Major eCommerce changes announced by Shopify at Unite 2021

In 2020, more than 450 million people checked out on Shopify. Shopify has become the leader in online commerce and they are altering their infrastructure like never before. They are now calling on developers to help them build unique eCommerce experiences together.


Commerce requires creative expression. Shopify’s storefronts work with that all-essential creative flexibility and customization so merchants can express their own brand’s identity. The updates announced at Unite 2021 ensure that storefronts can have total control over their customer’s experience. 


To simplify we’ve broken down their updates below just for you.

Storefront Updates

Arguably the biggest upgrade to Shopify’s Liquid platform ever is Custom Storefronts. They have made major global infrastructure investments and unlocked a whole new set of features. Shopify introduced Hydrogen, a new React framework for developers to build custom storefronts, as well as Oxygen, their future hosting platform for custom storefronts on Shopify. Hydrogen will create custom storefronts faster than ever before, building dynamic experiences without sacrificing performance. Hydrogen includes commerce-specialized components like carts, variant pickers and media galleries that tackle the complexity of a custom-built storefront. Now developers can focus on building the experiences that make brands truly stand out. Our own development team has been very excited to get their hands on Hydrogen and leverage this technology alongside their commerce expertise to have some fun.

“Hydrogen is another JS framework based on React. It focuses on SSR like NextJS but comes with predefined components and hooks to manage the data and UI of the storefront. The best thing about Hydrogen is that it looks very similar to NextJS. The starting point is a little bit complex but it might change in the future. The components that come out of the box are easy to use and give you everything you might need. In general, it might be much faster to start building a Shopify storefront once you get familiar with the documentation.”

With Hydrogen, developers can go straight from designing to building quickly, without spending time on the foundations or configuration. Hydrogen will accelerate the development process with ready-to-use components, hooks, and utilities built around Shopify data models that do most of the heavy lifting. These pieces integrate directly with the Storefront API for efficient data-fetching. The fundamental step is customisation. These custom-designed components will create the perfect brand identity your storefront needs to stand out.

Hydrogen - Framework for dynamic commerce


Shopify Checkout will be even faster, giving any online store the capacity to handle tens of thousands of purchases per minute. Shopify’s goal is for a single merchant to be able to sell 300,000 pairs of trainers in just over eight minutes. In order to work towards this goal, they’ve created Checkout Extensions, allowing developers to securely build apps into Shopify Checkout. These checkout customisations will also work in Shop Pay, making it the fastest way to pay on the internet. 


Shopify Scripts are now easier to build and more powerful than ever for developers creating unique checkout experiences for Shopify Plus brands. And finally, they’ve introduced Payments Platform, a clever way to integrate third-party payment gateways into Shopify Checkout, unlocking new sales growth opportunities for stores.

If you need help with your Shopify store, get in touch with us at and we can begin your Shopify journey.

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