The Most Flexible, Scalable, and High-Performing Shopify Ever: Major Platform Investments Unveiled at Unite 2021 Give Entrepreneurs Limitless Creative Power

Developers and merchants will now have even more potential to create unique experiences that will define the future of commerce on the internet

Internet, Everywhere – June 29, 2021 - Shopify already powers commerce on the internet; in 2020, more than 450 million people checked out on Shopify, and we processed nearly $120 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV). As the world’s commerce platform, we keep innovating to give entrepreneurs endless possibilities to creatively present their brands and grow their businesses.

Today at Shopify Unite 2021, we announced our largest set of platform investments to date. With a lens into the future where every merchant can tell their unique story, we are reinventing the internet’s commerce infrastructure like never before and calling on developers to help us build that future together. 

We’re not just betting on a world full of merchants, but on a world full of developers and technical entrepreneurs. Our infrastructure updates—from Storefronts and Checkout to the Theme Store and our Partner Ecosystem—give developers and merchants even more power to create, customize, scale, and monetize on Shopify. 

“The internet is the world’s largest city, and Shopify is building its commerce infrastructure,” said Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify. “Especially over the past year, we saw independent businesses succeed by showing up creatively and uniquely in this city. The future of commerce on the internet relies on creative expression at every touchpoint. Together with developers, we are building the infrastructure to make this possible.” 


What we announced at Unite 2021

Snapshot:

Storefronts

  • Online Store 2.0: 
    • The biggest upgrade to Shopify's Liquid platform ever. It features greater levels of flexibility and customization so merchants can better showcase their brands, create unique online experiences, and integrate apps—all without touching code. We are also launching a new set of developer features including sections on all pages to personalize every aspect of a store, a new editor experience, and theme app extensions.
    • The Shopify Theme Store will open for developer submissions on July 15. We’re launching new developer tools and a new default theme that is faster and more beautiful than ever: Dawn. These will make building themes significantly easier and provide merchants more creative options for their storefronts.
  • Custom Storefronts:
    • We have made major global infrastructure investments to get online stores and our GraphQL Storefront API within 50 milliseconds of every buyer on Earth. This includes expanding hosting regions to every continent, with Shopify commerce logic running in 100+ server locations that will directly serve API requests for Custom Storefronts for faster response times.  
    • Introducing Hydrogen, a new React framework for developers to build custom storefronts (launching soon), as well as Oxygen, our future hosting platform for custom storefronts on Shopify.
  • Metafields and Custom Content:
    • With support for additional Metafields, merchants can now add their own attributes to models like products and product variants, with support for other models like customers and orders coming later this year. 
    • Custom Content, coming soon, will be built on top of the new Metafields infrastructure and will serve as Shopify's Content Management platform. It will allow merchants to store content of any format within Shopify. 

Checkout

  • Shopify Checkout will be even faster, giving any shop the capacity to handle tens of thousands of purchases per minute. Shopify’s goal is for a single merchant to be able to sell 300,000 pairs of sneakers in just over eight minutes, and for each individual shop to have the ability to handle as much sales volume as we served across all of Shopify at the peak of Black Friday Cyber Monday in 2020.
  • Introducing Checkout Extensions, allowing developers to securely build apps into Shopify Checkout. These checkout customizations will also work in Shop Pay, making the fastest way to pay on the internet another creative brand surface for merchants. 
  • Shopify Scripts are now easier to build and more powerful than ever for developers creating unique checkout experiences for Shopify Plus brands. 
  • Introducing Payments Platform, a way to integrate third-party payment gateways into  Shopify Checkout, unlocking new sales growth opportunities for merchants.

Developer-Entrepreneurs

  • Developers who build for the Shopify App Store will now pay 0% revenue share for the first $1M they earn annually on the platform starting on August 1. That’s down from 20%. The $1M benchmark resets annually.
  • The same 0% revenue share model will also be available to Theme Store developers. 

