Shopify checkout extensibility is going to be a sure game changer in eCommerce. Shopify Checkout is already the one to beat with how fast and easy it is to use. With Shop Pay, their accelerated checkout, customers can enjoy checkout that is four times faster than anyone else. Overall, Shopify has one of the most well-thought-out checkout systems online.
Over the years, the eCommerce platform has successfully assisted merchants both large and small. They have impressively managed to deliver a reliable checkout experience. The platform has also maintained high rates of checkout conversions. However, Shopify did not stop there. Because checkout extensibility can be a time-consuming and painstaking process, they decided to make it easier.
On June 22, 2022, Shopify released Checkout Extensibility. The feature is already available, but only in developer preview mode. Partners no longer have a hard time modifying the standard Shopify checkout to fit the needs of their merchants. Shopify gave its partners the ability to build public as well as custom apps for Shopify Checkout extensibility. The ability to customise the experience even extends to Shop Pay for Plus merchants. The reason Shopify wants to focus on extensibility is so that the apps that are built can meet the needs of the world’s largest brands.
The reason Shopify built Checkout Extensibility is two-fold. Shopify wanted to give a more streamlined and more flexible way for Plus merchants to design checkouts as an extension of their branding. They also wanted to give partners increased opportunities for delivering unique commerce solutions.
As a Shopify Plus merchant, it is in your best interest to have a checkout page that you built from scratch. You want to be able to optimise the checkout experience of your store to be as fast as possible and to drive as many conversions as possible. Wouldn’t you want the option to customise certain elements on your checkout page?
Previously, if merchants wanted to customise their checkout page they would need to change the checkout code itself via checkout.liquid. Whether they wanted a practical custom change or even a change of style, they would need to familiarise themselves with the technical aspects of applying these changes. This impacted the ramp-up times for merchants and partners who may not necessarily be the most tech-savvy.
Checkout Extensibility works together with Shop Pay and was created to be secure, fast, and safe to upgrade. With this, Shopify has given developers and merchants the ability to customise and optimise their checkout pages. There’s no need for editing code anymore because Shopify is making these modifications possible via either a custom or public app on the Shopify App Store.
Shopify Checkout Extensibility introduces features that give every developer the ability to make checkout customisations. By utilising Checkout UI extensions and Shopify Functions, app developers can make new functional additions to checkout and Shop Pay. Merchants can use the new Checkout Branding API for customisation and styling and use pixels for event tracking.
Checkout UI extensions provide the ability to include product offers, custom fields, custom banners, and more that are adaptable to various flows, Shop Pay included. This produces a cohesive buying experience from canvassing the store to checkout. In addition, merchants no longer need to be concerned about matching branding settings in their apps. UI extensions automatically pull over the branded Shopify checkout design. You can choose to have the new functionality available to only Shopify Plus members under general availability.
Merchants can customise the discounts they apply, whether it be on orders, products, or even shipping. This is possible through Shopify Functions, which grants the flexibility for extending or replacing native Shopify server-side business logic. To illustrate, you can use Shopify Functions to create different discount levels based on how much the customer is spending. You can also choose to display these discounts on the checkout page to encourage add-on purchases.
Merchants can also make use of Functions to improve the customer experience with many different options. These include the ability to hide, reorder, or provide unique shipping and payment options. Shopify has plans to include the following in Functions for more custom options across the platform: support for blended shipping rates, checkout and cart validations, return validations, and programmable order routing.
The Shopify Checkout Branding API gives merchants the ability to tailor the style of their checkout and Shop Pay. This means they can create a checkout page that acts as an extension of their branding.
Plus, merchants can make aesthetic changes such as adding in their personalised logo, choosing their own fonts, and incorporating the colours of their brand. And that’s just scratching the surface. All the extensibility that Shopify checkout now offers can improve brand recognition and click-through rates. When merchants personalise their carts, it adds character to the shopping experience. Customers love this because it feels familiar and they feel safe. Moreover, it promotes brand cohesion, which helps to grow the customer base and provide a clean and stable experience for them
Pixels allow merchants to gather data on customer behaviour. They can then use this data or pass it on to marketers to analyse and use for creating more effective ads. Through the use of Pixels API, Shopify partners merchants can subscribe to a provided events list. Apps can then pull from events in the Pixels API. They can link to Shopify checkout, for one, to securely access customer behaviour analytics.
These new customisation tools give merchants more control and more freedom to optimise their checkout pages. In connection, Shopify Checkout extensibility also gives them the ability to capitalise on their branding. Not only will the first apps developed be used by the largest brands in eCommerce, but they will also help Plus merchants with conversion as well as improving customers’ brand loyalty.
As of the writing of this article, Checkout Extensibility is accessible in developer preview only. However, by the end of September 2022, merchants can expect to access public and custom apps on the Shopify App Store. Becoming a launch partner with Shopify means a couple of added benefits.
Shopify will continue to tweak these extensions and APIs and will share what other additional features they plan to release in their developer documentation.
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