As a Shopify Plus user, you'll likely be familiar with Shopify Scripts. The feature, introduced by Shopify in 2016, helps brands make micro-customizations to create personalized shopping experiences in the cart and at checkout. Many brands use Scripts to improve the checkout process and increase conversion rates.
However, on 08/13/2024, support for Shopify Scripts will end. Shopify Functions will replace Shopify Scripts from then on. This is a new technique for extending the Shopify backend with custom code.
The biggest advantage of the new function is that the speed can be increased significantly. Especially for larger flash sales, this presents many opportunities for merchants. Shopify Scripts was sometimes error-prone here - the new solution should prevent this.
We will show you in this article what Shopify Functions is, how it works and how your business can benefit from it.
Do you need support with your Shopify store? As Shopify Plus experts, we'll be happy to assist you and help you customize your store to meet your needs. Contact us.
What is Shopify Functions?
Shopify Functions is a new feature that allows developers to customize backend logic and create custom functions for a Shopify store. Using Shopify Functions, all Shopify merchants can now extend and customize existing Shopify functions to meet their business needs.
Moreover, functions can be configured directly in the admin area without touching a line of code. This is possible because these functions are installed with an app. Even though Functions only offers the familiar changes for discounts, shipping, and payment methods, Shopify has announced plans to add features for shipping rates, checkout and shopping cart validations, returns validations, and order routing in the coming time.
Reading tip: Another Shopify innovation is Commerce Components by Shopify. Find out what this is all about in this article.
How Shopify Functions works
You can use the Shopify API to interact with your Shopify store and perform various tasks. With this Shopify API, you can access the store's data and functions to easily create custom solutions based on Shopify.
The innovative Functions architecture provides open-source flexibility without the need for hosting, security, or forked code management. Because Functions are hosted on the Shopify infrastructure, they are always up to date and able to handle all the important tasks, even for larger Flash sales.
What is Shopify Scripts?
Shopify Scripts is a feature that allows Shopify Plus merchants to extend and customize the store by adding custom scripts, for example, to customize the checkout. However, support for Shopify Scripts will be discontinued on 08/13/2024. As a Shopify Plus agency, we regret the shutdown of Shopify Scripts, as we have implemented numerous features with it for our customers over the past years. Among them for example:
Promotions like gift items at Coeur de Lion or graduated discounts at ooia,
Bundles e.g. at our customers Sheko, Shape Republic or Cosline
Discount codes: e.g. at SpermedineLife discount codes are excluded depending on the country of delivery or at Snushus single items are discounted based on product labels
Merchants currently still relying on Shopify Scripts are encouraged to migrate all scripts to Shopify Functions by August 2024. Shopify Functions can be used now and will completely replace Shopify Scripts by next year at the latest.
Comparison: Shopify Functions and Shopify Scripts
|Shopify Scripts:||Shopify Functions:|
|Shopify Plan||Shopify Plus||All plans|
|Deployment||Via Ruby code in the Script Editor||Via apps created by app developers|
|Customization options||Shopify Scripts are mainly used to influence the checkout behavior e.g.: Calculate shipping costs; Apply discounts; Implement special promotions||Developers can use Shopify Functions for flexible customization, e.g. for: Custom bundles; Shopping cart modifications; Discounts; Payment adjustments; Adjustment of the delivery methods; Shopping cart and checkout verification; Fulfillment Terms; Rules for the place of order|
|Theme-Integration||Not directly integrated into the theme of the online store; Are managed and applied via the Shopify admin dashboard||Shopify Functions can be seamlessly integrated into the current theme; Appearance of the online store can be updated so smoothly|
Although both Shopify Functions and Shopify Scripts provide ways to customize the Shopify store, there are some key differences between them:
Intended use: Shopify Functions are ideal for customizing the frontend experience, while Shopify Scripts are mainly used for customizing the checkout process.
Integration: Shopify Functions are seamlessly integrated into the store's theme, while Shopify Scripts are managed separately through the admin dashboard.
