Launched in 2021, Shopify Online Store 2.0 (OS 2.0) is the single largest investment the company has made in their ecommerce platform, ever.
Shopify’s stated goal is to give more power to developers while making it easier for merchants to leverage that power and build their storefronts. To that end, OS 2.0 has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, and it shows - the upgrades are everywhere.
Merchants and developers can expect dramatic improvements in ease of use, flexibility, scalability and performance. The sum total of these benefits cannot be overstated, and that’s why ECOM DEPARTMENT thinks all brands should be making the switch/upgrade to a Shopify OS 2.0 theme.
We’d like to present a handful of the most impactful new tools and features, and discuss how they can help your brand grow and scale its ecommerce business.
Sections On Every Page! This Is A Game Changer!
Sections are the modular components of a Shopify theme that allow merchants to customize content and build page layouts without the need for any code.
Formerly, sections were only available on a Shopify merchant’s home page and extensive secondary development work was required to achieve a uniform look and feel across the breadth of an online store, albeit often with less-than-desired results.
Now empowered with the ability to easily deploy sections to all pages through the theme customizer, merchants can tailor their ecommerce sites to exacting levels without ever leaving the Shopify admin. This significant increase in functionality allows them to deliver information more consistently (and quickly), and opens up options for providing shoppers with richer content, fostering deeper engagement and optimizing the brand’s ecommerce experience.
A good example of this is from a recent ECOM DEPARTMENT project for artisanal Kentucky bourbon brand, FRANK AUGUST. The new flexibility of sections means the look and feel of the homepage can be replicated throughout the site.
Theme App Extensions and App Blocks
Shopify OS 2.0 has added some powerful tools for app integration. Known as theme app extensions, they allow the inclusion of apps into merchants' themes via app blocks.
By allowing merchants to add app functionality precisely where they want it, app blocks represent a radical departure from the past. App blocks may be added, removed, previewed, repositioned, and customized, and it can all be executed through the theme editor - no code required.
The ability to perform the above tasks without the need for altering a Shopify theme’s code has an added bonus - app blocks also create less “support debt.” Meaning, because theme code no longer needs to be touched to install an app, any subsequent uninstalls are that much cleaner.
Here is an example of a recent ECOM DEPARTMENT project for denim/apparel brand, INDUSTRY STANDARD. The “Add Custom Embroidery” app appears on those products that allow for it, and no extra coding was required.
Shopify’s bold reimagination for OS 2.0 places a great deal of emphasis on content, and this is where the amplification of metafields plays a key role. Metafields enable the customization of both functionality and appearance of a Shopify store by saving specialized information that isn't usually captured in the Shopify admin.
Whether the Shopify resource is a product, a collection, a customer, etc., metafields are a flexible way for an app to add and store more information. The additional data stored in metafields can be nearly anything related to a resource.
In continuing with Shopify’s push to make its platform more intuitive, merchants can now add metafields without the use of APIs or code. They can include exactly the content they need to the product page, and any items unlikely to appear in the core store editor can now be inserted via metafields.
For jewelry retailer ANNA BECK, we were able to set up pre-order in the metafield with the estimated shipping date, which now shows up on the site for the products.