Many exciting changes have happened across the Shopify platform this year already, but over the past 24 hours, we have the newest information released only yesterday from Shopify Unite. One of the most exciting updates is the Storefront API.
The Storefront API enables precise and high performance for the brands involved, as well as allowing those merchants access to the full breadth of Shopify commerce primitives. Currently, Shopify is working to bring this engine to every major geographical region. To unlock this, the team are re-writing their APIs from scratch and optimisation which powers online stores.
With the power of Shopify's platform, you can run a store that requires no code, but with just a few clicks, you can get a battery-included store up and running. You can then tailor and scale your business using thousands of different themes and apps for Shopify, as we mentioned in our previous article Dawn: The Latest Theme for Shopify Design.
The best thing about Shopify is that the platform grows with you and it allows your Shopify store to flex when and where you need it to. So, let’s take a further look at Storefront API:
As you probably know already, the platform releases quarterly updates and we’ve heard the latest information from Shopify Unite so, we’re going to go through the releases for July that we think are worth highlighting:
You can create and whitelist meta fields via the admin API and thanks to Shopify’s latest update, you will now be able to retrieve all of them via your Storefront API. This gives you the full power to enter date products, product variants, orders, customers and all other core Shopify types.
Shopify Unite also introduced the new in-context QraphQL directive. This feature will enable you to pass in relevant buyer contexts. For example, access to international pricing configured by the merchant will be one of the new things that can be seen here.
Selling plans enable merchants to create custom billing, pricing and delivery policies. Combined, they enable merchants to create subscriptions, pre-orders and other ways to sell through direct integration with a native Shopify checkup.
Admin APIs which allow you to create custom plans were released earlier this year, but now you will also have the ability to retrieve selling plans configured by the merchants.
Last but not least – another update from Unite. Shopify wants to ensure that every merchant can scale to any need and size, whilst providing the best buyer experience throughout the journey. So, to help you to achieve this new cart capabilities have been introduced in the Storefront API.
The cart has been built for performance, reliability and Shopify scale. It is powered by the same powerful primitives that can be seen at the checkout but have also been fine-tuned to provide predictable low latency response. It has also been designed to scale without any storewide rate limits.
There will be more to come too as Shopify Unite noted that they have listened to developer feedback regarding the overall ergonomics of the Storefront API. Based on this feedback, Shopify plans on releasing a major update to the storefronts schema later on this year. The removal of cruft and the simplification of things is on the agenda to make the Storefront API more intuitive to use.
In the past, everyone was able to make small changes through the editor, plus merchants had access to checkout.liquid. So, now Shopify has made it possible to extend checkout with apps. A new set of capabilities have been introduced here so that you can build exactly what you need. From simple changes to the look and feel, all the way through to complex UI and bespoke server-side business logic.
These new capabilities include; checkout UI extensions, an overhaul of scripts and a new payment platform. In the past customisations required you to hack checkout.liquid, but now how customisations are built is changing as apps for Shopify are at the centre of the new approach.
Apps for Shopify will be easy for you to distribute, fast for you to install and upgrade safe so that merchants can continue to receive the best of all platform benefits as new features are added.
Checkout extensions allow Shopify to take your code, host it on Shopify CDN for fast delivery and run it securely inside of a web worker sandbox in the browser.
Since apps for Shopify are built on solid APIs, they will always be automatically compatible with the new features that Shopify releases.
In the past, changes to checkout extensions would not have been applied to Shop Pay, which meant that merchants had to choose between their customisations or disabling shop pay and risk-taking a hit on their conversions. However, checkout extensions and branding settings will now show up on Shop Pay.
Post Purchase Extension
This is the platform’s first checkout extension that can be used to present different offers or to show content to buyers right after they’ve completed their checkout, but before they arrive on the thank you page.
The biggest improvement that Shopify Unite mentioned is that you can now build Shopify Scripts using your preferred development workflow. Scripts are now deployed and installed using apps, making it possible for you to deploy your scripts to multiple stores and merchants will be able to use them without touching code.
Even though Script is a powerful tool, it would seem that this could be made even better, which is why the script infrastructure has been rebuilt using Web Assembly. This new foundation will speed up the development process, improve reliability and make your scripts run much faster.
It’s exciting to know that there is now a better option for all payment developers, as Shopify’s payment platform will replace the legacy integration points which enables you to create payment gateways as Shopify apps. The payment platform has been built to work with Shopify’s new checkout technology stack.
Payment apps for Shopify will be easier to customise, faster for merchants to install and will allow you to build faster with modern APIs. Thanks to Shopify Unite, we’re able to bring you the latest information on the topic.
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. Drop us an email to get started!