Get started building a sales channel
This getting started guide is part of the overall sales channel creation process, which includes explore, build, and launch:
- Explore - Review the concepts page to understand the different sales channel types and their requirements.
- Build - Use this 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.
- Launch - Follow the launch checklist to submit your app to the Shopify app store.
Key features of sales channels
Shopify supports a variety of ways of building sales channels. The way that you decide to build can determine who is responsible for payment processing, order fulfillment, and refunds. Regardless of which way you decide to build, the key features of a sales channel app are as follows:
- Onboarding and account connection: Get permission from merchants to install your app, connect their accounts and qualify them through channel requirements.
- Product publishing: Import products into your channel, manage product errors, and stay in sync with merchants' product catalogs.
- Payments and order management: Generate orders and complete payments on behalf of merchants on your channel.
Also, you need to integrate a mechanism for charging merchants for your app, as part of the overall app lifecycle.
The following diagram illustrates how all the aspects of the build process come together to support the merchant experience of your sales channel, from onboarding and account connection, through to order management:
Creating the sales channel
All sales channel apps need to be created in the Partner Dashboard.
To create a sales channel for Shopify:
After you've created a sales channel in the Parter Dashboard, you can continue by learning how to build an onboarding and account connection flow for all channel types, or start on a specific tutorial for the Checkout API or cart permalinks.
Creating a great user experience
A channel should look and feel native to Shopify’s admin experience, as it lives within the admin as an iframe. The first step to designing a great channel experience is to understand your merchant’s workflows. From there, you can create wireframes or sketches to facilitate feedback discussions around the user experience. Once you’ve aligned on an experience that will be Beta tested with merchants, you can design using the Polaris framework.
Using Polaris increases merchant engagement and saves them time by using familiar components and patterns.
Using the Polaris design system
Polaris is a design system that helps developers to build a great experience for merchants. Polaris adheres to the following design principles:
- Create a consistent experience
- Keep your experience focused on merchants' primary tasks
- Only ask for the permissions you need
- Clearly define your merchant workflows
- Make it mobile friendly
- Ensure that content uses Shopify voice and tone
Learn more about Polaris.
You can use Shopify's Billing API to charge merchants for your sales channel app. When using the Billing API, you can either charge merchants a recurring monthly subscription, or take a commission on sales by creating usage charges.
- Build a sales channel onboarding and account connection flow
- Build a sales channel with the Checkout API
- Build a sales channel with cart permalinks
- Learn about Building Shopify channels