Apply to host Shopify webinars for merchants

We are looking for outstanding Shopify Partners who would like to host live webinars designed to help merchants through these difficult times. Webinars will be hosted in Shopify Compass, where merchants can access actionable advice to grow their business.

If you’re interested, submit your application before May 1, 2020 via the link below.

Apply

API version 2020-04 and calculating duties and taxes at checkout

API version 2020-04 is live as of April 1, 2020. Version 2020-04 introduces duties and taxes, validation rules around compare_at pricing, and updates to the Storefront API.

Of particular interest is the introduction of a duties and taxes developer preview, which gives you an early look at how your users will be able to provide total cost clarity to their buyers using estimated duties and taxes at checkout. This release allows apps to read the duties paid on an order through the REST and GraphQL Admin API, and refund them through the GraphQL API. To learn more about refunding duty and tax information and how to update your app, check out our tutorial.

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Shopify Email is rolling out to all merchants

In November 2019, we announced early access availability of Shopify Email, our new email marketing tool. Shopify Email is now generally available, helping merchants communicate with their customers more easily during COVID-19. The product will roll out to all merchants over the coming few weeks. We’re also offering Shopify Email for free to all merchants until October 1, 2020.

Email is a powerful marketing channel for businesses, and Shopify Email allows all merchants to leverage it. As a Shopify Partner, you can help your clients by understanding the email marketing capabilities of Shopify Email, then recommending the solution that will best meet the needs of their business. 

For your clients who require more advanced or specialized email marketing functionality, Shopify Email may not be the right fit now. We will continue to support the growth of email marketing apps by opening up more embedded app opportunities for our developers, and by enabling more features for merchants to grow their business.

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The Shopify Plus Certified App Program

Shopify Plus merchants have unique and complex needs, and the technology solutions they choose need to be able to handle those specific requirements. To help you demonstrate your expertise and capabilities to Plus merchants, we’ve introduced the Shopify Plus Certified App Program.

Apps chosen for this program are formally reviewed by the Shopify App Review and Quality Assurance team to ensure they meet the advanced needs of Plus merchants in the areas of performance, security, privacy, and support. Once approved, these apps are added to the Shopify Plus Certified App Partner Directory and a dedicated collection in the Shopify App Store. Developers who are a part of this program also have access to strategic partnership managers, technical consultations, greater visibility to merchants, and more referrals.

Learn more about who is eligible for this program and how to apply on our blog.

Read more

Changes to testing orders and payments in new development stores

As of March 30, partners who want to test payments and orders in newly created development stores can only process orders using test payments. To begin using test payments, please activate the test payment provider (referred to as “Bogus Gateway”) or set your payment provider to test mode. If you need to test with real payments, you can select and purchase a Shopify plan in the account settings of your development store.

Testing payments and orders in existing development stores will not change immediately. We will share updates to existing development stores as they happen, so please subscribe to our developer changelog by email or RSS to stay informed.

If you have further questions about testing payments and orders in newly created development stores that are not answered in our documentation, reach out in our dedicated discussion area for developers, or contact Partner Support through your Partner Dashboard

Learn more

Updates to how ratings are calculated in the Shopify App Store

We’ve made changes to how the overall star rating of apps are calculated and displayed. In the past, this rating was based on a historical average. We’ve updated this to be based instead on a weighted average that favors recent reviews. As apps change and develop over time, we want to ensure that users see a rating that’s more reflective of the current capabilities of that app. This change should not cause a noticeable impact on your search and category ranking.

Merchants can now be more assured that the overall ratings of apps in the Shopify App Store are aligned with their most recent app features and support levels.

Learn more

March 2020

Learn more about the platform updates that impact you as a Shopify Partner.

An important update about the removal of API version 2019-04

With COVID-19’s impact on communities around the world, we’ve decided to postpone the removal of API version 2019-04 to July 1, so that you can better focus on helping merchants and other partners in these challenging times. 

This means that on April 1, 2020, the 2020-04 version will become stable and ready for general usage.

Then on July 1, 2020, the following will happen:

  • API versions 2019-04 and 2019-07 will become unsupported.
  • Requests with no API version specified will be served the 2019-10 API version.
  • Requests for the 2019-04 or 2019-07 versions will no longer receive those versions. Instead, these requests will fall forward to 2019-10.
  • Webhooks set to 2019-04 or 2017-07 will fall forward in the same manner.

