Imagine you're a chef in two different kitchens. In one kitchen, you have old, traditional tools that have been used for generations. It feels nostalgic and special, but these tools are slower and may limit what you can cook. In the other kitchen, you have a modern setup with all the latest gadgets, high-tech appliances, and the best ingredients. Both kitchens can make tasty food, but the modern one is faster, more creative, and cost-effective. It's similar in the world of ecommerce development, where using up-to-date tools and platforms is crucial for making your online business successful.
In response to Shopify's recent announcement regarding the deprecation of checkout.liquid before August 2024, we've compiled a guide to keep you informed about these upcoming changes. This article aims to shed light on the reasons behind Shopify's decision, the potential impact it may have on your store, the alternative option of utilizing Checkout Extensibility for customizations, and how Skai Lama and its apps can help you migrate from checkout.liquid to Checkout Extensions and increase AOV and conversion for your brand.
The Final Dawn of Checkout.liquid 🌅
Checkout.liquid is a special theme file used in Shopify Plus stores to customize the checkout process. It allows Shopify Plus merchants to control the appearance and features during checkout, making it more unique and aligned with their brand. This customization is not available to non-Plus brands, giving Shopify Plus merchants a significant advantage. With checkout.liquid, they can add personalized features, improve the checkout flow, and offer unique payment options. These enhancements create a smoother and more enjoyable checkout experience, potentially leading to higher customer satisfaction and fewer abandoned carts. However, the "checkout.liquid" file, despite having an array of advantages, still raises significant concerns among merchants and shoppers, potentially discouraging its continued usage.
Reasons behind its Deprecation
Shopify's decision to deprecate checkout.liquid is mainly due to their move towards a more secure, scalable, and customizable checkout experience. The decision to transition away from checkout.liquid was reinforced due to various reasons.
a) Security Enhancements: By restricting access to the checkout code, Shopify can better ensure security of the checkout process. This reduces the risk of malicious code. In late 2022, Shopify Checkout went down globally for 12 hours due to Google Tag Manager (GTM). Allowing merchants and third party to fiddle with checkout.liquid can pose unimaginable security concerns for merchants and shoppers.
b) Performance Improvements: Shopify has been focusing on optimizing the checkout experience for speed and performance. By controlling the core checkout code, they can implement changes more quickly, ensuring that all merchants benefit from these enhancements.
c) Consistency Across Stores: By not allowing individual customizations in the checkout code, Shopify can provide a consistent user experience across all Shopify stores. This helps in building trust with customers on the eCommerce stores and deliver a native experience. Finding a reliable developer who can constantly work with your checkout.liquid development and also adhere with frequent Shopify updates is a not an easy task. Additionally, it takes ample amount of effort and $$$ to keep this process going on.
d) Compliance with Regulations: Handling sensitive customer information such as payment details requires strict adherence to various regulations like PCI DSS and GDPR. By controlling the checkout code, Shopify can ensure that all stores comply with these standards without individual merchants needing to worry about it.
In the summer of 2022, Shopify introduced Checkout Extensibility, a set of powerful tools and apps that allow code-free customizations to the Shopify Checkout. More checkout customization features were added in the Winter Edition of 2023, including a drag-and-drop checkout editor for Shopify Plus merchants. However, on 13th February, it was announced that starting from August 2024, Shopify will be phasing out the use of checkout.liquid for in-checkout pages. This change will impact many Shopify Plus merchants, as they will need to upgrade to Checkout Extensibility.
Introducing Checkout Extensibility 🤩
Shopify aims to improve checkout stability and performance while adding new capabilities and functionalities. Shopify is not deprecating checkout.liquid without offering alternatives. They have been introducing the next generation of checkout customization technology, which includes Checkout UI extensions, Functions, Post-purchase Checkout Extensions, and Advanced Checkout Branding, over the past year. These new features provide alternative ways for merchants to customize their checkout experience. Check our blog on Checkout Extension with detail features breakdown.
To achieve this, they have introduced Checkout Extensibility, a suite of secure, code-free, and app-based tools that enable easier customization of the Shopify checkout. Checkout Extensibility replaces the need for checkout.liquid, making it the preferred choice for merchants.
Merchants with checkout.liquid customizations on certain pages must upgrade to Checkout Extensibility before the specified date. To upgrade, they need to replicate the necessary checkout.liquid customizations using the available features and components in Checkout Extensibility (we'll discuss these below). This process might require developer assistance or even custom app development.
After 13th August 2024, integrated checkout tracking, such as Google Tag Manager and other tracking scripts in checkout.liquid, will no longer work. To implement tracking, merchants can use Shopify's new Web Pixel Extension API instead.
