Shopify Web Hooks: The Secret to Seamless Integrations

Shopify web hooks are a powerful way to automate tasks and integrate your online store with other services. Web hooks enable you to transfer data between Shopify and a specific URL whenever certain events occur on your site.

7 Minute Read

An Introduction to Shopify Web Hooks

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You may be familiar with Shopify web hooks if you deal with Shopify as a developer. Using web hooks, you can effectively link your Shopify store to other programs and services. Without polling or refreshing the page, real-time data transmission and reception are all possible by using Shopify web hooks. We’ll define web hooks, describe their functionality, and discuss their value for Shopify integrations in this article. We'll also provide you some instances of web hook use cases and demonstrate how to develop, manage, and test web hooks in Shopify.

What are Shopify Web Hooks and How do They Work?

With Shopify, you can subscribe to web server events using a type of HTTP callback called a "web hook." The web server makes an HTTP POST request with the event data in JSON format to a URL you specify whenever an event occurs. You can then process the data and take any actions you desire.

For example, say you want to email every customer who purchases products from your Shopify store. To send the order details to an email service provider like Klaviyo or Sendgrid, you can develop a web hook that watches for the Shopify event that signals the creation of an order. Your email marketing efforts can be automated in this way, directly increasing customer engagement.

Web hooks are different from APIs in that they are event-driven and push-based. APIs require you to make requests to the web server and pull data from it. Web hooks let the web server notify you when something happens and push data to you. This makes web hooks more efficient and responsive than APIs.

Benefits of Using Shopify Web Hooks for Seamless Integrations

There are many benefits of using Shopify web hooks for integrations. These include: 

  1. Real-time updates: Whenever there are any changes on your Shopify store, like a new purchase order, lack of inventory, new products, customers registering, etc. You will immediately get notified, and you'll be able to sync the new data across the platforms and keep the system updated.
  2. Customization: You can customize your web hook logic and actions according to your business needs and preferences. By having complete control of your Shopify web hooks, you decide which events deserve your attention more, which URL to send data to, and what's to be done once it gets there. 
  3. Scalability: You can handle high volumes of data and traffic without affecting your Shopify store performance or reliability. Shopify web hooks are asynchronous and independent of your store's processes, so they don't slow down your site or cause errors.
  4. Security: You can secure your web hook communication using HTTPS and SSL encryption. You can also verify the authenticity of the web hook requests using HMAC signatures or access tokens.

Let’s take a look at a few more ways to use Shopify Web Hooks:

  • How to create shopify web hooks using the admin panel or the API.
  • How to manage shopify web hooks using the admin panel or the API.
  • How to test shopify web hooks using tools like Postman or ngrok.

How to set up Web Hooks in Shopify

Shopify web hooks are a great way to connect your online business to other apps and services. As we’ve already alluded to, thanks to Shopify web hooks, you can get notifications whenever a preset event occurs on your site, like a customer requesting information, a new purchase order coming through, or if a product is in high demand.  Web hooks can be used to automate operations, sync data, or trigger actions in your program.

Steps to Create and Manage Shopify Web Hooks

To create and manage web hooks in the Shopify admin, you need to follow these steps:

1. From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Notifications.

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2. Scroll down to the Web hooks section.

3. Click the Create web hook button.

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4. Click on the "Event" tab from the following list in the first dropdown menu: 

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- App uninstalled

- Carts create

- Carts update

- Checkouts create

- Checkouts delete

- Checkouts update

- Collections create

- Collections delete

- Collections update

- Customer groups create

- Customer groups delete

- Customer groups update

- Customers create

- Customers delete

- Customers disable

- Customers enable

- Customers update

- Draft orders create

- Draft orders delete

- Draft orders update

- Fulfillments create

- Fulfillments update

- Inventory items create

- Inventory items delete

- Inventory items update

- Inventory levels connect

- Inventory levels disconnect

- Inventory levels update

- Locations create

- Locations delete

- Locations update

- Order transactions create

- Orders cancelled

- Orders create

- Orders delete

- Orders edited

- Orders fulfilled

- Orders paid

- Orders partially fulfilled

- Orders updated

- Products create

- Products delete

- Products update

5. Select the format in which you want Shopify to deliver you this data from the second dropdown menu. You can either use XML or JSON. JSON is advised since it is simpler to handle and parse.

6. In the URL, enter the one where you want the data to go to. This should be an HTTPS endpoint hosted by your app server that can receive and process POST requests from Shopify.

7. Click Add “Save”.

From the Webhooks section, you can inspect, modify, or remove your web hooks whenever you want in Settings > Notifications.

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Examples of Common Shopify Web Hooks Topics and Events.

Here are some examples of common shopify web hooks topics and events that you can use for different purposes:

  1. Carts create: This event is triggered when a customer creates a cart in your store. You can use this web hook to track cart abandonment, offer discounts or upsells, or send cart recovery emails.
  2. Orders create: This event is triggered when a customer places an order on your store. You can use this web hook to send order confirmation emails, sync order data with your CRM or accounting software, or trigger fulfillment workflows.
  3. Products update: This event is triggered when a merchant updates a product in their Shopify admin. You can use this web hook to sync product data with your inventory management system, update product listings on other channels, or send product review requests.
  4. Customer data request: This event is triggered when a customer requests to view their stored data on your store. You can use this web hook to comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR or CCPA and send the customer their data in a secure way.
  5. App uninstalled: This event is triggered when a merchant uninstalls your app from their store. You can use this web hook to remove customer data from your database, send feedback surveys, or offer incentives to reinstall your app.

Best Practices for Shopify Web Hooks

To ensure that your web hooks are secure and performing as they should, you should follow these best practices:

  • Verify the web hook: To make sure that the webhook is coming from Shopify and not from a malicious source, you should verify the Shopify web hook using the X-Shopify-Hmac-Sha256 header that Shopify sends with each web hook. You can do this by computing the HMAC digest of the web hook payload using your app's shared secret as the key and comparing it with the header value. If they match, then the webhook is valid.

  • Use HTTPS: To protect the data in transit between Shopify and your app server, you should use HTTPS for your webhook subscription endpoint. HTTPS encrypts the data to shield it from being intercepted or altered.

FAQs about Shopify Web Hooks

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How do I Test Web Hooks on Shopify?

You can test web hooks on Shopify by using a tool like Postman or ngrok to create a mock endpoint and inspect the webhook data.

Does Shopify Allow API?

Yes, Shopify allows API access for various purposes, such as creating apps, integrating with third-party services, or customizing your store.

Does Shopify Allow API Integration?

Yes, Shopify allows API integration with various platforms and services, such as payment gateways, shipping providers, marketing tools, analytics tools, and more.

Does Shopify have Web Hooks?

Yes, Shopify has webhooks for many topics related to store events, such as orders, products, customers, inventory, collections, and more. 

How do I Add API to Shopify?

To add API to Shopify, you need to create an app that uses the Shopify APIs to interact with store data or functionality. 

The Final Word on Shopify Web Hooks

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Shopify web hooks are a powerful tool that allow you to receive notifications about specific events that occur in a shop, such as order creation, product updates, or app uninstalls. By using Shopify web hooks, you can avoid polling the Shopify API for changes and instead execute your app logic immediately after an event happens.

To use web hooks, you need to subscribe to one or more webhook topics that match your app's use case. You also need to specify a webhook subscription endpoint, which is an HTTPS URL hosted by your app server that receives the webhook messages from Shopify. Each web hook message contains a JSON or XML payload with the relevant data for the event, as well as some headers with additional context.

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