Big Changes from Shopify Unite 2021

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The Shopify Unite 2021 has given an in-depth look at what Shopify is up to.

From platform support for merchants, developer collaboration to improved checkout experience, and zero commissions from developers earning below $1m revenue annually, Shopify provides a glimpse into the future of eCommerce.

The eCommerce giant announced the biggest infrastructure investment in its history, opening up opportunities for merchants and developers to grow their businesses in more unique and customized ways.

Here, we rounded up the big changes Shopify announced to keep you updated.

Zero Commission For Developers Earning Below $1m Annually

In a significant change to its app store business model, Shopify announced zero percent revenue share on the first $1 million its app developers make annually on the Shopify app store.

With this policy change, app developers making below $1 million annually will not pay commission, starting from August 1st, and the benchmark resets yearly.

According to Shopify, developers earning more than $1m will now pay 15 percent commission, down from the previous 20 percent revenue share.

The company believes this developer-first business model will enable developers with more money to scale their businesses and build more apps.

Introducing Online Store 2.0

Shopify announced its heaviest investment in the online store platform, giving developers a peek at what to expect from the company.

Online Store 2.0, as Shopify calls it, rebuilds the shopping experience from the ground up, introducing a new set of developer tools that enable developers to build amazing themes and apps for merchants.

According to Shopify, this new update brings to the table:

  • An upgraded theme architecture that provides more flexible customization options for merchants
  • Flexible theme content that allows theme developers to use dynamic sources to insert standard meta fields instead of hardcoding them into the theme
  • Enhancement to the theme editor that lets merchants take advantage of the OS 2.0 upgrades
  • New developer tools that allow developers to build amazing apps that integrate with Shopify seamlessly
  • Dawn—a new default and reference theme that ties together all the features of OS 2.0.

Faster and Extended Checkout With Apps

Soon, Shopify checkout will be faster, enabling merchants to handle tens of thousands of purchases per minute and up to 300,000 sales in about eight minutes.

The company plans to let all merchants extend their checkout with apps, not just Shopify Plus account holders. This arrangement will sellers to build whatever they need, from simple customizations to complex user interfaces and business logic.

The new update will unpack exciting capabilities like:

  • Checkout extensions that allow developers to build custom checkout experiences
  • A wholly rebuilt Shopify Scripts that are faster and more powerful
  • Payments platforms that enable integrating third-party payment gateways into Shopify checkouts

Improved Developers Collaboration

With close to two million merchants using Shopify globally, the company believes deeper collaboration with developers paves the way for improved app development and more opportunities for developers.

Consequently, the company is announcing a series of enhancements like better documentation, developer consoles, and Google Cloud Pub/Sub to help improve development workflow.

Shopify is also making improvements to its app store to boost app discoverability to enable merchants to connect with developers’ apps easily.

It also plans to enable developers to manage billing and payout more seamlessly, including receiving payments in different forms.

Updates to the Storefront API

The upcoming July API release will let developers build a more robust experience for merchants, Shopify announced, enabling merchants to offer shoppers a unique buying experience at all stages of their journey.

The updated Storefront API, built for more conversion, will unlock new eCommerce capabilities that let merchants optimize for local pickups, enable subscription selling plans and offer international pricing for global shoppers.

The new API will empower merchants to scale with confidence. 

Final Thoughts

Shopify’s big changes will enable merchants and developers to scale effortlessly, but the events leading to the announcements leave us speculating. 

Early last month, Google and Shopify entered a shopping expansion partnership many analysts believe is a ramped-up effort to contain Amazon’s growing threat and incursion into the ad business.

November last year, Apple reduced charges for its app developers earning less than $1 million, with Google following suit recently, and just last week, Microsoft announced its app developers would be able to avoid its 15 percent commission fee.

These events make Shopify’s moves look more strategic than philanthropic. But, could these big changes be another Shopify response to competitive threats? Perhaps.

Also read:


About Shopify

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform powering over 1.7 million businesses. The platform lets people start, run and grow a business, even without a brick-and-mortar store. It currently offers over 3,200 apps that let merchants extend their store capabilities.

Check out our Shopify review to find out more.


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Article by Nicholas Godwin

Nicholas Godwin tells profitable brand stories that tech buyers and businesses love. He is a digital marketing consultant and technology researcher and regularly works on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations, and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. Catch him on Twitter @Donglitzie
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