When given additional capability at the Shopify Plus level, exploring the online store's ultimate potential outside of the Shopify Themes leaves you the API and the additional areas provided. You get additional improved call limits, gift card API capabilities, Multipass, and User management. So why should you consider using these capabilities and can you find the use of these capabilities in the Shopify App Store? This article explores the use of these tools, how they apply and impact your online store.
What is currently offered for Shopify Plus Apps
There are Shopify Apps, and then there is Enterprise-level Shopify Plus Apps. The latter is a higher level of support than the average Shopify App. The flavor of "Enterprise-level" Shopify Apps deals with integrations with Enterprise-level systems outside of Shopify, robust Search capabilities, Digital Marketing, 3PLs and Shipping, Inventory Management, and several other key areas to manage your online store. Anything outside of Shopify will use the API, and this must be kept in mind when considering other API-based Shopify Apps for your Shopify Plus online store.
List of Shopify Plus Apps: https://www.shopify.co.uk/partners/blog/shopify-plus-apps
Use of the Shopify Plus API capabilities
The use of the API (Application Programming Interface) is when a module such as an App enquires with your Shopify Account with the proper credentials an API request. Given that the Shopify Plus account gives you additional capability in calls-per-minute your threshold to have the use of the API is raised, and can handle a higher complexity store. Considering your integrations is key as they impact your API calls per minute, and when adding a new integration via a Shopify Private App, the load handling must be a key requirement in its implementation. Whether you just have a Shopify Developer (API) on staff, or use a Shopify Expert Agency the throughput bottleneck of 4 calls per second is very important (not to reach "call limit reached error").
Features of the Shopify Plus API
In this article, we cover the various API capabilities that come with the Shopify Plus subscription. Digital Gift Cards being migrated into a Shopify Plus account creates a peak usage as you bring customer information over from another platform. That's a one-time peak usage for that portion of the API. Other "Plus" API call impacts are reasonably low in usage, and when used it is for their capability.
For greater depth please see: https://www.thegenielab.com/post/shopify-development-for-shopify-plus
Front-end facing Shopify Apps
Shopify Apps such as Discount Codes/Promo Codes, Social Media Apps, and Custom Apps all play a role in interacting with a system that supports it. Unless a Shopify Custom App/Shopify App Store executes solely within Shopify you can assume that the API will be in use. Your eCommerce website has several focuses on Funnelling the audience to convert, then transact with credit cards, and finally to execute the sale/transaction. The user API is handling database calls, and requests so as to support the UI/UX for customers to engage and purchase their goods. While these are not integration types of Apps, their light use of the API is still in play both affecting page load in some cases and use of the API.
Page load, Shopify Plus, and Shopify Apps
While Shopify Plus gets the best of everything that Shopify has to offer, consideration of the Apps and their impact on page load can affect your SEO. SEO uses page load to measure the experience and can be found in Google Analytics/Behaviour/Page Speed. This experience is especially important when mobile is loading your page when you end up data-roaming on 3G. So when you measure your page speed with tools.pingdom.com or another tool, keep in mind that the average user is not using a server for that experience. While the speed-test tools can be a good indicator, optimizing your Apps for page load by picking and choosing the best Shopify App that does the job, yet is lean on rendering with the page.
The Shopify Plus API has double the speed (8 calls per second vs. 4 calls per second) over regular Shopify pricing plans. Additionally, they have additional functionality in the API library for an easier migration into Shopify Plus and have access to Shopify Plus Enterprise level Apps that cater to large businesses to integrate with. However, with a limiting of 8 calls per second, external systems integration such as accounting systems, ERP's (Enterprise Resource Planning), 3PL's (3rd Party Logistics), and other systems, all hit the API for communication and synchronization. If you add additional Shopify Apps on the front-end with the needs of the API, it all adds up. Planning your Shopify Apps on the Shopify Plus plan has to be well calculated to ensure that the connection is within the threshold of the maximum, or your architecture can start seeing problems (the queue at the API can disrupt the data streams). If you need help reviewing your architecture when it comes to your Shopify Apps - feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org