After Shopify's recent announcement regarding the deprecation of checkout.liquid for specific pages in 2024, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to keep you informed. This article will explain the reasons behind Shopify's decision, its implications for merchants, and how Shopify merchants can use the alternative Checkout Extensibility for Shopify checkout customizations. Stay updated and well-prepared with all the essential information you need.
In the past, customizing the Shopify checkout required editing code, specifically the checkout.liquid theme file, which often proved to be a complex and time-consuming task, leading to potential issues with the customer experience.
However, in the summer of last year, in its Shopify June 2022 Editions, Shopify introduced Checkout Extensibility, an exciting suite of apps and tools that enable code-free customizations to the Shopify Checkout for Shopify Plus Stores.
This advancement made the checkout customization process much more accessible and efficient. Moreover, Shopify's Winter Edition 2023 brought additional enhancements to checkout customization, offering a new drag-and-drop checkout editor exclusively for Shopify Plus merchants. With these updates, merchants now have even greater control over their checkout experience without the need for extensive coding knowledge.
On February 13th, Shopify made an important announcement stating that starting from August 2024, the checkout.liquid layout will be deprecated for in-checkout pages. This significant change will impact many Shopify Plus merchants, requiring them to transition to Checkout Extensibility.
In this comprehensive article, we've gathered essential information on the following topics:
1. Understanding the changes to checkout.liquid: We delve into the details of what exactly will happen to the checkout.liquid layout and provide important deadlines to keep in mind.
2. The reasons behind Shopify's decision: We explore the motivations and factors driving Shopify's decision to deprecate checkout.liquid and the benefits it brings for merchants.
3. Impact on Shopify Plus merchants: We outline the implications and effects of the deprecation of checkout.liquid on Shopify Plus merchants, highlighting the need for upgrading to Checkout Extensibility.
4. Introduction to Checkout Extensibility: We provide an overview of Checkout Extensibility, shedding light on its features and capabilities and how it offers an enhanced checkout customization experience.
This article serves as a comprehensive guide, equipping Shopify merchants with the knowledge and insights needed to navigate this important change in the Shopify ecosystem.
Let’s get into it!
When & Why is Checkout.liquid Being Deprecated?
Shopify is deprecating the checkout.liquid theme file for the Information, Shipping, and Payment pages on 13th August 2024. Existing customizations and integrated checkout tracking on these pages will no longer function after this date.
However, merchants can continue customizing their post-checkout pages, which include the Thank You and Order Status pages, with checkout.liquid for now.
Customizing the Shopify checkout using checkout.liquid has long been known for its complexity and time-consuming nature, requiring advanced coding skills. Unfortunately, checkout.liquid customizations often face challenges during platform upgrades and can lead to poor checkout performance, resulting in a less-than-ideal buyer experience. Moreover, security concerns have also been a significant drawback.
One notable incident that further highlighted the drawbacks of checkout.liquid occurred in August 2022 when a conflict with Google Tag Manager in the theme code caused a global outage lasting 12 hours, emphasizing the need for a more stable solution.
Recognizing the importance of ensuring checkout stability, performance, and the ability to incorporate new features, Shopify has made substantial investments in Checkout Extensibility. This suite of apps and tools empowers merchants to customize the Shopify checkout easily and create tailored checkout experiences.
With Checkout Extensibility, merchants can enjoy enhanced security, a code-free approach, seamless integration with apps, compatibility with future upgrades, and improved conversion rates. Additionally, an exciting development is the integration of Checkout Extensibility with Shop Pay, allowing merchants to customize the express checkout process for the first time.
Most importantly, Checkout Extensibility eliminates the need for checkout.liquid, providing a modern and efficient alternative for merchants to personalize their Shopify checkout experience.
How Will This Upgrade Impact Shopify Plus Merchants?
With the introduction of Checkout Extensibility and the deprecation of checkout.liquid, Shopify is entering a new era for its checkout process, offering merchants a simpler path to customize their checkout experience.
However, it's crucial to be aware of the significant implications associated with these changes.