Full details on Shopify Unite 2021 announcements:

Storefronts

Commerce requires creative expression. We originally built our Storefronts platform with this creative flexibility in mind, offering “no code” configurability for merchants to get started quickly, but also “max code” access for developers to extend and customize. New investments in our Online Store and Custom Storefronts platform ensure that, regardless of a merchant's size, technical skill, complexity, or scale, their business can thrive on Shopify.

Online Store 2.0: The biggest upgrade to Shopify’s Liquid platform ever  

Online Store 2.0 represents the biggest upgrade to Shopify's Liquid platform in our history. It features greater levels of flexibility and customization so merchants can better express their brands, create unique online experiences, and integrate apps—all without touching code. With Online Store 2.0, brands are no longer constrained by technical limits, giving them free creative control over their customer experience. 

Online Store 2.0 updates include a set of new features that all work together: 

  • Sections on all pages unlock new opportunities to personalize every aspect of a store
  • New editor experience makes it more efficient for merchants to build their storefronts
  • Theme app extensions make it easier to extend and manage apps within themes

Shopify gave Netflix early access to Online Store 2.0, and they used the new features to create Netflix.Shop, the first ever ecommerce store for Netflix. 

As of July 15, the Shopify Theme Store is open to developers for new submissions

We’re launching a new range of development tools, including a new integration with Github, Theme Check, Development themes, and improvements to Liquid. Lastly, we are introducing Dawn, Shopify’s first source available theme that has the powerful Online Store 2.0 features built in. Created with flexibility and speed in mind, Dawn is 35% faster than the most popular Shopify theme and will be the new standard for Shopify theme development. Together, these updates will give theme developers more creative freedom and efficiency than ever before. 

Major infrastructure investments into APIs and developer tooling

Shopify scales with merchants at every stage, regardless of their maturity, technical resources, or complexity. A merchant should never have to replatform to achieve their desired tech stack, business logic, or buyer experience. Today, we are further investing into API-powered storefronts that allow developers to unlock our fast, flexible, and feature-rich platform while having the freedom to choose their own framework and language. And we have expanded hosting regions to every continent, with Shopify commerce logic running in 100+ server locations that will directly serve API requests for Custom Storefronts and bring online stores and our GraphQL Storefront API within 50 milliseconds of every buyer on Earth. 

Available July 1, improvements to our Storefront API include: 

  • New cart functionality that estimates the cost of products, with taxes and discounts, optimized for performance and designed to scale without any store-wide rate limits
  • Selling plans that enable merchants to set up subscriptions, pre-orders, and other direct integrations with Shopify’s native checkout
  • International pricing to offer localized buyer experiences by serving up per-country pricing according to buyer location
  • Local pickup so buyers can purchase a product online and pick up from their desired location 

Allbirds used our Custom Storefronts capabilities to build a new AR-enabled mobile app experience.

Introducing Hydrogen and Oxygen

At Unite 2021, we previewed Hydrogen, a React framework that simplifies the experience of building custom storefronts. Hydrogen includes commerce-specialized components like cart, variant picker, and media gallery that tackle the complexity of building a custom storefront. Now developers can focus on building the experiences that make brands truly stand out.

We also previewed Oxygen, a way to host Hydrogen storefronts directly on Shopify that is fast, global, and optimized for commerce.  

Metafields and Custom Content

With support for additional Metafields, merchants can now add their own attributes to models like products and product variants, with support for other models like customers and orders coming later this year. Custom Content, launching soon, will be built on top of the new Metafields infrastructure and will serve as Shopify's Content Management platform. It will allow merchants to store content of any format within Shopify. 

This flexibility enables merchants to store all of their data within one platform and makes data retrieval easier across the commerce experience for greater levels of flexibility and customization—across both Online Store 2.0 and Custom Storefronts.

Checkout

The most powerful checkout in the world is getting even faster, more scalable, and easier to customize.  

Major Shopify Checkout speed and capacity improvements 

Shopify Checkout will be even faster, giving any shop the capacity to handle tens of thousands of purchases per minute. With these capacity improvements, Shopify’s goal is for a single merchant to be able to sell 300,000 pairs of sneakers in just over eight minutes, and for each individual shop to have the ability to handle as much sales volume as we served across all of Shopify at the peak of Black Friday Cyber Monday in 2020.

