Channel App Best Practices

To enable the best user experience, below are a few items to keep in mind when developing a BigCommerce Channel App.

Modular Features

As the specific needs of every merchant is different, the features of your app should be as ‘modular’ as possible.

For Merchants

Consider the audience and various use cases for your application:

  • Merchant A: only interested in importing products and inventory.
  • Merchant B: interested in a bi-directional integration of products and sales that keeps data between the channel and BigCommerce in sync.

Merchants should have the option to opt-in or out of the various features of your application.

For Support

If an issue occurs, a merchant should have the option to disable a specific feature that may not be behaving as expected. The idea here is to allow the merchant to continue using the features that are functional while temporarily resolving an issue - instead of having to disable the application completely.

Syncing

For the various features of your application, it is typically a best practice to offer both a manual ‘one time sync’ option and automated sync options (based on various sync intervals).

This will provide the merchant with more control over what is synced and when.

Example Automated Sync Intervals:

  • Do not update automatically: The merchant should have an option to opt-out of automatic syncs.
  • Every X Minutes: This would trigger the associated event every x minutes.
  • Real Time: This would utilize webhooks to provide ‘real time’ updates.

Performance

To provide merchants with a positive integration experience, we expect point of sale applications to meet or exceed the following benchmark:

  • **Catalog Import / Export: ** 100 Complex Products per Second.

Note: this volume of requests per second may hit the rate limits of lower tier BigCommerce plans - logic should be implemented around the response headers to ensure your application does not exceed the allowable number of requests for a given storefront.

For increased performance, consider using batch operations and parallel requests when possible.

Logging

A log of all events should be kept and made accessible to the merchant utilizing the application. Logs should be broken out per service. For example: On the app page where a user would go to interact with product import functionality - they would expect to find all logs relating to that specific feature.

Logs should be provided in a light, human-readable format and appended to the running feed of logs:

20 Products Identified - 5 Products Created - 15 Products Updated - 0 Errors   |   12/10/19 @ 3:45PM CST

The merchant should also have the option to download verbose logs in CSV format:

POS ID, BC ID, EVENT
34, 103, Product Created
35, --, Error: Product Creation Skipped [Invalid product name]

These logs would provide more granular details on the event that took place and all affected products.

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