Here at Shopify we feel that the Apps in our App Store are some of the best around. Whether you're interested in marketing, customer retention, social media, or something else our App Store has you covered.
As a Developer Advocate, one of the common questions I get from app developers is 'how do I know merchants will use my app?' Since there is no central registry of Shopify stores it's difficult for developers to reach out to their target audience to get opinions and feedback on their app before launch. Previously their best option was to manually search the web for stores using our platform and then individually solicit them for feedback. Frankly this process sucked, so I decided we needed an alternative.
To fix the problem, I set up the official Shopify App Beta Testing Group. So far it's only been available to a handful of merchants and developers (we were beta testing the beta testing process!) but now I'm comfortable opening it up to general use, starting today.
How Does It Work?
If you're a merchant interested in beta testing up and coming apps, head over to the group and request an invite. Make sure to include the url of your shop in the notes field so that we can verify who you are.
Once you're approved, you'll see that there are a number of posts by developers pitching their apps. You can take a look at the existing app pitches posted on the group, or sit back and wait for an interesting opportunity to waft into your inbox. If you see something that makes you go 'Wow!' get in touch with the developer of the app and get testing!
The group is managed very loosely: App developers are encouraged to get creative with their pitches and offer incentives for shops that participate in testing, but ultimately any agreement is strictly between the merchant and the developer. Shopify does not have any hand or stake in the process. This has worked well so far and I'll continue to run the group this way until/unless I see problems.
But I'm An App Developer!
Obviously we need developers as well as merchants to take part in the group, otherwise there would be nothing to test! If you're a developer with a functioning but incomplete app, please drop me a line and I'll sort you out. If you're not quite at the testing stage yet, get in touch anyway and we can chat about the feasibility/potential of your app.