Today is November 30th, the last day for which you can apply to the Shopify Fund. If you’re a developer with an idea for a Shopify app or a developer without an idea for an app but the skills to write one, go visit the Shopify Fund page and sign up! Just do it soon, because the deadline’s coming up quickly.
The Shopify Fund is our way of creating a win-win situation for both Shopify and developers. It lets us pay developers to work full-time on a Shopify app (an application that makes use of the Shopify API to add features to or extend the capabilities of Shopify shops or that integrates Shopify shops with other services) without them having to take on other jobs to pay the bills. In exchange, we get more apps in the Shopify App Store, and with those apps, more features and functionality and in turn, happy shopowners.
Starting tomorrow, the day after the deadline for applying to the Shopify Fund, we’ll review the submissions. We’ll spend the month of December looking at people’s proposed apps or the resumes and portfolios of developers who don’t have app ideas and want to build apps. Then in the new year, we’ll make our final decisions, start funding app development and get more apps into the Store. If you want a more detailed explanation of how the Shopify Fund’s funding works, see this earlier article: The Shopify Fund, Explained.
Perhaps it’s an app that phones customers or sends them an SMS message when their order has been shipped. Or voice notification to a bricks-and-mortar store that tells the staff that a customer is coming to pick up their order. With a little creativity, some coding and our APIs, you can write an app that’s both useful and cool enough to win one of our prizes…
First prize is from Shopify: it’s Edward from Shopify’s preferred rig! A hot-rodded 11-inch Macbook Air with 256GB solid-state drive and 1.8 GHz CPU along with a gigantic 27-inch Apple Cinema Display. Small and light for when you’re on the go, a nice big screen for when you’re at home, the office of wherever you decide to keep the display and plenty of horsepower to build apps.
Second prize comes from Twilio and it’s a robot hacker’s dream: a stacked LEGO Mindstorms swag bag with the NXT 2.0, a bundle of touch, light and sound sensors, and a Bluetooth dongle to keep your creations connected. I, for one, welcome our new LEGO robot overlords.
Third prize is a joint Shopify/Twilio effort: a Kindle Fire, the newest multi-touch full-color hotness from the world of ebook readers.
We try to keep things simple – it’s about building cool apps, not being buried in regulations!
Entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM PST Sunday December 11th.
The Shopify App Store has over 100 apps to extend the features and capabilities that already come “out of the box” with your Shopify shop. We’ve been featuring apps from the Store for the past little while, covering apps that help you run your shop, make tedious tasks easier and help you connect with your customers.
Today, we take a look at Kudyou, an app that lets you offer your customers cash rewards that they can save or give to their favorite causes. We interviewed the Kudyou team and shared their answers.
What does Kudyou do?
Kudyou helps shopowners generate higher sales though personalized customer rewards. It allows brands to present one reward that customers can personalize to suit their unique needs, either by saving up cash or donating to any cause of their choice.
Generates higher and more profitable sales by creating campaigns where customers can personalize their rewards, post-purchase
Helps your customers support causes they are very passionate about, which leads to more referrals and sharing of offers
Delivers these campaigns in a cost effective manner. Kudyou is more like payments processing pricing than daily deals charges
Better presents the causes you support and extend the reach of your existing socially responsible initiatives to a receptive Kudyou community
Learns about what causes your customers support in order to create more focused sales campaigns in the future
Why should shopowners use Kudyou?
Kudyou wants to help shopowners generate profitable sales and more beneficial engagements with consumers.
Shopowners benefit from higher sales and referrals from customers sharing these more meaningful offers with their friends.
Kudyou manages the campaign funds and social sharing of these offers on behalf of shopowners while delivering a great redemption process for shoppers in the process.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Kudyou is a core team of 4 people (with the usual support from loads of others) looking to build our start-up venture.
We’re actually split between 2 locations on 2 continents! We’re all Irish born, but John is based in Silicon Valley and has lived in the US since 2000. The rest of the team, Hugh, Karl and Des are all based on Dublin, Ireland. John and Hugh have known each other for over 16 years but that’s small change compared to Karl and Des, who met in kindergarten!
John had the original idea and is the business guy but only possesses enough technical knowledge to get himself in trouble. Hugh is technical so he manages the product strategy and John’s ideas. Karl and Des, well they’re the engine, the coders who make all this a reality.
So, that’s Kudyou. You can find us in all the usual places, so check us out on the web, Facebook, Twitter etc. We look forward to hearing what people think about what we’ve built and seeing how people use it.
