The infrastructure, tooling, and technologies that enable the future of commerce were the focus of this year’s Shopify Unite. Leadership took to the virtual stage to discuss the products Shopify been working on and to provide an update on their roadmap as they continue to scale the tools developers use to build on Shopify.
Here’s everything you need to know about Shopify Unite 2021:
Zero percent revenue share annually on your first million dollars in the Shopify App Store
One of the major announcements out of Shopify Unite for those building apps for the Shopify App Store is that starting August 1, 2021, they’ll provide zero percent revenue share on the first million dollars you make annually on the Shopify App Store.
“As of August 1, 2021, we’re offering zero percent revenue share on the first million dollars you make annually on the Shopify App Store.”
If your revenue from the Shopify App Store is less than $1 million USD each year, you can opt out of paying revenue share. Every year, the figures are reset.
This shift to Shopify’s revenue share model demonstrates how serious they are about helping developers, the potential of creating on Shopify, and how much they want the greatest developers in the world to improve commerce for everyone. This move means you’ll have more money in your pocket to invest in your business, expand your resources, and create more Shopify merchant solutions.
You’ll pay a 15 percent revenue share if you make more than $1 million USD, down from the previous 20 percent revenue share.
All developers who sign up after August 1 will be charged a one-time registration fee, which will be paid when they submit their first app for evaluation. All the more incentive to sign up and get started on your app right away!
Online stores 2.0
We’ve seen traffic to online retailers quadruple in the last year, as buyers shifted to online purchasing in response to the pandemic. The way a merchant’s store appears online has never been more significant in today’s environment.
That’s why Shopify has put significant investment in their shop platform, known as Online Store 2.0.
Developers working on Shopify themes and apps have a lot of new options with Online Store 2.0. Shopify has completely revamped the online store experience and is releasing a new set of developer tools to enable devs to create incredible experiences for merchants and customers.
Updated theme architecture
One of the most significant changes in Online Store 2.0 is the updated theme architecture for the online store, which will benefit both merchants and developers. Merchants will benefit from easier and more flexible customization choices, as well as new opportunities for developers.
Sections on every page
By transferring all of a theme’s Liquid code into JSON templates, which are available across the online marketplace, Shopify has made themes totally modular. These templates govern a page’s structure, including everything from the number of sections to how each setting is set up.
Sections are now available on more sites than just the homepage, thanks to the availability of these templates across the online store. This opens up a world of new possibilities for retailers to customise every aspect of their store.
“Sections are now available on more pages than just the homepage.”
Theme app extensions and app blocks
Developers creating apps for the storefront will benefit greatly from the enhancements in Online Store 2.0. Theme app extensions for developers are now available, allowing you to integrate applications into merchant themes via app blocks.
The theme app extension transforms how merchants interact with your app in the marketplace. They can now quickly integrate your app into their theme without touching the code thanks to an app block Liquid file that lets them manage apps from the theme editor. Ghost code will be instantly erased if they choose to uninstall your programme.
App blocks will also result in a reduction in support debt. You won’t have to worry about breaking changes being made because you won’t have to open into the theme code to manually instal your app, and uninstalls are cleaner, so you’ll spend less time debugging with users.
Use the Theme API and Assets API to see if a merchant is using a theme that is compatible with your theme app extensions. Knowing what kind of theme a merchant uses will help you provide the greatest onboarding experience possible for merchants who want to integrate the app into their theme.
Hosting and managing assets
You’ll be able to add your app’s supporting assets to your theme app extensions for quick hosting via Shopify’s CDN, as well as simply reference those assets from within your theme extension’s app blocks.
Streamlined developer tools
The developer tools included in Online Store 2.0 also aid in the development, testing, and deployment of your Shopify apps. You can publish your extension when you’re ready to make it available to merchants. The current live version given to shops that have your app installed is replaced when you publish an extended version.
Flexible store content
Developers no longer need to hardcode meta fields into themes or rely on APIs to make modifications to product pages with Online Store 2.0. Theme creators can now leverage dynamic sources to specify defaults for standard meta fields and well-known resource parameters.
Shopify has introduced key changes to improve theme dynamic sources:
Metafields have been improved to include a more flexible type system, standard meta fields that make it easier for custom themes to work out of the box on stores across market verticals, and presentation hints that allow Storefront API and Liquid users to render merchant data the way the merchant intended.
Metafields now support media such as photos and PDF files via the file picker. Merchants may easily upload and select media on product pages using the metafield file picker. All photographs saved in the Settings/Files area are ready to use right away.
The new Files API will allow developers to access the contents of Settings/Files. Apps can upload or select existing media material from Settings/Files using this GraphQL API. Access to this portion of the admin is now available for apps.
Improvement to app development
There’s never been a better moment to build a Shopify app: with over 1.7 million merchants worldwide using Shopify, there’s a demand for technical solutions that merchants can use to grow their businesses. But that’s just the start—as commerce evolves and becomes more complex, the need for innovative technical solutions on Shopify will only grow.
Updates to the Storefront API
This year, Shopify’s main themes are performance and scalability, which extends to their APIs. With the goal of extending their GraphQL engine to every major geographical location, we’re making significant speed gains. Shopify aims to offer all of the Shopify features you need to every buyer in less than 50 milliseconds.
While the Storefront API is a powerful source for your front end, there is still a lot of work to be done to get a working storefront up and running so you can start designing and constructing that one-of-a-kind buyer experience. Hydrogen is Shopify’s idea of an all-in-one digital retail solution.
Hydrogen’s rapid start environment makes it simple for web developers to swiftly create unique shops. Hydrogen is a developer toolkit that provides scaffolding to get you up and running in a matter of minutes, as well as a set of React components to help you construct the core of your commerce website so you can focus on styling and designing the features that make a store unique.
Ready to scale your Shopify store? Book your strategy session with us below: