by Tom Shackleton
For the second year in a row, Shopify partners, developers and merchants have descended on California for Shopify Unite. After a huge success last year, this year’s keynote set out Shopify’s direction of travel for the year ahead, as well as recapping some great stats on Shopify’s continued growth.
Shopify merchants have traded an incredible $15bn in the past year, and not only that, but Shopify now also has over 1 million monthly active users all across the world - a significant achievement and another reason why we choose to dedicate ourselves to the Shopify platform.
Of course, what we were waiting to hear about were the exciting new features that will transform how we use Shopify.
Here are 11 huge announcements from Shopify Unite 2017.
Improving conversion rates for merchants is always a prime focus for Shopify, and the introduction of Shopify Pay should make a big difference. Shopify Pay allows customers to save their payment details with Shopify, and make repeat purchases with just their phone number, cutting down barriers to checkout.
Sales Channel Apps
Selling on additional sales channels like Facebook and POS is a great benefit for merchants, and Shopify is opening up their sales channel apps to everyone. This should mean a wide range of new sales channels to take advantage of, with the likes of Instagram and Buzzfeed already onboard.
For merchants with more complex inventory needs, Shopify’s standard inventory management has never been sufficient. Shopify will now support multi-location inventory, meaning merchants can separate their stock between different locations.
Shopify’s custom storefronts allow you to build a Shopify buying experience into just about any platform. Whether it’s a mobile app, desktop store or even in-game purchases for mobile games, custom storefronts will help merchants expand their reach to multiple areas.
Marketing Events API
For marketers, being able to attribute sales to your different marketing activities is hugely important. Shopify’s marketing events API allows app developers to build tracking right into their apps, letting merchants see exactly which marketing channels contributed to a particular sale.
Draft Orders API
Drafts are a great tool for merchants to take pre-orders, phone sales and handle sales in various other situations. The draft orders API opens up new opportunities for merchants to take advantage of draft orders in new and powerful ways.
Shopify’s ecosystem has expanded substantially over the years, with mobile and POS apps joining their standard dashboard. This year’s Unite brought an exciting design refresh to the whole ecosystem that unifies design and user interface, making the experience simpler for merchants.
Shopify Card Reader
While a US only announcement for now, Shopify’s first ever in-house designed hardware product also arrived at Unite in the form of a new POS card reader. The new reader has a fantastic, sleek design that will sit proudly on the counters of many brick and mortar merchants.
As well as brilliant new features for Shopify’s standard users, Shopify also reaffirmed their focus and commitment to enterprise users with some potentially game changing Shopify Plus announcements.
Mobile Store Builder
Shopify’s mobile store builder gives Shopify Plus merchants the ability to create fantastic iOS and Android apps for their stores at no extra cost.
Shopify’s wholesale channel allows Shopify Plus merchants to provide customers with a dedicated wholesale store, separate from their standard B2C operation. Orders and management sit in the same Shopify dashboard, making handling wholesale activity simple.
When it comes to major store events, sales and campaigns, enterprise merchants need a robust solution for handling the extra traffic, stock and sales volume. Launchpad does just that, allowing Shopify Plus merchants to set up launch events, pre-orders and manage flash sales.
This year’s Shopify Unite has really reaffirmed our confidence in Shopify as a platform that puts merchants first.
The introduction of so many fantastic new features from Shopify Pay to multi-location inventory, that have the potential to transform how merchants sell online, shows just how innovative and forward thinking Shopify remains.
Shopify’s continued focus on enterprise merchants also shows a real investment in helping these high volume businesses both now and into the future.
We already can’t wait for next year’s Unite!
Interested in learning more about how Shopify’s latest feature announcements could benefit your store? Feel free to get in touch and a member of our team would be happy to help.