On Monday US EST (Tuesday for my fellow Australians), we’ll be launching our first ever, world-first, all-new Shopify App (with launch bonuses, too). It’s called Shortcodes, and it’s going to help store owners build wonderful things on their stores to increase sales – and save hundreds of dollars in development fees. If you’d like to when it launches and get access to the launch bonuses, you can sign up here.
These are 4 crucial lessons we learned from building our first app.
1. Mockups Are Important, Even If It Doesn’t End Up Being Exactly The Way You Drafted It.
Before we started, I created a mockup design using Keynotopia. This mockup evolved over time into something slightly different, but it still conveyed what I wanted to do. This helped keep costs down – I didn’t need to hire a front-end designer because I already conveyed what I wanted to do – and made the development process much faster.
Here’s the first draft I submitted to the developer:
Lesson: Spend time developing mockups (rough designs) before talking to developers. It’s worth it. (Also – don’t wed yourself to your original designs, because they’ll probably change).
2. Work With Someone Who Demonstrates The Ability To Actually Build The App.
When I submitted requests for quotes to build the App, I had several responses. Some ranged from a 5-bullet-point hourly quote (immediate ‘no-thanks’) to in-depth customizations. In the end, one developer went above and beyond, considering all the details, proposing how they’d complete the work, and even doing some of the work as pre-work.
Lesson: Work with a developer who shows a vested interest and work ethic in your project, not the cheapest.
3. Just Because One Developer Says It Can’t Be Done, Doesn’t Mean It Can’t.
Some developers told me this App couldn’t be built. We found a way (and it’s going to be released next week). If someone says it can’t be done, talk to someone else. Chances are, there’s someone out there who can build it for you.
4) There’s A Lot Involved Outside The App Too.
In addition to building the app itself, you’ll need to spend just as much – if not more – time on everything else leading up to it. For example:
- Logos/banners (4 logos of different sizes)
- Promotional video
- Sales page copy
- Demo store
- Testing sites,
Lesson: Devote a whole bunch of time (at least as much time as development) for the marketing & setup side of the App.
Thank you for keeping up to date with our Shopify Insider Blog @ Blackbelt Commerce. Please make sure to check out our services. We also have some top blog recommendations for you to check out; How To Back Up Your Shopify Store and Wholesale Shopify Setup Service. Keep a lookout for new blog posts.
Do you have any questions? Please let us know in the comments below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
What are the top Shopify stores doing?
Take what we've learned and use it to your advantage.
Get our exclusive research: Insights from over 500 Shopify Stores.