Shopify Launches Apps for Shopify POS, Private Beta of POS App SDK

Commerce Platform Shopify today announced Apps for Shopify POS, a new feature that gives businesses using Shopify's point-of-sale offering access to tools developed by third party developers.

"Not every retailer needs a bloated, expensive POS," the company explained in a press release. "That’s why we opened up Shopify POS to app developers, so they could turn the extra features merchants want into apps without adding significant cost or complexity to Shopify POS."

Apps for Shopify POS is available on the iPad through Shopify's App Store. At launch, the apps available via Apps for Shopify POS include Appcard, a loyalty and data-driven marketing solution, and Sales Manager, a tool that gives retailers the ability to run complicated sales promotions without headaches.

Shopify wants its retailers to have all the functionality they might need, so today the company is also launching a private beta of its Shopify POS App SDK so that other developers can start building apps that are distributed through Apps for Shopify POS.

Carson Brown, a Shopify product manager, told me that the SDK allows developers to build apps that communicate with Shopify via a JavaScript API and run embedded within the Shopify POS experience. "App developers can build their app using any language or Framework they want," he explained. 

The SDK gives developers access to key screens within Shopify POS, including the dashboard, and allows them to hook into important events, such as add to cart and order completion.

According to Brown, "App developers provide a level of customization and individuality that many Shopify merchants need. Whether it’s a custom build, a single app, an extension to Shopify that serves the needs of a specific niche market, or even connecting Shopify to another service (such as Mailchimp), merchants look to use apps to bring additional functionality to their Shopify stores. Apps for Shopify POS bring this same proposition to merchants, giving them a way to customize their sales experience for their customers."

Shopify believes there are numerous ways developers can deliver value to retailers, and is exited to see what they choose to build on its platform. Brown did suggest that apps that allow retailers to focus on customer experience were of particular interest and highlighted product customization, smart discounts and upselling as areas where Shopify sees lots of opportunity. 

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