Where did you get the idea for your app?
We built this app for a number of reasons. Firstly, we felt that this was something missing from the market across all channels. Based on feedback from merchants, shoppers, donors and causes we set out to build our vision of this functional utility that would enable everyone to benefit. One of our advisors, Tamsin Smith who previously ran (RED), terms this “Beneficial Buying”.
Shopowners are looking to create better engagement experiences, enhance the attributes of their brand and get closer to their customers. From a sales campaign perspective, offering discounts is easy but competing on price is not always a winning strategy; there needs to be more. Shopowners are doing a lot more socially responsible campaigns and these do resonate with consumers. Over $200 billion is donated in the US by individuals each year and there are over one million active non-profits, so the question becomes from a shopowners perspective, which causes are right for them and their customers?
Giving is something very personal as is the need to sometimes save money. People want the choice to save or give to something they care about and want sales campaign to be relevant, genuine and transparent. We believe that a lot of people are looking for more meaning, choice and control in their life. Giving customers the ability to choose how they would like to direct their reward is something positive and an experience they are willing to share with friends.
With all this in mind we set about building out the Kudyou service. We also knew that we would need to partner with others. Tamsin introduced us to Shopify since she was talking with Shopify about her new business venture. We also knew some others who wanted to try out Kudyou, such as Willow Glen Charm, so we referred them to Shopify, given it’s such a great and easy platform to sell from.
It’s going to be interesting to see how people use Kudyou, from all perspectives.
According to Internet Retailer, user reviews can increase conversion rates by as much as 75%.
If you run an online shop, you’d do well to harness the power of word of mouth, and Yotpo, one of the apps in Shopify’s App Store, is a great way to do this. We talked with Yotpo co-founder Tomer Tagrin about his company’s app and we’re sharing what he told us in this article.
What does Yotpo do?
Yotpo is the first social micro-reviewing app. It enables your customers to read reviews from his/her friends and provides a quick and elegant way for them to write social reviews through the your shop. Our app uses patented software to build a social graph of your customers and provides social data on your top customers and leverages it to to increase your sales and customers’ experience.
We’re going to disrupt the way users read and write reviews. We’re working on taking reviews into the social space by both providing e-commerce sites a true social solution and by building customers a fun, influential way to read and write reviews. We’re working on being a cross platform solution for shopowners and customers.
Feel free to reach us at through our social networking profiles on Twitter or Facebook!
Where did you get the idea for Yotpo?
Me and my co-founder Omri got the idea from just being internet shoppers. We were frustrated with the way reviews worked on ecommerce sites. Many of them carried very cool products that I wanted to review but the writing process was bad — really bad.
We wanted to enable customers to write social reviews and influence their social graph. We also talked to many online shopowners saw that they weren’t using reviews to establish a true social graph of their store.
If you think about it, the review space isn’t all that different from the social netowrking revolution. Yotpo is just that: a true social, fun and influential way to read and write reviews among friends.
On Black Friday – for those of you outside the U.S., that’s Friday, November 25th, they day after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year – most of the Pragmatic Bookshelf’s books, PDFs and screencasts will go on sale for 40% off. Only a few titles, such as The SPDY Book and Exceptional Ruby, will be exempt, but everything else will be available at a 40% discount.
All you have to do to get the discount is use the discount code “turkey” while checking out at the Pragmatic Bookshelf store on Friday, November 25th between 00:00 PST (3:00 a.m. Eastern / 0800 GMT) and 23:59 PST (2:59 a.m. on Nov. 26th Eastern / 0759 on Nov. 26th GMT). Just enter “turkey” in the coupon code field, then select your payment method to apply the discount to your order.
This article also appears in the Shopify Technology Blog.
The headphones come in three flavours: wired, wireless and earbuds. They’re currently available for pre-sale and range in price from $129.95 to $399.95, which is “right in line with current market trends” according to this TechCrunch article. SMS Audio recently boughtKonoAudio, who’ve been making funky high-end headphones for ages, presumably for their headphone manufacturing expertise, which will be backed by Fitty’s street cred.
In addition to headphones, SMS By 50 also carries shirts and caps, suitable for just plain old hangin’ or hittin’ da club.
If you’re working on your own Shopify shop or designing Shopify themes, give SMS By 50 a look. It’s got a great design whose look and feel works for its audience; it also shows you how flexible Shopify’s templating system is.
Oh, and by the way, if you think you’re not “street” enough to sport “Fitty” gear, here’s something just for you: