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Ryan O Shopify Employee
Posts:
233
Last edited 10 days ago

Experiment with Ads on the Shopify App Store coming soon

Updated content: 2019-11-29 17:20 EST

 

Hey All!

 

Advertising on the Shopify App Store

Shopify is always looking for new and better ways to connect merchants with apps that will help them meet their needs. To help developers get their app noticed by merchants, we’re experimenting with allowing app developers to run ads in the Shopify App Store on category pages. We intend to experiment with search result pages at another time.

 

How is Shopify deciding which apps can advertise?

As we experiment with ads, we’ll be looking for a small number of app developers to participate. If you would like to be considered, please fill out this form. We’ll reach out to you if you qualify to participate. You can also email us at app-store-ads@shopify.com to give feedback on this experiment or express your interest.

 

We’re limiting our experiment to a small number of apps who:

 

Where will the ads show and what will they look like?

For this experiment we’ll be showing ads on some category pages. When merchants navigate to a category page, it’s generally because they have a need that they think an app in a specific category can fill. By showing relevant ads on category pages, we believe we’ll be able to highlight apps that are relevant to merchant searches.

 

Ads will look similar to results on a category page and include:

  • The app name, app icon, tagline, and pricing information that was provided by the developer in the app submission form

  • The current star rating of the app

 

Ads will show above the organic search results on category pages and will say “Ad” above them with an informational tooltip that says, “The app developer paid to advertise this app.”


Will ads impact organic search results or featured placement in the app store?

No. Ads will show above the organic search results on selected category pages but they won’t alter the order or placement of organic results. Advertising also won’t impact which apps are featured in collections or on the homepage of the app store.

 

What’s the difference between an ad and an app recommendation?

Any time a developer pays Shopify to highlight their app to a merchant, it will be clearly labeled as an ad (see screenshot above)

App recommendations are not advertisements and are based on matching merchants with the apps we think will provide them the most value. App developers can’t pay to be shown in recommendations.

 

Regards,

Shopify App Store Team

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Replies
Danijel Member
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20
Last edited 10 days ago
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Obviously the winners here are mostly Shopify and apps with large budgets - as they can maintain consistent ad spends. How can you garantee equality of outcome based on merit between apps with varying budgets? I don't think you can. 

The app store is already unfair as it favours establish apps with 'time in the market'. They have accrued more reviews than younger businesses who do not receive the same volume of organic sign-ups as established apps. Simply because ratings are the primary factor that affects new user decision making. Yes there are other factors, but this is the primary factor. 

The #1 thing that needs to change with the app store, is that Shopify must allow app owners to comment on user reviews. All of my reviews are stale, as in I have fixed the issues reported in the review. Yet I can't rebutt the review at all. Therefore I lose sign-ups. Shopify's app store lags behind all mainstream app stores in this regard. It needs to change. When will this major issue be fixed?

 

Posts:
1
10 days ago

Totally not agree!

From my point of view, ads will help new apps and fresh developers to short their go-to-market. I REALLY looking forward to start working with this tool!

Seller Panda Shopify Partner sellerpanda.com
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40
Last edited 10 days ago
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upvotes

I agree with Danijel in some way, Shopify is focusing on the wrong things here, I understand why you do this but the shopify app store currently lacking basic fucntionality compared to any other app store, replying to a review is the biggest feature the app store is missing and I don't understand why this is still not implemented?

If you do this right, the ads can be a powerful tool for any app, but the app store needs an update!

What about a link to show more info about the app? the new design put a limit to how long the description can be and removed the functionality to add links to it, why not add the option to learn more about the app, so marchents can be redirect to the apps landing page? 

Right now there is a button to see the app in example store, what about apps that don't work on store fronts? how about changing this button to a "See a demo", so the app developers can make a small demo tool of their app and marchents can visit that demo tool to see how it works?

Replying to a review?

There are many things that are missing or simply are wrong in the app store, I would like to see those improved before the ads feature.

Jonathan Zhao Shopify Employee
Posts:
1
9 days ago

Hey folks, PM on this app store ads experiment here, thanks for your feedback, keep them coming.

FYI experimenting with ads does not mean we don't actively have significant # of people working on the known gaps

What about a link to show more info about the app? the new design put a limit to how long the description can be and removed the functionality to add links to it, why not add the option to learn more about the app, so marchents can be redirect to the apps landing page? 

Can you elaborate here so we can better understand? Where exactly would the redirect be, to a long form copy on a landing page hosted by the app developer? Do you feel the listing page is not enough to convert your leads, and if so, why?

Right now there is a button to see the app in example store, what about apps that don't work on store fronts? how about changing this button to a "See a demo", so the app developers can make a small demo tool of their app and marchents can visit that demo tool to see how it works?

Smart. Noted.

Seller Panda Shopify Partner sellerpanda.com
Posts:
40
Last edited 9 days ago
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upvotes

 I understand that this feature doesn't mean you are not working on other features, but the fact that the reply to reviews feature was asked several years ago and still hasn't implemented or tested does tell us you are not activatly working on it (at least for the past years).

Can you elaborate here so we can better understand? Where exactly would the redirect be, to a long form copy on a landing page hosted by the app developer? Do you feel the listing page is not enough to convert your leads, and if so, why?

Your app listing form can't never be compared with a dedicated landing page made by a developer, and this is understandable, each app might have special needs that doesn't fit into your store listing page, because of this I think a button to redirect the merchant to the landing page of the app that is made by the developer and hosted on thier own website is the best way to win both cases. 

You only list 3 key features of the app, what about apps with more then 3 important features? 

You have a limit to the number of images, this is ok but the images must be actively clicked by the user to see them, in the landing page you can implement them as part of the design.

You limit the pricing plans to 4, what about apps with more complex pricing system? or apps with custom pricing based on page views, subscription etc.? on landing page they can build their own pricing calculater to make it easier for the merchant to see the final price.

The description section is boring, there is no way of styling it even with basic stuff like italic.

 

As i said, you can't implement everything on the app listing page, but adding a button that tells the merchants they can learn more about the app will be useful for everyone.

Ryan O Shopify Employee
Posts:
233
9 days ago

Hey All,

Can we try to keep this thread on topic for the above announcement only.  Feel free to pass your other app store feedback through the normal channels.

Cheers,

Ryan

Posts:
41
Last edited 8 days ago

I also agree 100% with Danjiel,

it will become even more difficult for small companies to get setteled in the app store. Bold will take up even more space, and yes, obviously Shopify might make some extra cash.

Even now the app market is hard to browse for merchants, and once ads mix up the results even more the experience will surely get worse.

@Tomer Mintz where should the small, new companies get the funds to compete with the marketing budgets of hte well established brands? I can't see this happening at all.

 

Daniel Ristic Member
Posts:
21
6 days ago

Hi Ryan,

What would be the normal channels to pass app store feedback?

It seems that a lot of effort has been put recently in the way things look, but the actual ranking and search algorithm seems to behave in rather strange ways (I have a few specific examples to share to demonstrate that).

Best.

Ryan O Shopify Employee
Posts:
233
6 days ago

Hi Daniel,

I would use the support form in the partners dashboard: https://partners.shopify.com/current/support/form.

Cheers,

Ryan

zac Member
Posts:
19
5 days ago

What categories are you intending on running the experiment on? We would like to participate and have filled out the form, but we have not heard back yet. Looking forward to this.

Posts:
70
4 days ago

If this were aimed as a tool to help app developers to get exposure, perhaps it should be limited to those w/ under a certain number of reviews? Or app developers who who have fewer than a certain number of reviews in aggregate?

Shopify needs to determine the real reason they want to do this and design the program to meet those goals. Do they just see this as an additional income stream? Then open the program to everyone and let the large successful companies with money outspend everyone. But if it's a tool to help new entrants? Create criteria so that only those apps can participate.

As described though, it seems like this could be just a band-aid for how apps are presented on the category page.

Todd - ShopClerk Order Tracking for Shopify - https://shopclerk.net