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A Detailed Tutorial - Shopify's Storefront API + React + Redux

November 07, 2018

#dev

Originally published on the Siren Apparel Press on Medium

A Detailed Tutorial: Shopify’s Storefront API + React + Redux

E-commerce for all! (…websites, that is 😄)

Written by *Chris on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018*

Siren Apparel’s flagship shirt — Hydrant Removal.

Background and Motivation

So the motivation here was pretty simple. I wanted my users to be able to browse, search, and select products directly on my custom domain without having to go to Shopify.

The secondary motivation is that I’d much rather have my own codebase for a website than use one of Shopify’s factory templates. No offence Shopify team! The templates are modern and clean, but they are rather basic.

So this is the best of both worlds — my custom React site (already built and online 😄), with the added API and checkout process of Shopify!

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to add your Shopify products on any page of your site. The only part of the shopping process that will occur on Shopify is when the user clicks ‘Checkout’.

The motivation specifically for writing here on Medium was simply that I couldn’t find a tutorial on this process myself— so I decided to make one myself!

I’ve been a professional developer for 4 years now, and programming for 7. I’ve worked in tech stacks from old-school Fortran and Perl to React, Javascript, and Nodejs.

Siren Apparel is one of my side project / startup / maker company that I’ve run for 5 years now, and we’ve donated to 5 different police and fire departments.

Let’s finally get started with this tutorial.

Shopify’s Storefront API

The wonderful folks at Shopify have put together the Storefront API. With the Storefront API, you can create React components to add product pictures, product variations, product sizes, a cart, and ‘add to cart’ and ‘checkout’ buttons into your own, non-Shopify site.

Note that this tutorial is NOT about Shopify Polaris, which is used to create components in React for Shopify store management itself.

Getting Started: react-js-buy Repository

Take a look at this React example built by the Shopify team. Most of the code in this walkthrough tutorial comes from that repository.

…Did you take a look? Good!

Now we’re going to hop right into code! Head to your React site’s root folder and install the shopify-buy module via the terminal:

cd my-awesome-react-node-project/
npm install --save shopify-buy

(or yarn add shopify-buy if you prefer yarn)

Then, in your frontend index.js, (note: NOT App.js!) you will need to import Client from the JS Buy SDK:

import Client from 'shopify-buy';

Then add the following configuration object above the ReactDOM.render()call:

const client = Client.buildClient({
    storefrontAccessToken: 'your-access-token',
    domain: 'your-shopify-url.myshopify.com'
});

That’s it for index.js for now — we’ll come back to it soon.

Now we’re going to add in all the components needed for a smooth shopping and checkout experience. Copy all the components from the react-js-buy repository:

Cart.js

LineItem.js

Product.js

Products.js

VariantSelector.js

We will paste these components into acomponents/shopify/ folder in your src/ folder. You could put these component files anywhere else in the src/ folder, if you wished. The rest of the tutorial assumes you have put them in components/shopify/ .

Modifying App.js

App.js will need extensive changes. First, import that Cart component you just copied into your own project:

import Cart from './components/shopify/Cart';

If your App.js component was stateless, like mine, you should be safe copying this entire constructor() function:

constructor() {
    super();
    this.updateQuantityInCart = this.updateQuantityInCart.bind(this);
    this.removeLineItemInCart = this.removeLineItemInCart.bind(this);
    this.handleCartClose = this.handleCartClose.bind(this);
}

if you already have state, copy only those bind lines. They are event handler functions that the Shopify cart needs to function properly.

“But what about state for the cart!?”

You may ask; or:

“What about defining those four methods for the cart!?”

Indeed, that’s coming, but not yet! 😄

You can then append the <Cart/> component to the bottom of your render() function, before the ending div. In my opinion, the cart should be accessible anywhere in your app. I think it makes sense then to put the <Cart/> component in the root component of your app:

    return (
    <div>
    ...
    <Cart
        checkout={this.state.checkout}
        isCartOpen={this.state.isCartOpen}
        handleCartClose={this.handleCartClose}
        updateQuantityInCart={this.updateQuantityInCart}
        removeLineItemInCart={this.removeLineItemInCart}
     />
    </div>
    );

So, you may have noticed I didn’t include any code on the event handlers for the cart yet. Additionally, I didn’t address the lack of state components for the cart in App.js.

Well, about halfway through this project, I realized my products component was not in my App.js file.

Instead, it was buried about three children components down.

