At this year’s Shopify Unite, Shopify leadership took the stage to talk about the future of commerce, and to give the partner and developer community a look at their product roadmaps.
The opportunity ahead is bright and full of possibilities. To help make sense of them all, Shopify put together the following high-level view of every product update and launch announced at Shopify Unite 2019
1. Online Store: Core
The online store is the heart of any merchant experience: it’s often the center of their multi-channel strategy and where their entrepreneurial journey begins.
That means it’s critical that merchants can offer an online store experience that attracts buyers and showcases their products in the best possible light.
Shopify announcing a major upgrade to the online store, giving access to more powerful tools to help merchants express their brand and delight their customers.
A new online store design experience
Shopify's new online store design experience will make it easier for merchants to create and customise their storefronts without writing a single line of code. Coming to all Shopify merchants later this year, is a new feature set that will allow you to focus less on the basics of store editing and more on providing those highly valuable skills and services needed to take a merchant’s business to the next level.
Here’s what’s new:
Sections on every page: When Shopify first introduced Sections, it allowed merchants the ability to easily add or move content on their homepage with just a few clicks. Shopify will now introduce sections-based editing to any page of a merchant’s online store, giving them ultimate flexibility to create and customise pages to their needs.
Master pages: This new feature will allow merchants to define the content that will appear on multiple pages, and apply changes to all pages under a specific page type, simply by editing the master page.
Starting points: Themes will offer starting points, a selection of pre-configured content sections that will make store setup faster. A merchant will be able to select their desired starting point and simply populate it with their own content.
Content portability: Content will no longer be stored in themes. Merchants will no longer have to duplicate their themes to make changes to their store and will be able to switch between themes without transferring their content manually.
Drafts: Shopify is introducing a new safe place for merchants to draft changes to their online store, prior to publishing. They’ll be able to change aesthetics and content on existing and new online store pages, and publish when they’re ready.
User experience: All of these changes are wrapped up into a new user interface that makes navigating store creation more intuitive.
For Shopify Partners, these updates will also unlock new app sections, giving merchants the ability to add apps to their storefront, just like they would any other section. Shopify will be releasing a storefront app extension for partners to facilitate this. Subscribe to our database for more information on these exciting new feature launches.
[Coming Soon] Checkout app extensions: Subscriptions
Shopify works hard to continuously improve the experience for partners, merchants, and their customers. And coming soon Shopify Partners will be able to access their first ever checkout app extension, which focuses on improving the purchase flow for subscriptions.
Buyers will no longer be routed outside of Shopify’s checkout to complete their transactions. Developers will be able to integrate their subscription apps into the checkout experience, surface their app’s information into Shopify’s checkout, and give merchants the ability to process transactions for subscription goods and services within one seamless checkout experience.
The checkout app extension for subscriptions will be available later this year. Subscribe to our database for more information on these exciting new feature launches.
Build better brands with Video and 3D
Winning the attention of today’s buyers has a lot to do with weaving a powerful brand story—in fact, based on the current usage of Shopify AR, Shopify knows that interacting with a product in augmented reality significantly improves conversion rates. That’s why they’re investing in more powerful and robust product browsing experiences that drive higher engagement and better conversion.
Later this year, the Video and 3D update to the product section of the Shopify Admin will become available to all merchants, and will natively support video and 3D model assets for products. Storage, delivery, and access through both the Shopify Admin API and Storefront API will become available. This also includes:
Storage: Merchants will be able to manage media from a single location, with Shopify hosted video and 3D assets sharing the same workflow as images.
Delivery: Merchants using one of our 10 basic themes will be able to display their video or 3D assets on their storefront through the Shopify video player and Shopify AR.
This update also means that there is a new Shopify player for video and viewer for Shopify AR, as well as additions to Liquid to consider.
They’re also introducing a new area for partner contribution: editor applications. From image and video editors to new ways to produce content for the web and augmented reality, developers will be able to build apps that allow merchants to create, edit, and refine media in the admin via a new, soon to be released, app extension.
With Video and 3D access, partners will now be able to build richer and higher converting buyer experiences for their merchants. Read through their 3D model creation documentation and contact us to get started.
Introducing the Media APIs
Shopify Developers can now associate videos and 3D model assets with a product via new additions to the GraphQL Admin API.
