Home / Shopify / How Shopify Apps Work

If you’re a Shopify newbie, you’ve probably noticed there are many apps you can add to your Shopify store. In this article, we’ll show you how Shopify Apps work, and how to use them to improve your online store.

Shopify apps are basically third party websites that can access your store data once you give them permission. These permissions are given when you install one of these apps – there are a lot out there for you to try, and the way how Shopify Apps work gives you full control over the information you share according to the apps you pick.

What happens when you install a Shopify App?

The moment you install a Shopify App, you are in reality giving permission to that app so that it can access your store through Shopify’s API. You can uninstall the app at any time, which will revoke the permissions and make it so the app has no longer access to your store. This brings us to our next question…

What are APIs?

In layman’s terms, an API allows two different applications to communicate with one another. The way how Shopify Apps work is that these third-party apps are able to ‘talk’ to your Shopify store.

There are many apps so it’s hard to trust that all of them will be good for you, so picking the right Shopify Apps for you is essential for your store to continue working correctly and for your data to be secure and reliable.

How can you pick a Shopify App?

There are two principal things you should take into consideration before you install any third-party app on your Shopify store.

The first one is user reviews. This would seem to be pretty straight forward – if you’re looking at an app that has dozens of positive reviews and other users are claiming it worked just right for them, then you can presumably use that app without any issues. If an app has mostly negative reviews, you might want to refrain from using it, even if it’s free. Don’t be fooled, the fact that an app is free should not be of any difference to how an app works.

The second main factor comes afterwards, on the install page itself. When you try to install a Shopify app, you will see at a glance all the information that this app will have access to. It can update products or read customer information, among many other options. If all the information that the app requests access to seems reasonable for you, go for it. 

If it seems like the app is asking for too much information or sensitive information for you or your customers, in that case you shouldn’t install it. Usually, you can trust the best-rated apps to just ask for access to what’s strictly necessary – but sometimes you might run into an app which seems decent but that could represent a risk to the safety of your customers’ information and data. I suggest you do a lot of research prior deciding for the Shopify app.

How does a Shopify App interface work?

The way a Shopify App looks like and how it interacts with your data will depend strictly on the app. Some apps appear within the Shopify app themselves, at the admin area; while some will mostly redirect you to the app’s website (because Shopify apps are essentially third-party websites). 

Keep in mind that these two types of Shopify Apps can be quite different even while doing the same operations, but we recommend using apps that work within the admin area of your Shopify store since they are more convenient to use and integrate better with your store. 

From my personal experience, apps that have full integration seem to perform better on average than the ones that force you to go to a third-party website to use them.

If you want to know more about e-commerce development platforms or apps, read our blog posts for Shopify and Shopware. Our dedicated outsourcing team can be your collaborator in ecommerce. 

Arrange a free consultation now!