Shopify Functions advantages
1. Improved performance
Shopify Functions are built on AWS Lambda, a serverless computing platform. This allows functions to scale up or down automatically depending on the number of requests. This ensures that a store remains responsive even during periods of high traffic. This can reduce page load times and improve the overall user experience.
2. Enhanced security
To protect against potential security vulnerabilities, Shopify Functions run in a secure environment provided by AWS Lambda. In addition, it is possible to configure Shopify Functions to access only the specific data and resources they need to operate - further reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Shopify Functions' new technology allows developers and store operators a high degree of flexibility. With the ability to create custom functions and workflows, businesses can tailor their store to meet specific needs and customer requirements.
Reading tip: Learn how to increase flexibility with Composable Commerce in this post.
Who is Shopify Functions suitable for?
First and foremost, Shopify Functions was introduced for developers and businesses who want to extend the functionality of their Shopify store. However, it is also suitable for businesses that need to automate their routine tasks or integrate with other systems or services.
We'll show you some examples of who Shopify Functions is suitable for below:
1. Small businesses
Shopify Functions can be especially beneficial for small businesses with limited resources. By automating routine tasks (such as updating inventory), businesses can save time and reduce the risk of errors.
2. Medium to large businesses
Shopify Functions is also useful for medium to large businesses. For example, businesses can use a custom function to integrate with their own inventory management system or automate the printing of shipping labels to enable efficient shipping options.
Reading tip: In our store systems comparison, we help them find the perfect system for their needs.
3. Companies with complex requirements
For complex requirements that can't be met by off-the-shelf solutions, Shopify Functions offers a high degree of flexibility to implement these business needs.
Shopify Functions is also naturally an ideal platform for developers to create custom functions for their customers' Shopify stores. Developers can create scalable, powerful applications that integrate seamlessly with Shopify.
Why should merchants use Shopify Functions?
Shopify merchants can maximize the potential of Shopify Functions to improve their business in a number of ways.
With Shopify's new feature, merchants can customize their shopping cart and checkout processes to optimize conversions and provide customers with a seamless shopping experience.
Merchants can thus create dynamic discounts based on factors such as order value or customer location. In addition, merchants can use Shopify Functions to integrate additional payment options so customers can choose the method they prefer and more.
With an effective use of Shopify Functions, it is possible for merchants to improve their overall management and gain valuable insights from detailed reports on sales and performance. Shopify Functions thus provides you with a flexible and powerful toolset to achieve the business needs you require.
Reading tip: We show you how to use Progressive Web Apps.
Shopify Functions offers developers many ways to create custom components for their website. This allows merchants to tailor their website to the needs of their customers and provide a personalized shopping experience.
The toolset is already usable by everyone and provides you with all the features that Scripts also provides for you. As a Shopify Plus agency, we will also be using Shopify's new feature in the future with the shutdown of Shopify Scripts on 08/13/2024.
As an experienced Shopify Plus agency with a top-notch team of technical specialists, Latori can help you migrate from Shopify Scripts to Shopify Functions and provide custom development. Contact us.
Frequently asked questions about Shopify Functions
Can Shopify Functions be used by anyone?
A Shopify app that is publicly available in the App Store and is based on Shopify Functions can be installed by anyone (regardless of which Shopify plan is used). However, only Shopify Plus merchants can program or have programmed their own Shopify Functions apps.
When will Shopify Scripts be replaced?
As of August 13, 2024, Shopify Scripts will no longer be supported. Merchants currently using Scripts for discount and checkout customization will need to transition to Shopify Functions before that date.
Will the switch impact Shopify Plus users?
To avoid risking an impact to your store, brands should migrate to Shopify Functions before August 13, 2024. For most stores, the switch from Scripts to Functions means they will need to implement a Functions app to replace the functionality that Scripts previously allowed.
What are the benefits of upgrading to Shopify Functions?
For merchants, there are a few opportunities that come from adopting Shopify Functions. For example, it gives them more control and more options as functions are moved to dedicated apps. That means, in some cases, being less tied to a development team for simpler functionality requirements.