For those of you who’ve already put in the time and energy to update, we want to say thank you for your diligence and understanding—your efforts haven’t gone to waste. You’re now ahead of the game, and can focus on more pressing matters for your business, clients, and app users.

If you have any questions, come chat with us in the API forums or log in to the Support section of your Partner Dashboard.

Learn more

COVID-19 and Shopify

In the face of COVID-19, we’re taking steps to help support independent businesses, including Shopify Partners, developers, and the merchants you work with. There are a number of resources now available:

Shopify Unite cancelled

While we were excited to host a virtual Shopify Unite this year, and reunite as a community with our partners and developers online, the last two weeks have caused us to re-evaluate. We’ve decided to cancel Shopify Unite to focus on the health of our employees and work closely with our merchants to help them through these challenging times.

If you have any further questions, send your query to unite@shopify.com and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

Impact of Shopify 90-day free trial on partners building stores

Last week, we announced extended 90-day free trials for new Shopify merchants. We’d like to clarify for partners that there will be no impact on recurring commission payments you receive by building Shopify stores for your clients. This means that the default continues to be that merchants referred in through a development store do not automatically get the 90-day free trial, and must pick a paid plan at time of handoff from the partner to the merchant. Partners who build stores for merchants will continue to have unlimited time to work on development stores before transferring them to clients. 

If you are a partner who would like to extend a 90-day free trial to a new merchant requesting it, you can select the Add a 90-day trial for the store option when you transfer ownership of the store. If you select this option, then your client must still pick a plan and enter their payment details but will not be charged a subscription fee for 90 days. By extending this offer to your new client, your recurring commission payments will be delayed by up to 90 days.

It's also important to note that this offer only applies to stores created after March 1, 2020.

Giving store building partners more time to collect recurring commission payments 

These are difficult times for many partners and the merchants who hire them. Under normal circumstances, partners who refer clients to Shopify must refer at least one merchant through a development store or upgrade at least one client to Shopify Plus during a consecutive 12-month period to continue receiving recurring commission payments on previous referrals.

In light of the current economic challenges partners and merchants are facing, we will temporarily pause this requirement. This means all recurring commission payments will continue, and will not reset to zero until the current business climate normalizes. When things do normalize, partners who receive recurring commission payments will have the same amount of time to complete an activity as before. For example, if you currently have 7 months to complete an activity, you will still have 7 months once this pause is lifted. If you refer a new merchant or upgrade a merchant to Shopify Plus during the pause, you’ll have a full 12 months to complete another activity once the pause is lifted. 

Updates to the Partner Program Agreement

On March 3, we updated the Shopify Partner Program Agreement (PPA) to include new definitions of public and custom apps, and to clarify our role as a billing agent. Acting as a billing agent means Shopify is responsible for facilitating payment transactions between partners and merchants who purchase their apps, themes, and services.

PPA updates regarding public and custom apps were effective immediately on March 3, 2020. 

For PPA updates regarding billing and tax status, we’ve provided partners with 90 days notice to assess the potential impact on how they run their businesses. As a result, the billing and tax updates to our PPA will come into effect on June 1, 2020. Partners will begin to see product changes that reflect the billing and tax updates starting June 2020.

Learn more about these new billing and tax updates:

Partners impacted by these updates were notified directly by email and their Partner Dashboard. We encourage all partners and developers to review the PPA.

Review PPA

Instagram API deprecation

Instagram has pushed back the date it will be discontinuing API access in favor of the Basic Display API to March 31, 2020. After this date, any client continuing to use Instagram’s API will stop working. 

As a result, Shopify themes that feature an Instagram feed will no longer be supported, and any Instagram feed on merchant stores will need to be updated. Going forward, including an Instagram feed on your client’s store will require the use of a third-party app.

Browse the Shopify App Store to find an appropriate Instagram feed app.

View apps

The following updates are coming into effect for merchants this month. 

  • The free Shopify-built Geolocation app is now available to merchants selling in multiple currencies or languages on Shopify. 
  • Video and 3D models are now available on product pages. You can update themes to include video and 3D, create and edit video and 3D content, and build apps that help with the above.
  • New inventory reports are now available to merchants. These reports help merchants understand how much inventory they have on hand and their inventory costs.
  • There are updates to Shopify Shipping rates for merchants in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more about these new rates.
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Grow your business with the Shopify Partner Program

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