Let’s break down Shopify Unite 2021. With 2020 being an unprecedented year in eCommerce growth, Shopify dove deep into the technologies, infrastructure, and tools that developers will need to keep up with the ever-changing future of commerce.
Shopify Unite 2021 displayed the forward-thinking needed to propel these new development tools and make life easier for agencies, app developers, and Shopify merchants alike. These new features allow for better performance, more flexibility in merchant content, and so much more. These features will allow developers to build optimal eCommerce experiences for their clients.
From an agency standpoint, the Introduction of Online Store 2.0 is the most beneficial takeaway from Shopify Unite 2021. Steph Brock, an eHouse developer says “it is a really exciting time to be a developer! Online Store 2.0 is basically the second version of Shopify and it's the biggest update they have done!”. As part of the update, Shopify upgraded their theme architecture, most specifically, ‘Sections on Every Page’, which allows for more customization for merchants on every page of their site, rather than just the homepage. With that, there are now native ways for developers to provide opportunities for merchants to have more flexibility and merchandising capabilities."
Another noteworthy feature of ‘2.0’ is the introduction of Dawn. Dawn is Shopify's new theme that comes with all of these new updates. It showcases the new infrastructure, its flexibility, and prioritizes performance. When developers use Dawn as a starting point for building a merchant's custom Shopify theme, they will have the framework to use all the new features and more efficiently create custom, performant, easy-to-use eCommerce stores.
In short, Online Store 2.0, eliminates the need for page builders and 3rd party content tools and allows for better publishing and content management. What developer and merchant wouldn’t be on board with that?
Another takeaway was the announcement of ‘Zero percent revenue share annually on your first million dollars in the Shopify App Store’. According to eHouse developer, Ben Greene, “That’s really good for small app developers! As an agency, it will help us with potentially finding more apps in the marketplace just because it is more viable for people to build apps”.
“It’s healthier for the app ecosystem because it provides more incentive to build apps" - Ben Greene, eHouse Developer.
Many of the other notable updates were related to app development as well. From app check-out extensions and improvements in overall app development to updates to the storefront API. With all of the new updates that are coming soon this year and with all of the features that Shopify teased for the future, “it gives us a glimpse into where Shopify is heading. It shows their growth and how they are thinking about their merchants and developers and scaling the system” (Christine Henderson, eHouse lead developer).
Shopify Unite 2021 wrapped up with a little tease about Hydrogen, the “batteries included” web storefront solution (Amelia Garvey, Shopify Content Marketing Manager). It is still in the early stages but our developers are eager to be able to implement it for our clients once it is available.