The resurrection of e-commerce is happening at breakneck speed as the lines between physical and digital commerce continue to blur. Modern digitally native brands are experimenting with new emerging technologies such as voice commerce, headless commerce, and augmented reality-enabled online-to-offline (O2O) experiences. The world is fast becoming a storefront as online e-commerce marketplaces are being reborn as experiential destinations.
According to Statista, in 2019, worldwide e-commerce sales touched $3.5 trillion, a growth of 18% from the previous year, and are projected to grow to $6.54 trillion by 2022. Online shopping is now one of the most popular activities worldwide. This changing business scenario where sellers prefer to showcase their products online instead of brick-and-mortar stores has spurred the demand for e-commerce solutions that offer a perfect blend between aesthetics and functionality.
Shopify is a preferred platform for sellers looking for quality, efficiency, simplicity, and rich features in their e-commerce stores. Shopify developers leverage the platform’s ecosystem to assist merchants with their online store design and development needs. A Shopify development store is the first step to getting a client signed up for Shopify and provide demos, test themes, or apps. A Shopify Partner can create an unlimited number of development stores for different clients.
The development store is a free Shopify account accessible from the Partner Dashboard, has no time limits, allows you to process an unlimited amount of transactions, and offers functionality similar to the Advanced Shopify plan. But, until you switch to a paid account, you can’t:
- Install paid apps (except for a few Partner-friendly apps).
- Create more than ten private apps
The Shopify developer must build a development store for the client to ensure that he receives a recurring revenue share. For more information on budget sharing and how much you can earn by subscribing to the Shopify Partner program, see the Shopify official website.
How Can You Build a Development Store?
Here’s your step-by-step setup guide:
- Click on Stores in the Shopify Partner Dashboard.
- Once on the Stores page, click on the Add store button.
- In the Add store section, under the Store type, select Development store.
- When done, click on Save.
Once created, you are now ready to log into your new development store using the Stores tab in Partner Dashboard.
How to Enhance the Functionality of Your Shopify Development Store?
Shopify App Store has many apps that offer rich features and plugins to improve Shopify store functionality. All Shopify Partners have access to Partner-Friendly Apps, available free of charge at development stores. Once you have switched your development store to a paid account, paid apps become chargeable.
A Shopify developer must test the apps in a development store before adding them to the client’s live Shopify store to ensure glitch-free performance.
How Do You Install Apps in a Development Store?
- Click on the required app in the Shopify App Store.
- Click the Add app button.
- Verify the app by adding your store address.
- Confirm the app installation and start using it.
How to Transfer Ownership of a Shopify Development Store?
Once you have created your development store, now is the time to transfer ownership to your client. Here is your step-by-step guide for transferring store ownership:
- Go to the Partner Dashboard and click on Stores.
- Besides the store you want to transfer, click on Transfer ownership.
- In the Transfer store ownership dialog box, select the new owner’s name from the list.
- If you have not yet added your client as a staff member, you should click on Add a staff account to create a new customer account before proceeding.
- When done, click on Transfer store. The new store owner will receive email and instructions on creating an account and selecting a plan. The store will remain in pause mode until your client accepts
the transfer. After the client switches to the Shopify paid plan, a collaborator account will automatically get created through which you shall start receiving your monthly recurring revenue share.
How to Request Access to an Existing Shopify Development Store?
The purpose of a Shopify development store is to sign up a new client, but what if your client already has an existing development store? In that case, you need to request access to that account before you can start working.
As a developer, you can use a collaborator account to access your client’s development store. Send a request to the store owner with your Partner Dashboard to get a collaborator account.
Suppose a developer has a staff account for the client’s store or receives an invite from the store owner to activate a staff account. In that case, the developer’s request for a collaborator account will prompt the store owner to update the developer’s current account permissions.
Here is your step-by-step guide to requesting access to the client’s store:
- Click on Stores from your Partner Dashboard.
- Click on Add store.
- In the Store type, select Managed store.
- Enter the store URL.
- Select the sections you want to access or check Full access in the Permissions section.
- You also can include a message for the store owner in the Add a message section.
- Once done, click on Save.
Archive/Unarchive Shopify Development Stores
You have the option to archive the development stores that you are no longer using. You can unarchive an archived store later on from the Partner Dashboard if you want to use it.
Get up and Running with Shopify Development Store
Development stores offer a perfect test environment for the developers to build their clients’ online stores without the constraints of a 14-day free trial period. They are also a primary monetary source for the developers by way of monthly recurring revenue share. With Shopify development stores, you get the ability to set up your development environment without affecting your original storefront.