What’s New On Shopify? (Editions Summer 2023)

It's that time of the year again when Shopify rolls out its much-anticipated twice-yearly editions updates. If you're plugged into the world of online retail, you probably remember the buzz surrounding the 2022 Editions: "Connect to Consumer" and "Built to Last."

These updates were all about strengthening connections with customers and fortifying businesses for the long haul. What about Summer 2023? What's in store for us this time? Well, my friends, get ready to dive into the latest and greatest because Shopify has once again unleashed a wave of innovations, features, and products that promise to reshape the way we do business in the ever-evolving world of e-commerce.

Imagine - My Business, My Store, My Future

Picture this…it's a world where your business is not just thriving but staying ahead of the game. That's exactly what Shopify is bringing to the table this summer, as they've dropped updates, features, and products that are all about reimagining your business…Now, why is this focus on the future so crucial? Well, let's face it; the e-commerce landscape is like a constantly shifting puzzle. New trends, technologies, and consumer expectations emerge faster than you can say "shopping cart." If you want your business to not just survive but thrive, you need to be one step ahead, always.

So, in this Summer 2023 Edition, Shopify is all about helping you envision "My Business, My Store, My Future." They're not just giving you the tools; they're handing you the blueprint to shape your business for the long run.

Big Ticket Items

One of the game-changers here is the increase in the variant limit to more than 100. Now, if you're wondering why this is a big deal, here's the scoop… In the past, Shopify set a cap at 100 product variants. Variants are the different options of a product you can offer, like colors, sizes, or flavors. But now, they've thrown that limit out the window. This means brands with high SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) counts, like those in the fashion industry with multiple product variations (think band size, cup size, and color for lingerie), can breathe a sigh of relief. No more development workarounds needed. You can incorporate more product combinations effortlessly, giving your customers even more choices.

Imagine being a clothing brand, offering a range of styles, colors, and sizes. With this variant limit increase, you can showcase your entire catalog without any limitations. It's all about giving your customers that personalized shopping experience they crave.

Custom Landing Pages

Now, let's shift our focus to something equally exciting…custom landing pages with metaobjects. Landing pages are like the welcome mats of your online store. They are the first impression you make on your customers, and they need to be top-notch.

Shopify's new custom landing page feature makes it easier than ever to create these unique content templates with just a few clicks. The magic ingredient here is metaobjects. You can think of them as building blocks for your storefront's design. Imagine having elements like quizzes, customer highlights, product highlights, and brand specs at your fingertips, ready to be pieced together into a stunning landing page. The beauty here is not just in the ease of creation. It's also in the impact. Custom landing pages help you communicate essential brand and product information effectively. Whether you're highlighting a new product line, running a promotion, or simply telling your brand's story, these pages are your canvas. Plus, there's an added bonus: the SEO details are a piece of cake to input.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. If you're running a business on a budget, this feature is a goldmine. You can create captivating landing pages without breaking the bank on design costs. But, and it's a significant but, if you're aiming for something more complex and creative, involving a design or user experience (UX) team is still a smart move. Custom landing pages are like a canvas; how you paint it is up to you. So, whether you're a scrappy startup or an established brand, these landing pages are a game-changer in your quest to create a lasting impression on your customers.

Forget the Hero, It's all about Sidekick

So, what exactly is Sidekick? Well, it's your trusty Shopify expert sidekick, always there to lend a helping hand. But instead of capes and superpowers, Sidekick relies on AI technology and Shopify's vast data resources. Its role? To support you through those tedious day-to-day tasks that can eat up your time.

Think about all the little things that keep you busy – from setting up your store and managing workflows to researching trends and handling customer queries. Sidekick has your back. You can turn to it for assistance with everything from the nitty-gritty details of your e-commerce operation to swiftly answering customer questions. Now, before you get too excited, it's important to note that Sidekick is particularly geared toward entrepreneurs. It's like having a virtual assistant that comes free with your Shopify subscription. It's ideal for those who are just starting out or managing smaller operations where you might not have a full team to handle every task.

But, and here's the catch, if you're part of an enterprise or mid-market brand with well-established internal teams, Sidekick might not be your go-to hero. It's designed to assist, not replace, and it may not have the advanced capabilities required for larger-scale operations. So, while Sidekick is indeed a valuable ally, it's crucial to understand its strengths and limitations within the context of your business.

