More than 45 billion people were on Shopify in 2020. The company handles over $12 billion in total merchandise. An obvious fact is that Shopify is huge and growing.
Shopify on Tuesday (June 29, 2021) announced a number of new features designed to make the platform more suitable for anyone running a Shopify store. Shopify 2.0 online offers a huge list of new features and themes for Shopify merchants.
The word Shopify is Online Store 2.0 is the result of a rebuild of the most important language it uses for template building: the Liquid language.
First, the revamped online store will allow developers to easily add custom features to their storefront. Netflix gained access to the platform early on and used that access to create Netflix.shop - Netflix's first e-commerce store.
Here's a brief overview of what Online Store 2.0 means to you.
The new features in Online Store 2.0 start with a brand new editing experience. The new editor makes it easy for merchants to build storefronts from scratch, add various theme extensions, and manage apps within themes. The idea of the new editor is to centralize all available features and functions.
The new standard storefront theme reference theme in development, Dawn, will be 35% faster than the current default theme (based on internal estimates). Shopify also mentions that new themes will be open for developer submissions from 15th March 2021.
Additionally, Shopify also revealed that the company will significantly increase its infrastructure investments and developer tools. So, as a merchant, you don't need email list to go through the hassle of re-platforming to build a headless business storefront or custom storefront.
With the newly revamped Web Store 2.0, Shopify is trying to make the platform more visible to developers and tech giants. This move indicates that this is giving Netflix early access to Store 2.0 (mentioned earlier).
Online Store 2.0 is all-encompassing. With the new store, everyone has the option to create, customize, extend, and monetize Shopify.
New Theme Architecture
With earlier versions of the online store, merchants were limited in the number of blocks available within the store. Earlier, stores used to have different templates mapped to different products. In version 2.0, as a merchant, you now have the option to add sections to each new page. Earlier, you could only add sections to the home page.
You can activate the template for each page using a JSON template file that specifies page settings. With this, you can list all sections of a page, collection pages, custom pages, blog posts, and more.
In the JSON template file, you can define the parts that will be displayed.
Template files specify which sections appear by default and the order in which they appear in your installed theme. After adding a template, you can add dynamic sections as theme presets by going to the theme editor.
Themed app extension with app blocks
The developer's theme app extension can help you add many features and extensions. You can use this feature to extend the functionality of your merchant's website
Previously, apps could not integrate with themes. Therefore, developers must write integration logic for existing themes. This makes it very difficult to make features that work consistently across multiple topics. This is no longer the case.
Another highlight is application modularity. It just means that as a developer, you can now add and remove UI components through the theme editor. You don't need to access the theme code.
This gives you an easy way to manage your application backing assets. With Shopify 2.0, you can easily manage your app's backing assets and host them on the platform.
Changes to meta fields
The updated theme editor allows merchants to add meta fields and attributes. The good news is that you don't need an API or any kind of coding to do this.
As a merchant, you are free to add your favorite content to product pages, providing room for adding additional information that will help potential buyers, such as a size chart or ingredient list. Anything that is unlikely to appear in the store editor can be updated via the meta field.
Here are the different ways they modify meta fields.
Highly flexible : Meta fields are more flexible. This helps you securely import business data.
Standard metafields : Standard metafields make it easier for custom themes to work out of the box in stores across markets.
Demo Tips : You can add demo tips to meta fields to render store data
Metafields now supports many media such as images or PDF files. Instead of hardcoding a specific file type into the theme, the metafield file selector lets you upload the media of your choice to the product page.
Images can be accessed through the Settings/Files section and used right away.
If you like product warranties or size charts, the file selector makes it easy to select specific files with a simple UX. With this, meta fields are placed inside the theme itself.
In API version 2021-07, you can use the File API to create, update, and delete generic files. This allows merchants to reuse different files for different applications. These are added to the files page inside the Shopify admin.
Developers will be able to access settings/files through the new Files API. The GraphQL API introduced in this release makes it easy to upload or select existing media files via settings/files. Applications can benefit from this particular area in access management when populating meta fields with content.