Announced at Shopify Unite 2021, Shopify is making big changes to the ecommerce world with the release of its vastly improved Online Store 2.0 update. One of their biggest Shopify updates yet, Shopify’s 2.0 version comes with a number of new features that are redefining the store design experience—a rebuild made to enhance the experience of both Shopify developers and Shopify merchants.

As one of the world’s fastest-growing ecommerce platforms, Shopify continues to match the demands of its merchants and developers by releasing a new version of the online store build, which includes enhancements to the Themes and Online Store Editor, Store Content, and Developer Tools. All this to comprehensively boost store development and the all-out performance of shops for its merchants.

In this article, we are going to take a quick look at 5 new features under Shopify Online Store 2.0 and how this update is made to change your experience with Shopify as an online store owner and Shopify merchant.

Let’s get start.

1. Updated Theme Architecture

One of the most exciting and anticipated changes seen in the update is in the upgraded theme architecture. The update to the theme architecture is designed to provide merchants and developers with a more flexible customization experience, with its Sections Everywhere feature.

This means that merchants will no longer be constrained to a number of blocks available in their store, as the 2.0 update allows users to bring in new sections to each page without being inhibited by the templates.

Where previously you could only add and move around sections to the homepage, you can now have sections with added functionality across your website.

The new update gives creative freedom and flexibility to merchants and developers to design and customize sites to fit their needs.

2. Improved Metafields

One of the big improvements that come with the updated theme editor is that it lets merchants add metafields and properties without the use of either APIs or coding.

If you are wondering what metafields are, they are additional fields you can use to display information about your products, pages, or collections. Metafields you may be familiar with include information like product title, vendor, product type, variants, and product descriptions.

With the new improved update to the metafields, this allows merchants to add new fields of information that lead to a more customized store. An example are fields such as size charts, ingredient list, composition, special care instructions, and so on. This update does not only apply to the product pages, but to other pages with the 2.0 update.

Before the 2.0 update, users were required to alter their code to add additional information about products, which may be difficult for some. Today, you’ll be able to modify and customize your metafields with more ease.

What's more, is that metafields now support media such as PDF. The new metafield file picker makes it easier to upload selected media onto product pages for use.

3. App Modularity

Another feature worth highlighting is the Theme App Extension, which allows you to extend apps into themes via app blocks.

This update solves the previous problem of having to access a theme’s code every time you want to add or remove an app from your store, to avoid leaving behind unused code in your theme. The new Theme App Extension moves things along faster directly through the theme editor.

App blocks are a major change to the way apps are now being included in themes, as app developers can now build UI components that can be added, removed, and changed directly through a user-friendly theme editor without merchants having the need to touch on a theme’s code.

With the 2.0 update, app installations and deletion are simply easier and a lot cleaner.

4. Faster, Better Checkout

One of Shopify’s key emphasis on their new update is loading speed, reporting that the new default theme called Dawn as being up to 35% faster than the previous Debut theme.

Online Store 2.0 also boasts serious checkout upgrades, allowing stores to process tens of thousands of transactions per minute. Not only will a shop be able to handle more volume in terms of transactions, but Shopify has also announced new checkout apps that you can add to your store. This gives more options to Shopify merchants, with even more customization options to Shopify Plus users.

5. Improve Developer Tools

Shopify’s Online Store 2.0 update introduced a new way for developers to build apps and themes for its merchants with a suite of new developer tools that assists in the development, testing, and deployment of themes.

Among the tools Shopify launched is a new integration with GitHub, which works to make theme development and maintenance easier to track and manage. Shopify CLI helps developers build themes and apps, automating many common development tasks, while Theme Check is a language server for Liquid and JSON that scans themes for errors, performance issues, and more. All this to help facilitate store development and debug issues quickly and more efficiently.

We can't help but look forward to seeing how the network of apps, themes, and services around the new update will grow in the future due to the new and improved developer tools.

Excited about the new Shopify update?

It’s officially a new era for ecommerce, merchants, and Shopify developers. One of the biggest reasons to be excited about the new update is the freedom and the growing ease of control merchants will have over the the look and feel of your online store. With Online Store 2.0, merchants and developers have more opportunities to design, develop, scale, and monetize their stores.

What does this mean for merchants with stores built before the Shopify 2.0 update?

All new online stores built with Shopify will now come with the default Dawn theme, Shopify’s improved base theme. If you are worried about your store running on an earlier version of Shopify, there shouldn’t be anything to fret about. Your store will function as it normally does and you shouldn’t notice any changes aside from the theme editor interface.

Upgrading to Online Store 2.0 is not mandatory, but for those who wish to upgrade and make use of certain Online Store 2.0 features, there are several ways, which include:

  • Migrating your theme manually
  • Downloading a new version of your current theme (If your theme offers an updated 2.0 version)
  • Downloading a 2.0 theme from Shopify Theme Store

For merchants who wish to understand the best option for their online store regarding Shopify’s Online Store 2.0, there is also the option of consulting an expert Shopify developer to get a better look at the ins and outs of Online Store 2.0 and how it can help you run a better online shop.

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