As Shopify said, “2020 has certainly been a year full of change”. Let’s find out what they meant and what major new things we have at this moment.

Shopify during COVID-19

Shopify did a lot in 2020 to support small and medium e-commerce businesses to be more effective and adaptive during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • The main focus area is the U.S., and they are on their way to build infrastructure with AI-driven warehouses, to make their own delivery network.
  • They did an integration with Walmart to simplify the process of selling Shopify Products on Walmart.
  • In 2020 Affirm partnered with Shopify to create the Shop Pay Installments in the U.S. It means that U.S.-based merchants can provide split credit payments for their customers and that is a huge thing.
  • We were introduced to Shopify Balance, the financial products built for business owners and entrepreneurs, which includes: Shopify Balance account, physical Shopify cards, and the Rewards program.
  • Shopify Email service was launched with 2,500 free emails per month and $1 per 1,000 additional emails plan.
  • Shopify Chat free app was launched ad well.
  • Many more.

Here are some major things briefly.

Online store performance

All merchants have been provided with a report and relevant metrics to measure store performance. It was built over Google Lighthouse and the score is determined from real performance data.

Actually, Lighthouse uses HTTPArchive data to provide meaningful data according to real user store usage. For every page measured in the HTTP Archive, a Lighthouse audit is run, and the results are stored in the Lighthouse tables.

To provide a good user experience, stores should strive to have a good score between 90 and 100. A score of 100 is extremely hard to achieve and not even expected.

Shopify App CLI

This tool quickly scaffolds Node.js and Ruby on Rails apps, and automates many common development tasks, such as dev environment, tunneling, deployment, boilerplate code generation.

You can check it here.

Shopify Subscription APIs

As you possibly have read from my Digest#5, we have all that we need to build the custom subscription solutions for our clients. The tech stack is built over React/Typescript and dShopify Subscription APIs list.

Be aware that subscription-related APIs will be released in the 2021-01 API version and we can’t build any real production apps yet.

Sections everywhere

Unfortunately, the mega important thing, that was announced at the beginning of 2020, has not been released at the end of 2020.

As one of the Shopify employees said:

There’s no enabling, as there’s no UI yet, and Debut doesn’t have the new sections built-in.

Our own internal team theme devs are just starting to build with the new paradigm, just as partners are.

You should be able to create new directories in your theme that follow the new theme paradigm, along with new liquid files for the different page types (products, collections, custom pages, and blog). You will be able to test the output on your storefront of the new code but not the new online store design experience (UI).

This is really sad to hear. It seems that this feature was not top priority thing to do, and Shopify still has not announced the actual release date of it.

Recap

2020 was an extremely challenging year, but for e-commerce and Shopify in particular, this year was the year of impetuous growth. I can say that Shopify is growing fast despite the overall crisis.

As you can see from the Q3 report, total revenue in the third quarter was $767.4 million, a 96% increase from the comparable quarter in 2019.

The following citation from the financial report most fully reflects the general idea of the all above-mentioned:

Despite the heightened uncertainty surrounding the macro environment, Shopify remains uniquely positioned to
level the playing field for entrepreneurs during this period of rapid change in the retail landscape.

Author

Shopify developer