Strategies among businesses are shifting, whether they are making the transition to ecommerce or already in ecommerce and looking to improve. What better way to sell online than using Shopify?
Shopify went live on May 20, 2020 hosting “Shopify Reunite” to announce trends and upcoming features to the platform. Here are the new features that Shopify is rolling out.
Shopify Capital. It is difficult for merchants to get financing of all sorts. There is a lot of paperwork and it can take a long time to process. Merchants can apply for Shopify Capital in the Shopify app. When approved, your business can get funding for inventory replenishment and marketing efforts within a few days. Funding can range from $200 to one-million dollars. Shopify does not ask you for any additional data, as they can see how your business is performing and how dedicated you are to serving your customers through your Shopify account. They do not need to check your personal credit history, and Shopify does not take a percentage of your business. Shopify Capital has now expanded to the UK and Canada. To date, Shopify Capital has provided over 1 billion dollars in capital.
Shop Pay. With ecommerce, comes using credit cards. While consumers worry about credit card rates and making payments on time, they might steer away from shopping online to avoid “swiping” their card. Shop Pay already has 40 million users worldwide and is four times faster than regular checkout because it saves your payment info. A new feature of Shop Pay will be installments, which will come later this year in the United States. Now consumers can split their payments into four equal parts with no interest or extra fees. This not only benefits consumers by giving them a better user experience, but will help merchants see an increase in conversion rates – especially for large or impulse purchases.
Gift Cards. This is not a new feature, but it is now available to all Shopify merchants no matter what plan they have. Gift cards are a great feature to improve cash flow, instill customer loyalty, and get new customers.
Tipping. Tipping is a new feature on Shopify. It falls in the checkout flow and gives consumers the option to add in a tip. Tipping is customizable for merchants to decide how to showcase this messaging on their site, such as “all tips go straight to our employees,” or “donate to this charity by leaving an additional tip.” Tipping is separated from other purchases making it easy to see how much money came from that category on your Shopify dashboard.
Shopify Theme Development and Design
Express Theme. This new theme is intended for businesses that are more familiar with in-person transactions, like restaurants or coffee shops. This theme isn’t limited to these businesses though, anyone can use it with success. Express Theme is a one-page online store, making it easy to set up quickly with your shop’s most relevant information. This theme is particularly useful for those who use mobile devices, although we do not recommend it for a business with a large inventory or a lot of content to share.
Multiple Store Domains. Crossborder sales are happening more now. Shopify is starting country-specific stores, where you do not need to create multiple stores, but have localized stores with the correct domain, language and currency. This feature allows consumers to pay in their local currency and merchants to receive payments in their local currency as well. There is an automatic exchange rate feature that uses the current rate. Later this year, merchants can find the exchange rates for their products and adjust them accordingly.
New Editor Experience. When setting up stores there is a lot more flexibility on the home page. The flexibility will now be offered on all pages, like product pages, collections, or blogs. Templates are still an option, but now everything is going to be much more customizable. This should be available this year.
Apps. Subscriptions are going to become a feature where consumers can buy a product on a consistent basis. Cross-sells or upsells are also going to become native to Shopify, so when consumers get to checkout, offers of related products will appear.
The Retail Store
Shopify Point of Sale. Shopify’s POS system is redesigned to improve the future of retailers. There is a new smart grid feature to make it work for your business. Apps can be embedded into the grid. You also have access to the rest of Shopify straight from the grid. It is more flexible in allowing different staff members to take on different tasks. Buyers can now look and see what local retailers have specific products and what type of pick-up or delivery options are available. In-person transactions are also becoming contactless. By scanning a QR code, customers can make purchases through Shop Pay. Shopify POS Pro is available for free until October for businesses to try.
Ecommerce Social Media and Search Marketing
Facebook. Shopify and Facebook are partnering for the new Shops feature, which is a smaller version of your store, right on your business’s Instagram or Facebook page. The content comes directly from your Shopify store.
Google. Now Shopify merchants in the U.S. can list their products on Google’s Shopping tab for no cost; this will happen globally by the end of the year.
Email. It is important for merchants to keep relationships with their customers and gain lifetime customers, and email marketing is still more important than ever before. Over 30 million emails have been sent with the Shopify Email tool. This email tooling automatically pulls content and design from your store to send to customers, making for actionable and well-designed emails. The Pro version is free until October.
Shopify Ping. The online chatbot allows merchants to talk to their customers in real time. The feature is available for iPhone and iPad shoppers. It will become available on Android and desktop in the near future. Team members will be able to message other members of their team to get quick and efficient answers to questions that customers have.
Shop Channel. Shop is an online personal assistant. Customers can see all the stores they purchase from and product recommendations. Customers can also track their packages through the app. The Shop Channel will be available for merchants to decide how they appear in Shop.
Faster Product Creation. Adding products is the most time-consuming part of Shopify, which so many attributes to add for each product. Now, using a mobile device camera, you can take pictures and size images for your Shopify listings. States will become available to create different product pages like drafts and archives, which will allow team members to work together before launching the product page.
Order Pages. No more spending time in the order index pages. Order pages will be updated to pull important information about customers, so there’s less data to sort through.
Inventory. Inventory reports are now available on mobile, making it easy to see what products are selling and what you’ll need to stock more of from the palm of your hand.
Returns. New workflow for returns will be available by the end of this year. It will process the return label and send a branded buyer notification and re-track the package automatically.
Curbside Pickup. There will be an increase in merchants and consumers choosing this option with less people shopping in stores. In the shipping settings for stores with less than 20 locations, local pickup is already live. Coming soon, merchants can turn on curbside pickup. Customers can choose what time they want to pick up their order and ping the store to let them know they are outside.
Local Delivery. This is a global rollout where staff can now deliver orders within a certain mile radius. This feature will be available in your shop’s shipping settings. Buyers can leave notes for the delivery drivers, very similar to the delivery apps that we’re already used to.
Local Delivery App for Drivers. From the order index page, drivers can pull local deliveries and create the best route. Delivery drivers will be able to notify consumers when the order is on the way and successfully delivered.
Shopify Fulfillment Network. Everyone wants their packages delivered quickly. Shopify Fulfillment Network is improving their fulfillment speeds by offering 2-day shipping. The warehouses to store inventory are using new robots called Chuck, which allows associates to pack orders more efficiently.
Speed. Shopify automatically optimizes your images to make your page load as fast as it can. Speed is an important factor in SEO and conversion rates, so when you can optimize your page speed – do it!
Performance Dashboard. This dashboard update is coming soon. The dashboard shows how your online store performs, historical data for your store, what apps were installed and what edits were made to the theme.
Banking and Financial Services
Shopify Balance. All eligible merchants on all plans will be given tools to pay bills and track expenses and make decisions about the future of your business. A Shopify card is provided through Shopify Balance, the balance will come from a merchant’s sale revenue. This card allows merchants to make in-person purchases or withdraw money from an ATM. With no minimum balance, the card offers cashback and partner discounts. Shopify Balance is set to launch by the end of 2020.
These changes to Shopify will impact both sellers and customers. Making the experience better on both ends. Now is a perfect time to get into the ecommerce business and utilize all the upcoming features Shopify will be providing in the near future.
If you are looking for a partner for your next ecommerce build or need help with these maneuvering the world of ecommerce, we are Shopify Partners.