Shopify's checkout tunnel is renowned for its uniqueness and its efficiency. Recently, one of the three largest strategy and management consulting firms in the world published a report proving that this checkout tunnel converts much better than those of the main competing platforms (Magento, Salesforce Commerce and BigCommerce).
In 2022, Shopify has launched a major technological evolution of its checkout, to make it even more efficient while allowing merchants to personalize it even more. This initiative is called “Checkout Extensibility”.
Let's have a look at all the evolutions Shopify has built in "Checkout Extensibility" and at their first use cases, while distinguishing what is available to all Shopify merchants and what is exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants.
August 13th 2024 deadline
We are currently in a transition phase between the "old method" and the new "Checkout Extensibility" method. This phase will end on August 13th 2024, when the old method will stop working on Shopify sites.
The old checkout customization method (for Shopify Plus merchants only) is based on:
- A dedicated file, named checkout.liquid, to customize the tunnel design and add various content,
- A free App, named Script Editor, to create additional rules on product prices, delivery and payment methods.
Unfortunately, this method is not compatible with the day-to-day evolutions of the checkout. A Shopify Plus merchant who activates the checkout.liquid file (this is not mandatory) loses the possibility to benefit from the technical developments that Shopify is making in the checkout.
With Checkout Extensibility, what was previously done with the checkout.liquid file or the App Script Editor, is now done via public or custom Apps, which are compatible with the regular updates of Shopify's checkout.
Moreover, Checkout Extensibility allows to go much further in terms of customization than what was possible with the old method.
In parallel to the Checkout Extensibility evolution, Shopify now offers a one-page checkout as an alternative to the three-page checkout.
All merchants will soon benefit from this new one-page checkout by default.
For Shopify Plus merchants using the old method (checkout.liquid file), please note that it is not compatible with the one-page checkout.
Exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants, the Checkout Editor allows to easily manage installation and configuration of the Apps used to customize the checkout.
This editor works similarly to the Theme Editor.
Also exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants, the Branding API allows to fully customize the look and feel of the checkout.
For merchants on other plans, it is still possible to modify some parts of the checkout (logo, font, colors), but in a less extensive way. For instance, to display a very specific font in the checkout, the use of the Branding API is mandatory.
Checkout UI extensions
Combined with the Branding API, and exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants, Checkout UI extensions allow to add a wide variety of content in different sections of the checkout.
This can be static content (reassurance banner), dynamic content (custom field, cross-sell product), as well as additional rules that can affect the checkout behavior (cart content validation).
We recently published an article about Shopify Functions which gathers the main information on the currently available APIs.
Web pixel extensions
Available to all merchants, Web pixel extensions provide developers with a simplified process for managing and processing behavioral data, by loading pixels in a secure sandbox environment with APIs for subscribing to customer events.
Web pixel extensions eliminate (or minimize) the need for developers to add tracking code, provide a secured access to all Shopify surfaces (like the storefront), allow control of what data the third-party has access to, and avoid performance and privacy alerts.
A post-purchase product offer is an additional sales opportunity that is displayed to customers immediately after they complete checkout.
The Post-purchase extensions are available to all Shopify merchants.
What can be done in the Shopify checkout with Checkout Extensibility? Here are some concrete examples, a list which is obviously not exhaustive:
- Display a custom banner message with important information for buyers
- Display an upsell product offer based on certain criteria
- Verify the age of a customer
- Enforce an order maximum for buyers with insufficient order history
- Offer VIP discounts to the best customers
- Set a volume discount that offer a percentage off
- Add a customized bundle to the cart
- Enforce character limits to ensure checkout data syncs to external systems properly
- Require a custom field to be filled out before the customer can check out
- Prioritize locations (stores or warehouses) in a particular country
- Ensure that certain products that are purchased together are always fulfilled from a specific store location
- Hide, reorder, and rename a payment option based on the total value of the cart
What is available for Shopify Plus and other plans
The table below allows to quickly see Checkout Extensibility components that are exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants:
It's worth noting that public Apps using Shopify Functions are available to all merchants, regardless of their plan, and that they therefore provide these merchants with customization possibilities that did not exist until now.
Checkout Extensibility roadmap
Not all extensions and APIs are available yet. Some are in Developer Preview, others only in Beta. To know the exact availability of each component, Shopify technical documentation has a status page of Checkout Extensibility roadmap.
To discuss Checkout Extensibility components and their various use cases, feel free to contact us.