Shopify Hydrogen Headless Solution Pros and Cons, with CommerceUI CTO
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Shopify Hydrogen Headless Solution Pros and Cons, with CommerceUI CTO

Not another chat about headless! Don’t worry, this podcast is packed with practical advice to help you better understand Shopify’s headless solution and its relevance to ecommerce merchants.

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We’ve heard from some ecommerce teams that it’s not crystal clear what the role of Hydrogen currently is, with frequent improvements to OS and Liquid making them question why a headless approach is needed. We see a long-term future of the Hydrogen / Oxygen stack and, alongside this, theming becoming more low code to help businesses who don’t have custom front-end needs to self-serve more effectively.

Although we’ve spoken quite a bit about headless commerce, we’ve never had a practical discussion around using Shopify’s Hydrogen to explore the genuine pros and cons. Given the surge in popularity of Shopify, it’s the right time to focus on this. To give you the best advice we’re talking to Michal Klim, CTO and Co-Founder at CommerceUI, who has worked with a wide range of customers implementing Shopify solutions.

Key discussion points

  • Firstly, can you just introduce Hydrogen in laymen’s terms – what is it, what do you think the goals were? What’s the value prop to potential users?
  • We were originally going to talk about Nour Hammour but ended up broadening and doing a bit of an open Q&A – what made you and NH agree to go down the Hydrogen route. I believe they were previously Liquid – what were the drivers?
  • Interesting context: Vervaunt has had a couple of clients recently where there’s been a bit more of an argument for Hydrogen / headless; you develop on both Liquid and Hydrogen, what are your thoughts on what’s right for a £25-£50m brand that want to be agile? 
  • What other tangible benefits overall do you see of Hydrogen over other headless stacks?
  • How do you think this will change over time? Do you think Hydrogen will get better connected?
  • People often talk about the cons being the apps side and the pre-built connectors – what do you see of the pros here, in terms of performance, rendering experience etc?
  • Pre Hydrogen, you were already doing a lot of headless Shopify implementations – do you think the Hydrogen stack / approach reduces the overhead? What are the current benefits to the merchant of using this stack?
  • How much of an ACTUAL overhead do you see when it comes to feature testing? If you were to use something like NOSTO or Yotpo for example, there’s going to need to be more work done to integrate, but what are the nuances? 
  • What’s your view on agency lock-in with Hydrogen. Because it’s more open and with headless in general, there’s more custom code in the average implementation – what’s your view on this and if you need to move agency etc?
  • Before we started this recording, you talked about the need for a base setup, in the same way as Liquid has Dawn, how do you think this needs to look to make Hydrogen more mainstream?

Want to suggest a topic or guest for a future episode? Contact us via the website or on LinkedIn.


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