So instead of passing products three levels down to children, and then function handlers all the way back up…

I decided to use…

😱 Redux!!! 😱

Ugh! I know, I know, Redux, while not being very difficult, is a pain in the %*$! to wire up initially with all the boilerplate required. But, if you are a developer working on an E-commerce store or an E-commerce store owner, think of it this way: Redux will enable you to access the state of the cart from any component or page in our app.

This ability will be essential as Siren Apparel expands and we develop more products. As we create more products, I’ll make a seperate dedicated store page with all products, while leaving just a handful of featured products on the homepage.

The ability to access the cart is essential if a user shops around a bit, reads some stories or info about Siren Apparel, and then decides to checkout. It doesn’t matter how much they navigate around, nothing from their cart will be lost!

So, in short, I decided it’s probably better to implement Redux now while the codebase for our site isn’t too large.

Implementing Redux for Shopify Buy SDK With Bare Minimum Boilerplate

Install NPM packages redux and react-redux:

npm install --save redux react-redux

In index.js , import Provider from react-reduxand your store from ./store:

import { Provider } from 'react-redux';
import store from './store';

Wrap the <Provider> component with the passed store around your<App>in index.jsto hook up your App to your Redux store:

ReactDOM.render(
<Provider store={store}>
    <IntlProvider locale={locale} messages={flattenMessages(messages[locale.substring(0, 2)])}>
      <App locale={locale}/>
    </IntlProvider>
 </Provider>,
document.getElementById('root')
);

Note that I also have a <IntlProvider>, but that’s in a different post about how I applied internationalization and localization to dynamically render the content on Siren Apparel’s site. A different story for a different day.

Now of course we haven’t made a ./store.js file yet. Create your store in store.jsin the src/ root and put this in it:

import {createStore} from 'redux';
import reducer from './reducers/cart'; 

export default createStore(reducer);

Create your reducers file in src/reducers/cart.jsand paste this code:

// initial state
const initState = {
  isCartOpen: false,
  checkout: { lineItems: [] },
  products: [],
  shop: {}
}

// actions
const CLIENT_CREATED = 'CLIENT_CREATED'
const PRODUCTS_FOUND = 'PRODUCTS_FOUND'
const CHECKOUT_FOUND = 'CHECKOUT_FOUND'
const SHOP_FOUND = 'SHOP_FOUND'
const ADD_VARIANT_TO_CART = 'ADD_VARIANT_TO_CART'
const UPDATE_QUANTITY_IN_CART = 'UPDATE_QUANTITY_IN_CART'
const REMOVE_LINE_ITEM_IN_CART = 'REMOVE_LINE_ITEM_IN_CART'
const OPEN_CART = 'OPEN_CART'
const CLOSE_CART = 'CLOSE_CART'

// reducers
export default (state = initState, action) => {
  switch (action.type) {
    case CLIENT_CREATED:
      return {...state, client: action.payload}
    case PRODUCTS_FOUND:
      return {...state, products: action.payload}
    case CHECKOUT_FOUND:
      return {...state, checkout: action.payload}
    case SHOP_FOUND:
      return {...state, shop: action.payload}
    case ADD_VARIANT_TO_CART:
      return {...state, isCartOpen: action.payload.isCartOpen, checkout: action.payload.checkout}
    case UPDATE_QUANTITY_IN_CART:
      return {...state, checkout: action.payload.checkout}
    case REMOVE_LINE_ITEM_IN_CART:
      return {...state, checkout: action.payload.checkout}
    case OPEN_CART:
      return {...state, isCartOpen: true}
    case CLOSE_CART:
      return {...state, isCartOpen: false}
    default:
      return state
  }
}

Don’t worry, I’m not going to just post this big reducer and not discuss what is going on; we’ll get to each event! Note a few things:

We take the initial state from what the state is written as in the Shopify GitHub example and put it in our initState, namely the following four parts of state:

isCartOpen: false,
checkout: { lineItems: [] },
products: [],
shop: {}

However, in my implementation, I also create a client part of the state. I call the createClient() function once and then immediately set it in the Redux state in index.js . So let’s head into index.js:

Back to index.js

const client = Client.buildClient({
  storefrontAccessToken: 'your-shopify-token',
  domain: 'your-shopify-url.myshopify.com'
});
store.dispatch({type: 'CLIENT_CREATED', payload: client});

