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Shopify 2.0

What is Shopify 2.0?

Shopify 2.0 (which Shopify stubbornly insists on referring to as Online Store 2.0) is a sort of collective name for a huge number of updates to how the Shopify platform works, its architecture, tools and capabilities. 

For most people, the most important thing is that it helps brands to save time, enhance performance, adapt to changing customer needs and improve business efficiency; but if you’d like a deeper dive into the inner workings of Shopify 2.0, you can find it in our blog Everything you need to know about Shopify 2.0.

There are a few ways to go about upgrading your store to take full advantage of the benefits of Shopify 2.0, but many of the brands we work with have seen the process as an opportunity to refresh the look and feel of their website, improve their site’s user-journey and increase their conversion rate.

Why Shopify 2.0?

What 2.0 delivers

Why should I consider upgrading to Shopify 2.0?

New and improved theme editor

Part of Shopify’s big selling point is its UX and UI, and the Shopify 2.0 updates (and later releases like ‘sections everywhere’) made a big push to keep this advantage. The updated theme editor helps to navigate and manage blocks more easily, allowing users better control of the look and feel of the store.

The editor now displays a hierarchy of all the sections on a page in the sidebar. You can choose to hide or display blocks, and drag them around to easily adjust the format of the page - and match the content of your site to your brand identity faster. The editor also has an inspect tool that will allow you to identify the sections responsible for any element.

Seamless integration with Shopify Apps

This feature allows you to easily add apps to the theme from the theme editor without having to edit the theme code or needing a development agency to install them for you - though it’s worth saying that brands looking for custom or branded integrations may need some level of support to get the best results.Apps are delivered onto a page in blocks (a little like widgets on a WordPress site). This means you now have the option to choose which pages app blocks show up on - and where they live on those pages.

Easier to manage Metafields

There are thousands of potential uses for metafields, and they’re far easier to achieve with Shopify 2.0. The updated theme editor means you can add metafields and properties without needing to use APIs, apps, or custom code. This means you can now quickly and easily add unique content to product pages - for example, you can add a section to a page that will automatically display relevant size charts for a product, an ingredient list or even a user manual (as well as so much more).

Improved site speed

One of the most widely reported benefits of Shopify 2.0 is its potential to improve loading speeds beyond what was previously possible - which can help with both user experience, conversion rates, and SEO performance. As an example, Shopify’s new default theme Dawn is around 35% faster than the previous standard theme, Debut. The checkout also loads twice as fast as it did previously - which has contributed to making the Shopify checkout the best performing in the business.

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Okay, but what does 2.0 do that my 1.0 doesn’t?

We’ll admit that although we’re pretty excited about all of the above, it can sometimes be difficult to work out exactly what it all means for you. So here are a few of the potential differences a 2.0 migration can make to your business.

Reduce reliance on developers

Yes, we do great work - but part of any good migration is to set up your new site with all the elements (and sections) you’ll need in future (within reason, our job ad for a proven clairvoyant remains unanswered). By planning ahead and making sure your design is future-proofed, you’ll have everything you need to take full advantage of new theme editor options to build new landing pages for campaigns, your paid media ads, new collections and more. What’s more - our handover will include a training session to make sure your team has the skills they need to handle such tasks with ease.

Improve responsiveness

Not only will you be able to build new pages, you’ll be able to do it quickly and retain the level of brand consistency your new site enjoys. Need to respond to a new social media trend with a new collection? Shopify 2.0 will let you wow customers with your collection of Bridgerton inspired tunics or Fortune Hotel themed briefcases in a matter of moments. Sure, there will be occasions when you’ll need something brand new and only a Velstar developer will do - but for times when time-to-market matters, Shopify 2.0 can give you the edge.

Let your brand speak for itself

You’ve worked hard on your brand - its look and feel, how you communicate, your products, your colours and everything in between, so why stick with a Shopify store that looks just like all the others? One of the biggest changes with 2.0 has been the improved ability to make your store your own. You wouldn’t let anyone dictate how you used the space in a bricks-and-mortar store with your brand name above the door - now you can have the same control over your online store.

Make your money work harder

By reducing the amount you spend on development projects and improving your time-to-market for new launches, you can free up budget for other growth focused projects (may we tempt you with our dazzling array of marketing services, for example?) and turn those savings into new customers. We know that every penny counts when it comes to building a brand - and Shopify 2.0 is the kind of investment that can free up money and accelerate growth in the medium-long term.

Improve your UX

You know the saying - a happy customer is a spend-y customer. It’s definitely a saying. It was probably Oscar Wilde or Mark Twain. Anyway, great UX is positively correlated with better conversions, better customer retention and better online reviews - and Shopify 2.0 offers huge potential for improving in all of the important areas from page speed through to site navigation and the ease of your checkout process.

In a nutshell

There is a huge opportunity while making the move to Shopify 2.0 for both frontend optimisation and backend efficiency - and many of the brands we have helped to make the switch have even taken things a step further and consolidated multiple expansion stores into Shopify markets. In fact, to help them streamline and improve their efficiency, our client SikSilk moved from 8 expansion stores, to two Shopify 2.0 stores.

Another client, Faction Skis, streamlined their backend Shopify store and took the opportunity to redesign their entire site - and haven’t looked back since!  


"Earlier this summer we embarked on a website redesign project with the awesome team at Velstar [...] The objective was to transition the Faction Skis website onto the Shopify 2.0 environment, streamline the backend complexity and overhaul the design to improve our customer experience. It’s now been two weeks that the redesigned website is live and it’s been a breath of fresh air to work with."