Shopify or Custom Phoenix App?

A friend asked me if I could convert their Ecommerce store from the Wix platform over to Shopify but is open to whatever technology I use. I know Shopify is tailor made for Ecommerce but I’m tempted to create a custom app using Phoenix.

The problem is Phoenix doesn’t seem to have too may stable ecommerce libs to utilize but I love Elixir and I’m always coming up with any excuse to use it. I don’t need anything fancy, they only sell around 30 products. Should I give Phoenix a shot or just use Shopify?

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If it were a personal project then it could be a fun learning experience to build it with Phoenix, but for a client where time is of the essence I wouldn’t try reinventing the wheel for my own sake. An ecommerce site has all sorts of moving parts under the hood that would take quite a while to get even halfway to what shopify offers, the #1 thing being the seller dashboard where they can manage their business, sells, inventory, chargebacks etc.

Gotta use the right tools for the job.

If you decide to go with Phoenix though, this thread should be a good resource: Resources for building an e-commerce store in Phoenix?


Yep it would be a great learning experience for me. My heart was telling me Phoenix but my mind was saying Shopify. Thanks for your input.

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I’ve been building Shopify integrations and apps for about 4 years now, about 2 of them I’ve been using elixir / phoenix for that purpose as well. From what I can tell you, setting up a Shopify shop for your friend does not mean you wont get a chance to use phoenix :wink:

As you can see here Shopify is highly customizable and provides a lot of opportunities to build custom solutions.

I started writing a guide how to do embedded apps but I’ve since learned a lot and have to revisit it (untill last year, I had never done an embedded app in phoenix, only “supporting” APIs and private apps, but I think I have a pretty good grip on it now.)

I would be happy to welcome you in the unofficial club of elixir Shopify app developers :slight_smile:


That said, there are features that Shopify doesn’t provide out of
the box that can be delivered by plugging in 3rd-party apps.

Identify a nice-to-have enhancement for your friend and build that
in Elixir - best of both worlds :grinning:


Wow that’s pretty cool, I never realized how much you could customize Shopify apps. This gives me an opportunity to still use Phoenix. I’m definitely going to read that article and when I get this project going I’d love to be a part of the club. Thanks!!!


I second giving shopify a go. Using Shopify and building apps for it is my bread and butter. There’s a lot of opportunity to customize processes for specific use cases for both private and public apps. Let shopify handle the hard (boring?) part. Have fun building integrations with elixir and profit :smile:.

Where do I pay my membership dues? I just started using about 2 months and it’s really nice. I am using it to migrate an existing app. Good work to you all.


Membership fees are implicitly payed by contributing :wink:


I would 100% avoid a custom app unless you are comfortable providing free development consulting to your friend for the rest of his businesses life. Shopify will be hundreds of times better than anything you will build for free for a friend. They have had like a decade to handle edge cases too.


Yeah, I’ve come to my senses. You guys have talked me off the ledge. Thanks to @Ninigi, @hassan, and @mikemccall, I’m very much interested in using Elixir for Shopify Integrations. I didn’t even consider that or even think it was possible.

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Glad to hear. I’ve gone down the custom route too many times myself lol. A few times in e-commerce

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