Shopify Online Store 2.0 - what you need to know!

Since Shopify launched the new Online Store 2.0, we’ve been busy helping clients take advantage of its possibilities. Overall, the new online store experience gives merchants more in-house control and flexibility across their products, collections, pages and entire stores. Some brands still haven't made the move, so we've outlined below how Online Store 2.0 has helped us deliver great eCommerce experiences for our clients and their customers.

Read on for:

  • What is Shopify Online Store 2.0

  • New features in Online Store 2.0

  • Brand successes on Online Store 2.0

  • Making a move to Online Store 2.0

1. What is Shopify Online Store 2.0?

Shopify Online Store 2.0 is a new and improved version of the Shopify platform. First announced in 2021, this major upgrade offers a host of new features and improvements designed to make it easier and more efficient for merchants to customise their Shopify sites.

2. What new features come with Online Store 2.0?

As heard straight from the horses’ mouth, “Online Store 2.0 marks an end-to-end overhaul of how themes are built at Shopify. With sections on every page, app-powered blocks, flexible data storage, and robust developer tools, the process of building a theme on Shopify is easier than ever before. The extensibility offered to app developers means more opportunity to build integrations for merchants and surface your solution directly in the online store.”

Read Shopify’s full post on the launch or see our top-level summary below:

Sections everywhere.

Previously, merchants only had the flexibility of sections on the home page. With 2.0, merchants can now add sections to all pages, meaning every aspect of a store can be personalised.

App blocks.

Now that apps are delivered in blocks, merchants can control which pages (and where on that page) apps appear, plus change the app settings directly via the theme editor.

Improvements to metafields.

The new theme editor enables merchants to add metafields and properties without using APIs or third-party apps. Metafields now also support media such as images or PDF files.

Enhancements to the theme editor.

The theme editor is easier to navigate with a handy “tree view” of all the content on a page in the sidebar. In addition, merchants can now add custom Liquid code to pages directly from the editor.

New developer tools.

As Online Store 2.0 heralds a new way for developers to build apps and themes for merchants, Shopify has introduced a range of new developer tools to facilitate this seamlessly. For example, Shopify GitHub (version control) integration, an updated Shopify CLI tool, and Theme Check.

A new reference theme.

Shopify launched a brand new default theme called Dawn that brings together all the features of 2.0. With a focus on speed, Dawn loads 35 per cent faster than Debut, the theme that more than half of merchants use today.

Meet Dawn: Shopify's default theme on Online Store 2.0
New dawn: Shopify's speedy new default theme.

3. Brand success on Shopify Online Store 2.0.

Now that you’re up to speed on Online Store 2.0, let’s look at how it’s working for our clients!

Chelsea Peers: wide awake with new features & functionality.

Chelsea Peers is a colourful, exuberant and hugely positive loungewear brand. Already at home on Shopify Plus, the brand wanted a fresh look and elevated design with more in-house control.

“In keeping with both these objectives, we delivered a sleek and fully flexible homepage they can customise,” says Tom Bellew, Senior Developer at blubolt. “We also included customer quotes and their Instagram feed for greater authority. And, of course, we ensured this was of an equal standard on mobile with tabs across the top for easy navigation.”

The new capabilities of Online Store 2.0, Chelsea Peers’ new site, have already delivered impressive results. “Our customers have been so positive about the new site, highlighting how user-friendly it is,” says Teresa Ktistaki, Senior eCommerce Manager at Chelsea Peers. “For our in-house team, tools like Launchpad and Shopify Flow have streamlined our collection and promotion launches. We also love the easy-to-customise homepage and product page segments. The proof is in the metrics: since launch, our conversion rate has increased to 3%, and revenue is up by 200% YoY!”

Chelsea Peers homepage built on Shopify Online Store 2.0

Whitehall Garden Centres: green shoots on Online Store 2.0.

Whitehall Garden Centres offer high-quality plants, gifts, and garden furniture. The brand is also renowned for its Christmas Collection of trees, decorations and home accessories. Whitehall migrated from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus, with the brand seeking more flexibility from the site with standardised, editable templates they could manage. “As such, we delivered streamlined and fully customisable pages,” says Reece Williams, Developer at blubolt. “Including features like section blocks, collection and product sliders, and blog posts. This ensures users can quickly and easily connect to other areas of the website.”

Using Online Store 2.0, the brand can now tailor its website in-house. “Above all, my favourite features on the new site are the product listing pages and the product pages,” says Charlotte Self, Marketing Brand & Graphic Design Manager at Whitehall Garden Centre. “Before, we had very clunky pages with small text, small images and poor design. Now the products are easy to see, with big images, clear pricing, and fantastic product information. We can now upsell all these pages by using the new features ‘complete the set’ and ‘style it with’.”

