This time last year, we were enjoying a beautiful spring in Toronto, chock-full of new announcements for Shopify sellers around the world.

But this year, COVID-19 had other plans.

Note: Here's everything Shopify announced and updated from Unite 2019

While we would have loved to be in Toronto, hats off to Shopify for making the most of a "lost" event. By restructuring and rebranding Shopify Unite to Shopify Reunite and taking the event virtual, Shopify has actually reached more sellers, agencies, partners and dev teams than by holding the event in-person. More than 100,000 people in the Shopify ecosystem attended the event!

With our top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify adding new features and updates and ourSegment app gaining popularity in the app store (it's the only recommended Segment app for Shopify) our eyes and ears were open wide for this year's slate of announcements!

Tip: Here's what's new in our Shopify apps for Google Analytics and Segment

We chatted with our agency partners to get feedback about which announcements might have the biggest impact on their business, from design and development to growth marketing for Shopify Plus stores.

Here are six major updates:

Top Google Analytics app for Shopify

1) Shopify Plus galore!

Shopify Plus Admin upgrades

  • New admin helps merchants expand into new countries, products, or brands by launching new stores
  • Merchants can also copy existing data (i.e. themes, users, already-installed apps from existing stores)
  • Offers a more complete overview of store performance

COVID-friendly automation templates for Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus updates from Shopify Reunite 2020

  • Automate ecommerce workflows and marketing campaigns across apps
  • New Flow and Scripts templates let sellers customize checkouts, automate tasks and build product promotions easily

New templates for automation include:

Tip: Did you know we launched the first Shopify Flow connector for Google Analytics?

Page activity

  • Merchants can now see who else is working on the same product as you.
  • If someone is currently editing a product page (or saves changes), you won't lose your place since everyone working on the page will be notified

Tip: Littledata's enterprise plans are optimized for Shopify Plus

Storefront renderer

  • Infrastructure upgrade to accelerate site speed
  • Changes the way Shopify serves read requests
  • Better server-side performance

2) New finance tools

Shopify Capital

  • Shopify gave away more than $1B in cash advances to merchants this year
  • Extended financing availability beyond US (to Canada and UK stores)

Shop Pay Installments

  • Shoppers can now pay in installments (via "buy now, pay later"): 4 equal payments, interest-free, no additional fees
  • Shopify saw an 18% conversion rate increase and higher AOV from the added payment flexibility, especially during the economic stress brought on by COVID-19
  • Shop Pay installments will launch later this year in the US and all merchants currently using Shopify Payments are eligible

Shopify Balance

  • Includes a banking account offering faster access to funds
  • Includes a Shopify Card (either physical or virtual) so businesses can spend flexibly
  • Features a rewards program for everyday spending (Shopify apps, marketing, shipping)

Top Google Analytics app for Shopify Plus

What about custom checkouts?

For Shopify Plus, new custom checkout features include:

  • Online tipping
  • Cross-border duties
  • Curbside pickup
  • Local delivery settings

Tip: Track every checkout step, sale and refund in Google Analytics

3) Borderless ecommerce

Cross-border domains for international selling

  • Offers a localized shopping and checkout experience for international customers
  • Tailor the currency and language based on customers' buying location

Tip: Get accurate multi-currency tracking and better support for Shopify and Shopify Plus

Custom FX

  • Merchants can set a price for each currency they sell in
  • No more worrying about fluctuating exchange rates
  • Merchants can advertise more effectively with Google Ads and Facebook Ads in every customers' local currency

4) Greater customer reach

Shopify POS

Shopify POS

  • Better online customer experience at every touchpoint—"the most versatile and scalable POS we've ever built" says Shopify
  • Creates room for popular fulfillment options: local pickup, delivery, or shipping
  • Merchants can search for inventory across locations, set retail-specific staff permissions
  • Local pickup
  • Local delivery

Google Shopping

  • Merchants can now list their products with Google Shopping for free via Shopify's Google Shopping app (available only in USD for now)

Shop app

  • First-of-its-kind native shopping app developed by Shopify
  • Already more than 16 million users

5) Ecommerce infrastructure

Sections (beta)

  • Merchants can now edit sections on all pages, not just homepage, plus drag and drop apps anywhere on their online store
  • Currently in Partner Beta

Product states

  • Products now differentiated in draft, active or archive so merchants can filter and organize products by state more easily
  • In other words, products can be saved as unpublished and worked on later

6) Fulfillment updates

Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN)

Shopify fulfillment network

Once this news broke last year, we watched Twitter run wild as store managers imagined the possibilities with Shopify's brand new Fulfillment Network.

Designed to compete with the world's top fulfillment networks (Amazon, USPS, etc.), the network will be built across the United States at first before (hopefully) expanding across the Atlantic. Shopify will be pumping over a billion dollars into this infrastructure, expanding and improving the network.

Now, in 2020, that expansion and improvement has arrived:

  • Inventory intelligence: Shopify will make recommendations as to which inventory should be stored where so that it's close to customers
  • More brand control: Branded packaging and marketing inserts
  • More data control: better customer insights
  • Simple integration: Shopify will install and help set up the Shopify Fulfillment app for you
  • Same-day fulfillment: Orders received by 4 p.m. EST will be shipped out the same day

As mentioned at Unite 2019, SFN will also support the following:

  • Multiple channels: online store, retail, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, etc.
  • Returns and exchanges
  • Custom (branded) packaging
  • Stores of all sizes: "shipping 10 to 10,000 products a day", aiming to get this to "3 to 30,000" per day in coming years

Is there anything we missed? Let us know!

Next up, Ed and Ari will break down the announcements and unpack what they mean for Shopify Partners, agencies, and for teams that rely on Littledata's smart connections for better marketing attribution and decision-making. Stay tuned!

 

Photo credits: Littledata, Shopify