Now in its fourth year, Shopify Unite is the event that Partners and Experts look forward to all year round to learn, connect, and share with industry professionals from around the world. Agencies, app developers, theme developers, and service providers all gather to get the scoop on the latest and greatest innovations from the Shopify team, and this year certainly did not disappoint.
We're going to share this year's biggest announcements, and what they mean for Out of the Sandbox merchants.
By far the most exciting announcement for Partners and merchants alike was the introduction of Shopify's new Fulfillment Network, a way to improve the shipping experience for everyone through a geographically dispersed fulfillment centre network built across the United States.
What makes this service even more unique is that it works with multiple sales channels (online store, POS, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, etc), allows you to use your own branded packaging to make the buyer experience complete, and it's available for merchants with as little as 10 or as many as 10,000 orders a day.
Out of the Sandbox merchants will be familiar with Sections, currently available on the homepage and product pages, but later this year Shopify will be rolling out Sections on every page. This means your OOTS theme will be updated to allow you to create beautifully designed and customized pages throughout your website (yes - even blog pages!). We will keep you posted in the coming months about when this expected to be rolled out by Shopify.
This announcement will also feature things like Master Pages, content portability, starting points, and drafts, which you can learn more about here.
One of the drawbacks for ecommerce has always been the inability to touch or feel a product, or truly envision an item in your space or how a clothing item would fit. But Shopify announced last week that their product section will soon natively support video and 3D model assets, allowing you to add a whole new dimension to your products and make the purchasing experience even more robust. This functionality will be rolling out later this year, and we'll be sure to keep you updated on how you can leverage these new features in your shop.
Selling internationally just got even easier with the announcement that selling in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments is beginning to roll out and will be available to all merchants later this year. This is a HUGE announcement for merchants currently hosting multiple storefronts, as it will soon allow them to sell from one main Shopify store! The rollout will feature nine major currencies to start - GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, and USD - and will work from the Product page all the way through checkout so your customers can shop in their own local currency.
Shopify's announcements last week about their improvements to the POS system are a huge leap forward in terms of offering customers a personal and engaging shopping experience in-store.
Once of the most exciting additions, that is available now, is the ability for retailers to see loyalty and promotions details directly through the Cart page without having to access apps through separate pages. You can find the apps currently available using this new feature in the Shopify App Store.
Also announced was a new addition to the Shopify POS hardware lineup that will be available later this year - the redesigned Tap & Chip Case which attaches to your handheld device and will allow retailers to accept payment from anywhere in-store.
These are just some of the highlights from Unite 2019, but you can watch all the Keynotes here to learn about all the exciting updates coming your way this year!