Bundles, Bundles, and More Bundles

Now, let's shift gears and talk about something that can significantly boost your sales and enhance your customers' shopping experience – bundles. Shopify has introduced the Shopify Bundles App, and it's all about giving your customers more value for their money.

Bundles have been a tried-and-true strategy for increasing the Average Order Value (AOV) in e-commerce for quite some time. And while the concept isn't new, what Shopify is offering with this first-party bundles app is a diverse range of bundled product opportunities…Customers get more value from their purchase, and you get to sell more products in one go. Here's the cherry on top – flexibility. While the Shopify Bundles App covers a wide range of bundle options, including multi-packs and fixed bundles, it recognizes that businesses have unique needs. If you need something more customized, you can still tap into the updated bundle apps in the Shopify App Store or, if you're on Shopify Plus, build a bespoke bundle offering using their Shopify Functions APIs.

In a nutshell, the Shopify Bundles App benefits brands of all sizes looking to increase their AOV, enhance product discovery, or clear out inventory with irresistible bundled offers. And with the Bundles API, you have the flexibility to tailor these offers to your specific market demands.

Shopify Collective (US only)

Now, let's talk about a nifty feature called Shopify Collective. While it's currently available only in the United States, it's a feature that can open up exciting opportunities for both entrepreneurs and established brands.

Shopify Collective allows you to sell products from other Shopify brands that complement your own. It's like expanding your store without actually stocking more inventory. Here's how it works…

Imagine you have a store with a specific niche or limited product catalog. You can use Shopify Collective to curate and add products from quality brands on Shopify to your store. These complementary products will ship directly to your customers when they place an order.

Now, why is this a game-changer? For entrepreneurs with limited product catalogs or those whose flagship product serves a particular niche, Shopify Collective is a lifeline. It opens up opportunities for increased cross-selling and up-selling.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Sales Growth - By offering a broader range of products, you can attract a wider customer base and potentially increase your sales.
  • Improved Customer Experience - Your customers get access to an expanded product range, enhancing their shopping experience.
  • Additional Earnings - You earn a margin on the products you sell from other brands, without having to manage extra inventory costs.

So, whether you're looking to boost your sales, improve customer experience, or explore new revenue avenues, Shopify Collective has something to offer.

Buy Now, Pay Later Minus the Third-Parties

This is like the "Buy Now, Pay Later" trend, but with a Shopify twist. Shop Pay Installments is a premium package that Shopify has launched. It allows merchants to offer interest-free payment plans to their customers for orders ranging from $50 to $17,500. This is a game-changer for businesses and shoppers alike. Customers can now split their purchases into smaller, more manageable payments over time while merchants still receive the full amount upfront. It's a win-win scenario that makes high-value purchases more accessible to a broader range of customers.

For merchants, this can lead to increased sales, as customers may be more willing to make a purchase if they can pay it off in installments. It's a smart strategy to cater to different customer budgets and preferences. This feature not only benefits customers but also merchants by potentially increasing conversions and sales.

Globally Available Updates - Shopify Magic

Shopify Magic is a suite of AI-powered features that can be integrated across Shopify's products and workflows. What does that mean? It means that with Shopify Magic, you have a powerful set of tools at your disposal to level up your e-commerce game.

Here's a glimpse of what Shopify Magic can do:

  • Content Creation - Whether it's creating product descriptions, email content, or even customer responses to live chat inquiries and FAQs, Shopify Magic has your back. It can generate content that's not only engaging but also tailored to your brand's voice.
  • Multilingual Support - While English is predominantly supported, some features of Shopify Magic extend their magic to additional languages such as German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Chinese (simplified). So, if you're catering to an international audience, Shopify Magic can help you speak their language.

Shopify Magic is a lifesaver for entrepreneurs and small brands. It's like having an extra pair of hands (or several) without the need to hire a full team. Imagine being a startup with limited resources. Shopify Magic can help you create compelling content, answer customer queries, and provide multilingual support, all without breaking the bank. It's like having a genie in a bottle, but in the form of AI-powered features.

