Customer Satisfaction service - confused about Billing API requirement

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New Member
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I created a customer feedback service called Brilliant that is focused on NPS and customer satisfaction. I wanted to offer a Shopify integration to my customers so that they could trigger an NPS survey email to their customers N days after purchase (configurable).

I'm being told that in order to have an app that will appear in search results in the Shopify app store I need to integrate the billing API and convert my existing payments system to a shopify one... is that correct? I'm not interested in re-writing all of my billing system and giving up a huge percentage of money just to get listed in the Shopify app store.

I have seen examples of other apps that have Shopify integrations but are not searchable in the app store... is it possible to build an integration that works with Shopify webhooks (all I need is a ping post-purchase) but doesn't show up in the search results? This is not as ideal, but passable.

If anyone knows a definitve answer it would be helpful... Normal Shopify customer support chat couldn't really help.

Thanks!

- Tom

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Shopify Expert
3841 0 270

You are free as a bird to market your App as a Shopify integration. Just because you're not in App store is not a big deal. If your App does something useful, merchants will find it. 

Note that when you do your own billing, you have to pay Shopify their share of your revenue. So you get to keep your own billing system, but you have to cut a cheque for the privelege of servicing your Shopify merchants. 

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
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New Member
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I appreciate the reply Bill, though I'm still a little confused.

You make it sound like if I don't change over my billing to Shopify I still have to pay them something... how does that get determined/enforced? What is the rate? It could be anywhere from 1-100% of any given customers workflow in my service, hardly fair to pay 20% of my subscription fee for someone where this is 10% of their usage (if that makes sense).

Not trying to say I shouldn't have to pay anything, it just feels unnecessarily confusing to figure out for a fairly simple use case ("ping me when a sale is made so I can do x") 

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Shopify Partner
66 0 9

Every app store is different, our app is on ~6 ecom platforms. Some have a higher rev share (ie 30%), some have zero rev share (ie: WordPress), and others have a 20% rev share if-and-only-if the customer is attributable to the marketing efforts of the platform itself.

Shopify's generic 20% cut is 100% worth it, in my opinion, because the community of store owners is very app-friendly and you'll virtually get new customers simply from existing in the store.

As for billing... I know Stripe can be super complex to set up in certain ways, but Shopify's billing API is actually a lot more straightforward than even Stripe itself. You can do monthly, flat rate, promotions, refunds/credits, and even usage-based billing. We have no complaints about it.

Lastly, and this is probably the best benefit... no more dunning management. Sure, sometimes credit cards fail. But Shopify takes care of that for you, and app partners simply get paid. Our BigCommerce integration, for example, has ~1/20th of the customers we have on Shopify, and all are handled by Stripe. However, we still get several failed charges per day, and it's a nightmare to resolve in terms of monthly reporting, rev share agreements, and of course enforcement to our customers. With Shopify, you don't have to worry about that.

Ultimately, I think worrying about 20% +/- when you're just starting out is silly. Even major record labels are paying Apple 20-30%, and they had worldwide distribution (retail, etc) long before Apple existed, much less iTunes.

My 2c -- use the Billing API, make the most of it, leverage the app store existence (vs private app that users must find on their own) to make more than your 20% obligatory cut, and rock on. :)

Ryan Kulp || Founder || Fomo (https://apps.shopify.com/fomo)
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Shopify Expert
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@Tom. You have a simple App. You sign up a Shopify customer. They pay you $1. You pay Shopify 0.20. End of story. Simple. 

If you fail to pay your 20% you get eliminated from the App ecosystem when you get audited by Shopify and they find out you cheated. I think that is the business. No smoke, no mirrors. 

 

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
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New Member
13 0 0

Thanks for the responses guys. I appreciate it!

@Ryan, that may end up being the right path to take, but given that I have already spent thousands on an existing billing and payment system (using Stripe and Chargebee that take much smaller cuts than Shopify) it would be foolish for me to waste that money, spend the same amoutn re-building with shopify billing, and give shopify 20% of everything before exploring all options. My business isn't entirely built for Shopify stores, it is a nice to have for some of them.  If there is a way to minimize Shopify's cut it's worth exploring those options before making the call IMO.

