Last summer, we launched Shopify Editions, a twice-annual update on all the products that have launched in the previous half year. Today, we’re releasing our Winter ‘23 Edition, full of products to help speed up your development process and further customize your commerce builds.
In this article, we break down the developer announcements included in the newest release. To get the full scoop on all the products impacting Shopify developers, head over to the Build With Us solution on the Shopify Editions website.
Stand out with the Built for Shopify program
Introducing the next phase of Built for Shopify, a program that shines a light on apps that meet Shopify’s highest quality bar for safety, performance, and usefulness.
When your app meets all our new standards of excellence (visit the Distribution page in your Partner Dashboard for a checklist), you can apply for an easy-to-spot status badge along with special distribution opportunities—from better rankings in search to preferential placement in the Shopify App Store and Shopify admin.
The goal? Help merchants get the very best apps for their business while also helping top-notch developers thrive. Learn more about the Built for Shopify program with our deep dive on the blog.
Build headless faster
These products help you build highly performant, scalable custom storefronts and accelerate development.
Hydrogen 2 and Oxygen
At the Summer ’22 Edition, we introduced Hydrogen and Oxygen, our modern React-based framework and built-in hosting solution to accelerate headless development on Shopify. Hydrogen abstracts away the hardest parts of building a storefront, with components, hooks, and utilities for workflows like building product forms, search, cart, and i18n. Oxygen removes the need to maintain an independent server infrastructure, so developers can focus on the fun parts of building their storefront.
Today, we’re excited to bring even greater developer experience, performance, and resilience with Hydrogen 2, and the addition of the open-source Remix framework that React developers know and love.
Hydrogen 2 features a new Storefront API client to make querying simple, starter templates and a CLI to get you up and running quickly, and Remix-optimized components to make the hard parts simple. Improved performance is unlocked by Remix-powered advancements like optimistic UI, nested routing, and progressive enhancement.
Developers can now leverage the best parts of Hydrogen and accelerate commerce development with other React frameworks they already use and love, like Next.js and Gatsby, using the Hydrogen React library, which includes Shopify’s pre-built React components like Cart, Shop Pay, and for the first time for headless, Shopify Analytics.
Hosting on Oxygen is now available to more Shopify plans: Basic, Shopify, Advanced, and Plus. Deploy your storefront globally in one click and at no extra cost, no matter the size of your store.
You can also build custom storefronts with the tools, frameworks, languages, and hosting solution of your choice. The Storefront API gives you access to the full breadth of Shopify’s commerce primitives and capabilities such as localization, subscriptions, and optimized cart, so you can build any buyer experience with full creative control.
Storefront API is now edge-deployed, delivering lightning-fast load speeds on every device and providing the fastest buyer experiences to your customers anywhere across the globe.
Storefront API supports both public and private authentication. With authenticated access, you can use the Storefront API on the server side and your app throttle now scales with the Shopify platform to support high load requests. Running high-traffic sale campaigns is worry-free, no matter the size of your store or the sale.
Start building with Storefront API guides and tutorials. You can also now use Shopify’s official Headless app to easily access and manage your Storefront API integration directly from the Shopify admin.
At Shopify, your storefront, cart, and checkout components are built to work together for optimal performance and better-converting buyer experiences. Shopify Cart is built on the same infrastructure as the Storefront API, and deployed globally to the edge for a lightning-fast experience for your buyers, wherever they are.
Shopify Cart also provides a high level of extensibility, giving merchants additional control over the buyer journey. You can use Shopify Functions to customize cart logic and behaviors that are unique to your business. You can also write metafields to extend the cart’s schema with custom values that power unique logic on checkout or trigger a checkout extension. Finally, you can auto-populate preferences like delivery address or known wallet choices to shortcut your buyers through checkout, once they hit the checkout button in the cart.
Learn more about Shopify Cart in our developer documentation.
Prototype storefronts with sample data
Quickly spin up a proof-of-concept storefront without having to set up a shop or run any server-side code. Use our simple API to query sample products, variants, carts, and more to instantly experience headless commerce on Shopify.
