Shopify Unite 2021: Summary of the Highlights

On June 29, 2021, the annual partner and developer conference, Shopify Unite 2021, took place. We were there and summarized the most important news for you. Learn what will change in the e-commerce store system – for merchants and for developers.

Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lütke startet the conference by introducing the three guiding principles:

  1. Make commerce creative
  2. Make the important easy
  3. Make everything else possible

What do these three guiding principles mean in terms of implementation? Product Director Vanessa Lee explains: “Our goal is to give more power to developers while making it even easier for merchants to leverage that power, and build their storefront.”

Online Store 2.0

Traffic has doubled across Shopify stores in the past year. Online shopping is now more important than ever before and it’s hard to imagine life without it. Therefore, Shopify has launched the most important and biggest update, which is – due to its importance – simply but convincingly called: Online Store 2.0. The innovation is available from now on and convinces entrepreneurs and creatives with the revision of the following areas:

Themes & Editor

Online stores can now be configured completely modular tp perfectly adapt your offer and your store’s personality. No coding knowledge is required to build and customize the individual pages or to integrate apps into the themes by using app blocks. This means improved and simple handling for merchants and advantages for app developers.

The new themes editor
In the themes store, you can find numerous free and paid themes

Store Content: Metafields

With Online Store 2.0, metafields have a more flexible type system and now also support media such as images and PDF files. Developers get access to the content via “Settings/Files” in the new GraphQL file API. This allows media to be selected and uploaded there.

The new Metafields settings

Check-out extension through apps

No e-commerce without check-out. Thus, strong improvements took place here as well. Features that were previously only available through ‘chekout.liquid’ or through Shopify Plus will soon be available to everyone, and aim to make the Shopify checkout the best in the world, even with huge sales. This includes, for example, the customization of the payment process via apps. A new payment platform is also among the innovations, starting in fall 2021.

Beta access is already open, with more improvements to be released in a developer preview later this year, according to Shopify. The check-out extension makes interaction between check-out and thank-you page possible. There you can integrate

  • product upsells
  • donation appeals
  • discount offers
  • surveys

and improve the customer experience as well as the relationship between customer and merchant.

Customize your checkout area with apps

What will change for me? Do I need to have my theme redeveloped?

Of course you want to benefit from the new themes and settings as soon as possible, that’s for sure. But what do you have to do? There are two possibilities.

  1. We make an upgrade to be able to fully use the new Shopify editor.
  2. We develop a completely new theme that supports the editor out of the box.

An update is about making the theme compatible for the new Shopify features. Features include “Sections everywhere” and the handy App Blocks. However, we have to consider whether the upgrade makes sense or not. Having in mind the amount and complexity of adjustments, together we will decide on one option or the other. If we already know your theme and have programmed it ourselves, chances are good that we can do the upgrade without any problems. Let’s talk about your options!

Shopify Unite 2021 – extensive, new and better than ever before

The Shopify Unite 2021 came with many surprises and promising news. You can read about the content in even more detail at Shopify’s website, or just check out the Unite 2021 for yourself! If you have specific questions for your own store, you can always contact the Shopify experts at shoplab, we look forward to hearing from you!