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Private Apps on Shopify: Benefits and Features

If you’re looking for ways to add more features and functionality to your Shopify Plus store, then you may want to consider using private apps. Private apps are built specifically for the merchant and can provide a variety of benefits, such as adding extra features to your admin panel, accessing your store data directly using Shopify’s APIs, or extending your shop to other platforms using the Storefront API.

Why you might need a Shopify app

You’ll have to pick between a public or private app if you want a smooth, solid tech fix that may help you enhance your Shopify function.

Below are three examples of when a bespoke solution might be required:

Complex selling propositions: This could be subscription selling plan which for a food subscription which features a menu which constantly changes week to week – the functionality required goes beyond what Recharge or Bold can offer. An application allows you build from scratch or build on proprietary sources (like Recharge) taking core functionality and then adapting it for specific purposes to suit your business model.

App Incompatibility: You are looking to add a delivery date selector application to your existing subscription website, giving customers the option to select delivery dates. However you find Recharge and date selector application do not work together. Building a private application allows you’re business to solve that specific problem and not rely on a third party.

Total Control: All websites will use third party applications to a lesser degree (think Klaviyo, Recharge, TikTok pixel etc). Unlike WordPress where plugin/app quality can vary massively, Shopify apps tend to be good – but this is not guaranteed. When third party applications go down, you might find yourself at the behest of a third parties tech support.

Company Value/IP: Many mid-tier start-ups or scale-ups who have proven their concept are also looking to differentiate themselves from competitors and having a set of functions specifically for your business is a way to enacting that. This technology is far harder (but not impossible) for a competitor a replicate and can therefore increase a brands valuation.

There are hundreds of software applications available for managing content, goods, consumers, social media, and more. Knowing the distinctions and definitions of various apps, such as private and public, can assist you in determining which ones would work best in your business. Furthermore, it ensures that you have both performance and flexibility.

What are private Shopify apps?

Public apps are what you find on the Shopify store. Many apps tackle common problems but often they do not tackle all of them. Sometimes the use of multiple apps help to cover all of the specifications required but too many apps tend to slow down sites and create a clunky user experience. This does not translate well when operating at scale and can damage your brand.

When bespoke solutions are required, private apps are built using Shopify’s extensible platform, APIs, and developer tools. These private apps solve merchant tech problems at scale, in an efficient and professional way.

They are not listed in the Shopify app store but are instead distributed directly to the client by the agency or developer who built them.

How do private apps work?

In order for an app to be used on Shopify, it must first be approved by Shopify. This is a security measure to ensure that only high-quality apps are made available to Shopify merchants.

Once an app is approved, it can be either public or private. A public app is listed in the Shopify App Store and can be installed by any merchant who has a shop on the Shopify platform. A private app, on the other hand, is not listed in the store and can only be installed by merchants who have been given the specific install link for that app.

What are the benefits of using private Shopify apps?

Bespoke development is always a shrewd investment if the use cases are clearly defined. Benefits of using private Shopify apps:

– They are built specifically for your shop – unlike public apps, which are built to work with many stores.

– You can use private apps to add features to your Shopify admin, access your store’s data directly using Shopify’s Subscription API, or extend your online store to other platforms using the Storefront API.

– Private apps are not listed in the Shopify App Store and can only be installed by merchants who have been given the specific install link for that app. This means that you have total control over who has access to your app.

– Company value/IP: Having a set of functions specifically for your business can increase a brands valuation.

– They can be distributed directly to your customers, which makes the installation process much simpler.

– You have complete control over the app and can make changes or add features as you see fit.

If you’re looking for a way to add more features and functionality to your Shopify shop, then private apps are definitely worth considering. They offer a number of benefits over public apps, and can be customised to perfectly fit your needs.


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