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Vercel and Shopify Integration

Integrate Vercel with Shopify to deploy your headless storefront.
Table of Contents

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to build and manage online storefronts. Shopify does offer themes, but this integration guide will explain how to deploy your own, highly-performant, custom headless storefront using Next.js on Vercel's Frontend Cloud.

This guide uses the Next.js Commerce template to connect your Shopify store to a Vercel deployment. When you use this template, you'll be automatically prompted to connect your Shopify storefront during deployment.

To finish, the important parts that you need to know are:

Even if you are not using Next.js Commerce, you can still use this guide as a roadmap to create your own headless Shopify theme.

To help you get started, we built a template using Next.js, Shopify, and Tailwind CSS.

You can either deploy the template above to Vercel or use the steps below to clone it to your machine and deploy it locally.

  1. If you have an existing Shopify account and storefront, you can use it with the rest of these steps.

    If you do not have an existing Shopify account and storefront, you'll need to create one.

    Next.js Commerce will not work with a Shopify Starter plan as it does not allow installation of custom themes, which is required to run as a headless storefront.

  2. To use Next.js Commerce as your headless Shopify theme, you need to install the Shopify Headless theme. This enables a seamless flow between your headless site on Vercel and your Shopify hosted checkout, order details, links in emails, and more.

    Download Shopify Headless Theme.

    Download the Shopify Headless theme

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/themes, click Add theme, and then Upload zip file.

    Upload the Shopify Headless theme to Shopify

    Select the downloaded zip file from above, and click the green Upload file button.

    Select downloaded Shopify Headless theme and upload file

    Click Customize.

    Customize the Shopify Headless theme

    Click Theme settings (the paintbrush icon), expand the STOREFRONT section, enter your headless store domain, click the gray Publish button.

    Set the headless domain in theme settings

    Confirm the theme change by clicking the green Save and publish button.

    Confirm save and publish

    The headless theme should now be your current active theme.

    Shopify Headless theme is now the current and active theme
  3. Shopify provides a Storefront API which allows you to fetch products, collections, pages, and more for your headless store. By installing the Headless app, you can create an access token that can be used to authenticate requests from your Vercel deployment.

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/settings/apps and click the green Shopify App Store button.

    Shopify App Store

    Search for Headless and click on the Headless app.

    Search and find Headless app

    Click the black Add app button.

    Click add app on Headless app

    Click the green Add sales channel button.

    Click add sales channel button

    Click the green Create storefront button.

    Click create storefront button

    Copy the public access token as it will be used when we configure environment variables.

    Copy the public access token value

    If you need to reference the public access token again, you can navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/headless_storefronts.

  4. Even though you're creating a headless store, there are still a few aspects Shopify will control.

    • Checkout
    • Emails
    • Order status
    • Order history
    • Favicon (for any Shopify controlled pages)

    You can use Shopify's admin to customize these pages to match your brand and design.

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/settings/checkout and click the green Customize button.

    Customize checkout

    Click Branding (the paintbrush icon) and customize your brand.

    There are three steps / pages to the checkout flow. Use the dropdown to change pages and adjust branding as needed on each page. Click Save when you are done.

    Customize checkout branding

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/settings/branding and customize settings to match your brand.

    Customize order status and history branding

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/settings/email_settings and customize settings to match your brand.

    Customize email branding

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/themes and click the green Customize button.

    Customize favicon

    Click Theme settings (the paintbrush icon), expand the FAVICON section, upload favicon, then click the Save button.

    Save favicon customizations
  5. Utilizing Shopify's webhooks, and listening for select Shopify webhook event topics, you can use Next'js on-demand revalidation to keep data fetches indefinitely cached until data in the Shopify store changes.

    Next.js Commerce is pre-configured to listen for the following Shopify webhook events and automatically revalidate fetches.

    • collections/create
    • collections/delete
    • collections/update
    • products/create
    • products/delete
    • products/update (this includes when variants are added, updated, and removed as well as when products are purchased so inventory and out of stocks can be updated)

    Create your own secret or generate a random UUID.

    This secret value will be used when we configure environment variables.

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/settings/notifications and add webhooks for all six event topics listed above.

    You can add more sets for other preview urls, environments, or local development. Append ?secret=[your-secret] to each url, where [your-secret] is the secret you created above.

    Shopify storefront webhooks
    Add a Shopify storefront webhook

    ngrok is the easiest way to test webhooks while developing locally.

