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How to use the Shopify Partner Dashboard for App Developers

Shopify partner dashboard
Published 12 September 2022

The Shopify Partner Dashboard is a necessary part for anyone who wants to develop Shopify apps or Shopify themes or even manage a bunch of Shopify stores. This works for anyone who is an agency, store creator, app developer, or even theme designer.

Knowing how to use the dashboard is important, as you’ll be spending a lot of time on it. Below, you’ll find out everything you need to know to use the app performance monitoring tools and analytics tools of the Shopify dashboard.

We also have some new pro tips on tracking more metrics; scroll down to learn!

How to sign up for the Shopify partner dashboard

To sign up for the Shopify partner dashboard, start by accessing the Shopify partner program signup page. Next, you’ll want to fill in the page about why you are creating the account. 

Thankfully, Shopify doesn’t require any approval process, as you can get immediate access to a new Shopify Partner account. So within seconds, you can get access to the dashboard.

You will need to get approval when submitting apps or themes to Shopify, though. This can take up to 2 weeks.

What can you do with the Shopify Partner dashboard?

If you want to earn money through Shopify, the partner dashboard is an excellent choice for talented designers and app developers. Using this dashboard, here are the things you can do:

  • Create and manage a Shopify affiliate account
  • Access the Shopify API (for app development)
  • Create a development store
  • Manage Shopify themes
  • Manage a team of fellow developers
  • Track your app metrics (downloads, user reviews, etc.)

The dashboard is ideal for those who want to make money through Shopify without being a real merchant. This way, you can make money from Shopify without having to manage a B2C (Business to Customer) eCommerce store. 

Creating Shopify apps & the using Partner API

Shopify partner dashbaord

To start, you can find the Shopify API under “Apps”, on the left-hand navigation. Under “All apps”, you can start by clicking the “Create app” button. 

From here, you’ll be given one of three commands that allow you to start with a simple node app (to understand how it works), a directory, and a config file. The API makes use of NPM, yarn, or NPM package managers. You can also choose to create an app from scratch, which provides you with an API key and a secret key for your use.

Shopify also allows you to make app extensions, which are apps for other Shopify user interfaces. Either way, your app creation page will look something like the image below. 

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Development stores & connecting to live stores

Shopify stores

One of Shopify’s most powerful app development features is the use of development stores. These stores allow you to test your app before deployment or updates, ensuring it meets the needs of the merchants who later subscribes.

This is ideal for developers who have active merchants that rely on their apps. So instead of releasing something that breaks, you have a testing platform you can use. To start, all you need to do is:

  1. Click the “Add store” button
  2. Select the “Development store” option

It mentions you can hand off ownership to a new store owner, but this isn’t a requirement if you want to use this as a test environment.

However, those who work on the complete design and development of Shopify stores can leverage this. You can get a regular revenue share of any development store you release, providing you with recurring income.

Regardless of how you make income, Shopify offers a 0% revenue share on the first $1 million you make in a year. That rate goes to 15% for any income generated over $1m.

What you should know about development stores

Shopify development stores are a great way to showcase your new apps. In the example above, Instafeed allows you to see their app in action on a real store. When selling apps, you want to show people what they do, not just talk about it.

Development stores allow you to create fake products to process test orders. You can even assign a custom domain to apply your unique branding. 

However, there are limitations. For example, you cannot install other paid apps. You can only install free apps and other partner-friendly apps (those that make use of the dashboard). With this in mind, you have a limit of 10 apps, which might not be an issue for all, but might be a problem for an app-heavy store. 

Shopify Partner dashboard metrics

Shopify app metrics

The Shopify Dashboard allows you to track simple metrics using the insights navigation tab. From this page, you can track sales information to get a beginner’s idea of how your app is going. 

The problem with this page is that there are not much actionable data to work with. For example, you can’t get an estimation of predicted growth, which is a big deal for an app developer. 

To solve this problem and get a deep analysis of your app’s performance, check out SaaS Insights. It is an incredibly powerful data-driven tool in the Shopify app ecosystem.

With this tool, you can delve into the reasoning behind order cancellations, get more data, and have visually driven information. For those who want to increase their user base, SaaS insights are the ideal solution.

Saas insights logo png

Need more metrics?

Use SaaS Insights and connect it with your Shopify Partner Dashboard.

It’s not quite released yet, but it’s nearly complete! Make sure you sign up to the email box on the homepage to get notified. You may be asked to test the app for free!

Connecting SaaS Insights will provide you with more metrics than Shopify Partners can give you. They use your partner account and calculate a lot more data.

