Top 10 Shopify Merchant Pain Points and App Ideas to Solve Them

Timothy Ware on December 27, 2021

Shopify has overtaken Amazon as the leading home of ecommerce. Its platform and support are unrivaled, making it the best place to launch an ecommerce shop. 

However, that doesn’t mean that Shopify merchants don’t have pain points. In fact, Shopify would be the first to admit that Shopify merchant pain points still exist. 

But one company can only do so much. With over one million merchants using Shopify, there are tons of opportunities that third-party app developers can create solutions for. 

That’s right. As Shopify app developers, you can help solve Shopify merchant pain points. 

If you can remove friction from business operations for Shopify merchants, there’s likely a viable market for your product. Keep reading to learn about the top 10 pain points that Shopify merchants experience, as well as app ideas you could build and grow a sustainable business from.

Build apps for Shopify merchants

If you aren’t already developing apps for Shopify merchants, now is a great time to start. Building Shopify apps has never been easier because Shopify is constantly adding resources for new and seasoned developers.

Indeed, more tools are being released daily to help in your quest to be a Shopify app developer. The Shopify App Store is even evolving to make it easier to market your Shopify apps.

When it comes to building apps, though, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what kind of app to develop. While your personal experience will be important in deciding the functional area of your app, you really need to look beyond that for the best chance of hitting it big.

The best way to position your app to improve the odds of its success is to focus on pain points.


What are pain points?

Pain points are problems plain and simple. They are issues that business owners regularly experience while performing the daily tasks of running their businesses.

Importantly, pain points are problems that cause enough frustration that people are willing to pay to remove them from their lives. 

Not all pain points are the same. The following are some of the general characteristics of pain points:

  • They reduce revenue or increase expenses.
  • They are time consuming.
  • They are distracting from the employee’s main tasks.
  • They can be automated away.
  • They can be outsourced.


Merchants look to apps and developers to solve challenges

When you open up your smartphone and enter the app store, what are you looking for? Why? If you are like me, you’ve probably gotten annoyed with something and are looking to solve it. 

Most recently, I was having trouble getting all my old smart plugs to connect to my new network. The Alexa app wasn’t doing it automatically, probably because I am cheap and bought WiFi only sockets instead of Bluetooth/ZigBee ones. 

So I opened up the app store to see if the company that makes the plugs has an app that could work as an intermediary and fix this all for me. They did, now the grow lights for my succulents will turn on and off all winter without my help, and thus a pain point was eliminated.

(Yes, really, succulents)


I rarely go to the app store in a random search for fun, new, or interesting apps. I have a problem in mind and am looking for a solution. The same is true for Shopify shopkeepers. 

Merchants don’t go to the Shopify App Store looking for new or interesting functions. They are there because something has gone wrong, and they want a solution. 

The best way to gain traction for your app is to find these Shopify merchant pain points, understand the problem deeply, and then create an app that solves it. 

That’s why I am going to give you 10 Shopify merchant pain point categories in the next section for you to solve.


What are Shopify merchant pain points?

Here are 10 Shopify merchant pain points ready for you to solve:

  1. Updating products and inventory
  2. Understanding website traffic and trends
  3. Editing the look and feel of the store
  4. Verifying COD and fake orders
  5. Shopping cart abandonment
  6. Increased return to origin percentage
  7. Hassle-free product returns and refunds
  8. The “where is my order?” question
  9. Personalization and automation of tasks
  10. Positive testimonials


1. Updating products and inventory

A few years ago, ecommerce was a backup channel to brick-and-mortar locations. At that time, it was easy to maintain inventory and keep the availability online up to date as it was part of the normal inventory process of the physical store.

Now it is more difficult. It is even more difficult with drop-shipping. Many shop owners will never see their own inventory and so are looking to automate the integration of their drop shipping partners with their Shopify storefront.

2. Understanding website traffic and trends

SEO, social media market, content marketing, and all the other inbound marketing strategies can be rather opaque. It is hard to know what is or isn’t working and why. 

Sometimes it is even hard to know what is meant by “working”! A major Shopify merchant pain point is improving their visibility and getting better quality leads to their shop.

3. Editing the look and feel of a store

I love Shopify and think it gives shops a clean look out of the box. However, Shopify also has a distinct feel. I regularly open up a store for the first time, think “Shopify”, and then jump to the bottom of the page in search of the “powered by Shopify” text. 

Not every shopkeeper wants that, and especially for large (deep-pocketed) companies they want to look like they did everything in house but not actually do everything in house.

4. Verifying COD or fake orders

Fake or fraudulent orders are an aggravation for big companies, but they can ruin small or new stores before they get off the ground. Developing apps that can validate purchases is a great idea.

5. Shopping cart abandonment

Based on the dozen or so abandoned shopping cart emails I get weekly, you might think this market is saturated. However, I tend to think large markets with proven value are always sure bets. I’d rather 1% of this market than 100% of a smaller one.

6. Increased return to origin percentage

“Porch pirates” are making people less trusting of having their packages sit on the front stoup all day while they work. This has led to more people requesting signatures to get their packages. They then miss the notification, fail to organize a new pick up, and the item goes back to the destination.

If only there was some way to predict which packages are likely to be returned to origin!

7. Hassle-free product returns and refund

Before the pandemic, the only clothes I bought online were T shirts. Now I’ve gotten used to buying shoes, pants, even jeans online. But they don’t always fit as expected, and I’m quick to return them when they don’t.

This has become a normal part of business for clothiers, and apps that make it quick, easy, and cheap are in hot demand.

8. The “where is my order?” question

Not everyone is as impatient as me (I checked the location of the Ever Faith ship today to see where a package is…through the Panama Canal and almost in Savannah, GA!), but some are, and they’ll flood shopkeepers with this question.

AI apps that can give clear and honest answers will reduce the tickets generated for customer service and eliminate a major Shopify merchant pain point.

9. Personalization and automation of task

I have one job—writing. Except, there are the 30 other tasks that seem to crop up and distract me from writing. 

The same is true for Shopify merchants. They want to spend their day selling merchandise, but they are constantly distracted by other tasks, and many of them could be automated by well-designed apps.

10. Positive testimonials

About 1 in 20 shoppers will leave a review or rating. They are more likely to do so when motivated by a great experience or anger. That means they won’t all be decent. 

Pushing more people, especially happy people, to leave ratings is a key to business success in the ecommerce sector. That makes it a great niche for app developers.


Track the growth of your Shopify app with Baremetrics 

Whichever Shopify merchant pain point you solve, you’ll need to track the success of your app. 

That’s why Shopify app developers use Baremetrics. With Baremetrics, you can understand how your apps are doing and where you need to improve. 

Monitor your revenue and customer behavior like never before with churn rate, conversion rate, and more. Start a free trial today.

Timothy Ware

Tim is a natural entrepreneur. He brings his love of all things business to his writing. When he isn’t helping others in the SaaS world bring their ideas to the market, you can find him relaxing on his patio with one of his newest board games. You can find Tim on LinkedIn.