@Bill That sounds simple, but it still isn't. Shopify may be able to see the number of people I have connected, but they have no access to which tier the customer is on on my side... is it the $49/month plan? a custom enterprise solution for $1499/month? the free plan? How do they know what their 20% is?  If shopify is only a fraction of the service (we primarily focus on in app surveying... Shopify integration is a frill), shouldn't they get paid for the fraction of my business that actually comes from Shopify and not 20% of my whole subscription fee?  

Shopify strikes me as a company that has their shit together... but this seems incredibly inelegant. I need to use one specific API in order to show up in their app store? Merchants then don't get exposure to all of the apps that could help their businesses. If I sign up a shopify customer at all, Shopify then does an audit and comes around with it's hand out for some amount they feel is theirs? That feels incredibly fast and loose for a business of this calibur. I'm still a little in disbelief this is the official Shopify position (if there is a Shopify rep around to clarify I'd love to hear from you).

Again, not trying to get out of paying anything... I understand Shopify is providing a lot of value and I'm happy to pay my fair share for it.  I just feel like there should be more of a "For each transaction that gets sent to your app, you pay $0.03" or like a "$49/month for up to 10,000 transactions sent" system or something. That seems way more accurate and traceable and would make me happy to do it.

Thanks again for the info!

- Tom

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New Member
13 0 0

Thanks for the responses guys. I really appreciate it!

@Ryan, that may end up being the right path to take, but given that I have already spent thousands on an existing billing and payment system (using Stripe and Chargebee that take much smaller cuts than Shopify) it would be foolish for me to waste that money, spend the same amount and more to rip it out and re-build with shopify billing, and then give shopify 20% of everything (as opposed to the 3-5% for my existing services) before exploring all of the possible alternatives. My business isn't built solely for Shopify stores it is a nice to have for some of them... so giving up 20% on accounts that have nothing to do with Shopify is silly.  If there is a way to minimize Shopify's cut it's worth exploring those options before making the call IMO, even if I do ultimately decide the upside is worth it,

@Bill That sounds simple, but it still isn't for me. First I want to make sure I'm clear about how my product works... it is not exclusively for Shopify. Customers pay a monthly subscription fee to integrate the service into their app or website to collect customer feedback. A "post purchase" survey is an optional feature that some customers may or may not use as a part of my service. Not all signups will come from the Shopify app store either.

So, (assuming I'm not using the Billing API to collect all of my subscription fees) Shopify may be able to see the number of people I have connected to their service, and the number of API calls that have been made, but...

1. They have no access to which tier the customer is on on my side... is it the $49/month plan? a custom enterprise solution for $1499/month? the free plan? How do they know what "20%" is when they run an audit and come looking for their money?  
2. If shopify is only a part of the usage for my customers, shouldn't they get paid for the fraction of usage that actually comes from Shopify and not 20% of my whole subscription fee?

Shopify strikes me as a company that has their shit together... but some of this stuff seems incredibly inelegant and the fact that it has taken this much discussion to figure out makes it seem not as simple as you make it sound. I need to use one specific API in order to show up in their app store? Merchants then don't get exposure to all of the apps that could help their businesses and are expected to do extra work to find all of the apps they could possible use. If I sign up a shopify customer at all, Shopify then does an audit and comes around with it's hand out for some amount they feel is theirs? That feels incredibly fast and loose for a business of this calibur. I'm still a little in disbelief this is the official Shopify position (if there is a Shopify rep around to clarify I'd love to hear from you please).

Again, not trying to get out of paying anything... I completely understand Shopify is providing a lot of value and I'm happy to pay my fair share for it.  I just feel like there should be something like a "for each transaction that gets sent to your app, you pay $0.03" or maybe a "$49/month for up to 10,000 transactions sent" option or something. That seems way more accurate and traceable and would make me happy to do it, make it easy for them to get paid, and make it so that all available apps can show up in the app store for merchants.

Am I crazy? Or maybe still misunderstanding... Thanks again.

- Tom

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New Member
13 0 0

Thanks for the responses guys. I really appreciate it!

