Earlier this summer, Shopify unveiled “Shopify Online Store 2.0,” which comes with some pretty significant changes to its eCommerce platform. As Shopify moves in the direction of customization and user autonomy, the new features could have major impacts on business owners, managers, and—most critically—developers.
Designed to make the platform more user-friendly while boosting performance, the company also shared a bold new revenue-sharing model. Under the mandate of empowering the developers who use their platform, this new framework gives app and theme creators 100% revenue up to $1 million each year.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the implications these changes will have for both entrepreneurs and the Shopify development community.
Shopify Online Store 2.0: Why it matters for business owners
Of all the changes mentioned in the company’s spanning 75-minute Shopify Unite event, the most impactful part for small business owners and managers will likely be the new online editor and the open content management system. Here’s why:
- There are notable updates to its templating language, called Liquid. It will now include an editor similar in performance to WordPress’s Gutenberg. This upgraded editor may replace some popular Shopify apps, including the Shogun page builder.
- The new online editor will likely make it easy for small and midsized businesses to create and populate new page templates without writing code.
Customization and brand story
In addition to the new editor, Vanessa Lee, Shopify’s product director of storefronts, shared an inside look at Shopify’s soon-to-be-released content management system. She emphasized the importance of customization and that Shopify understands how brand’s need to be able to tell their own story:
“We know that content is super important when it comes to expressing a shop’s brand, and soon you will be able to create entirely new custom [content] types…you will be able to create content once and publish it to all of your channels, including the online store,” Lee said, noting that the platform also intended to continue working with existing content management platforms.
Shopify Online Store 2.0: Why it matters for developers
On the development side of things, the changes announced were also notable. They include:
- General Improvements: Documentation and command-line interface have been improved; they’ve added GitHub support and created a new developer console for performance testing.
- Checkout and Storefront API: There are new checkout extensions, a set of extension points, APIs, and user interface components. In addition, they’ve added Storefront API, allowing for new cart capabilities, including the ability to pass relevant buyer context (such as country or state) with the GraphQL API and a new option to query physical store inventory to power buy-online-pick-up-in-store solutions.
- Hydrogen: As told by Shopify, they’ve added a new React-powered “developer toolkit that includes scaffolding to help get you up and running with only a few clicks, and a set of React components to help you build the foundation of your commerce website, so you can focus on styling and designing the features that make a merchant’s brand unique.”
Shopify Online Store 2.0: A bold new world of revenue sharing
Perhaps the best news revealed, from the perspective of app and theme developers anyways, was the company’s new app and theme revenue sharing model. Late into the live event, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein spoke enthusiastically about their new revenue-sharing approach:
“We have always said we want to create more opportunities for our developers and our partners than we take for ourselves,” he said. “The opportunities keep getting bigger. Last year our partner ecosystem generated $12.5 billion in revenue. And that number is up more than 84% from 2019, which is four times more than Shopify made, and that is the way it should be. We only succeed when you do.”
Finkelstein then confirmed that effective August 1, 2021, Shopify would no longer take any share of the revenue from apps or themes up to $1 million per year sales. After $1 million in sales, Shopify will take 15%, reducing its previous revenue share of 20%.
Ultimately, this approach will likely go a long way to encourage developers to create apps and themes specifically for Shopify. We will keep you posted on what happens as the new revenue-sharing model becomes active in the coming weeks. Likewise, if you’d like to stay up to date on current social media trends and growth marketing hacks, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest digital marketing news.