In June 2019, one of the top eCommerce players hosted their annual conference, inviting partners from all over the world to discuss what the future of eCommerce is likely to bring us. As a result of these conversations and input of Shopify experts, the company announced a number of new products that will revolutionise the world of eCommerce and help retailers scale up in a totally different way.
The future ahead of us is bright and full of endless possibilities. You’re probably excited to discover what has been discussed during the Shopify Unite 2019 and how this can affect you as a retailer. Luckily, we grabbed all of the information to translate this into in-depth guide and analyse the purpose of these new ways of recognising your eCommerce goals.
From a new distinctive design store experience to 3D models and product videos, Shopify may be the right eCommerce platform for your brand. Here’s every Shopify Unite 2019 announcement and the doors it opens for retailers.
New Design Experience
Every online merchant is looking for that distinctive look and feel that will ‘wow’ the audience and keep them coming back for more. It is the core of an online store and where your journey as a seller begins. It is more than essential to showcase the products in the best possible way, because how are you going to attract the shopper otherwise?
Saying that, Shopify has announced a major upgrade to the store that will help you express your brand in the best possible way and amuse your visitors. A new design experience makes it easier to customise storefronts without the need to modify the code, which gives you the skills and opportunity to manage and edit your store independently. Here they are, changes that offer new online experience:
- Flexible section-based editing on every page
- Master page editing, allowing to define content that will be present on multiple pages
- Introduction of starting points, offering pre-configured content which make a store setup faster
- Content will not be stored in themes, allowing merchants to make changes without transferring content manually
- Draft editing, a new safe place to input changes, allowing merchants to make edits and publish when they are ready
Bring your Products to Life with Video and 3D
According to Shopify AR usage, it appears that augmented reality engages shoppers on a new level and leads to increased conversions. Boosting the confidence by showcasing products in a more realistic way is another advantage of using AR and product videos. Shopify has announced the company is planning to introduce Video and 3D to all merchants, that will be present on the product section.
This powerful feature will certainly enhance buying experience and drive more engagement, leading to significantly better conversion. Natively supporting video and 3D, Shopify Admin will allow merchants for an easy management of all interactive assets from one single location. Video and 3D assets will be displayed on the storefront, using one of 10 basic Shopify themes through Shopify video player and Shopify AR.
The new ways for building richer shopping experience have also been introduced to Shopify Partners, allowing developers to produce and edit interactive media via a new app extension, which will soon be released. Stay tuned Partners!
Now that we’ve gone through the changes that will be available to all Shopify merchants, it’s about time to move on to more advanced features for the innovative stores with requirements beyond standard. Being a part of a niche market is not an easy job. Shopify wants to make it stress-free for merchants who need to provide completely tailored customer experiences.
Shopify has released new innovative tools to help build those complex user journeys for more demanding customers. Here it is, everything you will be able to achieve with the new tools:
- New “storefronts” for extra engagement- voice shopping, vending machines, smart mirrors
- Allowing your developers to work in parallel in the preferred programming language
- Possibility to connect with features that deliver more personalised customer experience, such as third-party shipping service that provides more accurate details and dates
- Headless architecture allowing merchants to scale up, become more efficient and have a total control over their online store
Selling globally has never been easier. A new set of APIs has been offered to Shopify Partners community. In addition to new APIs, there are also some exciting features added to Shopify Admin that will help merchants scale up and improve shopping experience globally. Here they are:
- URL sub directories will now be supported, ie. Myonlinestore.com and myonlinestore.com/fr, allowing merchants provide seamless experience across multiple languages and optimise SEO
- Native translations with Liquid APIs will now be initiated, if availability allows for it, which means automatic translation to French if a shopper is browsing a French website
- Introduction of Language Settings in Shopify Admin, allowing merchants to decide on the languages that appear on their store
With multiple languages come multiple currencies, allowing merchants to provide a continuous experience by displaying prices in shopper’s local currencies. Selling in multiple currencies is nothing new to Shopify Plus merchants, since they could access this feature for nearly 1 year now. One of the Shopify 2019 Unite announcements was introduction of multiple currencies for all merchants globally.
The feature currently supports 10 key currencies, automatically adjusting the prices based on the foreign-exchange rates. Make sure you speak to your developer and migrate safely, adjusting the apps to accommodate this feature. We’re saying- scale up, don’t be afraid and go global.
Improvements to Shopify POS
To better support merchants who want to invest in building strong relationships with their customers, Shopify has introduced a few developments to their POS. Believe it or not, Shopify POS accommodated billions of sales up to date.
Loyalty and Promotions
It’s nothing new that customers want to feel special when they shop with you. Loyalty apps are among most popular POS apps, that can successfully fulfil these duties. From June 2019 retailers have had access to loyalty and promotion details directly in the cart, which makes it so much easier for both merchants and shoppers.
The enriched checkout experience offers improved discoverability and speed, better visibility of the important information and finally, appreciation whenever the purchase is completed. Following these many advancements, let’s not forget about a redesign that app went through, benefiting retailers and their staff, allowing for an easy access to all perks, syncing customers, inventory and many more.
To help merchants smoothly and efficiently manage their online stores, Shopify has thought of some powerful tools that improve businesses and add more value, without impeding on time. Here’s what’s new:
Improved visibility of the fulfilment process, better communication between the app and retailer, and multi-location order fulfilment are some of the advancements introduced to fulfilment APIs, offering maximum of control for merchants.
Delivery Profiles API
The enhancements now allow merchants to set rules based on product characteristics and location. Apps can automatically update shipping rules, without merchant’s manual input.
Order Editing APIs
Ensuring customers receive exactly what they want, new order features enable apps to automatically add, remove or replace products before the line product has been fulfilled.
Shopify Admin has been updated with 11 new languages including Hindi, Swedish, Dith, Norwegian and more.
A completely new Shopify Plus is said to be released this year, maximising growth of large, more complex businesses. The new features will enhance automation and enable big players to manage multiple stores, staff accounts and customers, allowing to see all essential insights to their entire online business, all in one place.
Access to global analytics will expand organisations that will be able to turn data to a successful strategy. With so many new advancements, even the most complex brands will be able to experiment, expand and deliver exactly what they need to satisfy their global audience. Supporting world’s most successful businesses, Shopify is going bigger and better.
New Shopify Fulfilment Network
Shopify has announced its new Fulfilment Network to help merchants manage shipping of their orders without the need to use third-party logistics, which often results in poor customer service and issues with deliveries. The new network of fulfilments centres offers smart technology powered by machine learning that helps provide faster delivery and cut the cost.
Shopify Fulfilment Network (built across the United States to start off) has introduced the following features:
- Eliminating the number of errors across multiple channels and locations with orders, inventory and customer data
- Effort-free management of multiple channels from your online store to Amazon, Instagram and eBay
- Returns and exchanges
- Comfortable maintenance of inventory levels
- Account Management at the warehouse, providing expertise and better control over logistics
- Shipment of 10 to 10,000 per day
View this post on Instagram
Announcing Shopify Fulfillment Network – a geographically dispersed network of fulfillment centers with smart inventory-allocation technology, powered by machine learning that predicts the closest fulfillment centers and optimal inventory quantities per location to ensure fast, low cost delivery. #ShopifyUnite
Shopify Unite 2019 has certainly brought many exciting updates to merchants and developers. Influencing the way your customers shop and enhancing user journeys starts at the core of Shopify settings that company keeps continuously developing. With so many advancements and upcoming launches, Shopify is treating us all with its automation that saves time and effort, helping small business scale up and satisfy global players who require more attention. Let us know if you’ve tested any updates yet!