This is part two of our Made with Metafields series, and you can catch up on the first part in this article.
Metafields are about sharing the right content with the right audience in the right context. They offer a simple, flexible way to build a personalized storefront and deliver experiences that delight new and returning customers—and keep them coming back for more.
You can also help your clients use Metafields to organize your back office operations by centralizing data like customer details, shipping information, and inter-departmental notes. The best part? You can deliver all of these benefits without writing any code. With just a few clicks, you can create and reuse customized data-collection fields, and add them to your admin or to your online store, without touching a line of code.
Metafields were first introduced to Shopify as a place to store data within Shopify - a system that would work across Shopify and that could be used to tell Shopify certain things. Previously they were only available as an API facing feature and storefront customization was only possible through liquid code.
Now you can store all of your store’s unique data —whether it’s related to customer birthdays, care instructions, material lists, or the packaging requirements for orders— and all of this has the potential to become actionable insights for any ecommerce business.
Today we’re here to talk about Seavees. Founded in 1964, SeaVees was launched as the original California sneaker brand, pioneering the evolution of gym shoes into casual footwear. SeaVees flourished in the 1960s only to languish, forgotten, until the brand was rediscovered in a Tokyo thrift store in the mid-2000s. Since SeaVees’ relaunch in Santa Barbara, California, the brand has become known for their comfy yet style-forward shoes designed for everyday wear and special occasions alike.
The SeaVees team had a plethora of options for building a compelling online storefront. “The biggest piece of running an effective ecommerce operation, in my view, is the ability to take a request from somebody and turn that into an action that is repeatable [and] scalable,” Pete Hardie, former e-commerce manager at SeaVees and co founder of e-commerce agency Bonshore, emphasizes.
Metafields empowered SeaVees to provide personalized experiences that collect actionable data. The ease of use and time savings were big wins for the shoe company. Among the advantages:
- Metafields have allowed SeaVees to create a slew of custom product display options that can be kept up to date without development work.
- One-off issues and requests can be supported with scalable solutions that allow the team to deliver an improved shopping experience.
- Metafields have reduced the time and money required by SeaVees for web development by at least 10 hours per week.
Leveraging the efficiency gained by no longer needing to maintain endless groups of tags, the SeaVees team was able to pivot to focus on other mission-critical storefront features.
We built almost all new features using Metafields in some way or another. I don’t know if we could have done it without them.
Like La Boutique MOSO, most of the SeaVees Metafields require no coding. By creating new metafields for different custom product content, the SeaVees content team was able to pull relevant product-specific information onto the product pages—featuring facets such as size information, the origin of a particular style, or a guide to the materials used. All of this can be done through Shopify’s admin interface.
As powerful as Metafields are on their own, they are even more powerful with a little development, Pete says. “For me, it’s the ability to use Metafields in the theme file logic that makes them special, allowing us to essentially build tools for non-developers to solve almost any need.”
One of the issues SeaVees faced was working out how to approach sold-out products that weren’t due back in stock for over 6 months. Pete viewed this as a problem, wondering, “Is this helpful for SeaVees’ customers that they see that this shoe exists, but it is not coming back in stock for eight months? Or actually, is there a period when we want to just hide it from the site for the time being, right?”
The solution was to create a “hide_product” metafield that can be set to be True or False. Once the metafield was created, SeaVees added logic to the theme files that checked the “hide_product” metafield before displaying the product on a collection page. As a result, the merchandising team can now choose to hide products as needed through Shopify’s admin interface.
This way, the product page always stays active, preventing errors when customers hit dead-end links. As Pete notes, “Building out the ‘hide_product’ field not only solves the initial issue, but created a repeatable and scalable tool for ongoing site merchandising. There are so many examples like that where we’ve added functionality using metafields.”
“Once we understood how Metafields can be built and then how they can be pulled into the theme files, it opened up a new world for us of stuff that we could do,” says Pete. “Not only did Metafields save the SeaVees team hours of work maintaining and keeping track of product tags, it also has allowed them to add significant improvements to the shopping experience like advanced collection filters, improved product swatches and customized helpful product-specific content such as sizing advice.”
Moving forward, SeaVees is excited about future plans for marketing their shoes through deeper storytelling, and has a list of use cases they may adopt with the help of Metafields. “Now we have more time to focus on building out more creative experiences,“ Pete shares.
Metafields offers a powerful yet flexible way to enhance your storefront, drive conversions and increase SEO. And anyone from shop owners to developers can use it. Get started by adding metafields through the Shopify admin section, and applying them throughout your store via your theme editor.
To learn more about how your storefront can make the most of Metafields, visit our Metafields Help Center. Happy (Meta)fielding!