Start building a mock shop storefront today.
Extend our platform and customize commerce
With these products, you have more ways to customize your commerce experience and extend Shopify’s capabilities, from checkout to business logic.
With Shopify Functions, we’ve created a radical new way to build unique commerce experiences by allowing developers to inject custom code into Shopify’s backend logic. Since Functions run inline on Shopify’s global infrastructure, they can meet the demands of the biggest sales events on the planet, while still executing in under 5ms.
Today, we’re unlocking more areas that can be customized with Functions. Developers can now leverage Functions to build custom Product Bundles, Order Routing logic, and Checkout Validation rules. When combined with the existing Discounting, Delivery, and Payment customizations, Functions is making Shopify more extensible than ever before.
To learn more about Functions, check out our deep dive on the Shopify Partner Blog.
Metafields and metaobjects
With the introduction of metaobjects, Shopify is unlocking a new paradigm of data extensibility. Metaobjects are a flexible way to add, store, and manage additional structured information. This can be information about a Shopify resource, such as a product or a collection, or something completely new. Some examples include product features, specifications, size charts, staff profiles, and complex content.
Some key features for developers are the ability to control access of custom object models, such as controlling access for back office or admin use, or controlling whether or not a custom object is available for storefront access. Metaobjects also have mixed reference functionality, allowing for complex and multi-model references.
Additionally, apps now have full flexibility to store their app-managed data within Shopify by using a reserved namespace (for metafields and metaobjects), and control how merchants can interact with that data across the admin and within storefronts (Liquid and Hydrogen).
Apps also have a greater toolkit for managing custom data, including new rich text, collection reference, and money metafield types, JSON metafield validation schemas, and a customer
birth_date standard metafield.
Checkout UI extensions
At Shopify, we believe checkout is the most important step in converting customers. While every checkout needs to be lightning-fast and secure, it’s also important that the Shopify platform offers flexibility to build unique checkout experiences, promotions, and custom logic. We’ve already seen you build some awesome apps for product offers, custom fields, banners and more.
Today we’re announcing a whole host of new APIs for checkout UI extensions, like the ability to make authenticated network calls, directly query the Storefront API from extensions, and apply discount codes and gift cards. Checkout UI extensions are also now available to all Plus merchants. Together, these APIs will unlock a range of new loyalty and marketing apps. And best of all, you can sell your checkout customizations through the Shopify App Store.
Learn more about working with Checkout UI extensions with our article on the Shopify Partner Blog.
Shopify Blockchain will give developers the power to build seamless token-powered experiences that target specific audiences, drive engagement with exclusive perks, and fuel customer loyalty and brand collaboration.
More specifically, the Gates API will allow developers to create custom tokengates for Shopify stores that are enforced at checkout. Merchants can decide which token holders (buyers) get exclusive access to products, perks, and more.
Meanwhile, Blockchain components will provide the presentation layer that tokengating apps will need to display gate status and requirements, ensuring that developers can get their app to market as quickly as possible.
Lastly, the NFT Sales Eligibility API will let developers verify a merchant's eligibility to mint and sell NFTs on Shopify (via Shopify Payments) using a third party app.
Learn more about building with Shopify Blockchain in our developer documentation.
Shop Minis is a new program that allows developers to build mobile shopping experiences in the Shop app for 100 million buyers. With Shop Minis, you can combine your app functionality with out-of-the-box components that are easy to implement. Our React Native SDK is designed to get you started with just one command, and comes with all the needed native components like search, product pages, and cart, to make an incredible shopping experience faster than ever before.
If approved, Minis will be seamlessly launched in the Shop app, available for buyers to engage with through dedicated entry points on merchants’ Shop Store and product pages. Minis are naturally integrated into merchants’ existing workflows in your Shopify app, simplifying awareness and adoption.
New and improved developer tools
Our new developer tools are designed to reduce friction and let you build faster.
Increased API rate limits
As merchants grow their businesses, they need to scale their tech stack. To ensure your apps scale up with merchants, we’re providing unthrottled API calls for enterprises on our newly launched Commerce Components, and increasing standard Admin API rate limits by 10x for Shopify Plus.