Shopify merchants have the option to use Checkout Extensibility for code-free checkout customizations through apps, and they can also develop custom apps using a range of components and APIs for unique customizations. Shopify Plus users can utilize checkout extensibility to tailor the Information, Shipping, and Payment pages to suit their needs without coding.
Shopify is continually improving the checkout experience with various features, such as Checkout UI extensions, Shopify Functions, Checkout Branding API, and Pixels. These customization options are upgrade-safe, ensuring they work seamlessly with future Shopify updates.
These powerful building blocks enable merchants to modify different aspects of the Shopify cart and checkout experience, offering new functionalities. However, it's important to note that there are differences between these customization options and checkout.liquid, along with their unique possibilities for customization.
Guide to Migrating from Checkout Liquid to Extensions
Step 1 - Reviewing existing Checkout.liquid code
You can proceed with the upgrade to checkout extensibility even if replicating all your current checkout.liquid customisations is not feasible.
- Review Your Current checkout.liquid customisations
- Navigate to Online Store > Themes in your Shopify admin.
- Locate your active theme, and then click the ellipsis (three dots) icon.
- Select Edit code to assess your existing checkout.liquid customisations.
Step 2 - Create Draft Checkout
Creating A Draft
Once you've gathered all the necessary information for the transition to your new checkout page, it's time to initiate the checkout building process.
- To begin, navigate back to the checkout admin page by accessing Settings > Checkout > Checkout Customization.
- Below your currently active checkout, you'll find the section labeled "Draft checkouts". This is where you can initiate the creation of a new draft.
- Click on "Customize" to be directed to the checkout editor dashboard. Here, you have the ability to add checkout compatible apps, make adjustments to branding, integrate tracking pixels, and perform other customization tasks.
Step 3 - Setting up Checkout Editor
This drag-and-drop interface lets merchants easily customize their checkout's appearance by adding logos, changing colors, and updating fonts. It also allows for the installation of checkout apps that add more functionality. Customising the look and feel of the checkout is a piece of cake.
Let's optimize your checkout process screen by screen using checkout extensibility.
- Utilize third-party apps to detect and reduce fraudulent orders, and implement chargeback prevention measures by enhancing fields to capture additional information.
- With Shopify Plus Checkout Customization, you can modify the user interface of address fields, incorporate editing capabilities for errors and alerts, and personalize fonts and colors for all fields.
- Add custom fields to capture additional information from customers.
- Show/Hide/Reorder Shipping information according to custom rules. Add custom text fields to take additional information.
- While the Checkout editor doesn’t allow complete customization, merchants can use Checkout Wiz to create multiple rules for the shipping page and increase conversion drastically
- Show/Hide/Reorder Shipping information according to custom rules.
- Checkout Extensions natively supports Shop Pay Payment Integration.
- Upsell products on the order summary with Checkout Wiz. Research shows that the likelihood of making a purchase on the checkout page is twice as high compared to the cart page. What better place to upsell?
- To decrease drop off rate of checkout, allure customers with Free Gifts, Product Samples with checkout extension compatible app like Kite.
- Shopify has finally solved the most requested feature on cart page - change item quantity, change size and variants directly from checkout.
- Add badges, banners, countdowns on the checkout page with Checkout Wiz and recreate your website’s style guide on the same branding identity on checkout.
- Show list of discounts applicable on the cart/checkout
- Use apps like Checkout Wiz for multi-language support on checkout.
Order Success/Post Purchase
- Upsell and crossell products post purchase on the order success page with Checkout Wiz.
- Take surveys on the order summary page with simple app integration
Step 4 - Setting up Shopify Pixels for Analytics
Simply add your store’s GA tracking code on Pixels and get ready for enhanced metrics. Earlier, Shopify Checkout only used to track Checkout Started and Checkout Completed. However, with the new Checkout Extensions and Shopify Pixels, it tracks multiple events like:
This is going to help merchants to understand where the drop off is happening and fix the leaky funnel easily.
Embrace Checkout Extension with Skai Lama 🤝
Skai Lama specializes in helping Shopify Plus merchants smoothly migrate from Checkout.liquid to Checkout extensions. With our experience in assisting over 100 merchants, we guarantee a lightning-fast, mobile-responsive, and native checkout experience optimized for conversions.
Don't wait until the last minute to plan your migration. Starting early ensures a seamless transition and avoids the risk of limited developer availability in the final stretch. We eat and breathe Shopify and checkout in our daily lives. We help you to focus on building your brand without worrying about code editing.
Additionally, take advantage of our Shopify app - Checkout Wizard, which offers checkout blocks for payment and shipping customizations, rule-based upsells, and custom content all in one place. Simplify your checkout process without cluttering it with multiple apps.
Let Skai Lama be your trusted partner for checkout migration and boost your store's conversion rates effortlessly.
Book a discovery call here.