The power of Shopify’s checkout extensibility: A deep dive

At Shopify, the importance of a seamless checkout process in ensuring customer conversions is well understood. As such, significant effort has been invested to make the Shopify checkout both rapid and user-friendly. But beyond speed and ease, it’s vital for the checkout process to be flexible enough to offer unique experiences, promotions, and features that...

Last updated: 9 Oct 2023 - 10 mins read

Sophie Marketeer


At Shopify, the importance of a seamless checkout process in ensuring customer conversions is well understood. As such, significant effort has been invested to make the Shopify checkout both rapid and user-friendly. But beyond speed and ease, it’s vital for the checkout process to be flexible enough to offer unique experiences, promotions, and features that brands require to entice shoppers. This is where checkout extensibility shines.

Checkout extensibility equips you with the tools and functionalities needed to craft bespoke checkouts for all Shopify Plus brands. In this piece, we’ll delve into the specific technologies available for checkout customisations and highlight some primary use cases they can facilitate.

1. Transparency at the forefront: Custom banner messages

Brands can use custom banner messages to provide crucial information directly on the checkout page, ensuring customers are well-informed throughout their purchasing journey.

Getting new customers can be expensive. So, it’s super important for online shops to make sure their customers trust them, especially when they’re about to buy something. One way to do this is by using banners at checkout.

These banners can:

  • Tell customers which items they can’t return.
  • Let them know if there’s a delay in shipping.
  • Give heads-up about things like holiday wait times.
  • Show badges or reviews that make customers feel good about buying.

With some tech tools, shops can easily put up these banners in different styles and places during checkout. This way, there are no surprises for the customer, and they know exactly what’s happening.

Learn more on how to build a custom checkout banner here.

2. Tailoring the experience: The power of custom fields

Custom fields can be employed to gather essential details from customers, such as delivery instructions or requests for sustainable packaging.

When people buy things online, sometimes shops need a bit more information to get the order just right. This can be for many reasons, like making sure the order gets to the right place or giving a special touch to the order.

Here’s what shops can do with these extra details:

  • Delivery Info: For places like apartments, they might need buzzer codes.
  • Safe Delivery: Some people want their orders dropped off without meeting anyone.
  • Special Care: Some orders need extra attention when being delivered.
  • Green Packaging: Some folks like their orders packed in eco-friendly materials.
  • Gift Notes: Let buyers add a special message for gifts.
  • Learn More: Ask buyers about their likes to suggest better products later.
  • Membership Numbers: If someone’s part of a club or group, they can add their number.

Little details like a “your message” box can do a lot to a buyers experience and these are the points that make yoiu stand out of the ordinary.

3. The art of the upsell: Boosting revenue with product offers

Upsell offers within the checkout can significantly boost the average order value by suggesting relevant additional products to customers.

In the dynamic realm of e-commerce, the art of upselling at checkout has emerged as a favorite among Shopify Plus merchants. Global brands are tapping into this strategy, using checkout upsell messages as a tool to amplify their average order value. Think of it as suggesting space-themed socks to a customer who just added space-themed shoes to their cart.

In the latest Shopify update (Summer Editions ’23) , this got even better. Now, shops can use a special tool to make smarter suggestions. So, if a customer adds a certain product to their cart, the shop can show them other things they might like based on that product.

4. Brands with a heart: Advocating through donation banners

Brands can showcase their commitment to various causes and even allow customers to contribute directly during the checkout process.

Consumers are not just looking for products; they’re seeking purpose. They’re aligning their purchasing decisions with brands that resonate with their values, especially those championing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) causes. To put it into perspective, ESG factors are now influencing nearly half of all consumer purchase decisions.

With tools like custom banners and upsell offers, you can seamlessly integrate a donation option right at the Checkout::Dynamic::Render extension point. Whether it’s allowing buyers to support a cherished charity or informing them about the portion of their purchase aiding a cause, the possibilities are vast.

By embedding a donation feature directly within the checkout process, you’re not just facilitating a transaction; you’re fostering a connection. It’s a powerful way for customers to instantly grasp a brand’s ethos and actively participate in its mission.

5. Seamless compliance: Navigating purchase validations

Validation functions can be used to ensure customers meet specific criteria before completing a purchase, such as age verification for certain products.

The checkout process isn’t just about converting customers; it’s about ensuring they meet specific criteria. This becomes paramount when dealing with products that demand age verification, such as liquor or cannabis.

Introducing the Cart and Checkout Validation Shopify Function, a tool designed to ensure that every purchase aligns with the merchant’s set rules. This isn’t just about compliance; it’s about crafting a tailored shopping experience. Let’s delve deeper:

  • Age Verification: Ensuring the customer is of legal age for certain products.
  • Data Syncing: Enforcing character limits to ensure seamless data integration with external systems.
  • Mandatory Fields: Requiring certain fields to be completed before proceeding to payment.
  • Delivery Restrictions: Making sure certain items aren’t shipped to PO boxes.
  • Product Combinations: Checking that certain products, like lighters and lithium batteries, aren’t purchased together.
  • Order Limits: Ensuring the checkout adheres to set minimum or maximum order values.

