Building Shopify Channels

Channels are apps that allow Shopify merchants to offer a path to purchase for their customers across multiple platforms, even outside of Shopify. The most familiar channel is the Shopify online store channel, used by merchants to sell on the web, but channels also include a broad range of connections with marketplaces, social media, mobile devices, and more.

Sales channel apps

You can build a wide variety of apps to enable merchants to connect customers to products across multiple platforms.

For example, the eBay sales channel app allows merchants to manage their inventory with Shopify, but offer it for sale through both their own branded online store and their eBay store simultaneously.

The Messenger app connects a merchant’s Facebook page to their Shopify inventory, allowing shoppers to complete a sale without ever leaving a Facebook Messenger chat.

Anatomy of a channel

Channels are distributed as public apps. They have a few extra requirements compared to ordinary apps:

  • Channels must connect to marketplaces or platforms where merchants can sell their products outside of their own branded channels (such as online store or POS).
  • Channel apps and integrations must be built directly by the channel partner, or a single affiliated integration partner approved by the channel partner (for example, a third-party developer or services agency).
  • Channels have to use Shopify’s Checkout API to process payments, and be fully PCI compliant.
  • Channels have to be built as embedded apps
  • Channels should meet the best practices set out in Shopify’s Polaris design system