Re: Getting starting with native mobile apps

How to integrate a Shopify storefront into a native mobile app?

Shopify Partner
6 0 4

Total newbie inquiry here.... I work with a development shop and as part of a larger project we're being asked to integrate their Shopify storefront into a cross-platform native app. So, not simply embedding the web storefront into into a mobile browser, but a native application that takes advantage of the unique features of each mobile OS. Most likely the underlying tech stack will be React Native.


I'm having a bit of difficultly getting detailed "best practices" going through the Shopify documentation. My overall impression is that there are tons of resources for working with themes, for developing custom web storefronts, and for apps that integrate within the Shopify platform directly, but native mobile application seems to be a bit on the outside.


Most useful so far are the resources related to the APIs (GraphQL / Rest) and the Buy SDKs. But I haven't stumbled upon a whole lot else. For example, React Native component libraries that are already established, or even lists of "best practices" to avoid going down a path that ends in misery.


I'm just trying to avoid any false starts that would take us down a bad path as we get into this development. If anyone has any experience in this area and could point me to a few resources, that would very much be appreciated! 

Replies 2 (2)

Shopify Partner
690 148 231

Did you take a look at the Shopify Storefront API and at the react-js-buy example from Shopify?

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Shopify Partner
6 0 4

Thank you for the reply. Yes, I have taken a look at those resources and have a rough idea of the direction we would need to take. Still a lot of open questions, though. For example:

  • The Storefront API is "unauthenticated" and "read only" according to the Shopify documentation, but it is unclear what exactly this means. There are mutation queries exposed; are those somehow off-limits (those wouldn't be "read only")? And surely there's some form of access verification so that every customer can't see every other customer's information using the same public access token.
  • There doesn't seem to be a supported method of cloning an existing production storefront into a development store. There are options on, but those are limited in scope and involve CSV export / import. 
  • I am not seeing any way to use the Storefront API to integrate with apps that are already installed in the merchant site.

If you have any insight into the above, that would be helpful. In any case, I'll keep plugging away and I'm sure things will be clear eventually. I was just hoping there might have been a "best practice for native mobile apps" document somewhere that I missed. Thanks again for your reply!