Updated content: 2019-11-29 17:20 EST
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 email@example.com to give feedback on this experiment or express your interest.
We’re limiting our experiment to a small number of apps who:
Use Shopify’s billing API to accept payments
Are relevant on the category pages where this experiment is being run
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.
Shopify App Store Team
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.
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.
I like the idea of ads, but as I have suggested in the form I filled, I think need control 2 things:
1. Bid - Not automatically bid, but fixed(at least to start), because bid will go higher and will be not affordable for small companies.
2. Impressions Number - To be fair I think need to limit the number of impressions for each app daily(or partner), this will make the ads always rotate, and not show too much the same app/partner.
The idea is to give the same power(through limit) to small and large partners.
This can be a great feature and turn the store into a more diverse place, or it can benefit just the giants and make it less diverse.
Is this a custom system or an established adnetwork with analtyics?
“The app developer paid to advertise this app.”
CPC or CPM or per install or ?