You can get unique features such as:

  • Trial expected growth amount
  • Churn rates for trials
  • Churn rates of each pricing plan you have
  • Converted trials

Overall, the SaaS Insights app has better metrics, clearer graphs & more data.

Saas insights how to

It’s really easy to set up. All you need to do is:

  1. Get your Shopify Partner ID and copy it to SaaS Insights
  2. Connect using an API key
  3. Done

Once you have entered your ID and API key into SaaS Insights, that’s all you need to connect. It will take some time to import your data, depending on how much you have. But once the data has loaded, you are good to go.

Shopify themes

Shopify theme in partners

The Storefront API (the programming interface you use with Shopify) integrate with page building tools like Nosto, Gorgias, and Shogun. So, you’ve got a good chunk of options to choose from as a theme and app developer.

To make things easier, Shopify provides you access to Dawn, which is the current default Shopify theme. Using this code as a base, you can upload your theme and submit it for approval. However, before you do that, review the Shopify theme store requirements.

Payouts

Shopify partner payout dashboard

If you’ve got Shopify themes or apps, then you will need a method to get paid. The “Payouts” section will be where you can see your app earnings and payouts.

You can get paid in two ways:

  • PayPal
  • Bank transfer using Hyperwallet

You can also see this data in SaaS Insights if you have that.

Partner Resources

Screenshot 2022 09 12 at 13. 41. 56

There is a wide range of resources where you can learn about the Shopify Partner dashboard.

Team members

Team

Shopify allows you to collaborate with both store owners and staff members through invitations. Using this system, you can develop themes and apps to create the perfect store for one (or a few) owners. Your staff members might also do this work on your behalf. 

 The bottom left half of the navigation bar is where you will find the “teams” link. From there, you’ll see two different sections for staff and owners. 

To invite Shopify store owners, all you need is the email connected to their Shopify store. From there, they receive instructions to give you the site permissions you need to do your work. 

When inviting staff members, you’ll need to take the time to give them specific permissions. You can control their access to these things:

  • What data they can view or manage (financials, ads, refunds, scripts, themes, public listings, etc.)
  • The development store access they have (no stores, all stores, specific stores)
  • The managed store access they have 

Managed stores are those you manage on the behalf of other owners. With new hires, be careful to give them access only to necessary information. There’s no reason they need the additional resources on an unrelated store.

Support

Screenshot 2022 09 12 at 13. 41. 49

There is also a really helpful support page where you can quickly contact the Shopify Partners team. It’s open 24 hours a day.

Settings

App store settings

The Shopify partner settings are where you will provide all of your company information. This will be the place where you can be contacted.

Affiliate tools

Affiliate

This allows your partner account to earn from anyone you refer to using Shopify.

Wrap up

Using the Shopify Partner Dashboard to develop and track your applications is incredibly handy. It provides an all-in-one place to ensure almost all aspects of your app are managed. 

You can also use this to manage partnered stores to gain shared income. As a partner collaborator, you can manage stores on behalf of other people. You can also manage a team of developers, which is ideal if you want to grow your apps. 

Shopify’s partner system is only weakened by the lack of tracking. But through SaaS Insights, you can supplement this with deep information. Through this information, you can optimize your apps and pages to take actionable steps to grow your Shopify business. 

Shopify Partner Dashboard FAQs

What questions should you ask yourself before developing an app for Shopify?

Does your app solve a specific merchant need? What are the gaps in the industry? How does your app make their life easier? Do you have the expertise needed to build the app?

Is the Shopify Partner Program free?

Yes, you are not required to pay for a premium account when being a Shopify partner. However, you might need to pay if you decide to host a store. This is not a requirement of being a Shopify partner. 

Why do developers prefer Shopify as an eCommerce website?

Because Shopify has many resources that support these developers, they allow you to use a variety of modern software elements. It’s also incredibly easy and free to start. 

Is being a Shopify app developer worth it?

Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world. As a result, you can make a lot of money on the platform, making the effort well worth it. 

How do you delete your Shopify Partners account? 

You cannot delete your Shopify account through any link on the dashboard. Instead, you will need to contact Shopify and ask for the escalations team, who is skilled in handling these requests.

How much have Shopify Partners earned?

It’s estimated that Shopify partners and merchants together have earned above $12 billion. However, this doesn’t include the $543 billion in sales it made in total over 16 years of operation.

About Author

Eli is sufficient in Shopify & general tech. He loves writing and talking about his interests in technology and ecommerce.

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