How to Handle your Shopify App Review Process

A few days ago, my first Shopify application, “Ahia! – Easy Price Changer” was approved after a ten days review process and published on the Shopify App Store.

It was my first experience with the Shopify applications review process. I want to be honest: I was a little skeptical about it at first. I thought it would be a really basic review without any meaningful insights.

I was wrong.

The feedback was awesomely helpful to me. So, I decided to share what I learned to help everyone in the same situation. Let me know if you want to add something you feel it’s important in the comments!

Step 1 – Preparing for the Review

I spent an entire weekend to create my first app submission for review. It can be confusing at first, but you have to think about an essential fact: you’re submitting something that must be clear for the reviewer and helpful for the final user of your app.

Choose the words carefully; keep it simple whenever you can and be direct. Your customer is a business, and you need to make it as soon as possible before it gets boring. The same thing goes for the reviewer: be direct and explicit, explain perfectly what’s going on and what kind of problem you want to solve, and WHY.

Also, take care of all the visual stuff. Images, videos, staff pick image. Maybe your app will never be staff picked, but who cares? Act as it will be. After all, if you are not the first one that believes in your product, give up and save others precious (customers and reviewers) time.

Don’t forget the repro steps to let reviewers test your app in the best way possible! Avoid generic and useless explanation, go to the point and explain to them what’s important for you.

Step 2  –  Be Patient

Contrary to what you may be thinking, the app review is not a “passive” process. It’s not something like “ok; I just filled all the text boxes and image fields, now let’s wait for a response”.

Keep testing your app, stress it to understand if there’s something wrong, and wait for the first feedback. Usually, the first feedback arrives in 10/14 days. Be patient.

Also, avoid breaking changes in the meantime. Fix something if necessary but don’t radically change anything. Maybe a review needs more than one day, and you could make things confusing for the reviewer.

Step 3 – Feedback Time

The first time I received feedback from the Shopify staff, I was amazed. As said before, I was a little skeptical, but…

I honestly never received feedback with that level of depth. I got an email full of screenshots, insights, and suggestions about how and where place more information for the end-users of my app. My reaction was amplified by the fact that my app is minimal. It just does one thing (change prices at a given time, following a given rule) and nothing more.

They tested EVERYTHING.

As an app developer, this is one of the most important moments for you. It’s up to you to decide what you want to get out from this feedback. It may seem trivial, but that’s it: be proactive, oriented to solve problems as soon as possible and be aware that the reviewers know what merchants like (and don’t). So:

  • listen to them carefully;
  • implement all the required changes as soon as possible;
  • thank them for their feedback;

No rocket science here: just good human relationships, be reactive when feedback arrives and you will see your app published and approved in no time.

Conclusions

This is only the first one of many posts I am thinking to write about Shopify app development. I am learning a lot of things, related both to the tech but also the product side of it. Leave a comment to let me know if you liked it and what you would like to read. I will gladly try to help!