App and Theme Spend

We've added estimated theme spend and monthly app spend for each Shopify domain in the database. Read below for an explanation of how we calculate these values and how to interpret them.

Theme Spend

Theme spend is based on our theme detection algorithm, which identifies themes purchased from the theme store even if the theme has been customized by the merchant. As a result, we do a good job of identifying themes that a merchant is running and can produce a theme spend estimate based on the cost of the theme as advertised in the theme store.

Theme spend estimates do not include:

  • Spend on themes that the merchant is not currently using. Our theme spend estimate is based on the merchant's current theme. It does not include other themes that the merchant may have purchased in the past. It also does not include payments to agencies made to customize the theme.
  • Customized themes that are not based on a theme published in the theme store. We are not able to determine theme spend if a merchant pays an agency for a completely custom theme.

Monthly App Spend

Monthly app spend is based on our app detection algorithm, which identifies apps that the merchant has installed. Our estimates are extremely conservative, as a result of the following limitations:

  • We can only detect apps that alter the merchant's storefront. We estimate that we're tracking installs for approximately 1/3rd of Shopify apps.
  • We don't know if a merchant is using a free version of an app or has elected to upgrade to a paid plan. When an app has a free plan available, we assume app spend is $0 for that app.
  • Some apps can be installed for free by Shopify employees and partners, even if those apps to do not have a free plan available to regular merchants. We're not (yet) able to identify these stores automatically so you may find some stores with a high app spend that are not actually paying for apps. Many of these employee/partner stores are obvious after a quick review and we hope to automate detection of them in the future.

As you can see, we've decided to be conservative with our theme and app spend estimates. These estimates likely significantly understate actual theme and (especially) app spend. In many cases, actual app spend will be 5-10x higher, we just cannot confirm a higher spend so we provide a conservative value. Still, these values are quite handy when used to compare stores against each other.