Third & GroveThird & Grove
Apr 26, 2022 - Nina Collier

5 Reasons to Upgrade to Shopify Online Store 2.0


Shopify’s mission is to make commerce better for everyone. Last June at Shopify Unite (2021), Shopify announced they were beginning to roll out a newly revamped Customizer (or Theme Editor) experience called Online Store 2.0 (or “OS 2.0” for short) that would make commerce better for merchants. This update would allow for easier creation of themes from the ground up and also provide built-in technical performance improvements. 

Online Store 2.0 is now fully available on all Shopify storefronts for all merchants!

Shopify Online Store 2.0 offers a shiny new Customizer (Theme Editor) user interface for merchants complete with functional editing features like:

  • Better visual hierarchy of collapsable sections that provides a more streamlined approach to content organization and management.
  • A faster preview area that allows for better visualization of the changes that you’re making in real-time.
  • ‘Undo’ and ‘redo’ buttons to quickly apply or remove previous changes which saves time on having to redo them later if you’re not happy with the change.

Additionally, we’ve highlighted our top 5 reasons why merchants should either build their new storefronts or migrate their existing ones to Online Store 2.0.

Reason #1: Sections everywhere

Yes, it finally happened! This highly anticipated feature is now fully available and it is game-changing.

Merchants now have the added flexibility to reuse Shopify sections on ANY page in ANY location - gone are the days of separate landing page builders or having multiple templates for a single page type. This added flexibility makes it easier than ever for marketers to optimize content and layouts quicker and faster to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape.

Reason #2: Theme app extensions and app blocks

Along with being able to create new content sections anywhere and everywhere, merchants can now also easily integrate apps into sections and then also place them anywhere and everywhere.

OS 2.0’s new architecture allows apps to have their own sections and blocks directly in the Customizer (Theme Editor). Plus, you can make changes to the app's settings right from the theme editor and not have to worry about leftover code within the theme when you want to remove an app.

Reason #3: Better performance

With site speed and Google’s Core Web Vitals criteria being top of mind for merchants- all Online Store 2.0 layouts will now load faster than ever with the new architecture. Additionally, the checkout is shown to now load twice as fast as it did previously.

Shopify also introduced a new default reference theme called Dawn that adheres to the new Online Store 2.0 standards and features minimized javascript. Dawn loads 35% faster than Debut (the previous reference theme)! Additionally,

A recent TAG client saw a 47% improvement in their Average Page Load Time when launching on a new Online Store 2.0 theme.

Reason #4: In-theme metafields

Metafields allow for dynamic or unique information to be added to individual products and other resources. Previously, a separate metafields app was needed and merchandisers would need to go from Customizer or Admin to the app and back again to make changes to a single product or resource. Now simple metafields can be added directly from the Customizer (Theme Editor) saving merchandisers time and efficiency.

Additionally, the data in the metafields is stored globally and can now be edited directly in Shopify (versus in the app) which allows for easier flexibility during coding and theme upgrades.

Reason #5: Future-proof

As this new Online Store 2.0 framework has become more readily available and usage/adoption rates increase, the ecosystem around Shopify (apps, vendors, pre-built themes) will also start to revolve around it. This will mean that non-OS 2.0 features/integrations will eventually become non-compatible or deprecated. Merchants should set themselves up for efficiency by upgrading to Online Store 2.0 soon - we recommend making this change before the hustle and bustle of Q4.


For merchants new to Shopify, be sure your new storefront’s theme is based on this new Online Store 2.0 architecture. For existing merchants on Shopify, migration/upgrade for your existing theme will need to take place to fully take advantage of OS 2.0 and all these great benefits.

Interested to learn more about how Shopify can support your digital experience? Contact us today.