Building Shopify channels

Channels are apps that allow merchants to reach new customers on platforms outside of their online store to make a sale. You can build a sales channel apps to connect merchants to customers on marketplaces, advertising platforms, and more.

The resources below can help you learn how to create a sales channel app:

Sales channel app types

Refer to the getting started guide to explore tutorials for the different sales channel app types.

Let customers browse products and then transfer them to a merchant's product page.

Build a sales channel app using cart permalinks

Build a sales channel app with the Checkout API

Use the Admin API or Storefront API so customers can purchase products from a single merchant on your platform.

Build a sales channel app with the Checkout API

Sales channel app requirements

All sales channel apps need to be submitted for approval to the Shopify app review team. The following requirements apply to all sales channel apps:

  • Your app introduces a destination or platform for customers to discover products outside of the online store.
  • Customers are eventually directed to a sale.
  • You need to own and operate the destination or platform where products are sold.
  • After the sales channel app is live, you intend to onboard several hundred Shopify merchants in the first year after launch.

All types of sales channel apps have the following features:

  • Onboarding and account connection: You can get permission from merchants to install your app, connect their accounts and qualify them through channel requirements.
  • Product publishing: You can import products into your channel, manage product errors, and stay in sync with merchants' product catalogs.
  • Payments and order management: You can generate orders and complete payments for merchants on your channel.

Refer to the build requirements in the table below:

Build type Cart permalinks Checkout API
General requirements
Pre-approval required? No If applicable, partners need to request payment processing on the Partner Dashboard after turning an app into a sales channel app.
PPA Addendum required? No No
App approval process required? Needs to meet the general requirements for apps and sales channel apps.
Build type Cart permalinks Checkout API
Onboarding and account connection
Connect using OAuth
Shopify App Bridge
Shopify Polaris
Build type Cart permalinks Checkout API
Product publishing
List products using the ProductListing API
Manage errors with the ResourceFeedback API
Stay in sync with webhooks
Build type Cart permalinks Checkout API
Payments and orders
Checkout build complexity Low. Take customers to Shopify's checkout with items pre-loaded in the cart. Medium. Use the Checkout API. Shopify handles payments to the merchant, keeping track of orders and fulfillments, handling disputes, refunds, and cancellations.
Payment processing requirements No Complete checkouts using Shopify's web checkout, or apply for payment processing to process credit cards.
Build type Cart permalinks Checkout API
Getting paid
Receiving payments Use the Billing API. For sales attribution, you can use a storefront access token. Use the Billing API.
Revenue share Refer to the Shopify Partner revenue share agreement. Refer to the Shopify Partner revenue share agreement.

Next steps