Back in February, I wrote a tutorial, “How to Add a Shopify Shop to Your Genesis Child Theme.” Early this morning, I received a question in the comment area asking, “Now that shopify updated the widget to the “buy button”, are we still able to use the steps you described?” Hummm. This was news to me. I didn’t know how to answer that.
I immediately went to my email and searched for “Buy Button” since I subscribe to Shopify updates and blog posts. Well, I did find that on April 8th I received an email about the “Buy Button” which stated:
Did you know that Shopify allows you to sell online through any website? Read on to learn about our simple yet powerful Buy Button technology, and how easy it is to turn a WordPress or Tumblr site into a web store.
Okay…. so, this didn’t answer the question. I went to the Shopify App Store and noticed that the Shopify Widget was no longer listed there. I had to do a few more searches to find the old documentation. Ah ha! It landed me to this page. You will see noted there:
Caution: The Shopify Widgets app is no longer available. You can now use the Buy Button sales channel within your Shopify admin to embed Buy buttons on your own website.
This still did not answer the question as to whether or not code and instructions for the Shopify Widget would continue to work on existing websites.
I logged in to my developer account and initiated a Chat session. My representative was Bob S.
My first question to Bob was:
Will the old configuration continue to work where my client has added the #shopify-store to the navigation and the entire store pop up? As I’ve been waiting – shop owners cannot embed the “shop” anymore – they have to embed single products only?
Bob’s response was:
Yes, the embed is for single products.
Several questions/answers later, I asked:
So does that configuration stop working all together now.. no way to keep (grandfather) previous users?
Just heard back and it appears the Buy button has replaced the widget. I asked about still being able to use it going forward but the entire option has been deprecated so it’s been pulled completely. Unfortunately, there’s no way to use it.
So… for anyone who uses the Shopify Widget and their instructions on how to add the Shopify code to their navigation to show their store as I provide in the tutorial – your tab will no longer work.
Back to the Shopify email and the “Caution” area above. One misconception in the email is the reference, “how easy it is to turn a WordPress or Tumblr site into a web store“. Technically, you are not adding “a store” you are adding “a product” or “products”… individual products. I guess you can build a store by adding individual products but who wants to do that? Right?
Another thing to note on these two areas is that neither one of these indicate that the entire option has been deprecated and users need to figure out an alternative method to showing their stores, i.e., you need to just add a link to your navigation/menu which will “bounce” over to your store on Shopify – visitors will leave the main website now and go to the full Shopify store.
This might not be a big deal for some, but it may be for others. People with large stores benefited from using the pop-up technology because if visitors did not want to purchase anything at that time, they could merely close the window and stay on the main website. Now, if visitors are routed to the store… what are the chances that the visitor will “return” to the main website? Careful planning will need to go into their Shopify store menus to add tabs leading back over to content on their WordPress or other websites.
I guess this move on Shopify’s part might be to get people to use Shopify as their primary and only website. Not sure if this is a good move or a bad move. But it could cause an influx in more WordPress users wanting to migrate their Shopify stores into their WordPress websites. Plugins like WooCommerce and iThemes Exchange are great options to do this.
Don’t get me wrong. WordPress, WooCommerce or iThemes Exchange may not be the right choice for everyone who needs to set up an online store. Shopify is still a great platform to use. I just think they could have informed the store owners and developers in a better way – made the changes more clearer so that research and chats of this nature are not needed and… store owners and developers could work out the changes more effectively.