Shopify API Updates: Powering An Ecommerce Storefront↘
Where the ever-changing game of ecommerce is concerned, Shopify as a solution understands that its merchants need to be able to attain full power and control over the look and feel of their online store.
No matter which channel(s) a brand may utilise, ecommerce stores must be able to deliver unique user experiences to their audience reach whilst creating a design that represents the unique individuality of their brand.
So, the need for innovative buyer experiences across the board which are; customised, dynamic and creative is a must, not to mention that of flexible developer implementation.
See, Shopify is a commerce platform that scales with merchants at every stage of their journey, no matter how much their brand may grow or have the potential to achieve. Essentially, this means that powering an ecommerce storefront with the above characteristics is possible for every business, regardless of the store’s; maturity level, technical resources, or complexity.
On Shopify, merchants can begin their journey with a no-code approach to get a fully equipped ecommerce store up and running on the platform with just a few clicks.
This means that a business can be tailored and scaled through thousands of existing apps and themes that derive from the platform’s ecosystem of partners and developers.
Additionally, merchants can also bring the developmental expertise of their team and partner(s) forward to build novel experiences by taking a code-first approach when tailoring an ecommerce storefront, all of which has been made possible by the latest Shopify API updates to take place.
For those of you who are new to the platform, the Shopify API powers the unique shopping experiences that we like to refer to as ‘custom storefronts’ and in this article, we’re covering some of the recent updates which have taken place.
Additionally, we think that you might like to stick around for a sneak peek at Shopify’s vision for this space in the ecommerce marketplace. So, let’s dive right in and get started:
Cart capabilities With The Latest Shopify API 🛒
If all truth is told, managing carts with the Shopify API hasn’t always been the smoothest experience, as the only way to retrieve real-time; product availability, pricing and discounts were to create or update the checkout.
As we’re sure you can appreciate, at times this could present some challenges with the checkout throttle limit. However, this is no longer an issue as Shopify have re-built the cart from the ground up, improving its; performance, reliability and scale, eliminating all throttle limit worries.
How the Shopify API powers an ecommerce storefront is innovative, as the solution uses the same primitives that are available at the checkout. Furthermore, the API has been optimised to provide low-latency responses whilst scaling without any storewide rate limits.
In layman’s terms, Shopify merchants can now interact directly with carts using the Shopify API. As a result, ecommerce businesses will be able to collect all of the contextual information concerning customer orders without creating a checkout until the customer is ready to make a purchase.
As these carts are no longer tied to the checkout throttle, they instead respect the same throttle as every other request.
Shopify API Updates and Announcements
These improvements were first announced at the Shopify Unite event in June 2021 and we too discussed the exciting changes surrounding Shopify’s Storefront API within our article ‘Apps For Shopify: The Latest Updates’.
However, before these evolvements for Shopify API could go ahead and change the way that businesses build an ecommerce storefront, input was required from the community before an approach to a cart endpoint could be finalised.
The platform still welcomes open discussions n regards to the feature's functionalities via the Storefront API feedback GitHub repository.
Additionally, Shopify is continuing to refine the cart capabilities alongside other aspects of the Shopify API as well. Should you wish to stay informed, we’d recommend subscribing to the developer changelog for updates.
Scheduled Product Publishing (Available In Beta) 🥾
For those of you who haven’t heard, Shopify recently scheduled publishing for channels, allowing merchants to schedule products to be published at a date and time that they decide in advance.
This feature is currently in the state of private beta, but Shopify partners can still access this tool from within the Partner Dashboard.
With scheduled publishing, the platform has made the task of setting up product drops via a custom storefront and sales channel(s) easier for merchants, whilst providing fluid publishing capabilities.
Where the custom ecommerce storefront is concerned, products will be published immediately onto a live website at the date and time specified by the merchant, without any intermediate review or validation process.
Schema Updates: A Simplified Developer Experience
Shopify announced its mission to improve the developer experience of the Shopify API schema during the Unite conference in June.
Since, this time, the ecommerce platform has been working from the 2021-10 Shopify API release to take the first steps towards that goal by improving how individual resources are fetched, as well as introducing more consistency in field names and behaviours into its midst.
Alongside this, the team are also geared towards finetuning the following changes to the Shopify API that are scheduled to be available to all merchants on the platform early next year:
- No longer requiring Base64 encoding object IDs to match other GraphQL APIs.
- Cleaning up and removing previously deprecated fields.
- Continuing to improve on-field consistency and simplicity.
The Future of Shopify API With Hydrogen 🔮
The Shopify Storefront API is a powerful way for online businesses to create and build the perfect ecommerce storefront for their brand to deliver exceptional shopping experiences to their customers, but how will this come to be?
Well, as the solution want nothing more than to make it as easy as humanly possible for merchants to build what it is that they need for their business to thrive, the team at Shopify are currently working on something new and exciting to bring these visions to reality.
Hydrogen is the platform’s new web development framework which has been optimised for commerce by Shopify. In short, Hydrogen will help to accelerate each business’ development process through pre-built React components, hooks and utilities that are directly integrated with the Storefront API.
Needless to say, all of these pieces are built around Shopify data models for efficient data-fetching, which will save stores heaps of time and manpower, whilst improving the performance of the store at hand.
ith Hydrogen, Shopify aims to provide an opinionated set of development tools and workflow for a smoother developer experience that will enable merchants to start quickly and market much faster.
Hydrogen will be available via developer preview very soon, where users just like you will be able to try it out and share valuable feedback with the team.
If you’re eager to learn more, why not sign up to receive updates on the upcoming developer preview? Be amongst the first to get access and start building.
The Storefront API and Hydrogen
So, the Storefront API allows merchants to build the innovative shopping experiences that customers all over the world want and expect from the brands that they’re loyal too and we saw some great examples of merchants at the Shopify Commerce+ event who are pushing the boundaries of innovation by utilising custom storefronts within their business.
Very soon, Shopify will be making it easier than ever to get started with Hydrogen. We’re super excited, who’s with us?
What are your thoughts on these Shopify API updates? Reach out and let us know what you think of the new way in which merchants can power their ecommerce storefront.
If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!