What is Online Store 2.0 and What Does This Mean for Developers?

Shopify announces one of its biggest updates to date: The launch of Online Store 2.0.

Shopify and Shopify Plus is a fast-growing eCommerce platform, trusted by global brands, allowing you, the merchant to set up an online store, selling both online and in-store, as well as through third-party channels. To date, Shopify has seen over $200 billion in total sales combined, making the brand highly trusted across the globe.

There is a wealth of opportunity for developers to build themes and apps for Shopify merchants using Online 2.0. The experience has had a complete makeover, with a fresh set of developer tools available to help create seamless experiences for both shopper and merchant.

So, what’s behind the new update?

Improved Theme Editor User Interface

You will no longer have to scroll endlessly through lists of sections to try and find the right page to work on. You can now easily visualise sections within a page with a ‘tree-down’ view of collapsible sections. You will also be able to add liquid code via the theme editor.

Online Store 2.0. Introduces Dawn

Dawn is built to improve site performance and Shopify has now released a reference theme for developers to begin crafting new themes via the new update. By the end of 2021, all themes on the Shopify theme library will have to be compatible with Online Store 2.0.

New Shopify Themes with Sections on Every Page

Shopify sections allow customers to build a page up of various sections, whilst having the ability to re-arrange them and allocate content including images and videos to them. Sections were at one time limited to the homepage only, meaning the rest of the site were fixed structures where only the content itself could be altered. Now, all pages on your website can be rearranged and customised to your liking, including image changes.

The new feature is revolutionary for merchants, giving them the opportunity to add, remove, and re-arrange the entire website through Shopify’s theme editor. Merchants can now easily set up different products, blogs, collections, and page templates themselves without needing to contact the developer to make the alterations.

Improved Developer Tools

There has been significant time vested into improving the way that developers can code and build Shopify stores.

The new developer features include:

  • Directly adding liquid code into the theme editor
  • Shopify CLI - Theme checking tools for debugging
  • Integrating GitHub directly onto Shopify

App Blocks with Online Store 2.0.

App blocks with Online Store 2.0. will now allow you to deliver apps in blocks within a page giving merchants full control over which page the app will be displayed in, where before the way the app was embedded and interacting with Shopify was firmly fixed. You will also now be able to update any settings for the app directly through the Shopify theme editor, providing both merchants and developers with a more seamless experience.

Checkout Apps

With full customisation still limited to Plus merchants only, Shopify has now expanded the ability to edit the checkout to non-merchants too. This now means that non-plus merchants can have additional checkout apps added to their stores.


Before Online Store 2.0. Shopify only allowed one single rich text editor alongside the page title for page content on any page or product. Now, what if you wanted to add more of a specific field of information to go into a specific space on the page, for example, sizing charts? In response to this, Shopify has launched its very own Metafield function, which can be edited directly on the page or product, without introducing third-party apps.

We’re so excited to watch the developments following the Shopify and Shopify Plus Online Store 2.0. update. The improved user experience will allow merchants to streamline their online store providing their best service yet. If you’re looking for more information on how to take your business online, contact us today.

Olivia Ball

Content Marketing Executive