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Powering The Future of Commerce: Shopify Unite 2018 Recap

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eCommerce, eCommerce Strategy, How To Grow Your Business, Marketing, Shopify Commerce

This post contains content contributed by Shopify Front End Developer Yana Tzvetkova and Amy Wolff, Front End Practice Lead

This year’s Shopify Unite Partner and Developer Conference took place on our home turf in Toronto from May 7th-9th 2018. Shopify Unite 2018 was their third annual event and our third time in attendance.

It was exhilarating as always for the Demac team to be able to attend and connect with our valued partners and fellow development teams at Unite. We hosted a Happy Hour event with our partners from Nextopia and Nosto Solutions to kick off the conference, and live-streamed a Post-Unite Panel with Pixel Union to hundreds of attendees.

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Beyond all the networking that went down, there were game-changing product announcements for how high-volume retailers and merchants run their businesses on the platform, and how we provide solutions for our Shopify Plus clients.

Most people say “Commerce is deeply a technical problem” but Shopify thinks it is “deeply a human problem”.

After Unite 2018 one thing is very clear, Shopify wants to make work easier for merchants and put all the code and difficult tasks behind the scenes.

Here’s a recap of just some of the announcements and product updates we’re most excited about:

  1. Multi-Currency and Local Payments
  2. Shopify POS
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Advanced Discounts
  5. Dynamic Checkout
  6. Shopify Ping
  7. Transporter App
  8. Supporting Developers with Tooling
  9. Education for Everyone
  10. Accessibility

1. Multi-Currency and Local Payments

shopify unite 2018 recap

“57% of Shoppers made a purchase in the last 6 months from a company overseas.”

This is a HUGE announcement and one we’ve waited a long time for, as it will allow merchants to sell on a global scale. With Multi-Currency for Shopify Payments, merchants will be able to let customers pay in their preferred currency.

This will initially roll out starting Fall 2018 for 9 different currencies, allowing you to sell internationally more confidently!

On a more local scale, Shopify Plus will soon offer merchants the ability to let international customers their preferred local payment method, helping to reduce friction on checkout and give a boost to retailer’s conversion rates! For example: Credit Cards might be the preferred payment method on North America, but elsewhere shopper behaviour is different with some consumers choosing to pay direct from banking applications.

Both multi-currency and local payment methods will allow Shopify Plus Merchants to increase global sales and build customer lifetime value with international consumers. This will only be available for Shopify Payments users.

2. Shopify POS

Currently there are more than 70,000+ retailers using the Shopify POS, and that number is set to increase as it becomes more important for sellers to provide customers with a seamless online and offline shopping experience.

Shopify is prioritizing the importance of helping merchants succeed in selling and promoting their brands offline with aa number of tools that integrate with Shopify Point-of-Sale:

Learn more about the Shopify POS here.

3. Marketing Solutions

shopify unite 2018 recap

Marketing campaigns can now be created inside of the Shopify Admin, using all the marketing apps merchants rely on including: email, social media, referral, discount banners, paid ads (Google, Facebook, etc.) and more!

Shopify is simplifying the complex task of managing marketing campaigns across channels by centralizing your digital marketing and analytics. This will help Shopify Plus merchants in 3 ways:
Work faster and more efficiently in the Shopify Admin
Gain insight and optimize based on performance data
Target the right audience with Shopify’s marketing recommendations

4. Advanced Discounts

Shopify is letting merchants get as creative as they want with their discounts – create new more advanced discounts right out of the box. Shopify will now natively offer Buy X, Gey Y (Buy One Get One) discount codes, as well as quantity based discounts. (Get % discount off on quantity purchased or cart value).

In addition to this Shopify Scripts will continue to offer automated promos and checkout experiences. Learn more about discounts on Shopify, click here.

5. “Checkoutless” Checkout

Dynamic Checkout is a checkout feature that will prompt a one-click checkout based on a customer’s purchase experience. Eliminate all friction by using historical data to let customers pay in their preferred method on product pages. Dynamic checkout will cap retailers capture intent earlier and make purchase easier, driving revenue and boosting conversion. Learn more here.

6. Shopify Ping

shopify unite 2018 recap

Shopify Ping is your next new conversational conversion driving toolkit! Ping is a mobile workspace that brings together customer conversations, marketing workflows, and more into one application. Interaction with your customers in a variety of channels, including Facebook Messenger, Rep.ai, Chat Kit, and more coming soon!

Shopify Ping integrates with Kit, a digital marketing assistant developed by Shopify to help merchants create highly visible targeted social ad campaigns, send custom emails, and more! Now kit will interface directly from within Ping. To read more click here.

7. Transporter

Shopify’s transporter app will make migrating your data to Shopify Plus much easier. This application will allow Shopify Plus Partners like Demac Media to own the entire experience from migration to launch.

Transporter will help us help you migrate platforms confidently and quickly through two new tools:

Transporter’s commandline tool – allows partners to transform legacy platform data into Shopify-friendly CSVs.

Transporter app – loads merchant info into Shopify and has many benefits, including:

8. Supporting Developers with Tooling

shopify unite 2018 recap

Over a year ago Shopify announced the first release of their open-source toolkit to improve the theme developer experience – Slate. The next version of this toolkit Slate v1 will allow Shopify Devs to product higher quality themes and increase productivity!

For more details on Slate V1 click here.

9. Education for Everyone

Partner Certification – Shopify recently launched their new Partner Academy. (Login > Resources > Partner Academy). There are Business, Product, and Theme development tracks so everyone from Developers, PMS, Designers and Sales has access to educational resources from Shopify to help level up their knowledge through courses and an exam.

10. Accessibility

Creating Accessible Themes: There is a lot of content on the web about building accessible websites but it seems quite daunting to just get started. Key takeaways are that you can start by setting up automated tools but manual testing is key to building an accessible and inclusive user experience. When you build sites that are accessible you build a better experience for all users – not just a small subset of the population.

We will all get older, have situational impairments or injuries and can all benefit from accessible websites. Click here to watch video of this Unite 2018 Track.

“The future of commerce is everywhere that shoppers want to buy”

– Harley Finkelstein, COO Shopify

For more details on everything Shopify announced during the conference there’s a number of recaps they’ve posted: here, and here.

Have any questions about migrating to or growing your business on Shopify plus? Click here to contact a commerce expert at Demac.

This post contains content contributed by Shopify Developer Yana Tzvetkova and Amy Wolff, Front End Practice Lead

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