Going headless on Shopify: ButcherBox’s principal engineer takes you inside their migration

February 2, 2024

We like to say that Shopify is a love letter to the internet and the people who build on it. We’re creating the best possible platform for developers.

We do this by constantly releasing new features that make it easier and more fun to build anything you can imagine on Shopify. (Take a look at our Winter ’24 Edition, with 100+ new features, including many specifically for devs.)

But what do these updates and tools feel like to use as a dev? To give you an idea, we interviewed David House, Principal Engineer at ButcherBox, one of the leading direct-to-consumer meat brands, about his migration to Shopify using Hydrogen and Oxygen.

David chats with Ben Sehl, Shopify Senior Product Lead, who built the clothing brand KOTN as a Shopify merchant before joining our team. David and Ben go deep on the technical capabilities of our platform, and the custom migration that David and his engineering team executed for ButcherBox.

Watch this convo to learn how ButcherBox:

  • Used a phased approach to migrate to Shopify with a headless solution
  • Seamlessly integrated the custom subscription app they built for their previous platform (while preserving their existing member frontend)
  • Increased simplicity and conversion rates by switching to Shopify — even though their UX remained the exact same for their customers

Bonus: David shares his recommendations for other developers planning a similar migration.

Feeling inspired? Head to to get building, or take a look at the Shopify Winter ’24 Edition to find out how we’re reimagining the developer experience.

Here are some of the highlights we think you’ll love:

  • Better app reviews: We’ve simplified and shortened the app submission process so you can get your apps live quickly. We’ve also added new high-visibility ads on the Shopify App Store, and rolled out automated app listing translations to help you grow your user base internationally.
  • 2,000 product variant limit: The new GraphQL product APIs support 2,000 variants per product. Now available in developer preview, so you can start building support for more complex product catalogs.
  • Hydrogen dev experience: Now with more flexible deployments and advanced debugging tools.
  • Checkout Sheet Kit: Allows you to integrate Shopify Checkout directly within a mobile app, preserving all customizations and business logic to reduce maintenance. Now available for Android, Swift, and React Native.
  • New Checkout UI extensions: Checkout Extensibility now supports the Thank You and order status pages. It includes 14 new APIs and updates like advanced branding capabilities and more options to personalize delivery and fulfillment.

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