“The greatest things ever built start with incredible foundations”

“The greatest things ever built start with incredible foundations”

A focus on Shopify Editions, Foundations

Yesterday, Shopify released its first round of updates this year under the name Foundations, and it’s a goodie.

Why Foundations, we hear you ask? “Because the greatest things ever built start with incredible foundations,” says Shopify President Harley Finkelstein.

There are over 100 updates to absorb, which is great, but can take some time to digest. So we’ve done the hard work for you.

In this article, we break down the most exciting updates for retailers and explore how they might benefit your business.

What is Shopify Editions?

Shopify has been releasing updates since 2022 under the name Shopify Editions

Designed to support merchants, partners and developers, the first Shopify Edition was coined Connect to Consumer and focused on expanding the consumer base, converting customers, building stronger relationships, and scaling businesses.

The second, released last winter, was called Built to Last and steered towards brand growth and reaching more customers.

The most recent Shopify Edition before this one, named  Imagine My Business, featured over 100 new product updates and put a lens on the future of commerce and its ever-changing landscape.

Yesterday, Shopify released its winter ’24 Edition called Foundations, also boasting over 100 updates.

“Building a business is a lot like building a house, it is the choices that you make that make the house your home,” says Glen Coates, VP of Product at Shopify.

“Building a business is a lot like building a house, it is the choices that you make that make the house your home,” says Glen Coates, VP of Product at Shopify.

“What you can build and how easy it is depends on the foundations. We know here at Shopify that delivering on great foundations is the most important thing we do to help entrepreneurs architect exactly what they want – bringing their businesses to life using powerful building blocks like data models, business logic, APIs and high-performance infrastructure.”

“This Edition is all about building on those commerce foundations and delivering on the diverse needs of those businesses and developers that rely on Shopify every day.”

Let’s take a look at the highlights…

Creating and merchandising products

Increased variants

In the words of Shopify President Harley Finkelstein, “Devs asked, we listened. The variant limit increase is here!”​

For merchants selling large and diverse product catalogues Shopify has made some big updates – most significantly, by increasing the variant limit from 100 to 2000. This will roll out progressively throughout 2024 – and we can’t wait. 

Shopify Combined Listings App

Shopify Plus merchants can now better merchandise a parent product that comes in numerous options as a child product with its own description, rich media carousel and dedicated descriptive URL – whilst all appearing on a single product page as one listing. Pretty exciting.

Standardised product taxonomy

Shopify has also made big updates related to the way products are created and managed in Shopify for all merchants across all plans. 

When a product is added in the admin the new category card on the product page automatically applies category-specific product attributes, reducing the time and manual effort that is required to create products and allowing you to store more complete and consistent data across your catalogue. 

Enriching your product data with these standard categories and attributes helps generate variants and collections, helps optimise the search and filtering experience on your storefront, and integrates through to channels like Google and Meta to make your products more discoverable. 

Editing and customising your store

Reusable theme blocks

Developers now only have to define theme blocks once and then repurpose them across sections to eliminate redundant work and coding whilst ensuring a consistent experience for merchants. 

Shopify is also launching the availability to nest blocks up to eight layers deep, meaning the multicolumn section can now expose individual blocks for image, text and link, giving merchants the freedom to reorder or add additional blocks in each column. 

Selling to B2B customers

B2B Sales Reps Permissions

With Shopify’s new staff permissions, Shopify Plus merchants can restrict access so your sales reps can only place orders and view customer information for their own accounts.

Fulfillable inventory 

This feature ensures that shoppers browsing your store and going through checkout only see market-specific, real-time and accurate views of inventory in their region – building trust and creating satisfied customers.

Checkout Extensibility 

Checkout extensibility is the way to customise your checkout using app-based customisations that are flexible, upgrade-safe and integrated with Shop Pay.

You can now also customise the entire buyer journey from checkout down to a complete order that lands on the "thank you" page using Checkout Extensibility.

As of yesterday, there are over 90 new apps available that are built for Checkout Extensibility enabling upsells, loyalty programmes, and post-purchase surveys.

Shopify has also released 14 new checkout APIS and updates, including advanced branding controls and more ways to customise delivery options.

Web Performance Dashboard 

All liquid storefronts have access to a new web performance dashboard where you can get an insight into your user experience.

Analyse and monitor your customers’ experience across three industry-standard core web vitals, helping to impact your store’s page ranking and conversion positively.

Exchanges

Merchants can now create, track and manage exchanges for any order in Shopify, allowing a great post-purchase experience whilst retaining revenue. 

Shopify will also calculate refunds, payments, taxes and inventory adjustments automatically. 

Customer Accounts Extensibility 

Developers can now build extensions and create brand-new logged-in experiences for merchants and their customers using the same UI components as Shopify Checkout coupled with new components, extension APIs, and external network calls. 

Store Credit Primitive and API

To help improve customer service merchants can now issue, track and report accurately on customers’ store credit using the new Store Credit Primitive and API.

Shopify Audiences 

Shopify Audiences lets merchants create custom targetted audiences across top ad platforms like Meta, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok and more. 

Shopify has also introduced smarter retargeting algorithms and has improved boost lists that maximise performance on the top ad platforms. 

Shop Campaigns

This low-lift acquisition programme gives merchants a powerful way to pay only for converting customers by setting a cost-per-acquisition target and letting Shopify do the rest.

Shopify Line of Credit

“The only lending portfolio made for commerce”

Shopify Capital has been improved on in the form of Shopify Line of Credit, which has even more flexible and customisable financing solutions. 

Exclusive to eligible Shopify merchants, the new lending portfolio includes three products: Capital Loans and Cash Advances, Term Loans, and Line of Credit.

AI-powered Image Editing

Launching early this year, Shopify Magic’s AI-powered image editing tool will help merchants create professional product photos, instantly generating, matching, or removing the background of existing images using just a few keywords.

Semantic Search

Another AI-powered feature is Semantic Search, which not only matches searches to keywords but also aims to understand the intent behind the customer’s search.

Exclusive to Shopify Plus, customers can use more natural words and phrases, and get richer, more relevant results. 

These, of course, are just the highlights. To see the full list of foundational product updates from Shopify click here.

About By Association Only

By Association Only is the Shopify Plus agency for the world’s most design-conscious luxury brands. Get in touch to discover how our team of experts can support your brand’s Shopify ambitions.

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