Shopify’s Online Store 2.0: What’s new?

Only four days ago, during Shopify Unite, Shopify announced an exciting pack of features that will make the platform more customizable and manageable for everyone. There were several announcements during the event, with Shopify Online Store 2.0 being a key one.

This is the biggest upgrade the platform has brought all at once, and we are particularly thrilled about it. We definitely could not wait to get our hands dirty with Dawn, Shopify’s first-ever open source theme.  

Shopify stated that their goal with this rebuild to their Liquid template language aims to give developers more power and help merchants use this power to leverage their business. The complete remake of the Online Store now allows for page customization across all pages. 

In summary, three areas were revamped:

  • Themes and Online Editor. In the words of Shopify, the online editor is now completely modular and applies across all pages. Merchants can now move sections around to better match what they believe will provide a more appealing experience to their online visitors. All of this can now be done without the need to enter new code. This essentially gives merchants who have no knowledge of developing or coding to make more powerful customizations. 
  • Store Content. Metafields had a significant update as you can now add new attributes to products. This feature will be a major part of Shopify as users can now create new metafield definitions with a new set of types. Also, you can now store any type of data within the Shopify platform. 
  • Developer tooling. Of course, Shopify also created a way to make it easier to manage apps within themes. They proudly announced the new Theme App Extension. Since themes in Online Store 2.0 will be a set of different components, apps will now be able to contribute their own sections without touching the code. 

Netflix became an early access customer for Online Store 2.0 and released, the streaming service’s first e-commerce store.

Shopify Dawn

To take a look and try all these improvements, Shopify introduced Dawn, their very first open-source theme. This one is available on GitHub for grabs.

Of course, we will also have the availability to migrate your themes to Online Store 2.0. It’s important to note that many of the features on the update rely on JSON templates. However, it is not difficult to migrate a theme as you can simply convert a liquid template into a JSON template.

Shopify will be rolling out these features in the upcoming weeks to all stores on their platform. Dawn cannot be installed on old stores just yet, but it will come soon, so no need to worry about your old clients not being able to migrate their stores to 2.0. 

According to Shopify, Dawn is built on four principles:

  • Built for modern browsers, which means that users will always have updated features without having to check for or download updates (characteristic of evergreen browsers).
  • Focus on creative visual design to enhance customer experience. As a result, Online Store 2.0 improves features like navigation, price clarity, and collection filtering.  
  • Themes are lean and maintainable by reducing the need for more code. 
  • A responsive theme with outstanding performance without having to sacrifice feature functionality.   

Other updates and features

Shopify also unveiled an updated storefront API which now includes selling plans, new cart functionality, international pricing, and localized buyer experience. This update was released two days ago, and it is meant to ensure that merchants can easily build headless storefronts. 

Speaking of customized storefronts, Shopify also previewed Hydrogen, a framework for building these storefronts, and Oxygen, which is to host these Hydrogen storefronts directly on Shopify. 

Shopify is moving towards a faster and more manageable platform that focuses on providing developers and merchants with more customizing power to create, scale and monetize.