Starting from 13th August 2024, existing checkout.liquid customizations on in-checkout pages will cease to function. Consequently, merchants who have implemented checkout.liquid customizations on these pages will need to upgrade to Checkout Extensibility before the specified date. This upgrade process involves replicating the necessary checkout.liquid customizations within Checkout Extensibility, utilizing the available features and components (which we will discuss shortly). Given the technical nature of this task, developer support may be required, and in some cases, custom app development may be necessary.
Furthermore, integrated checkout tracking will no longer operate after 13th August 2024. Tracking scripts such as Google Tag Manager, directly added to checkout.liquid, will no longer send checkout customer events to relevant platforms.
Instead, tracking can be implemented by leveraging Shopify's new Web Pixel Extension API or by adopting server-side tracking using frameworks like Littledata and Rudderstack. These alternatives enable merchants to continue tracking checkout events effectively and gain valuable insights.
By understanding these implications and embracing the available solutions, merchants can smoothly transition to Checkout Extensibility and maintain robust tracking capabilities within their Shopify store.
Shopify Checkout Customization Opportunities With Checkout Extensibility
Checkout Extensibility empowers merchants to customize their checkout process with ease and flexibility without the need for code expertise. This suite of powerful platform features offers a wide range of functionalities:
1. Checkout Editor: A drag-and-drop interface allows quick and effortless customization of the checkout's appearance, including adding logos, changing background colors, updating fonts, and more. Merchants can also install checkout apps to add additional functionality, all of which seamlessly integrate with Shop Pay.
2. Shopify Pixels Manager: This new section in the Shopify admin enables merchants to manage and incorporate pixels that track customer events, providing valuable insights into buyer behavior.
3. Checkout Apps Collection: The Shopify App Store boasts a collection of apps that merchants can install to introduce diverse functionalities to their checkout process.
In addition to these platform features, Checkout Extensibility also offers a collection of UI components and APIs for building custom apps tailored to checkout customization:
4. Checkout UI Extensions: Shopify Partners and app developers can create apps that extend the default Shopify checkout, introducing functionalities that may not be available natively. Merchants can then easily install these apps via the Shopify admin and use the checkout editor to seamlessly integrate them into the checkout experience.
5. Checkout Branding API: This feature empowers merchants to create a consistent brand experience by customizing the checkout's look and feel, enhancing brand identity and customer trust.
6. Shopify Functions: For those seeking to extend or replace key parts of Shopify's backend with custom business logic, Shopify Functions offer a powerful solution. These custom or public apps can be deployed to meet specific business requirements.
7. Post-Purchase Checkout Extensions: Tailored for adding new UI and functionality to the post-purchase page, ensuring a smooth post-checkout experience for customers.
8. Web Pixel App Extensions: For tracking buyer behavior effectively, merchants can use these extensions to add tracking pixels to the checkout process.
Shopify Plus merchants have full access to this suite of Checkout Extensibility features and components, enabling them to create the ideal checkout experience for their customers. For more detailed information on Checkout Extensibility and the upgrade process, Shopify's Checkout Extensibility Upgrade Kit provides valuable insights.
In conclusion, the introduction of Shopify Checkout Extensibility marks a significant shift in how merchants can customize their checkout process. By replacing the cumbersome and code-dependent checkout.liquid with a suite of powerful platform features and APIs, Shopify has made it easier than ever for merchants to create unique and tailored checkout experiences.
With the drag-and-drop checkout editor, Shopify Pixels Manager, and an extensive collection of checkout apps, merchants can now make code-free customizations, manage tracking pixels, and add additional functionalities seamlessly.
Whether you're a Shopify Plus merchant looking to enhance your checkout or a developer seeking to extend the capabilities of Shopify, Checkout Extensibility opens up a world of possibilities. Make the most of this new era in Shopify checkout customization and deliver a streamlined and engaging checkout experience to your customers.
If you require assistance with the migration process from a custom checkout.liquid setup to Checkout Extensibility, feel free to reach out to us. SANOMADS team of Shopify experts is here to provide you with the guidance and support you need. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help streamline your transition and ensure a seamless checkout experience for your customers.
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