Introducing Checkout Extensions: Developers can now securely build apps into Shopify Checkout

Customizing Shopify Checkout has become far easier with Checkout Extensions, Shopify’s new approach to customization that enables developers to securely build apps into Checkout. The post-purchase checkout extension is available now, so developers can build experiences like upsell and donation requests that render after checkout, with additional Checkout Extensions rolling out later this year. For merchants, Checkout Extensions will make Shopify Checkout even easier to use, integrate, and maintain over time, and the checkout customizations will also show up directly in Shop Pay, making the internet’s fastest way to pay another creative brand surface for merchants. 

Shopify Scripts are easier to build and more powerful than ever

We’ve rebuilt Shopify Scripts so developers working with Shopify Plus brands can write custom logic unique to their brand and deploy it to multiple stores using apps; and because Scripts execute in Shopify, they can scale up according to volume. For example, a merchant could customize the shipping options provided by Shopify and create a script that sorts shipping methods based on carbon emissions, allowing customers to pick the most eco-friendly option. With the new and improved Shopify Scripts, we’ve made it easier than ever to extend the business logic of Shopify and build unique checkout experiences.

Shopify is making it easier to scale Checkout globally with Payments Platform

Shopify’s global payment partners solve for a diverse set of merchant needs. Last year alone, those partners processed more than $65B in GMV. With the launch of our new Shopify Payments Platform, we are unblocking future opportunities for growth in markets and industries by empowering payment providers to build new integrations into Shopify. Our Payments Platform will replace our legacy integration points and will enable partners to create payment gateways as Shopify apps. This opens Shopify to a broader ecosystem of gateways that offer niche functionality and brings new business value to merchants by helping them sell more, in more places.

Developer-Entrepreneurs

Shopify is the best place for developers to build, grow, and scale their businesses--and it just got even better. Introducing our developer-first business model: 0% revenue share for the first $1M in annual revenue on the Shopify App Store and the Shopify Theme Store. 

Shopify revenue share is now 0% for the first $1M app developers make annually on the platform

When it comes to building apps for Shopify, the opportunity is already massive. In 2020 alone, Shopify partners generated $12.5B in revenue, up 84% year-over-year. Shopify makes it possible for developers around the world to build successful businesses of their own while giving merchants more flexibility to customize their commerce experience. 

As of August 1, we’re offering a 0% revenue share for all developers making less than $1M per year on our app store. This is significant for Shopify and our developers because: 

  • Currently, Shopify charges 20% revenue share, so we’re significantly increasing the opportunity for developers to build and grow their businesses
  • The $1M benchmark resets annually, meaning developers will have more earning potential year over year
  • Unlike other app stores, Shopify’s revenue share (once it applies) will be only 15% of marginal revenue. In other words, developers will pay 15% only on revenue over $1M.

We are making the same 0% revenue share model available to Theme Store developers* 

Over 1.7M merchants around the world use Shopify themes, and we are offering the same business model of 0% revenue share for Theme Store developers until they make $1M annually. For merchants, more themes mean more opportunities to showcase their brands and deepen connections with consumers.  

Commerce is rapidly evolving for merchants all over the globe. These updates mean more merchants will have their diverse needs met through a larger selection of apps and themes, and developers will have more entrepreneurial opportunities than ever before. 

For more details and the full recording of Shopify Unite 2021, please visit unite.shopify.com.


*The Shopify App Store and Shopify Theme Store are separate revenue streams; the $1M revenue share metric applies to each independently. 

While more generous terms on our developer revenue share mean less for us near term, we do not expect the impact to be material. We believe this more equitable approach will encourage greater innovation and development on behalf of merchants overall, and allow more businesses to succeed on Shopify.

Forward-looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”) including statements regarding Shopify's product offerings and planned product roadmap. Words such as “will”, “plan” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.These forward-looking statements are based on Shopify’s current expectations about future events and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including the risks described in Shopify’s filings with securities regulators. Shopify undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

 

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