Shopify unveils major platform enhancements for 2021

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The company aims to “give entrepreneurs limitless creative power”

Shopify has announced the largest set of platform updates in its history. Presenting at the Unite 2021 event, the company said it was looking “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,” they claimed. Shopify is already one of the largest entities in commerce on the internet. In 2020, 450 million people checked out on Shopify, and processed nearly $120 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV). As the world’s commerce platform, Shopify needs to innovate, they say. Their goal in this is to “give entrepreneurs endless possibilities to creatively present their brands and grow their businesses.”

“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,” Lütke continued. “Together with developers, we are building the infrastructure to make this possible.”

Here’s what’s new and improved:

Shopify’s Online Store version 2.0 is “the biggest upgrade to Shopify’s Liquid platform ever,” they say. It features greater levels of flexibility and customization. This in turn allows merchants to better showcase their brands, create unique online experiences, and integrate apps—all without touching code.

Shopify have also made major global infrastructure investments. They claim these will get online stores and their GraphQL Storefront API “within 50 milliseconds of every buyer on Earth.” This includes expanding hosting regions to every continent, they say. Shopify commerce logic is now running in 100+ server locations. These will directly serve API requests for Custom Storefronts for faster response times.

They have added support for additional Metafields. These allow merchants to add their own attributes to models like products and product variants. The platform will also soon support Custom Content, which will allow merchants to store content of any format within Shopify.

“Commerce is rapidly evolving for merchants all over the globe,” the company states. “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.”