Since we last published on this blog, the world has undeniably changed. COVID-19 is impacting how we all live our lives, conduct business, and communicate with each other. It is, and will continue to be, a difficult time as we all learn how to navigate this new reality.
We want to let you know that the editorial team behind Shopify’s Web Design and Development Blog is working hard to reimagine what kind of content would be most helpful to the partner and developer community, right now. We’re aiming to bring you relevant information and education to help you make the right decisions for your business. If you have suggestions for content you’d like to see us cover, please share your idea with us.
Today’s post is a roundup of the most important product updates you need to know to continue your work with clients and users during this time, including API version 2020-04, postponing removal of API version 2019-04 until July 1, COVID-19 resources for partners, and updates to the Partner Program Agreement relating to billing, taxes, and custom and public apps.
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Things are tough right now, but we’re a resilient bunch. We’re here to support you, and together, we’ll get through this. Stay safe, and take care of each other.
Learn more about the platform updates that impact you as a Shopify Partner.
An important update about the removal of API version 2019-04
With COVID-19’s impact on communities around the world, we’ve decided to postpone the removal of API version 2019-04 to July 1, so that you can better focus on helping merchants and other partners in these challenging times.
This means that on April 1, 2020, the 2020-04 version will become stable and ready for general usage.
Then on July 1, 2020, the following will happen:
- API versions 2019-04 and 2019-07 will become unsupported.
- Requests with no API version specified will be served the 2019-10 API version.
- Requests for the 2019-04 or 2019-07 versions will no longer receive those versions. Instead, these requests will fall forward to 2019-10.
- Webhooks set to 2019-04 or 2017-07 will fall forward in the same manner.
For those of you who’ve already put in the time and energy to update, we want to say thank you for your diligence and understanding—your efforts haven’t gone to waste. You’re now ahead of the game, and can focus on more pressing matters for your business, clients, and app users.
COVID-19 and Shopify
In the face of COVID-19, we’re taking steps to help support independent businesses, including Shopify Partners, developers, and the merchants you work with. There are a number of resources now available:
Shopify Unite cancelled
While we were excited to host a virtual Shopify Unite this year, and reunite as a community with our partners and developers online, the last two weeks have caused us to re-evaluate. We’ve decided to cancel Shopify Unite to focus on the health of our employees and work closely with our merchants to help them through these challenging times.
If you have any further questions, send your query to [email protected] and we’ll respond as soon as possible.
Impact of Shopify 90-day free trial on partners building stores
Last week, we announced extended 90-day free trials for new Shopify merchants. We’d like to clarify for partners that there will be no impact on recurring commission payments you receive by building Shopify stores for your clients. This means that the default continues to be that merchants referred in through a development store do not automatically get the 90-day free trial, and must pick a paid plan at time of handoff from the partner to the merchant. Partners who build stores for merchants will continue to have unlimited time to work on development stores before transferring them to clients.
If you are a partner who would like to extend a 90-day free trial to a new merchant requesting it, then please contact partner support before you initiate the transfer of the store to your client by selecting the Store or account management topic on the Contact Partner Support intake form in your Partner Dashboard. By extending this offer to your new client, your recurring commission payments will be delayed by up to 90 days. We will adjust the setting in the development store to reflect that you have agreed to extend this offer to your client. If you reach out to partner support after you have initiated the transfer to your client, then we will not be able to modify your development store to extend the offer to your client.
Giving store building partners more time to collect recurring commission payments
These are difficult times for many partners and the merchants who hire them. Under normal circumstances, partners who refer clients to Shopify must refer at least one merchant through a development store or upgrade at least one client to Shopify Plus during a consecutive 12-month period to continue receiving recurring commission payments on previous referrals.
In light of the current economic challenges partners and merchants are facing, we will temporarily pause this requirement. This means all recurring commission payments will continue, and will not reset to zero until the current business climate normalizes. When things do normalize, partners who receive recurring commission payments will have the same amount of time to complete an activity as before. For example, if you currently have 7 months to complete an activity, you will still have 7 months once this pause is lifted. If you refer a new merchant or upgrade a merchant to Shopify Plus during the pause, you’ll have a full 12 months to complete another activity once the pause is lifted.
Updates to the Partner Program Agreement
On March 3, we updated the Shopify Partner Program Agreement (PPA) to include new definitions of public and custom apps, and to clarify our role as a billing agent. Acting as a billing agent means Shopify is responsible for facilitating payment transactions between partners and merchants who purchase their apps, themes, and services.
PPA updates regarding public and custom apps were effective immediately on March 3, 2020.
For PPA updates regarding billing and tax status, we’ve provided partners with 90 days notice to assess the potential impact on how they run their businesses. As a result, the billing and tax updates to our PPA will come into effect on June 1, 2020. Partners will begin to see product changes that reflect the billing and tax updates starting June 2020.
Learn more about these new billing and tax updates:
Partners impacted by these updates were notified directly by email and their Partner Dashboard. We encourage all partners and developers to review the PPA.
Instagram API deprecation
Instagram has pushed back the date it will be discontinuing API access in favor of the Basic Display API to March 31, 2020. After this date, any client continuing to use Instagram’s API will stop working.
As a result, Shopify themes that feature an Instagram feed will no longer be supported, and any Instagram feed on merchant stores will need to be updated. Going forward, including an Instagram feed on your client’s store will require the use of a third-party app.
Browse the Shopify App Store to find an appropriate Instagram feed app.
The following updates are coming into effect for merchants this month.
- The free Shopify-built Geolocation app is now available to merchants selling in multiple currencies or languages on Shopify.
- Video and 3D models are now available on product pages. You can update themes to include video and 3D, create and edit video and 3D content, and build apps that help with the above.
- New inventory reports are now available to merchants. These reports help merchants understand how much inventory they have on hand and their inventory costs.
- There are updates to Shopify Shipping rates for merchants in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more about these new rates.
Stay in the know
That’s all for this month. To stay up to date with changes that impact the Shopify platform and app development, subscribe to the Shopify developer changelog by email or RSS for updates as they happen. Or, sign up to our What’s New with Shopify email below.