Today saw the main event and keynote speeches coming out of Shopify at their annual partner’s conference, Shopify Unite.
Prior engagements (read: a load of work) meant that we couldn’t be there this year, but we’ve been glued to the live stream all afternoon to see the latest updates that will help our customers on Shopify and Shopify Plus grow quicker, faster and with more agility.
We weren’t disappointed! Here are the big updates, and what they mean for you and your business.
All new Shopify Plus
Shopify has announced a series of huge improvements to their Plus platform, which look like being a game-changer for the more established retailers on the platform, and in particular, those running multiple storefronts.
Later this year, Shopify will release the ‘all-new Shopify Plus’ with a single home, and global view for managing multiple stores, users, data/insight and automation in a single place.
Shopify Flow will see a new home inside Shopify Plus, with users able to copy flows across every single one of their stores allowing them to automate and scale quicker.
Creating new stores will also be simplified, with store owners able to create, clone and sync stores at the click of a button.
Multi-currency and multi-language for all
Shopify first announced multi-currency for Shopify Plus customers at Unite 2018, and a number of our Plus customers have been using this with great success. Now that capability is becoming available to all Shopify merchants as of today.
On top of this, Shopify today announced full multi-language support extending deep into the Shopify platform – from multi-language experiences for your customers (think shop.com/en for english, or shop.com/fr for french!) but also all the way through the admin system (11 new languages were announced today, bringing the total to 17) and all the way through the app eco-system.
Shopify is now fully global!
New Shopify design capabilities
One of our criticisms of Shopify has always been its relatively limited content management capabilities. Shopify has been exceptional at e-commerce since day one, but always held back by limitations around page content.
Today, that changes, with significant improvements to their templating functionality that will bring sections to all pages, master page templates, drafts, content portability between themes and the ability to introduce apps specifically into sections on pages. To those who work with Shopify at a technical level this will (hopefully?) make sense.
To those who work with Shopify at a commercial level, take from this that a lot of your content management headaches will soon be gone. There will now be so much more control over every page on your site and less of a need to work around this with custom code and third-party apps.
On top of this, Shopify announced a raft of new features, including:
- Draft content
- Video for products
- Native 3D imagery for products
Shopify checkout improvements
One of the great stats to come out of Shopify Unite 2019 was around the focus that Shopify has put on improving their checkout. You probably haven’t noticed any difference – so what have they been up to?
In the last 3 months, Shopify has improved the speed of its checkout by 20% and is now putting a major focus on enhancing the checkout further for merchants.
In the near future, Shopify will be enabling checkout app extensions, allowing apps into the checkout flow for the first time ever – with the first app being specifically for subscriptions later this year.
What does this mean for merchants long term – expect more flexibility and customisation in the checkout, but still benefiting from the consistency of Shopify’s native checkout flow.
Shopify Fulfilment Network
We’d argue that perhaps the biggest and most strategic move from Shopify at Unite 2019, was the announcement of the Shopify Fulfilment Network.
Although this is strictly US only and in beta, for now, this could be a game changer for many of the challenger and B2B brands who are not able or ready to handle direct to consumer shipping in their business.
Shopify’s AI-powered fulfilment network will is (their wording, not ours!) a geographically dispersed network of fulfilment centres with smart inventory-allocation technology, powered by machine learning that predicts the closest fulfilment centres and optimal inventory quantities per location to ensure fast, low-cost delivery.
Or to you and I, a way for merchants to outsource their storage and fulfilment and benefit from low cost, super fast shipping that will be directly integrated into their Shopify store. Now, when can we get this in the UK?
And much more…
They were just the key highlights of a feature packed 2-hours of announcements. If you’re looking for the full low down, you can read the full list of announcements here.
Looking for Shopify Plus or Shopify help?
We can help with that. Why not give us a shout?