General observations:

  • Race to the bottom
    • Similar to Apple App Store, there seems to be a race to the bottom with the Shopify App Store, with new entrants primarily competing on price - lowering overall margins
  • Clones
    • Expect any successful app to be cloned (with various levels of competence)
  • Entrenched major players
    • The app store has reached a “mature” stage now, where there are entrenched major players dominating most of the listing categories
  • Difficult to get noticed as a new app
    • Especially after latest changes (see Twitter thread at the top)
  • Fake reviews
    • Reviews are one of the key metrics for getting exposure in the app store, and as such are a main attack point for unscrupulous developers looking to game the system.
    • Shopify is supposed to be good at detecting these, however there are numerous complaints highlighting obvious and egregious examples...
  • Instant delisting, delays in getting resolution
    • There have been some worrying reports in Slack about Partner Accounts being instantly delisted, and then taking a long time to be re-listed (if at all). Recently, a lot of these seem to be based around lack of GDPR compliance, so ensure that you pay particular attention to the app store guidance around this.
  • Malicious actors targeting apps to try and get them disabled / delisted
    • There was a recent report in Slack about a dev getting an email from a malicious actor bragging that they targeted his app and succeeded in getting it removed from the app store, although details are scarce as to how they achieved this (fake negative reviews / complaints?) Something to be aware of though, it can be a dog eat dog world!


The days of being able to throw a hastily put together “app” up and rake in the cash are long gone.
That’s not to say that there are no longer any opportunities for a MicroSaaS Shopify App, but it will take a lot more effort and polish to get your app noticed, not to mention substantially more marketing and outreach efforts.