Shopify dropped a bombshell of an update with their first bi-annual Shopify Editions: Connect to Consumer (Summer '22). In addition to all the amazing new offerings to merchants, there were plenty of great developer focused announcements that continue to improve custom development capabilities on the platform.
Our tech team was quick to review and begin experimenting with the new releases and have put together the following run down of the items that our team is most excited about for both our clients and our tech team.
Wow. This is a big one. For a long time, our team has had to work tirelessly to create unique solutions for complex discounting rules and a lot of it has stemmed from the few prior limitations of discount functionality on the Shopify platform. With the main prior limitation being the inability to stack different discounts simultaneously.
We are incredibly excited about the release of Discount Combinations, as this new functionality will further unlock the ways in which our clients can create discounts, without requiring additional development effort. That means our development team can focus on other areas of innovation for our clients instead of recreating discounting scenarios that were commonly available on other eCommerce platforms.
We don’t want to count the times we’ve had to say: “We can’t change that, it’s just the way the Shopify platform works.” But now it looks like we won’t be saying that nearly as often.
Shopify Functions will allow our development team to customize back-end logic which powers parts of Shopify. The first piece that Shopify has exposed is Discounting, which combined with Discount Combinations (see above) will make it even easier and more stable for us to build the more complex promotional scenarios our client’s love: Tiered Discounting, One Code Multiple Discounts, Gifts with Purchase - here we come!
We’ve been able to develop these features previously for our clients by leveraging Shopify Scripts, but modifications and ongoing management often required further development support. This new announcement will mean an improved experience for our clients when managing these custom promotions moving forward.
This is also one of the first times that any functionality tied to Shopify’s checkout has supported custom development and Shopify plans to continue to open up more areas in the future. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.
Our team is already experimenting with the Developer Preview and preparing for when this feature reaches wider release.
Customizing Shopify’s checkout experience has always been a bit of a risky business. While it’s possible for us to introduce custom front-end code to perform changes, our team has always recommended proceeding with caution when layering customizations over the most important step in the conversion funnel. If there’s a bug or an issue when you’re in checkout, that quickly becomes a lost sale.
With the release of Checkout Extensions, Shopify has provided a better and safer way to bring some of the most commonly asked for changes to the checkout. Our team is already creating some proof of concepts for items like gift messaging and upsells, which we’ll be able to begging implementing with our clients in the very near future.
Shopify Metafields are one of the most important elements in creating custom storefronts and extending platform functionality. For a long time, metafields were a developer only feature and obscured from our clients. Interacting with them and changing them required third-party apps, Product Inventory Management (PIM) integrations, or developer support.
Shopify has slowly been changing this, making metafields an easier to manage part of the Shopify Admin experience. This expansion started with Product metafields, but now reaches the Variants, Collections, Customers, Orders, Blogs and Blog Posts objects. We’re seeing the addition of new field types and other objects upcoming in the near future as well.
The easier it is to modify and manage metafields, the more custom functionality we can continue to introduce on our client’s storefronts.
This one is for the devs and clean code advocates. At Tomorrow, we pride ourselves on writing high quality code and we know one of the best ways to do that is to provide our developers with the right tools. We want our development team to be able to focus on building features, not checking indentation.
For a long time Shopify Liquid files could not be auto-formatted and there was no real industry standard for syntax. The new Shopify Prettier Plugin means we’ll be able to quickly write new features, get pull requests approved faster, and have beautiful code. No more tabs versus spaces discussions!
Hydrogen + Oxygen
Last but not least, Hydrogen + Oxygen. Our team is already deep into Hydrogen and we’ve been building with it for two clients already. And it’s the product release that’s got our tech team the most excited.
With this latest suite of announcements, we are now able to use Oxygen, which removes the need to maintain server infrastructure, while still enabling us to manage and deploy Hydrogen storefronts.
Stay tuned for our upcoming learnings and thoughts on Shopify Hydrogen + Oxygen as our team gets deeper in the code, and deploy our first two storefronts on Shopify’s new headless stack.