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When Should Stores Upgrade To Online Store 2.0?
How will merchants know when it's time to upgrade to online store 2.0?
Written by Madeleine
Whether you’re an established business on Shopify or are just getting started with the platform, it can be difficult for merchants to know whether to turn to the likes of online store 2.0 or stick with their current store theme.
As experts of Shopify, we here at Karmoon understand that the right Shopify theme will enable store owners to expand their business to reach its fullest potential.
In 2021, online store 2.0 opened the pathway and pushed the boundaries of future ecommerce. So, how will merchants know when it's time to upgrade to online store 2.0?
If truth be told, merchants usually come to realise that it's time to upgrade their Shopify theme when their business has grown out of its current theme and has reached the stage of expansion.
Therefore, if a Shopify theme has served its purpose, it may be time to upgrade to something a little more advanced and exciting, such as a design from the online store 2.0 collection.
See, online store 2.0 Shopify themes enable stores on the platform to tap into their fullest capabilities.
So, the question is - does your store's current theme help or hinder your business?
If you're unsure about the answer, simply check out the section below, to consider whether your company would benefit from making the move.
What’s New with Shopify 2.0? 🤷
N0.1: Speedy Loading Times
Before we begin, we must express our gratitude to Shopify’s first online store 2.0 theme - Dawn, which set a new record for storefront theme development, as the design is estimated to be around 35% faster than the previous default theme, 'Debut.'
Who wouldn’t desire a business site that is speedy and more efficient for its customers? We know that we would and to any merchant that has answered the same way, maybe that means it’s time to give online store 2.0 a spin?
Note: The ideal webpage loading time is less than two seconds and Dawn is right there with the perfect figures for merchants on Shopify to take advantage of. Furthermore, if the page load time is raised from 1 to 3 seconds, the likelihood of a bounce rate increases by 32%.
The new version of the online store 2.0 contains more features than ever before, which implies that stores on Shopify will not require as many apps onsite, resulting in speedy and effective loading times.
N0.2: New Themes with Sections
New themes with sections across all pages mean that stores on the platform are more bespoke and customisable than they have ever been before.
So, say goodbye to those cookie-cutter experiences, as your business deserves more than just a template.
See, Shopify sections are just like adjustable blocks that provide store owners with enhanced flexibility when it comes to designing a website.
Note: In online store 1.0, these modular elements were only available on the homepage. However, in online store 2.0, modular elements are now available across whole storefronts, providing merchants with better control over their business.
So, what does this mean? Well, with the new online store 2.0 Shopify themes and sections, stores on the platform can:
Create collection sections.
Implement promotional banners to push sales onsite.
Adjust the position of the; add-to-cart button, product title or price for an improved UX experience.
Ultimately, online store 2.0 Shopify themes allow retailers to create a truly unique website with a design that can optimise customer experience and generate further sales.
Could your business site use some of these features to boost its sales conversions? If the answer is yes, then now is the time to upgrade to online store 2.0.
N0.3: Improved Theme Editor UI
Since the update of the theme editor took place; the new version makes it much easier for merchants to navigate and comprehend their site's hierarchy.
Additionally, the improved theme editor UI centralises all operations, allowing stores on Shopify to use their site more logically.
As a result, this will save businesses lots of time, not to mention making the update and transition to online store 2.0 much easier than before.
N0.4: Modular App Blocks
Do you know what they say? Modular app blocks equal enhanced configuration.
Compared to online store 2.0, the way apps were previously installed on Shopify was pretty inflexible.
See, while there were already thousands of outstanding apps available for merchants to utilise within their business site, store integration was somewhat lacking.
Nonetheless, store integration concerns are now a thing of the past, as applications are now delivered onto a page in blocks where online store 2.0 Shopify themes are concerned.
This means that merchants have ownership over which pages (and where on those pages) app blocks will appear.
As a result, this update has made a huge difference in terms of editability and personalisation of stores on Shopify, as merchants can configure apps in such a way to maximise the benefits for their brand.
N0.5: Enhanced Developer Tools
The enhanced developer tools enabled by online store 2.0 is not only beneficial to coders but also to merchants.