For a long time, partners could only upload images to Shopify via the API. These new additions to the GraphQL Admin API enable partners to create, retrieve, update, and delete new media types, including video (hosted by Shopify), external video (via an embed, ex. YouTube), and 3D models.
Additions to the Storefront API will enable offsite storefronts and mobile apps to retrieve these new media types on a product.
To learn more, read Shopify's guide to Media APIs.
2. Online Store: Advanced
Now that we’ve covered the changes coming to the online store that all Shopify merchants can leverage, let’s shift gears and focus on those merchants with more unique requirements.
[Update] Custom storefront tools
Shopify has a suite of products to help most of our merchants quickly and easily jump into commerce. However, there are a number of complex, niche, or innovative merchants—both big and small—who need tools that enable them to go above and beyond and create truly unique customer experiences.
If you’re thinking holistically about the customer journey, you know that it’s more than a beautiful website. This is where our headless commerce solutions come in. The custom storefront tools—made up of our Storefront API and related SDKs (JS Buy SDK, Mobile Buy SDK, etc.)—let you build for complex, niche, and innovative customer-centric businesses.
These tools enable you to:
- Design and build a beautiful front end experience (web, mobile, gaming, etc.)
- Connect to microservices to play a role in the personalized customer experience (for example, to a CMS tool to drive dynamic content, or a third party shipping service to get more accurate shipment dates)
- Engage with customers through new “storefronts” (vending machines, voice shopping, smart mirrors, smart fridges, etc.)
- Enable your development team to work in parallel and in the programming language or framework of their choice (eg. React.js)
- Leverage the speed, scalability, and control that comes with a headless architecture
Custom storefront tools have seen various improvements and feature additions since launching in 2016, but there are new and exciting updates you can now access through the Storefront API:
- Selling in multiple currencies
- Product recommendations
- Access to metafields
- Shopify Scripts
The rise of headless commerce opens up endless opportunities, we are really excited to see Voice Shopping noted on the graphic! If you’re interested in learning more, Subscribe to our database - You can also read the case study on Shopify Plus merchant Koala and their headless commerce tech stack.
Sell in multiple languages
Shopify wants to make selling globally as simple as selling domestically. That’s why they’re invested in enabling merchants to provide quick, complete, and reliable multilingual experiences on their online stores.
This cross-border opportunity extends first and foremost to the Shopify Partner community, via our new set of APIs.
Translations API: Enables read/write translations for buyer facing content like products, blog posts, pages, etc. Learn more.
Shop Locale API: Manages which alternate locales are published/unpublished. Alternate locales can be language or language-region (ie. French, French Canada, English UK, etc.). Learn more.
Translations in GraphQL Admin API: Non-translation apps that only need to read translated content (for example, email marketing) will be able to access translations via our GraphQL Admin API. Learn more.
In addition to new APIs, changes and enhancements to the Shopify Admin will also help merchants sell in multiple languages, improving the online store experience for their buyers around the world.
- Online store will now support different subdirectories in URLs (ie. shop.comand shop.com/fr) to support multiple languages. These enhancements will allow merchants to optimize SEO and offer the same consistent shopping experience in multiple languages.
- The enhanced Liquid API will now natively surface translations when they’re available. For example, Liquid will render a French translation if a buyer is looking at a French page (depending on the URL and availability of translations).
- The new Language Settings page in the admin allows merchants to manage which languages (locales) are published on their store.
Make sure your apps are up to date and compliant with these new APIs, and consider all the new translation possibilities.
[Update] Selling in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments
Expanding globally is becoming the new norm for today’s entrepreneurs, and buyers have come to expect their purchasing experience to reflect this new reality, with prices displayed in their local currencies.
To address this, Shopify launched the ability to sell in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments to Plus merchants in October 2018. Shopify has announced that they are starting to roll out this ability globally to Shopify merchants (yahoo!).
The selling in multiple currencies feature offers prices in that customer’s local currency—an experience that carries through to the checkout. This pricing automatically adjusts based on foreign-exchange rates and displays buyer-friendly prices with simple rounding rules. This feature currently supports 10 key currencies: GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR, HKD, JPY, NZD, DKK, SGD, and USD.
If you’re a Shopify Developer, Shopify want to ensure you have the information you need to adjust your apps to account for this new feature. Read their article on what selling in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments means for your apps and visit our migration guide.
Announcing the Shopify Fulfillment Network
Shopify Fulfillment Network is currently available in the United States, Subscribe to our database and we'll let you know when this feature is available in New Zealand.
