6 tools to grow your Shopify app
In January 2021, my associate Yann Lombard and I launched our first ever Shopify app: Free Shipping Bar.
Being freelance web developers ourselves, we were not new to the Shopify world as we previously built multiple stores for our clients. But we were completely new to the Shopify’s app development world. We jumped right in!
In its first year of existence, our app went from 0 to 100+ clients. To achieve this, the key was to continuously iterate: on our value proposition, our UX, our landing page, and so on. In each round of iteration, we learnt a lot. Two main things allowed us to grasp valuable insights: talking to our clients and learning about them through the use of specific tools.
Here are 6 tools we use every week to grow our Shopify app:
1. App Store Analytics
App Store Analytics was created by Daniel Sim. He started creating Shopify apps in 2011. He exited his apps in 2020 and he is now focusing on helping app developers.
We use App Store Analytics to explore the world of keywords: which keywords are Shopify merchants typing on the app store to find us?
For each keyword, App Store Analytics gives us the number of page views, the number of installations, the install rate and our average position on the results page of this keyword.
It also goes a bit beyond keywords and shows us where our page viewers are coming from: Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
This tool is absolutely essential. Without it, we would be navigating in the dark.
With this information in our hand, we are able to draw conclusions and start elaborating strategies. For example:
- Improve our average position on the keywords that bring us a lot of page views but a small amount of installations
- Start targeting a keyword that we did not know was bringing us installations
Finally, App Store Analytics allows us to track the page listings of our competitors in order to be notified when they make changes to it. Nice bonus!
2. Google Analytics
We use Google Analytics to track:
- Our app dashboard, which is embedded in the merchant’s Shopify admin
- Our app’s page listing on the app store
Google Analytics gives us information such as the merchant session’s length, the type of device they were using, etc.
It is a good complement to App Store Analytics.
3. Partner Metrics
Partner Metrics was created by Björn Forsberg at FORSBERG+two with the help of Daniel Sim.
Björn Forsberg originally created this tool for himself, to help him get an overview of his multiple Shopify apps. He then released a self-hosted version on GitHub and finally this hosted version that we are using.
We use Partner Metrics to track:
- our revenue per country: it is useful to tailor our marketing and to prioritize features (for example translation features)
- our average revenue per user: it is super useful to determine the maximum amount it is acceptable to spend on ads to acquire new users
Partner Metrics is a good complement to the native Shopify Partner dashboard which gives us a good overview of our monthly recurring revenue over time.
4. Shopify App Store Index (SASI)
Shopify App Store Index (SASI) was created by Alex Dover (developer), Steve Jones and Sam Hennings. They built it with community in mind: their goal is to support Shopify app developers.
We use SASI to track our ranking in the different categories of the Shopify app store, and our progression over time. This information being public, we also track the ranking of our competitors.
We use Loom to record screencasts. It allows us to ease the communication:
- between team members: when we spot out a bug, we record a Loom screencast and attach its URL to the corresponding ticket in our project management tool Notion
- with clients: if an explanation is needed about a specific feature of the app, we send them a short screencast (3 minutes maximum) over email. This is always greatly appreciated. A client even mentioned it in the 5-star review he left us.
Crisp is a French all-in-one multichannel messaging platform.
We use it on our app dashboard so that merchants can reach us more easily than over email.
We also use it to get notified when clients are online. This way, we can directly send them a message to ask if they need help setting up our app.
These 6 tools really helped us grow our first Shopify app.
If you are a Shopify app developer, or aspiring to become one, my advice is to start using these tools so that you can learn from them and improve your app.
And if you are using other tools that you find valuable, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me. I would be happy to discover them!