As first-time Shopify Unite attendees, the Blue Acorn iCi team went into the conference in Toronto, Canada with fresh eyes. But we walked away more excited than ever about Shopify’s upcoming features and how we can better help our clients create seamless shopper experiences and build long-lasting customer relationships.
The Newest Shopify Features We’re Most Excited About
Enhance the Online Experience with Engaging, Relevant Content and Videos
The new Online Store features will provide merchants more control over their layout, preview designs, and expand their customizations. It will be simpler than ever to create an ecommerce site that aligns with your brand aesthetic.
- Sections API – Master Pages will allow Shopify users to make bulk edits and preview all pages that are affected. This includes frame sections, such as header, footer, or sidebar. All templates will have a starting point to ensure key elements are not missing from a page (ex: search results on a search page). App extensions can also be embedded into sections. And, lifestyle imagery will soon be an option.
- Content Portability – With this feature, you can switch the theme and all content will port over and dynamically adjust.
- Drafts – Experiment with a new look and feel without publishing or schedule a planned update.
- Video and 3D/AR on Product Display Pages (PDPs) – Shopify is the first platform to add native 3D media support (full screen, zoom, and augmented reality). According to Shopify, customers are twice as likely to complete a purchase when there’s a video on the PDP.
- Check Out – App extensions will be available to support subscriptions, loyalty, and upsell capabilities in the checkout.
Reach Customers Far and Near
Shopify’s Mult-Currency and Multi-Language functions will make it easier for brands and retailers to grow internationally at scale. According to Shopify, multi-currency tools result in 60% lift, on average, in international conversion rates.
- Multi-Currency – Multi-Currency will allow merchants to sell to customers in their local currency. This feature started rolling out and will be available to all Shopify merchants by the end of the year.
- Multi-Language Admin API – Another feature available today, the API added 11 new languages for a total of 17, which covers over two billion people.
Build One-on-One Customer Relationships In-Store
The latest POS tools (available in all monthly plans) provide in-store sales associates with greater power to personalize and streamline the experience for each customer that walks through the door.
- Hardware – Later this year, Shopify is releasing a new tap and chip phone case. The new hardware will be able to accept credit card and contact-less payments in-store, similar to an Apple Store experience.
- Multichannel CRM – Shopify users can lookup customer information in-store simply by inputting their name. In the store, associates can start a return or add a promo to a purchase based on a customer group.
- Advanced Search – Keyword search or barcode scan to look for products, orders, and customers.
- Retail Staff Model – The Retail Staff Model provides a login for employees across all stores. Store managers can set POS role permissions and employees can clock-in using their login.
- BOPIS – Buy-online-pick-up-in-store will be native functionality.
The New Shopify Fulfillment Network
Delivering the package is the final moment for a brand or retailer to win over a customer. With the bar set high for the shipping and delivery experiences, fulfillment could make or break a customer relationship. To help merchants during this critical period in the customer journey, Shopify announced they will be launching a Fulfillment Network.
Implementing the Shopify Fulfillment Network is simple: Install the app, select the products you want Shopify to fulfill, receive a quote, and send the products to one of their warehouses. With Shopify Fulfillment, you’ll be able to fulfill an order in less than one day and deliver it in two days with a 99.9% accuracy. Shopify can fulfill orders from multiple channels, support returns and exchanges, and customize the packaging for the ultimate unboxing experience—no matter how many or how little packages you sell in a day.
Additional fulfillment and ordering updates include:
- New GraphQL Fulfillment APIs – The new APIs provide users with visibility and flexibility to control every step of the fulfillment process.
- Order Editing – With Order Editing, users can add, change, or remove items from an order before it reaches fulfillment. For example, if a customer reaches their tenth order, you can add a free gift to reward the shopper for their loyalty.
- Multistore – Shopify is releasing a unified multistore dashboard and admin panel that allows users to have a holistic view of all stores. Permissions, invites, and statuses will be centralized in one location, making it easier to track global customers, workflows, and orders across stores.
Frictionless Checkout Experience
The latest checkout update announcements will allow merchants to offer subscription services and recurring payments. For each item, customers can adjust the delivery frequency as well as duration. Recurring payments are made possible with card vaulting. Shopify will encrypt and store credit card information in PCI compliant servers.
Learn more about the latest Shopify announcements here