However, for larger enterprise or mid-market brands with well-established internal teams, Shopify Magic might not be as essential. These brands often have their content creation and customer support processes in place. But for the rest of us, Shopify Magic is like having a secret weapon in the world of e-commerce. So, whether you're a one-person show or a small brand looking to make a big impact, don't underestimate the magic that Shopify Magic can bring to your business.

Flexible Sections in the Online Store Editor

Shopify 2.0 brings flexibility to the forefront with an improved Online Store Editor. This feature allows merchants to effortlessly create unique and engaging layouts for their e-commerce stores. It's like having a toolbox filled with design options, enabling merchants to drag and drop, resize, group, edit, and more. The result? A dynamic response to market trends, seasonal events, and promotions, ultimately enhancing customer engagement and convenience. Merchants with design or marketing capabilities will find this tool particularly valuable in elevating their brand's online presence.

Shopify Subscriptions (Early Access)

Shopify Subscriptions is the name of the game, and it's here to simplify the lives of small-sized businesses. With this app, business owners can create and manage subscription products directly from the Shopify admin. Customers can select intervals for receiving their subscriptions, edit payment methods, and even skip or pause deliveries. While this app is fantastic for straightforward subscription needs, businesses with more complex requirements might want to explore third-party subscription apps, like Recharge.

Shopify Marketplace Connect

Now, let's talk about expanding your reach through wholesale. With Shopify Marketplace Connect, merchants can seamlessly integrate their Shopify product catalog with major marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Etsy. This feature is a handy tool for entrepreneurs and mid-market brands looking to reach a broader audience. It allows you to sell your products across global marketplaces, synchronize listings, orders, and inventory, all while measuring performance right from your Shopify dashboard.

New Checkout Extensions (Exclusive Plus Features)

Shopify Checkout is getting an upgrade, and one of the standout features is the introduction of a one-page checkout. This streamlined checkout process pre-fills billing and shipping information, reducing cart abandonment rates and enhancing the shopping experience. But the beauty here is that these updates are not exclusive to a particular merchant size. Even enterprise brands that aren't currently using Shopify Checkout can now integrate Shop Pay into their existing checkout, giving customers a smoother purchasing experience.

B2B on Shopify (Shopify Plus Only)

Shopify Plus merchants are in for a treat with the introduction of new B2B features. These enhancements are designed to elevate the B2B experience, making it more efficient and convenient. Features like volume pricing, store personalization, quick order lists, and PayPal payments aim to enhance the customer experience, increase order sizes, and streamline transaction processes. This is a game-changer for merchants engaged in B2B sales, especially those in wholesale or bulk purchasing sectors.

Plus Merchants, Listen Up

For Shopify Plus merchants, there's a centralized paradise in store. Store settings that were once in the Plus admin have now been moved to store admins, simplifying daily tasks and streamlining operations. This update makes it more efficient for Plus merchants to manage their multi-store organizations all from one central location.

US-Only Updates - Shop Store Got a Glow Up

If you're in the United States, the Shop app is getting a makeover. Enhancements allow merchants to boost mobile customer engagement by adding expressive branding, customizable collections, categories, and navigation. These features create a visually rich and personalized mobile shopping experience, catering to the growing number of mobile shoppers and strengthening brand identity.

Developer Updates

In the world of app development, there's a lot to be excited about. Address Validation is now available for Shopify Plus merchants, enhancing checkout accuracy. Updates to Shopify Functions bring improved versioning, debugging capabilities, and support for app-owned metafields. Plus, server-side validations in cart and checkout provide developers with more control and flexibility to create a seamless shopping experience. Additionally, newly released app templates and updates give app developers more tools and resources to create innovative solutions for Shopify merchants. The Shopify Remix app template, in particular, offers a host of benefits for developers looking to build powerful apps efficiently.

Key Takeaways! 

From the AI-powered magic of Sidekick to the convenience of one-page checkout, and the potential for limitless growth with Shopify Marketplace Connect, there's something here for every merchant, whether you're just starting your entrepreneurial journey or overseeing a thriving enterprise. As we get these new tools and features, one thing is clear: the future of e-commerce is brighter than ever, and with Shopify by your side, you're ready to conquer it all. So, gear up, get creative, and let Shopify's latest offerings take your business to new heights in the world of online commerce.

If you would like more information on Shopify eCommerce store development in Surrey, shoot us a message and we will be in touch with you!