Leveraging Shopify Storefront 2.0, meet vvastify 2.0

By Amy

There have been some pretty big changes happening at Shopify over the past nine months. Back in the summer of 2021, they announced their biggest update to date, Dawn and Storefront 2.0.

This development brings a whole host of new features which, from a vvast perspective, unlocks a lot of potential for our partner brands, formalising and enabling what we have been building towards over the past two years with vvastify – our unique Shopify theme. While some of the advanced functionality of Storefront 2.0 maps to our vvastify roadmap, there are some additional technical challenges we have had to overcome in order to maximise the potential of the platform.

We are hugely excited by what these updates will bring. Both for the fun of working on Dawn & Storefront 2.0, the massive benefits our brands will see to their sites and efficiencies our trade team will experience with managing sites.

True to vvast’s core technical mantra of ‘Relentless R&D’ we are re-building vvastify, based on Dawn. Dawn is Shopify’s new base theme that encompasses Storefront 2.0 and we are relaunching throughout 2022 as vvastify 2.0.

How are we doing this?

We’re building a fully functional, brand agnostic theme. All new functionality will be built within the agnostic theme first, then we’ll migrate our brands to vvastify 2.0, maintaining and amplifying each of their independent brand experiences.

The things we’re most excited about:

Sections Everywhere – our CSS whiz had started to build her own version of this on the legacy version of Shopify, which we had christened dynamic pages. Now Shopify has bought their own way to achieve this. Sections Everywhere allows us to build specific sections of content and then allows us to drop these anywhere on the site. Why is this important? It means that we can much more easily enrich content on the site with less development input, so we can quickly test what content resonates best with the user at specific stages of their journey, to continue to optimise our brands’ websites.
Metafields – Over the past 18 months metafields had become increasingly important to allow us to more easily add content anywhere on the site, however we had to use a 3rd party to pull this content in. Now Shopify has built their own version of metafields,. Sso we can build out a section on the product detail page, and use metafields to seamlessly add content to these sections.
Product Integration – Each of our brands will have a unique and curated product import process. vvastify 2.0 works by tailoring the product import process per brand, to preserve our brand’s hugely unique essence. vvast does not roll-out the same look and feel to our brand’s sites as this takes away from what brings our brands to life.

How will this benefit our brands?

As with everything Shopify related, these updates bring agility. We don’t have to wait months to add simple content onto sites, we can do this quickly and easily, allowing us to try out more things to improve how customers shop.
Stability via less reliance on third party code.
Site speed, on our beta store we have reduced the amount of data needed to load filters from 1.6mb to 15kb. Site speed is the difference between many customers converting or not converting in the age of frictionless ecommerce.
Functionality on one brand can be quickly replicated on any other brand in our portfolio.

We’ve worked to get ahead of the pack by implementing Storefront 2.0, and are expecting some future updates from Shopify that so we will continue to leverage. These will fulfil our main objectives for our brands: a quick, fully-featured site that we constantly adjust based on the user’s needs, to allow them to experience our brand’s products and ethos seamlessly.

What are we expecting to see next from Shopify?

We have high expectations for future checkout improvements, the checkout still remains woefully locked down, with no ability to edit the checkout on development stores. Unlocking this could really start to accelerate the experience we can provide for customers.

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