With the power of UI extensions, the checkout process becomes more than a transaction; it becomes an experience. By integrating these validation features, brands can not only ensure compliance but also offer a more personalized journey for their customers.

6. Crafting irresistible deals: The magic of custom discounts

Custom discounts can be crafted to attract customers, enhance sales, and differentiate a brand from its competitors.

It’s not just about attracting customers, it’s about creating memorable shopping experiences, amplifying sales, and distinguishing oneself from competitors.

Harness the potential of Shopify functions, a tool designed to let you craft bespoke product, order, and shipping discounts that seamlessly manifest during the checkout process. The beauty of it? These custom discount rules are effortlessly configured within the Shopify admin, offering a holistic view in Shopify analytics sales reporting, harmoniously coexisting with Shopify’s automatic discounts.

  • Volume Discounts: Encourage bulk purchases by offering discounts based on the quantity.
  • Gift with Purchase: Entice customers with a free gift when their cart value hits a certain threshold.

But the journey doesn’t end here. With the integration of checkout UI components, brands can weave in a narrative, allowing customers to understand the value they’re receiving, making every purchase not just a transaction, but an experience.

7. A smooth finish: Optimising payment and shipping methods

Brands can customise the checkout experience to highlight preferred payment and shipping options, reducing cart abandonment rates.

Enter the Cart and Checkout validation Shopify function, a tool designed to ensure every purchase aligns with the brand’s set standards. Imagine enticing local aficionados with an eco-friendly bike delivery option for those residing within a specific radius from your fullfillment center, defined by ZIP or postal code.

But the innovation doesn’t stop there. Payment customisations have been redefined. Brands can now curate, reorder, and present tailored payment options based on various factors. One standout feature? Offering a “cash-on-delivery” option, provided the order’s total value remains within a set limit.

In the grand tapestry of e-commerce, it’s these nuances that elevate the shopping experience, ensuring not just a transaction, but a journey that resonates with the brand’s ethos.

Build payment customisation here.

Build delivery customisation here.

8. Celebrating the loyal: Integrating reward systems

Loyalty programs can be integrated into the checkout process, offering special discounts to repeat customers.

As customer acquisition costs soar, the spotlight is now on retaining those hard-won customers. And what better way to do this than by rewarding loyalty? Studies have shown that loyal customers can be worth up to 22 times more than the average shopper. Shopify functions are a game-changer in crafting a personalised shopping experience. Brands can now dazzle their repeat customers with tailored shipping options and exclusive discounts.

So, payment customisations have been redefined. From offering a “cash-on-delivery” option for orders below a certain value to presenting custom payment options based on various factors, the possibilities are vast. This update also paves the way for brands to let buyers redeem their hard-earned loyalty points for discounts, making every purchase not just a transaction, but a testament to their loyalty. Like this, you can upgrade the checkout experience to your loyal customers.

9. Elevating the online experience: Crafting unique brand journeys

The checkout process can be made more engaging by incorporating unique features like trivia questions or personalised offers.

The younger generation, notably Gen Z, is showing a penchant for in-store experiences. But all is not lost for the digital path. The key lies in creating an online shopping experience that’s not just transactional but memorable. With Shopify’s suite of checkout extensibility tools, brands have the arsenal to craft such experiences. Here’s how:

  • Recognising Loyalty: Use metafields to pinpoint and showcase promotions tailored for your most devoted customers.
  • Personalised Gifting: Harness the Storefront API to curate relevant free gift offers, adding a touch of surprise to the shopping journey.
  • Unique Brand Experience: Integrate multiple checkout UI components to craft an experience that’s distinctly yours. Imagine a trivia question popping up at checkout, adding an element of fun and engagement.

The essence? It’s about making online shopping not just convenient but delightful, ensuring customers keep coming back for more.

10. Consistency is key: Branding with a personal touch

The Branding API allows brands to customise the appearance of their checkout, ensuring a consistent look and feel that aligns with their brand identity.

Definitely a feature worth spotlighting, it offers brands the creative freedom to tailor the aesthetics of their checkout journey. From the subtleties of font choices and color palettes to the addition of a favicon or refining the curvature of buttons, the possibilities are vast.

Check that out:

The brilliance of this feature? Once implemented, the branding seamlessly extends to Shop Pay and is effortlessly inherited by any checkout extensions associated with the shop. The result? A consistent, brand-centric experience across all touch points. And the icing on the cake? Brands can set their customisations in motion with a single installation, eliminating the need for repetitive code adjustments whenever there’s a desire to refresh the checkout’s ambiance.

In conclusion, the possibilities with checkout UI extensions and Shopify functions are vast. As Shopify continues to introduce new capabilities, brands will have even more tools at their disposal to enhance the checkout experience. Checkout extensibility is more than just a feature; it’s a game-changer. Whether it’s post-purchase extensions or tracking customer events with web pixels, there’s a plethora of ways to extend and customise your personal Shopify Webshop checkout.

We at Flatline Agency, official Shopify Plus Partners, are here to help you take your business to the next step, including custom development, design, and marketing. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.


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