In the Shopify buy SDK example, there are a few async calls to get information about the products and store information in React’s componentWillMount() function. That code looks like this:

componentWillMount() {
    this.props.client.checkout.create().then((res) => {
      this.setState({
        checkout: res,
      });
    });

    this.props.client.product.fetchAll().then((res) => {
      this.setState({
        products: res,
      });
    });

    this.props.client.shop.fetchInfo().then((res) => {
      this.setState({
        shop: res,
      });
    });
  }

I opted to do that instead as far upstream as possible, directly in index.js. Then, I issued a corresponding event when each part of the response has been received:

// buildClient() is synchronous, so we can call all these after!
client.product.fetchAll().then((res) => {
  store.dispatch({type: 'PRODUCTS_FOUND', payload: res});
});
client.checkout.create().then((res) => {
  store.dispatch({type: 'CHECKOUT_FOUND', payload: res});
});
client.shop.fetchInfo().then((res) => {
  store.dispatch({type: 'SHOP_FOUND', payload: res});
});

By now the reducer is created, and the initialization of the Shopify API client is complete all forindex.js.

Back to App.js

Now in App.js, wire up Redux’s store to the App state:

import { connect } from 'react-redux';

and don’t forget to import the store as well:

import store from './store';

At the bottom where export default App should be, modify it to this:

export default connect((state) => state)(App);

This connects the redux state to the App component.

Now in the render() function we are able to access the Redux’s state with Redux’s getState() (as apposed to using vanilla react’s this.state):

render() {
    ...    
    const state = store.getState();
}

Finally: the Event Handlers (Still in App.js)

From above, you know that there are only three event handlers that we need in App.js, because the cart uses only three: updateQuantityInCart, removeLineItemInCart, and handleCartClose. The original cart event handlers from the example GitHub repository, which used local component state looked like this:

updateQuantityInCart(lineItemId, quantity) {
  const checkoutId = this.state.checkout.id
  const lineItemsToUpdate = [{id: lineItemId, quantity: parseInt(quantity, 10)}]

return this.props.client.checkout.updateLineItems(checkoutId, lineItemsToUpdate).then(res => {
    this.setState({
      checkout: res,
    });
  });
}

removeLineItemInCart(lineItemId) {
  const checkoutId = this.state.checkout.id

return this.props.client.checkout.removeLineItems(checkoutId, [lineItemId]).then(res => {
    this.setState({
      checkout: res,
    });
  });
}

handleCartClose() {
  this.setState({
    isCartOpen: false,
  });
}

We can refactor them to dispatch events to the Redux store as follows:

updateQuantityInCart(lineItemId, quantity) {
    const state = store.getState(); // state from redux store
    const checkoutId = state.checkout.id
    const lineItemsToUpdate = [{id: lineItemId, quantity: parseInt(quantity, 10)}]
    state.client.checkout.updateLineItems(checkoutId, lineItemsToUpdate).then(res => {
      store.dispatch({type: 'UPDATE_QUANTITY_IN_CART', payload: {checkout: res}});
    });
}
removeLineItemInCart(lineItemId) {
    const state = store.getState(); // state from redux store
    const checkoutId = state.checkout.id
    state.client.checkout.removeLineItems(checkoutId, [lineItemId]).then(res => {
      store.dispatch({type: 'REMOVE_LINE_ITEM_IN_CART', payload: {checkout: res}});
    });
}
handleCartClose() {
    store.dispatch({type: 'CLOSE_CART'});
}
handleCartOpen() {
    store.dispatch({type: 'OPEN_CART'});
}

You can add these between the constructor() and render() methods as usual.

If you were following along, I already mentioned that I added my own handleCartOpen function, because I pass that function down as a prop to my <Nav/> component, so a user is able to open and close the cart from a link in the nav. At a future time, I could move that function to the Nav itself instead of passing it as a prop, since of course the Redux store will also be avaliable there!

Finally Add that Component!

So, you’ve got a basic store maybe with some simple href’s that link to the corresponding product on your Shopify store? Ha! Throw those out, and replace them with your brand spankin’ new <Products/> component!

First, import the component into wherever your store markup should be (remember, in my code base I’ve put the shopify example components in a folder called shopify/)

This will be where ever your products currently are. (In the boilerplate repository I made, I put this in the GenericProductsPage component, to signal that this code could be applied to any page that has a products section):

import Products from './shopify/Products';

Now finally, that past 15–20 minutes of redux boilerplate code edits pays off: we can grab the products component of our state — not from a vanilla React state passed down over and over again through props — but through grabbing it in a neat one liner const state = store.getState();:

render () { const state = store.getState(); // state from redux store let oProducts = ;

Don’t forget to drop the component itself into where it should go in your render() function. For me, that location was buried in Bootstrap style classes and HTML:

...
<div className="service-content-one">
    <div className="row">
        <Products/>
    </div>{/*/.row*/}
</div>{/*/.service-content-one*/}
...