A significant part of a customer’s overall experience with your store is determined by what happens at checkout and beyond. When it comes to customers receiving their products, expectations are high and the bar keeps rising—in many parts of the world, products ship fast and prices for expedited delivery are becoming increasingly competitive.
That’s why Shopify is making it easier for merchants to fulfill orders (and promises) with the Shopify Fulfillment Network, a dispersed network of fulfillment centers that uses machine learning to automatically select the optimal inventory quantities per location as well as the closest fulfillment option for each of your shipments. Once available, you’ll simply install the app, select your products, get a quote, and begin sending us products.
With the Shopify Fulfillment Network, you’ll be able to take the complexities of fulfillment logistics off your plate without needing to cede control of your customer experience to a third party. You’ll be able to provide fast, low-cost delivery while maintaining ownership of customer data and your branded shipping experience.
Here are more ways Shopify Fulfillment Network can help you improve your purchase experience from sale to delivery:
A single back office. Your order, inventory, and customer data will stay synced and up-to-date across all warehouse locations and channels.
Recommended warehouse locations. Based on where your sales currently come from, we’ll find the best locations to place your products to save costs on shipping.
Low stock alerts. When inventory runs low, you’ll know when to replenish to continue meeting demands.
99.5% order accuracy. Rest easy knowing the correct package will be chosen and out the door on time.
Hands-on warehouse help. A dedicated account manager can assist you in finding the best path to reach your customers so you can keep costs low.
3. Shopify POS
Shopify sees our direct-to-consumer brands driving the major transformations we’re witnessing in brick-and-mortar retail today. These merchants obsess over the customer experience, and for them, there’s no better way to build those direct relationships than through face-to-face conversations in their own stores.
In the past year, Shopify POS has grown to power over 100,000 merchants and is driving sales in the billions.
To better support all of these growing direct-to-consumer brands, they’ve made critical investments to Shopify POS to improve their product-market fit for them.
We are super excited to see the improvements to Shopify POS, as ex retailers, this product is a game changer for small to medium businesses.
POS cart app extensions: Loyalty and promotions
In today’s retail landscape, customers expect to feel appreciated when they shop. It’s no wonder loyalty apps are some of the most popular POS apps.
Starting today, retailers can see loyalty and promotion details directly in the cart without having to click away, making checkout faster and easier for their staff and customers.
Shopify's POS cart app extensions for Shopify POS surfaces the loyalty and promotion app functionality merchants want, where they need it: within the customer cart. This makes for a seamless retail checkout experience that includes:
Speed: Improved discoverability in the cart during checkout reduces the number of clicks from four to one, and decreases the time it takes to apply a discount from roughly 15 seconds down to five
Visibility: Important information is surfaced automatically and in-context, meaning store staff don’t have to remember to navigate to the apps section of POS
Appreciation: Customers feel appreciated wherever purchases are made, online and in-store
This new POS app extensions not only helps retail merchants but gives current app developers with embedded POS apps new functionality that can improve the user experience. It also opens up a new world of possibilities for Shopify Partners interested in building loyalty or promotion apps that can be used online and in-store.
Want to learn more? Be sure to review the apps currently in the Shopify App Store that are already using this feature, and read through Shopify's technical documentation.
[Preview] The all-new Shopify POS
Shopify is excited to share with the Shopify Partner community an advanced preview of the all-new Shopify POS—a ground-up redesign, where apps get first-class treatment.
Shopify heard the community’s wants and needs and redesigned the app thinking about their partners first. Developers can expect better accessibility, with full-screen app extensions on the home screen, compatibility with all current apps, and a simpler design for a better app experience.
They have also made it our goal to create an updated POS app that prioritises quick and seamless workflows, helping store staff focus on what’s most important to them: human-to-human customer interactions and making each sale a positive experience.
In addition, retail merchants can expect:
Faster checkout, refunds and exchanges, and global search
Simple redesign for retail staff, large tap areas, and smart grids
Scalable with unlimited products, multiple location search, staff permissions, and quick access to apps
A unified back-office to sync customers, inventory, and orders across all locations
To keep up to date on Shopify POS, Subscribe to our database and we'll let you know when this hardware is available in New Zealand.
Stay in the know
With so many new products and updates, it’s important to stay in the know! Subscribe to our database and we'll keep you up-to-date with - you can also join our Shopify Facebook Group