App building checklist (common mistakes)
Before you start to build an app, please review this list, as you might not have thought about any of these things, but they are all possible with the API and App Store install process.
1. App authentication
We can't stress this enough! There is a difference between single shop connections and App Store apps. There are two kind of API keys: for apps (
APP_SECRET) and for single shops (
api_secret). For apps in the App Store and authentication, please view the Installing an app tutorial.
2. App install & signup
a. Automatic account creation
You might be building a connection with your software for existing customers, but you are also interested in gaining new users. Why don't you use our API for automatic account creation on your end? When the store installs the app, and you gain the standard paramaters such as
cluster_id, why don't you call upon the "shopCompany" resource to grab information of the merchant such as name, e-mailaddress and phone number. You can prefil these in a forms on the Success URL page, that you use for account creation.
This way you automate account signups on your end, have a great app install flow, save time for the merchant and, not unimportant gain all the credentials for customer support reasons (e.g., if something went wrong during install, and you want to contact the merchant).
Be aware: also add a login possibility to the Success URL page, because some users might already have an account with you (see point 2c).
b. Send a thank you e-mail after app install
After an app install, you obviously want to both inform and thank the merchant for using your app. Using the above technique you can grab and store the e-mailaddress, and trigger an automated e-mail directed to the merchant. This e-mail is usually used for account information (login details), communicating start-up tutorials and support pages/contacts, and thanking the merchants for his/her installation. This e-mail is also good for the awareness of the merchant that the app is actually installed to his/her online store.
Also, consider your follow-up strategy beforehand. A few non-spam e-mails after an app install can do the trick and provide just that little bit of extra to keep the customer.
c. Think about a multistore user
You're building an app for a lot of stores, that's great but we just want to remind you that some of our merchants have multiple stores using one e-mail address login. They might want to use your app interface in a similar way, so it's good to think about a multistore option. If your app doesn't support a multistore option, be aware that the e-mailaddress you might use for automatic account creation on signup, could be used in another store as well, so add a login possibility to the app, to cover these kind of situations.
Example from the Koongo app (Success URL)
d. App login after install (SSO)
After an app install, the status of the install button mentions
Installed. Go to app. Merchants use this button to access their app again. Since you know that a merchant has already installed your app before (using the token/signature), you can create a sort of "Single-Sign-On (SSO)" to direct them to your app backend instead of the basic success URL without logging in. If you don't use a SSO approach, you can add a login screen to that page. It might be good to show a message saying "You already installed this app, please login now".
3. Languages & markets
Obviously you want the most out of your app, so please bare in mind the different European countries we have merchants in, but also to which kind of consumers our merchants sell. Our main markets are the BLX area (Belgium/Netherlands) and the DACH area (Germany/Austria/Switzerland), but our customers sell to consumers from all over the world. App functionalities on the storefront should thus be multilingual. Also, your own app backend should at least be in the target market language, but if you want to offer the app to merchants from other countries, consider supporting that language (or English as a standard) too.
Note: as we communicate the default language as a parameter in the Installing an app proces
(isset($_GET['language']), you can use this parameter to redirect to Success URLs in that language.
4. Lightspeed eCom
a. Lightspeed eCom well written?
Have you written Lightspeed eCom correct? You don't like it when your name is misspelled at Starbucks, well so do we. Here is cheatsheet to help you figure out how we like it:
b. Correct logo
Did you use our newest logos? Thanks.
View all our logos, glyphs, and swirls here: Lightspeed eCom press
5. App documentation
It might be a no-brainer, but please add a well-documented page about your app in the app listing. This greatly reduces support tickets for both Lightspeed eCom and yourself. It could be a simple step-by-step install guide, a page with some extra information about your app, video-tutorials, or anything else that will present enough information to the merchants to make him feel welcomed.
Also, we don't like typos! Make sure the documentatie is understandable.
6. App listing
Please guys! Take some time for a good app description and some nice images!
The app listing is the most important promotion element of your app. It displays the information you want to convey very briefly, think about the wins and gains a user gets and communicate them. Make sure you really checked the tutorial Publish an app.
7. Rate limiting
The Lightspeed eCom API has a request limit per app API key. You can do 300 requests every 5 minutes, 3.000 an hour and 12.000 requests a day. Please be aware of these limits, and if you think you need more, contact our Apps team!
More here: Rate limiting