See, from a development standpoint, improvements to the implementation of the Shopify coding language 'Liquid' has resulted in increased speed and efficiency.
Therefore, retailers can now add Liquid right from the theme editor with Online Store 2.0, which saves time and is far more straightforward than the prior version of this feature.
Additionally, stores on Shopify can connect their Shopify theme to Github and push code changes to the Github repository from a local dev environment.
As a result, this makes working with developer teams when generating new branches and merging them into the master branch a whole lot easier.
N0.6: Checkout Apps
Checkout apps have been rolled out to Shopify merchants so that store owners on the standard Shopify plan can access these applications, whereas there were previously no customisation options available with online store 1.0.
While merchants on Shopify Plus will continue to have full checkout personalisation, other users will be able to access discounts that will encourage customers to make a purchase.
N0.7: Improved Metafields for Enhanced Store Flexibility
Within the Shopify ecosystem, meta fields are extra pieces of data that can attach themselves to; products, customers and orders.
They're also great for keeping data that doesn't fit anywhere else in the Shopify admin, such as; part numbers, customer titles, or blog post summaries.
Separately, developers used to rely on hardcode meta field displays as well as other APIs to make modifications to themes in the past and you can take it from us that using them was, a chore and time-consuming.
However, with the latest online store 2.0 updates available on Shopify, merchants can simply edit meta fields, allowing elements such as photos to be added without the use of; APIs and/ or coding.
Additionally, standard meta fields are also ready to use right away with online store 2.0.
Shopify Online Store 2.0 FAQs
If you’re still unsure of whether now is the right time for your business to upgrade to an online store 2.0 Shopify theme, we’d recommend taking a look at the list below to read through some of the most frequently asked questions about this innovative set of development features:
N0.1: Is Online Store 2.0 a New Tier of Shopify Payment?
Online store 2.0 does not relate to pricing plans on Shopify, as it is more of a set of features and enhancements that make life easier for merchants on the platform.
As a result, stores are now easier to build, have more flexibility and are effortless to maintain on online store 2.0.
Additionally, online store 2.0 also provides developers with a lot more freedom.
N0.2: When Did Online Store 2.0 Launch?
Summer 2021 saw the launch of online store 2.0. So, if you were to start a new Shopify store, you'd be on version 2.0.
However, if you are still using version 1.0, you should consider upgrading to the latest version to take advantage of the new features listed throughout this article.
N0.3: What Does Online Store 2.0 Cost?
Online store 2.0 is free for users that own a Shopify store with a premium subscription plan and a compatible theme.
Online store 2.0 was created to take the place of online store 1.0. However, merchants may find themselves needing to pay to migrate to the new version if help is required from a third party.
N0.4: How Do Merchants Migrate to Online Store 2.0?
JSON templates are utilised by several online store 2.0 features.
So, by converting a Liquid template to a JSON template and placing any essential Liquid code or HTML into parts that merchants can include, stores on Shopify will be able to migrate their theme to support these capabilities.
It is possible to migrate from online store 1.0 to 2.0 without the assistance of a third party, however, there are a few behind-the-scenes actions that would benefit from expert hands.
For instance; backing up a theme, moving code from the template into a section, deleting files, replacing files and adding references to sections are where a Shopify development agency would come into the equation.
N0.5: Are New Stores Built on Online Store 2.0?
By the end of 2021, it is estimated that all themes on the Shopify Theme Store will be compatible with online store 2.0.
Furthermore, it is envisaged that developers and agencies will create and launch more online store 2.0 Shopify templates in the future.
N0.6: Which Plan Is Needed for Online Store 2.0?
As long as you have a paid plan and are using a compatible theme, then any merchant on Shopify will be able to employ online store 2.0.
Fancy Another Article?
So, what do you have to lose? Now is the time to upgrade to Shopify 2.0 to take advantage of all of the new features.
We've got a lot more to say in our guide to OS 2.0 Shopify Theme Store templates. So, if you fancy another article, dive straight in.
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!
Get Started with Shopify
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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!