Shopify Functions: The New Way to Customize Shopify

Chuck Goldsworthy
Web developers talking

S hopify has been leading the ecommerce software industry for over 16 years, building out features and functionality that empower merchants to sell their products globally. In their latest Winter Edition 2023, Shopify delivered a feature that is going to make commerce better for everyone by putting the power of Shopify in the hands of the Shopify community.

At BlueBolt, we are thrilled to hear about the new Shopify Functions which open up more of the backend logic, which makes the Shopify platform more flexible for merchants and their developers. Shopify Functions is a powerful new way to extend and customize Shopify features to meet the unique business needs for all Shopify brands. With Functions, developers will now be able to build powerful customizations, which execute in under 5ms. This enables brands to scale up for big sales promotions, ensuring you don’t miss sales during Q4 and other special marketing events.

How will Shopify Functions work?

Essentially, Shopify is allowing developers to access the backend of Shopify to extend or replace key parts of Shopify’s logic with custom code. Since Functions are installed with an app, merchants can configure them directly in the admin, without having to touch a line of code. Functions are starting off with familiar backend customizations for discounts, shipping, and payment methods. In time, Shopify says we can expect to see support for shipping rates, checkout and cart validations, return validations, and order routing in the near future. The great thing about this new Functions architecture is that it provides the flexibility of open source, without the hassle of hosting, security, and management of forked code. Also, since Functions run on Shopify infrastructure, it will stay on the upgrade path with everything else on the platform. 

“Shopify Functions is the most important updates Shopify has made recently. It allows clients to customize their Shopify Plus storefront easier than every before, putting them in the drivers seat. This alone makes upgrading to Shopify 2.0 worthwhile.”
– Chuck Goldsworthy, Shopify Plus Director of Delivery, BlueBolt

Why did Shopify create Shopify Functions? 

As the market leader, Shopify knows how important it is for merchants to build successful promotions and offer unique buying experiences to help differentiate your brand from competition. Here are several reasons Shopify shared as to the reasons behind Shopify Functions:

  • Shopify Functions are easier to use – With Functions, you don’t need to worry about modifying code to adjust your promotions anymore. Instead, Functions are installed like any other app and they’re configured directly in the Admin, alongside built-in Shopify features. 
  • Shopify Functions are more accessible – Another great thing about Functions is that they’re distributed in apps, making them available for purchase in the Shopify App Store.
  • Shopify Plus-exclusive featuresShopify Plus brands get the exclusive ability to write their own Functions and distribute them to their store in a custom app. So, if a specific discount, shipping, or payment use case isn’t yet available in the Shopify App Store, or if the use case is too niche or advanced for the general public, Shopify Plus brands can simply build the functionality that they need themselves. 
  • Shopify Functions provide easier reporting – Any discount built with Functions will show up in Shopify Analytics sales reporting, including the Sales by Discount report. Meaning, you’ll have a single source of truth that you can use to review all your discounts. 

We are truly excited and hope to help our clients leverage Shopify Functions to build out customized functionality to bring their brands to life – and drive continual ROI for them. We believe that Shopify Functions will give brands the control and flexibility to build things that not yet anticipated. 

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