Building Shopify channels

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

Using our docs and tutorials, you can familiarize yourself with all aspects of the sales channel creation process, from explore and build, through to launch:

  1. Explore - Review the different sales channel types and their requirements.
  2. Build - Refer to the getting started guide to walk through each step in the build process. This guide links you to detailed, step-by-step tutorials for each sales channel app type.
  3. Launch - Follow the launch checklist to submit your app to the Shopify app store.

Sales channel app types

Consider following our getting started guide, or exploring guided tutorials for Shopify's different sales channel app types:

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

Build a sales channel using cart permalinks

Build a sales channel with the Checkout API

Enable customers to purchase products from a single merchant within your platform. You can use the Admin API or Storefront API.

Build a sales channel with the Checkout API

Sales channel 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/platform for customers to discover products, outside the online store.
  • Customers are ultimately directed to a sale.
  • You need to own and operate the destination or platform where products are made available for sale.
  • After the sales channel is live, you have the intention to onboard several hundred Shopify merchants in the first year after launch.

For all sales channel types, the key features of a sales channel app are as follows:

  • Onboarding and account connection: Get permission from merchants to install your app, and then connect them to your channel.
  • Product publishing: Import products into your channel, manage product errors, and stay in sync with merchants' product catalogs.
  • Payments and order management: Generate orders for merchants by accepting payments from customers on your channel.

The build requirements are listed 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.
PPA Addendum required? No No
App approval process required? Need to meet the general requirements for apps and for 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 paying out to the merchant, keeping track of orders and fulfillments, and handling disputes, refunds or 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