How to proceed with billing API for a free ERP SaaS Shopify App?

Shopify Partner
5 0 3



We run a ERP SaaS application for breweries and we use a Shopify App to copy orders from Shopify back into our software for reposrting and logistics. We charge for our SaaS application but we do not charge for using the Shopify App.


I am currenctly in a review process for an unlisted app, and have been told numerous times that we must use the Shopify Billing API - and as we charge for the SaaS application the app cannot be free.


We have a deep integrated billing system, and cannot use Shopify Billing API for our charges (we also integrate with many other ecommerce platforms and most of our customers do not use Shopify - therefore it really does not make sense to use it).


I'm stuck at the moment as partner support keep directing me to billing support, and billing support just keep saying use the billing API but offering no clarity for our use case. The last message stated that i should use a $0 one off payment but that seems a bit silly, plus is different to what i have added to the pricing details on the app listing.


Has anyone been in this situation and figured out a way to proceed?



Replies 6 (6)

Shopify Partner
20 1 2

Hello @fango256 


We just went through the approval process for Glass It Price Tracker, a price tracking solution that can boost your profit margins while staying competitive in your target market. We also had several existing integrations with other platforms prior to developing our Shopify App. I will only share our experience, as the Shopify requirements can change.


You must implement the Shopify Billing API to be a public app listed in the Shopify App store with any sort of billing charges. Shopify Partners only make exceptions in a few cases, most of which seem related to billing for physical products provided/consumed outside of the Shopify App. In our case, because of our existing integrations we had to identify when a user signs up using our Shopify App. In these instances we always use the Shopify Billing API for any billing charges for those users. The Shopify Billing API applies whether or not the user who signs up using the Shopify App actually uses the Shopify App, or instead uses our website or mobile app for any billing charges. In short, there is no way around using the Shopify Billing API for users/leads who became customers sourced from the Shopify App store, unless you qualify for an exemption from the Billing API. Hope this helps!

Shopify Partner
5 0 3
Comforting that it is not just us they are picking on. Frustratingly we are
applying to be unlisted, so will get no traffic from the app store. Yet
apparently this requirement remains! Thank you for taking the time to
Shopify Partner
1 0 0

Hey @fango256 - wondering on how you progressed with this? anything helpful you can share? we are similar situation and would like to learn how to work this out.
thanks for sharing!

Shopify Partner
21 3 9

Hey @fango256 , we're in the same boat as you. We have a SaaS application, which includes access to a free Shopify app for those who have Shopify stores. The app is one tiny piece of our service.


We're being forced to move our private app (installed across lots of stores) to a public app -- otherwise the app's API access will be revoked. We're happy having the app unlisted since we just want our customers to be able to install it.


Shopify wants their cut, and requires use of the Billing API. I'm curious how you resolved your situation, if you're willing to share.



Shopify Partner
6 0 0

Same here, we are building a Shopify app as a bridge between Shopify and our larger IT platform. Our products also have a large operational component, not just SaaS (i.e., purely software). The app is a nice-to-have that would be offered to a subset of clients to facilitate their integration with us. It's a minimal part of the entire product offering.


I might be misreading this entire conversation? Would Shopify expect us to bill the entire invoice (for all our services) to clients if they use our Shopify app? Even if the app is unlisted and Shopify contributes nothing to us being discovered by clients?


Has anyone else figured out a resolution to this issue?

Shopify Partner
5 0 3

I'm afraid i have no good news to share for our use case. This was a wildly frustrating experience, we reached out to ambassadors and Shopify employees directly and got nowhere. Which has led to me having a pretty strong dislike to Shopify as a developer platform.


Anyway that aside, we started looking at our competitors and other smaller companies such as ourselves and noticed that many just guided users to make custom apps on their site and plug the keys back into their own platform. Despite being against T&Cs.


I told Shopify that was what we noticed and they just parroted the documentation back to me and decided not to comment.


Make of that what you will.