You can now worry less about the number of API calls your app makes and focus more on building apps that solve complex commerce problems for large merchants. Read more about API rate limits in the developer docs.
Robust test data for development stores
You can now populate your store with test data in a single click. This data includes the most common commerce resources and configurations to make testing and debugging easier, so you can start developing your app or theme faster. Learn more in our developer documentation or try it in your Partner Dashboard.
Build in more ways with our expanded API layer
Our latest APIs give you even more access to the Shopify platform, so you can build customized commerce experiences for any merchant.
B2B on Shopify
You can now build custom B2B apps and solutions to help Shopify Plus and Commerce Components merchants more easily grow and scale their DTC and B2B stores from one platform. Today, we are introducing updates to business customer primitives, contextual pricing, and publishing using the upcoming Catalogs feature, adding to the suite of resources available to developers to build best in class solutions for B2B.
This release includes an ability to create a set of rules that determine the products and their prices in different contexts, and metafields for
Company Location for creating custom data fields such as order quantity requirements. It also includes Checkout UI extensions based on B2B buyer identity, allowing you to build performant and upgrade-safe apps for B2B checkout experiences—such as hiding, reordering, or offering custom shipping and payment options using the Delivery and Payment Functions.
Learn more about building B2B apps in our deep dive blog post.
To help developers build apps that enable merchants to create and manage tailored product catalogs and prices for different contexts, we’re introducing the Catalogs API. Using the Catalogs API, you can create a set of rules that determine the available products and their prices in different contexts, such as your unique business customers or regional markets.
For example, a business catalog might specify that customers ordering from a specific B2B company entity can purchase only t-shirts from a merchant’s store and at a 30% discount.
Returns and Inventory States APIs
To help you build better back office solutions for Shopify merchants, we are excited to introduce the new Returns and Inventory States APIs. These capabilities allow you to integrate your solution more seamlessly with the Shopify admin, giving merchants better data continuity, visibility, and accuracy across platforms.
Access to analytics data is foundational for any successful business. That’s why we built an accessible, commerce-centric data querying language: ShopifyQL. ShopifyQL gives merchants, developers, and partners easy access to data specifically modeled for business explorations. The language comes packed with powerful features like easy-to-learn syntax, one-step data visualization, built-in period comparisons, and commerce-specific date functions to make access to data simpler and faster.
Developers can take advantage of the Admin GraphQL API endpoints to access ShopifyQL and the underlying datasets.
Web and server pixels
Building a data layer to observe and use customer behavior is a strategy that almost every mature merchant is looking to unlock. Now with web pixels and server pixels in Shopify, tracking customer events between Shopify and marketing or analytics platforms has never been easier, more accurate, or more secure. This is now available with Shopify’s checkout extensibility.
The new web pixel extension will unlock more digital surface area for customer behavior analysis, while increasing customer events accuracy and tools for privacy compliance. This update enables developers to add pixels for all merchants, not just merchants on Shopify Plus plans. You can programmatically subscribe to customer events like product views, cart updates, searches, checkouts, post purchase pages, and more. Eliminate or minimize the effort for merchants to add tracking code with this new extension that even comes with a direct integration to Shopify’s privacy and compliance framework.
Server pixels ensure better accuracy and efficiency in ad match-rates and ad-spend for merchants. Today this is only available to a limited group of partners, including Pinterest and Meta, but results are already surpassing expectations. Over Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Pinterest tracked the impact of the server pixel implementation on their app and saw increased efficiency for merchant ads. Cost per acquisition (CPA) was 22% lower for merchants with the server-pixel-integrated app.
Together, these client-side (web pixels) and server-side (server pixels) data integrations will enable merchants to improve marketing efficiency and accuracy in a secure way.
Built by developers for businesses of all sizes
The Shopify platform is always evolving. With these releases, speed up your build and access more ways to customize commerce for businesses of all sizes. Don’t forget to get caught up with all the news on the Editions website via the link below. We’ll be back later in 2023 with the next Shopify Edition!