Supported billing models
The Billing API lets you create different app-billing models based on one-time app purchases or recurring app purchases. Purchase adjustments can be made to offer app credit, discounts, refund or free trials.
One-time app purchasesAnchor link to section titled "One-time app purchases"
A one-time app purchase creates a single charge for the merchant, which needs to be approved by the merchant.
There are two use cases for one-time app purchases:
- Charge once for your app: You charge a merchant one time for the app, making the app always available after the payment. For example, you could sell an email template app as a one-time purchase.
- Charge for limited usage of your app: You charge a merchant based on app usage. When the app usage exceeds, the app prompts the merchant to make another purchase. For example, you could sell credits for a limited number of emails, and then prompt the merchant for a re-purchase after a limited number of emails are used. Shopify doesn't handle inventory in this scenario.
For more information about one-time app purchases, refer to Create one-time app purchases.
Recurring app purchasesAnchor link to section titled "Recurring app purchases"
Recurring app charges require the merchant to pay for the app continuously over time, or pay by the usage of the app. Each recurring charge needs to be approved by the merchant.
There are two use cases for recurring app charges:
- Recurring charges based on time: Create a fixed-value, a 30-day, or an annual recurring charge. This type of charge is useful for apps that provide a continuing service to merchants.
- Recurring charged based on usage: Create app usage records to bill merchants based on their usage of the app. The total value of all usage records cannot exceed the
For more information about recurring app charges, refer to Create recurring app purchases.
Purchase adjustmentsAnchor link to section titled "Purchase adjustments"
You can use the following purchase adjustment to offer incentives for merchants or give them a refund for their purchase.
App creditsAnchor link to section titled "App credits"
AppCredit object creates purchase adjustments for merchants who have the app installed. App credits are awarded immediately and applied towards the merchant's future app purchases, subscriptions, or usage records. A corresponding deduction based on your revenue share is withdrawn from your Partner account.
The total amount of all application credits awarded by an app can't exceed the total amount that the shop owner was charged in the last 30 days, or the total amount of pending payouts in your Partner account. The maximum amount of an app credit is $300.
Learn more about app credits.
Recurring charge discountsAnchor link to section titled "Recurring charge discounts"
You can use the
appSubscriptionCreate mutation to offer a percentage or fixed-price discount for an app subscription. Recurring charge discounts can be applied for a set number of billing cycles, for example, 20% off for six billing cycles. Discounts can be offered to new merchant subscribers or to current merchants with recurring charges.
Learn more about recurring charge discounts.
Free trialsAnchor link to section titled "Free trials"
Free trials allow merchants to experiment with apps before they commit to paying for the app. Free trials delay the start of an app's billing cycle by the number of days specified. Free trials are available only to merchants if they agree to a new subscription, and cannot be added to existing subscriptions.
Learn more about free trials.
You can issue a full or partial refund to the merchant for a particular app charge.
Learn more about refunds.