@Ryan, that may end up being the right path to take, but given that I have already spent thousands on an existing billing and payment system (using Stripe and Chargebee that take much smaller cuts than Shopify) it would be foolish for me to waste that money, spend the same amount and more to rip it out and re-build with shopify billing, and then give shopify 20% of everything (as opposed to the 3-5% for my existing services) before exploring all of the possible alternatives. My business isn't built solely for Shopify stores it is a nice to have for some of them... so giving up 20% on accounts that have nothing to do with Shopify is silly.  If there is a way to minimize Shopify's cut it's worth exploring those options before making the call IMO, even if I do ultimately decide the upside is worth it,

@Bill That sounds simple, but it still isn't for me. First I want to make sure I'm clear about how my product works... it is not exclusively for Shopify. Customers pay a monthly subscription fee to integrate the service into their app or website to collect customer feedback. A "post purchase" survey is an optional feature that some customers may or may not use as a part of my service. Not all signups will come from the Shopify app store either.

So, (assuming I'm not using the Billing API to collect all of my subscription fees) Shopify may be able to see the number of people I have connected to their service, and the number of API calls that have been made, but...

1. They have no access to which tier the customer is on on my side... is it the $49/month plan? a custom enterprise solution for $1499/month? the free plan? How do they know what "20%" is when they run an audit and come looking for their money?  
2. If shopify is only a part of the usage for my customers, shouldn't they get paid for the fraction of usage that actually comes from Shopify and not 20% of my whole subscription fee?

Shopify strikes me as a company that has their shit together... but some of this stuff seems incredibly inelegant and the fact that it has taken this much discussion to figure out makes it seem not as simple as you make it sound. I need to use one specific API in order to show up in their app store? Merchants then don't get exposure to all of the apps that could help their businesses and are expected to do extra work to find all of the apps they could possible use. If I sign up a shopify customer at all, Shopify then does an audit and comes around with it's hand out for some amount they feel is theirs? That feels incredibly fast and loose for a business of this calibur. I'm still a little in disbelief this is the official Shopify position (if there is a Shopify rep around to clarify I'd love to hear from you please).

Again, not trying to get out of paying anything... I completely understand Shopify is providing a lot of value and I'm happy to pay my fair share for it.  I just feel like there should be something like a "for each transaction that gets sent to your app, you pay $0.03" or maybe a "$49/month for up to 10,000 transactions sent" option or something. That seems way more accurate and traceable and would make me happy to do it, make it easy for them to get paid, and make it so that all available apps can show up in the app store for merchants.

Am I crazy? Or maybe still misunderstanding... Thanks again.

- Tom

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New Member
13 0 0

I'm trying to post a response and it keeps saying it has posted but it's not showing up... so if I'm posting repeats I apologize...

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New Member
13 0 0

@Bill That sounds simple, but it still isn't for me. First I want to make sure I'm clear about how my product works... it is not exclusively for Shopify. Customers pay a monthly subscription fee to integrate the service into their app or website to collect customer feedback. A "post purchase" survey is an optional feature that some customers may or may not use as a part of my service. Not all signups will come from the Shopify app store either.

So, (assuming I'm not using the Billing API to collect all of my subscription fees) Shopify may be able to see the number of people I have connected to their service, and the number of API calls that have been made, but...

1. They have no access to which tier the customer is on on my side... is it the $49/month plan? a custom enterprise solution for $1499/month? the free plan? How do they know what "20%" is when they run an audit and come looking for their money?  
2. If shopify is only a part of the usage for my customers, shouldn't they get paid for the fraction of usage that actually comes from Shopify and not 20% of my whole subscription fee?

Shopify strikes me as a company that has their shit together... but some of this stuff seems incredibly inelegant and the fact that it has taken this much discussion to figure out makes it seem not as simple as you make it sound. I need to use one specific API in order to show up in their app store? Merchants then don't get exposure to all of the apps that could help their businesses and are expected to do extra work to find all of the apps they could possible use. If I sign up a shopify customer at all, Shopify then does an audit and comes around with it's hand out for some amount they feel is theirs? That feels incredibly fast and loose for a business of this calibur. I'm still a little in disbelief this is the official Shopify position (if there is a Shopify rep around to clarify I'd love to hear from you please).

Again, not trying to get out of paying anything... I completely understand Shopify is providing a lot of value and I'm happy to pay my fair share for it.  I just feel like there should be something like a "for each transaction that gets sent to your app, you pay $0.03" or maybe a "$49/month for up to 10,000 transactions sent" option or something. That seems way more accurate and traceable and would make me happy to do it, make it easy for them to get paid, and make it so that all available apps can show up in the app store for merchants.

Am I crazy? Or maybe still misunderstanding... Thanks again.

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