Installing Custom Plugin + API without Shopify Plus?

SaaSbizowner
Visitor
2 0 1

I am about to hire a developer to create a tax calculation/collection software that I will be selling to shopify users.

 

Tax rates change change based on the products present in the shopping cart and the state attributes of a customers shipping address. These taxes are calculated, then displayed and collected at the checkout screen. 

 

Some of my competitors who sell this type of calculation software require their customers to sign up for Shopify Plus ($2,000 per month) to properly implement their software. This creates an insane barrier to entry for users to use my software.

 

Is there a way to bypass the need for Shopify Plus so customers (shopify users) can use my app / software with a lower cost? 

 

I was thinking the reason for this could be that Shopify Plus may be required to install private apps (not on the shopify app store), but if we put our app on the Shopify App store, shopify users could continue to use shopify basic and avoid the whole $2,000 monthly fee.

 

Can anyone can briefly explain the best way of going about this before I hire a developer?  What are the pros and cons of the different methods available to me?

Replies 3 (3)

PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
6339 579 1343

Expensive business model red flags here, main two are your making technical assumptions and burying the lead by glossing over technical requirements.

Normally that's an okay common issue to ignore when someone new is asking questions about software-development on a platform but if your going to be mucking about with regulatory  data like a businesses tax info then risk is very different.

I seriously suggest you rethink how your approaching platform integrations to avoid serious issues during either development or in the future.

 

 

I was thinking the reason for this could be that Shopify Plus may be required to install private apps 

No not how that works , custom apps(private apps are now depreciated) are available on all plans, for Plus plans the only difference is custom apps can be installed across multiple stores owned by the same client(see app types). Which  generally only matters if your app model isn't a public app.

 

As the project lead you should not be making any technical assumption like the above that's an expensive risk.

Your developer(?shopify developer?) should already have discussed this with you in some fashion if you did properly discovery , or be able to do so in discovery.  

Making an assumption like that STRONGLY indicates you need to pump the brakes and do discovery with a developer so these types of uncertainties are removed.

And/Or double check that developers experience and understanding of the shopify platform. If the current dev can make the app but not explain shopify very well then go on the experts marketplace and find a developer to do discovery with or at least get a consult to clarify requirements. https://experts.shopify.com/ 

 

"Is there a way to bypass the need for Shopify Plus so customers (shopify users) can use my app / software with a lower cost? "

WHAT are you bypassing? But WHY is shopify plus needed? what is the EXACT technical|business distinction that makes "competitors" require a Plus plan.

Just treating something as a barrier to be jumped over leads to glossing over critical implementation detail and that leads to bad & expensive software development projects.

 

You need to talk to your developer, or do outreach to developers or your competitors sales department to find exactly why|when some competitors have that requirement, then examine how you frame this type of question when you lack such critical detail.

If you don't define that and speak of that exact issue in concrete terms even when fishing for answers you can easily end up with a major business and software development issue because too many costly assumptions and expensive ambiguities were allowed to creep in from the start.

 

This a business process problem where your not detailing project requirements in advance but expecting them to be formed as you go.

I strongly encourage you to first address methodology before anything else so that going forward you can avoid big pitfalls when doing an integration for any platform not just shopify.

Talk to your dev if you already have one,  and/or do discovery|consult with a shopify expert, then introspect >> then do project.

Save time & money ,Ask Questions The Smart Way


Confused? Busy? Get the solution you need paull.newton+shopifyforum@gmail.com


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SaaSbizowner
Visitor
2 0 1

I was actually hoping to find some simple answers here as to why Shopify Plus was needed to add new tax lines to the checkout process before I did a discovery meeting with a developer (so I could communicate in a more educated way).

 

Thanks for pointing out though that it's not my job to find that information out! I can tell you've seen some disaster outcomes, hence your firmness and tone. 

 

Anyways, I already had a meeting to find out that Alavara has a contract with shopify on the Tax API preventing us from adding new tax lines unless the customer gets shopify plus. What a shame! 

PaulNewton
Shopify Partner
6339 579 1343


@SaaSbizowner wrote:

I was actually hoping to find some simple answers here as to why Shopify Plus was needed to add new tax lines to the checkout process before I did a discovery meeting with a developer (so I could communicate in a more educated way).

Thanks for pointing out though that it's not my job to find that information out!

I totally understand that feeling , I mean yes it is a project leads duty to find & understand project requirements it's just let a niche expert be the one to do the legwork and give you facts. I try not to worry about sounding educated in a new domain I don't understand that's literally what I'm paying the experts to do and go over such things with me so I can move through that worlds jungle of noise faster to get back to thinking about the bigger picture.

 

I can tell you've seen some disaster outcomes, hence your firmness and tone. 


Sorry I was short on time so couldn't make it less abrasive and we can't edit posts after 3 hours,  that pattern is very common so saw a chance to save someone some longterm pain with a bitter pill.

It's expensive and stressful to fix a process problem like that later because uncomfortable conversations were avoided early.

 


Anyways, I already had a meeting to find out that Alavara has a contract with shopify on the Tax API preventing us from adding new tax lines unless the customer gets shopify plus. What a shame! 


Suspected alvara's tax features for plus but didn't think about them as a sole contractual provider though, interesting thank you for the update; FYI: you can mark your own posts as a solution for future tax devs 😉 .

 

Still maybe not a business killer just means having to be more selective with clientele who are on Plus /shrug.

Goodluck if you keep going! 

 

For future readers

Save time & money ,Ask Questions The Smart Way


Confused? Busy? Get the solution you need paull.newton+shopifyforum@gmail.com


Problem Solved? ✔Accept and Like solutions to help future merchants

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