“We’ve had nothing but positive feedback on our new Shopify Plus site from our customers,” says Charlotte Self, Marketing Brand & Graphic Design Manager at Whitehall Garden Centre. “They’ve said that the website is much more user-friendly, the layout is clearer, and it’s easier to find products.”

Whitehall Garden Centre homepage built on Shopify Online Store 2.0
Whitehall Garden Centres: the brand now enjoys easy editing & customisation.

Rave Coffee: barista-quality on Online Store 2.0.

Rave Coffee delivers great coffee with freshly roasted single-origin beans and blends. Already enjoying the power of Shopify Plus, the brand sought a complete redesign and evaluation of its customer journey on the site.

Building with Online Store 2.0, we unlocked a raft of settings to give Rave Coffee maximum in-house flexibility and creative control. For example, blubolt utilised 2.0’s new ‘sections everywhere’ on the homepage. This enables the client to easily customise the page by flipping images and text on banners or changing the icons above text. Similarly, hero banners can be adjusted for triple or split image formats. Rave also has complete control over the ticker banner and the sliders for best-sellers, new arrivals, and reviews. So much customisation without contacting the development team!

This level of internal creative freedom and flexibility is evident throughout the rest of the site. For example, on the product landing pages (PLP), Rave can easily change the icons, headlines, and colours. They can also add advert banners among the products to push particular messaging like new arrivals or offers.

Rave Coffee homepage built with Online Store 2.0
Raving success: Rave Coffee using Online Store 2.0

Adnams Southwold: a toast to in-house control & flexibility.

Adnams Southwold has been brewers, distillers, wine merchants, retailers, publicans, and hoteliers for 150 years. On the brand’s new website, built on Online Store 2.0, the blubolt team utilised the ‘sections everywhere’ functionality over 20 times for maximum flexibility.

Homepage Hub.

As a multi-channel retailer, the Adnams Southwold website is a hub for the whole brand. Consequently, the new Shopify Plus site had to incorporate everything from events, experiences, and accommodation to trade and eCommerce. “This is reflected on the homepage, which provides an overview of the whole business rather than being ecommerce first, ” says Hugo Burguete, Senior Frontend Developer at blubolt. “For example, the “Keep Exploring Adnams” slider and the large hero banner that the brand can fully customise in-house to feature different areas of the business.”

eCommerce Shop.

The Shop page is essentially the eCommerce homepage for the brand. Again utilising ‘sections everywhere’, the blubolt team enabled as many settings as possible to give Adnams more in-house control. As a result, Adnams can easily change icons above text, colours, images and CTAs. The flexibility continues on the Collections page. “We set up double-width advert banners between products and a “Keep Exploring Adnams” banner that leads to other areas of Adnams’ operations,” says Pete Heyes, Developer at blubolt. “We also enabled the brand to hide out-of-stock products to improve the user experience.”

“Shopify Plus has opened several avenues for us to take the next step in our retail journey, and the improved functionality has allowed us to introduce new and exciting features like click and collect from our retail stores, says David Wyatt Hupton, Retail Sales & Marketing Manager at Adnams Southwold. “Shopify Plus has already improved the retail team’s productivity with its ease of use, and we look forward to introducing new and exciting features in the coming months!”

Adnams homepage built with Shopify Online Store 2.0
Adnams' Homepage hub.

4. Migrating to Shopify Online Store 2.0.

So, ready to make a move to Online Store 2.0? Whether you’re already on Shopify Plus and looking to upgrade or if you’re planning to replatforming, there are two options:

DIY migration to Online Store 2.0.

Shopify has helpfully provided guidance on making a move to Online Store 2.0. The big takeaway is that many of the features of Online Store 2.0 are dependent on JSON templates. So, by migrating your theme, you can add support for 2.0’s new features by converting a Liquid template into a JSON template and moving any required Liquid code or HTML into sections that you can include in the new JSON template.

Migrating with an accredited Shopify Plus Partner agency.

To ensure your upgrade to 2.0 or migration to Shopify Plus on 2.0 is smoothly executed, choose a certified Shopify Plus partner agency like blubolt! Check out our expert credentials on our Shopify Plus Partner profile.

5. Have a Shopify Plus project? Get in touch!

Are you looking to boost your eCommerce performance? If so, you've come to the right place. We're an accredited Shopify Plus Partner agency that designs, builds and optimises bespoke eCommerce solutions to help your brand grow faster. Explore our expert Shopify services and browse our client work for even more Shopify inspiration. Alternatively, get in touch to discuss your requirements. We would love to help!

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