    • Install and configure ngrok (you will need to create an account).
    • Run your app locally, npm run dev.
    • In a separate terminal session, run ngrok http 3000.
    • Use the url generated by ngrok and add or update your webhook urls in Shopify.
    ngrok information
    Edit Shopify storefront webhook

    You can now make changes to your store and your local app should receive updates. You can also use the Send test notification button to trigger a generic webhook test.

    Send a test notification from a Shopify storefront webhook
  6. Next.js Commerce is fully powered by Shopify in every way. All products, collections, pages header and footer menus, and SEO are controlled by Shopify.

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/products to mange your products.

    • Only Active products are shown. Draft products will not be shown until they are marked as Active.
    • Active products can still be hidden and not seen by navigating the site, by adding a nextjs-frontend-hidden tag on the product. This tag will also tell search engines to not index or crawl the product, but the product will still be directly accessible by url. This feature allows "secret" products to only be accessed by people you share the url with.
    • Product options and option combinations are driven from Shopify options and variants. When selecting options on the product detail page, other option and variant combinations will be visually validated and verified for availability, like Amazon does.
    • Products that are Active but no quantity remaining will still be displayed on the site, but will be marked as "out of stock". The ability to add the product to the cart is disabled.

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/collections to manage your collections.

    All available collections will show on the search page as filters on the left, with one exception.

    Any collection names that start with the word hidden will not show up on the headless front end. Next.js Commerce comes pre-configured to look for two hidden collections. Collections were chosen for this over tags so that order of products could be controlled (collections allow for manual ordering).

    Create the following collections:

    • Hidden: Homepage Featured Items — Products in this collection are displayed in the three featured blocks on the homepage.
    • Hidden: Homepage Carousel — Products in this collection are displayed in the auto-scrolling carousel section on the homepage.
    Shopify collections
    Shopify collection details

    Navigate to https://[your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com/admin/pages to manage your pages.

    Next.js Commerce contains a dynamic [page] route. It will use the value to look for a corresponding page in Shopify.

    • If a page is found, it will display its rich content using Tailwind's typography plugin and prose.
    • If a page is not found, a 404 page is displayed.
    Shopify pages
    Shopify page details


    Next.js Commerce's header and footer navigation is pre-configured to be controlled by Shopify navigation menus. They can be to collections, pages, external links, and more, giving you full control of managing what displays.

    Create the following navigation menus:

    • Next.js Frontend Header Menu — Menu items to be shown in the headless frontend header.
    • Next.js Frontend Footer Menu — Menu items to be shown in the headless frontend footer.
    Shopify navigation menus
    Shopify navigation menu details

    Shopify's products, collections, pages, etc. allow you to create custom SEO titles and descriptions. Next.js Commerce is pre-configured to display these custom values, but also comes with sensible fallbacks if they are not provided.

    Shopify SEO

Now that your Shopify store is configured, you can deploy your code to Vercel.

  1. You can clone the repo using the following command:

    pnpm create next-app --example https://github.com/vercel/commerce
  2. Publish your code to a Git provider like GitHub.

    git init
    git add .
    git commit -m "Initial commit"
    git remote add origin https://github.com/your-account/your-repo
    git push -u origin main
  3. Import the repository into a new Vercel project.

    Vercel will automatically detect you are using Next.js and configure the optimal build settings.

  4. Create Vercel Environment Variables with the following names and values.

    • COMPANY_NAME (optional) — Displayed in the footer next to the copyright in the event the company is different from the site name, for example Acme, Inc.
    • SHOPIFY_STORE_DOMAIN — Used to connect to your Shopify storefront, for example [your-shopify-store-subdomain].myshopify.com
    • SHOPIFY_STOREFRONT_ACCESS_TOKEN — Used to secure API requests between Shopify and your headless site, which was created when you installed the Shopify Headless app
    • SHOPIFY_REVALIDATION_SECRET — Used to secure data revalidation requests between Shopify and your headless site, which was created when you created a secret for secure revalidation
    • SITE_NAME — Displayed in the header and footer navigation next to the logo, for example Acme Store
    • TWITTER_CREATOR — Used in Twitter OG metadata, for example @nextjs
    • TWITTER_SITE — Used in Twitter OG metadata, for example https://nextjs.org

    You can use the Vercel CLI to setup your local development environment variables to use these values.

Last updated on July 20, 2024

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