Build a bookstore with Shopify

There are a lot of things I like about Shopify. For one, they’re a Canadian success story and who doesn’t love a Canadian success story? (Non-Canadians, I suppose.) But they’ve also managed to solve a fairly common problem for retailers: how do you quickly launch an attractive ecommerce site without going bankrupt?

Taking lessons from the world’s most successful companies, like Apple, they provided a platform for developers where an app ecosystem could grow and support all the things people wanted to create for a great online experience. The app store is one of the software world’s greatest achievements. If you can leverage developers outside your company, then you have an exponential workforce that you could never create in-house. (Blackberry never really got there. Apple did. Microsoft used to have that before migration to online and the cloud. But I digress.)

Shopify goes beyond the software platform. They also give you a constant flow of tips and techniques to succeed as a retailer. I make sure to always read their e-newsletter; it helps me understand the needs of retailers. And all this is just gravy for the out-of-the-box support they provide for shipping, SEO, customer analytics, and more.

So these are some of the reasons we decided to create our Bookstore Builder Shopify app. We see great opportunity in being part of this retail space, supporting all those brave souls out there who want to sell books. With our app, we hope to provide an easy way to add accurate, relevant product data to online bookstores. After all, book metadata is what we do.

By leveraging the close to 1 million product images and nearly 2 million ONIX records in our BiblioShare database, the app is currently able to pull the following data: title, contributor, price, weight, main or long description, and cover image.

We already have a few retailers playing with the app in a private beta. If you would like to play, send an email to to let us know—all it takes is an email to us, and away you go.