Finally, we will need a single event function addVariantToCart for the cart to work with this products component. Again, for reference, here is the original, vanilla React local state version of addVariantToCar(again, from the shopify example repository):

addVariantToCart(variantId, quantity){
  this.setState({
    isCartOpen: true,
  });

const lineItemsToAdd = [{variantId, quantity: parseInt(quantity, 10)}]
const checkoutId = this.state.checkout.id

return this.props.client.checkout.addLineItems(checkoutId, lineItemsToAdd).then(res => {
    this.setState({
      checkout: res,
    });
  });
}

and the new, Redux-friendly store.dispatch() version:

addVariantToCart(variantId, quantity) {
    const state = store.getState(); // state from redux store
    const lineItemsToAdd = [{variantId, quantity: parseInt(quantity, 10)}]
    const checkoutId = state.checkout.id
    state.client.checkout.addLineItems(checkoutId, lineItemsToAdd).then(res => {
      store.dispatch({type: 'ADD_VARIANT_TO_CART', payload: {isCartOpen: true, checkout: res}});
    });
}

which is of course the one we will use 😄

don’t forget to bind it in the constructor:

this.addVariantToCart = this.addVariantToCart.bind(this);

Don’t forget, you’ll need to connect this component to the store like you did App.js , and import the store:

import { connect } from 'react-redux'
import store from '../store';

at the top, and (assuming the component where you put the Shopify Product component name is GenericProductPage:

export default connect((state) => state)(GenericProductsPage);

at the bottom.

Great! Now, no matter how deep in components or where ever your products component is declared, it can communicate with the cart’s state!

Final BONUS Example: Cart in Your Header or Nav

If you want to have a ‘Cart’ button in your header / nav, add this button in your Nav component’s render function (again, an example from my current site, which has Bootstrap styles — a very simple version is in the boilerplate example:

<div className="App__view-cart-wrapper">
<button className="App__view-cart" onClick={this.props.handleCartOpen}>
    Cart
    </button>
</div>

where handleCartOpen is a new handler method you’ll have to add to App.js:

this.handleCartOpen = this.handleCartOpen.bind(this);

in the constructor. Then when you are referencing your Nav component in App.js (or wherever you place your Nav) you pass the function handler:

<Nav handleCartOpen={this.handleCartOpen}/>

Styling Component(s)

I relied on the CSS file, app.css, located in theshared/ folder in th e storefront-api-example repository (you can’t miss it, it’s the only file in shared/ ! Make sure to copy that into your styles/ folder or wherever it needs to be and include it in your index.jsfile. In my index.js it looks like this:

import './styles/shopify.css';

Since I renamed the app.css which was in the Shopify example repository to shopify.css , and put it folder styles. This convention is also used in the boilerplate repository code.

From here it’s pretty easy to identify where exactly in shopify.css the default bright blue color for the buttons is defined, and so on. I’m going to save detailed CSS customization for you to handle. 😃

But who knows, maybe I’ll post on that eventually — but I find the styles from Shopify pretty good and easy enough to modify.

Takeaways

In my opinion, this is a perfect (non-todo list 😜) use of Redux. Redux cleanly organizes the event functions and state of the Shopify cart and makes it easy to access the cart’s state from any other component. This is much easier to maintain than passing pieces of state to children and using multiple event handlers to pass events back up to parent functions all over a React app.

As shown as an example in the tutorial, the cart’s state is accessed easily in the nav component and the shop section of the front page. I’ll also be able to easily add it to a sort of ‘featured’ product section as well, once we’re ready for that.

Find the Code

A boilerplate repository of this implementation can be found here. It is a near blank create-react-app app, but with all the changes of this tutorial implemented in index.js and App.js , as well as a super basic GenericStorePage and Nav components.

I built the code on the repo while re-reading and updating my own tutorial here, to make sure this tutorial makes sense.

Because I am crazy 😜, Siren Apparel’s website is all open-sourced. So if you want to fool around with my implementation, check out the respository!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If anything isn’t clear or just plain not working, let me know! I’ll try to assist you!

Thanks to Lisa Catalano at CSS-Snippets for the simple Nav example!

Cheers! 🍺

Chris


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