November 28, 2018 by Nikilav Venkatesh

With the Shopify app store growing steadily every year in both users and developers, this PipeCandy report looks at the app store in general and how the apps have been performing (based on ratings and reviews) in particular. The Shopify App store launched in 2009 and since then, app developers have clocked over $100 Million in revenue.

First, we delve into the types of apps available in the store, based on price (free vs paid), eCommerce functions they support (Marketing, Inventory, Customer Service, etc.) and the app developers. Then we look at average ratings for these apps and satisfaction scores for customer support, price, app functionality based on text reviews. Here we wanted to analyze the following.

  • Do users tend to overwhelmingly prefer free apps over paid apps as in other app stores?
  • Which are the app categories that have the most apps and is there an opportunity to build more apps for less popular categories?
  • Can average ratings tell us much about the apps have been received?
  • How important is the price for merchants when it comes to choosing between free and paid apps?
  • Is there a difference in how merchants perceive customer support, price and app features between app categories?
  • How satisfied or unsatisfied have merchants been with the app store and all its apps?

To calculate satisfaction scores, we analyzed over 230,000 reviews across 2511 apps.

  • Apps were given scores on between -1.0 and 1.0 for each of the three parameters, price, app functionality, and customer support.
  • These scores were given based on how satisfied or unsatisfied a customer was with the parameter based on their review.
  • The average score of all reviews for each parameter is the satisfaction score.
  • These scores have been represented in bar and quadrant graphs across categories and paid and free apps.

We were able to understand the Shopify app ecosystem and the dynamic between the developers, their apps and the merchants who use them, from our findings, which have been listed below.

  • The number of apps, users and developers in the Shopify app store have been increasing year on year and so has merchant dependence on these apps.
  • Surprisingly there are more paid apps in the store than free apps. While free apps have attracted a lot of reviews, the average satisfaction scores for a price for both free and paid apps are quite high and the difference between them is negligible. Merchants are willing to pay for features and support.
  • App categories like Sales Channels mostly have free integration apps from major eCommerce channels like Amazon, Instagram, Google Shopping, etc who build these apps just for cross-selling their services, have comparatively low scores for app functionality and customer support.
  • Overall, the merchants using the apps are satisfied with most apps and are unhappy with price only when the app’s features are not worth the amount they pay.

For a more granular look at a specific category, we did a detailed analysis of apps in the Product Recommendation subcategory which supports the overall findings and point out outliers. Companies looking to launch their apps in the store can analyze the category or subcategory specifically to identify opportunities and user needs. These custom reports from PipeCandy are available on request.

The complete report and the accompanying dataset of all apps with the user satisfaction scores are available here.

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Nikilav Venkatesh

The product dude @ PipeCandy

Product Manager at PipeCandy - a predictive sales prospecting platform for B2B sales reps. Just about ready to ditch the training wheels.