Feb 20, 2023
May 24, 2023
Shopify’s checkout is industry-leading in security, reliability, and performance standard. Still, conversion rates have always lagged with a multi-step process, giving shoppers opportunities to abandon the order. Merchants relied on 3rd party apps for years to circumvent these limitations and help increase conversion rates. A one-step checkout is standard across all Shopify storefronts, with built-in checkout extension functionality. Merchants can now update the look and feel of their checkout with the Branding API, add upsells, cross-selling opportunities, and dynamic discounts within a singular view so shoppers can interact without leaving the buying experience. It’s a welcomed update from Shopify as checkout is the final frontier in the buying lifecycle, and locking it down for security and speed optimization is a smart move for all merchants.
It’s interesting to see Shopify directly compete with Amazon Prime with their two-day delivery guarantee product, Shop Promise. It's bundled as a sales channel within their fulfillment network and available within the Shop app. The jury is still out on whether or not this will move the needle for conversion rates and increase NPS scores for brands, but it's a promising new offering to entice more brands to join Shopify’s in-house fulfillment network. Finally, it’s great to see Shopify partnering with 3rd party apps like Loop to help power return logistics as part of the Shopify Promise program. It’s a strategic move to lean on Shopify’s partner developers to power up aspects of the delivery and returns process. Expect to see more of this across the customer experience, including subscriptions.
Bundles have been one of the most hotly requested product updates on the Shopify Platform since the beginning, especially by agency partners. Creating native product bundles celebrates the platform's ability to accept product variability and complexity. It will no doubt allow merchants to create new combinations of SKU offerings and new product experiences and ultimately help increase AOV. Bundling is still in beta mode and invite-only for now. Still, we expect it to be widely released in the coming months.
A proper and customizable B2B sales channel has always been a weak spot for the Shopify platform, and it’s been years since they’ve made worthwhile updates. With new B2B APIs, merchants can create customizable rules and functions for even the most complicated wholesale businesses. Merchants can set up custom pricing tiers, delivery notes, net payment terms, loyalty programming for select customers, and much more. We will review the new documentation to see how complex a wholesale channel can be built, but it's a welcomed approach from Shopify.
Time will tell if live shopping will ever pick up steam in the United States compared to its popular counterpart in East Asia, but it's a promising start. After continuing its partnership with Google, Shopify allows brands to sell products directly on YouTube. Products appear as pinnable product cards throughout the video stream, where viewers can buy instantly from their favorite creators. It is a smart move to continue to dominate its popularity among YouTube creators turned DTC brand founders like Mr. Beast, Emma Chamberlain, and more. It furthers Shopify’s cultural cache with the ‘cool’ kids and leverages Google's reach as a powerful sales channel add-on layered with YouTube.
Shopify has always had global ambitions. GMV growth continues to rise internationally year over year, so it's no surprise that the latest release of Markets Pro helps merchants deliver a cross-border commerce strategy. Seeing Shopify play a more critical role in brand expansion strategies is encouraging. It offers logistical tools to make growth happen by helping offload international tax filing, remittance, fraud protections, and even currency fluctuations. Markets Pro will be a unique platform toolset to watch as more brands take advantage and consider international expansion by reducing cross-border complexity and unifying commerce systems powered by one platform.
As part of their Dovetail acquisition, Shopify is rolling out an integrated product for brands to discover and contact influencers and help promote and market campaigns. It’s great to see Shopify expand and branch out in marketing to help merchants create new avenues for revenue growth. With a growing database of influencers across industries, brands can contact them directly, set up commission-based affiliate links and launch promotional campaigns with minimal effort. Collabs will be a powerful tool in the Shopify marketing stack to help DTC brands drive revenue and impression reach through influencer marketing.
The direction Shopify is taking with Shop the mobile app is intriguing and a brilliant customer acquisition strategy. Initially started as a strictly way for shoppers to get notified of their orders via delivery tracking and alerts, Shop is quickly becoming the go-to mobile destination for discovering curated brands across Shopify’s network. And now, with Minis, Shop is introducing native functionality to enhance the buying experience further. It’s slowly transforming into what we’ve known, a fully-fledged mobile shopping app of the best of Shopify’s brands across its platform. Customers can interact with video reviews, shoppable Instagram posts, live shopping, and more. It’s still early days with Shop, but it's promising to see the app being opened up to app developers to extend a unique and native buying experience for mobile. We’re excited to get our hands on the React Native SDK.
More information on the latest product updates from Shopify winter editions can be found here.