The Game-Changing Advantages of Shopify Online Store 2.0

Shopify has launched a new online store design experience with Shopify Online Store 2.0. Let’s take a look at what that means for Shopify merchants and developers.

Shopify Online Store 2.0

One of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms of 2023, Shopify continues to evolve by delivering solutions and enhancements that keep merchants and online brands at the forefront, providing them with much-need advantages in the competitive ecommerce space.

On June 29, 2021, Shopify announced one of the biggest updates to the ecommerce platform ever—the new and improved Online Store 2.0, a big change to the ecommerce platform that captured the attention of Shopify merchants and Shopify developers worldwide who wondered how this new update improves the Shopify store design experience.

In this article, we explore some of the advantages of Online Store 2.0 for merchants and developers on the Shopify platform. We will go into the most significant changes and advantages, ultimately helping you decide whether these advantages are enough to merit the switch to Online Store 2.0 or to stick with a vintage theme and online store.

What is Online Store 2.0?

Shopify 2.0 or Online Store 2.0 is a significant upgrade to the Shopify platform and store design experience that adds new improvements to the theme architecture, with more customization and development options that helps brands stay up-to-date visually and in terms of functionality.

The underlying goal behind Online Store 2.0 is to provide merchants with even more freedom to achieve their brand vision through their virtual storefronts while also making it simpler for developers to create and customize stores.

In other words, Shopify 2.0 streamlines the process of designing and managing your online store, while giving you more control over its look and feel, so you can easily fulfill the original vision of your brand.

The Online Store 2. updates include exciting new changes and enhancements to the Themes and Online Store Editor, Store Content, and Developer Tools.

Now, let’s go into detail on what’s new with Shopify Online Store 2.0 and the advantages it presents:

  1. Better Design- Sections Everywhere
  2. Online Store 2.0’s aim is to give merchants and developers more control over the design of online stores, making it easy for brand owners to fully realize their dream storefronts with the new theme architecture that will allow you more room to personalize your store. The major update the Shopify’s theme architecture is here to give store owners even more freedom by introducing Sections Everywhere, one of Online Store 2.0’s most exciting new features.

    With Sections Everywhere, you can now add blocks and sections where you like. Previously, sections on Shopify were limited to the homepage, so this new update is game-changing. With Online Store 2.0, every page of a Shopify store allows business owners to add, remove, and rearrange sections as they wish across all their shop’s web pages.

  3. New App Blocks
  4. In the previous version of Shopify, how an app is integrated with a Shopify store was rigid with constraints. The app will show up on your store where it was originally intended to show up unless the app developer offers custom integrations.

    Shopify Online Store 2.0 has since introduced app blocks, an exciting new addition with implications for greater customization. Apps are now provided as blocks within a page, giving Shopify retailers complete control over exactly which pages a certain app will display on and where with drag and drop. Even better, you can use the theme editor to directly adjust the app settings.

  5. Upgrades to Metafields
  6. With the updated theme editor, merchants can now easily manage metafields. Shopify 2.0. Metafields are custom fields that enable merchants to include specific data that could not be previously added via the Shopify admin panel's conventional methods in the past.

    Today, Shopify merchants no longer need to bother about APIs and coding to add metafields and properties. This means that merchants can now add content to a product page, like size chart details and specific fields to include ingredients without coding. This extends to all web pages and not just product pages, leaving room for more possibilities.

    Shopify Metafields also now supports other media, like images and PDF files to better illustrate the information you wish to add.

  7. Improved Developer Tools
  8. Online Store 2.0 introduced a suite of improved developer tools that greatly enhances the experience of developing apps and better themes. These tools seamlessly integrate with Shopify, assisting and empowering developers in the development, testing, and deployment of apps and themes. Although this is an enhancement geared toward developers, it undoubtedly benefits merchants as well because it speeds up and improves the efficiency of site development.

    With Online Store 2.0, Shopify has launched a new integration with GitHub which will make theme development and maintenance easier to manage for developers. Shopify has also made changes to the existing Shopify CLI tool for app developers, as well as the language server Theme Check, which scans themes for errors, performance issues, missing templates, and more, helping users debug themes quickly and efficiently.

  9. Dawn- A New Reference Theme
  10. Shopify has launched a brand new and better-adapted default theme to go with the Online Store 2.0 update, and they named it Dawn. Now the default theme, Dawn is set as a reference for theme developers to base new themes on, with all the best practices in mind for ecommerce in the current age.

    Dawn’s advantage lies in its great focus on speed and flexibility, achieving optimal performance across all browsers and screen sizes. It offers the perfect balance between design and customization, allowing online brands on Shopify to make the changes they want to suit their needs. A significant development for Shopify Themes, Dawn loads 35% faster than the previous default theme, Debut!

At the end of 2021, all themes available in the Shopify Theme store consist of Online Store 2.0 compatible themes only (the same goes for Shopify Apps), so that new merchants can experience the speed and efficiency of the improved modern themes.

Reasons to Upgrade Your Shopify Store to Online Store 2.0

For online stores and brands that like to keep things fresh and contemporary, making the upgrade to Online Store 2.0 offers significant advantages to both developers and merchants—making it worth the switch.

The update to Shopify has introduced a way to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of ecommerce, bringing with it intuitive improvements, great new features, and tangible advantages that streamline how you design, develop, and manage your online business, ultimately saving you time and boosting the profitability of your online ventures.

With Online Store 2.0 themes, merchants gain even greater creative and functional flexibility on how they wish their store to appear and work. You get a more unique and personalized representation of your brand through your online storefront and across all your web pages.

The update not only gives creative freedom to Shopify merchants around the world, but it also empowers Shopify developers, helping them create standout stores, themes, and apps.

To sum it all up, upgrading to Online Store 2.0 gives you access to the latest features and improved functionality that online shoppers are after—giving your ecommerce brand a competitive edge. To stay ahead, you can embrace the updates to the platform and the benefits offered by Shopify 2.0.

Upgrading to Online Store 2.0

Ready to make the switch to Online Store 2.0?

With the release of Shopify’s latest version of Online Store 2.0, many Shopify merchants have been asking themselves whether they should make the switch and whether it's compulsory.

First of all, switching to Online Store 2.0 is not mandatory. You can continue to use a vintage theme if you are satisfied or feel like your customers prefer the older design.

For online stores that wish to take advantage of Online Store 2.0’s new features, there are 3 ways to easily upgrade:

  • Download a new Online Store 2.0 theme from the Shopify Theme Store
  • Download an existing Online Store 2.0 version of your theme
  • Migrate your current theme manually to the new theme architecture.

Ready to Upgrade to Shopify Online Store 2.0?

For Shopify merchants who wish to understand the best options in updating to Shopify 2.0 and selecting the best possible 2.0 theme, you can consult a Shopify Experts Agency like Ecommerce Pro to help you make the right choice to streamline the transition.

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