Shopify’s Online Store 2.0 is An Ultra Fast, Cost-Effective Alternative To Headless

Here's why we're recommending the upgrade to every Shopify merchant.


Shopify Online Store 2.0 Dawn Theme Image Asset


On June 29th, 2021, Shopify announced the launch of “Online Store 2.0,” a soup-to-nuts platform revamp that promised to deliver more speed, flexibility and functionality to merchants, while introducing vastly improved tools for developers. 

Along with 2.0, Shopify introduced Dawn, a free, mobile-first theme developed to maximize 2.0’s capabilities. The Dawn demo at Shopify Unite showcased a shape-shifting frontend composed of slick, customizable drag and drop elements that the company calls “sections everywhere.” It was a tantalizing display meant to inaugurate the… ehem, dawn, of a new era of storefront personalization for Shopify merchants.

At P3, We’ve been quietly developing on Dawn for three months, putting 2.0 through its paces, and migrating a handful of our most experience-focused Shopify Plus clients. 

As an agency that prioritizes client growth and revenue protection, we generally wait for new tools to prove their stability and revenue generating potential in the marketplace before rolling them out to our clients.

But in this case, the early results are clear and overwhelming: Online Store 2.0 delivers a faster user experience, is easier to develop on, and is simpler to maintain than its predecessor. Plus, even enterprise level Shopify merchants can migrate to 2.0 in around 4 weeks.

These aren’t improvements for the sake of progress. If you’re familiar with web performance metrics, you already know that faster, more personalized websites produce significantly more revenue for merchants. And a website that costs fewer dev hours to maintain delivers higher margins.

Yes, 2.0 still comes with a few trade-offs that will give some merchants pause, and we cover our experience with those in the “cons” section below. But given the massive revenue-generating potential we’ve already seen, P3 is recommending migration to all of our current merchants. Moreover, we’re committing to developing all new Shopify stores on Dawn moving forward. Here’s why we’re doing it, and why we think you should seriously consider upgrading, too.