Shopify recently released its second round of updates this year and third in total under the name Shopify Editions, Imagine My Business.
With over 100 updates it can be tricky for merchants to find the time to unravel what the changes are and identify those that will benefit them the most.
In this article, we break down the most useful updates for retailers and explore the most ground-breaking changes.
Since 2022 Shopify has been releasing updates designed to support merchants, partners and developers under the name Shopify Editions.
Announced in the summer of 2022, 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 this past winter, was called Built to Last and steered towards brand growth and reaching more customers.
The most recent Shopify Edition, Imagine My Business, features over 100 new product updates and puts a lens on the future of commerce and its ever-changing landscape.
“With over 100 product updates, you can be more productive, creative, and powerful in commerce than you ever imagined,” says Shopify.
Let’s take a look at the highlights…
An immediately noticeable change to Shopify’s backend is its look. The platform has been given a revamp – the homepage has been redesigned to make it easier to navigate, with analytics now featured at the top and content streamlined to one column.
Fonts and buttons have also been rethought, as well as increased space around the admin section. Global search has also been improved with new filters to show order status and quicker results.
Using the Online Store Editor it’s now possible to preview sections and draft content before publishing.
Easily import data from an existing store, including merchandise data and files, before creating a draft store without the risk of your edits being pushed live.
And, using the soon-to-be-released Flex Sections, merchants can create custom layouts by dragging, dropping, re-sizing and editing content.
This is particularly exciting for design-conscious brands as it removes the need to wait for development time to make design changes as well as rely on third-party apps.
With the Online Store Editor you can also adapt your store design with context-specific pages for wholesale and international customers, all managed from a single store.
Even better, the Online Store Editor supports Shopify Magic, which can generate product descriptions in seconds in eight different languages.
Shopify has been very clear about its thoughts on the advancements of Artificial Intelligence (AI), stating that the platform is “all in” and encouraging retailers to think big.
“We believe we're entering a new era for technology and human creativity,” says the platform. “AI is already changing how customers shop and businesses operate.”
It’s no surprise then that this Edition sees the introduction of two AI-related features – Shopify Sidekick and Shopify Magic.
“Entrepreneurs are heroes, and every hero deserves a Sidekick,” says Shopify. That’s why the platform has created a commerce assistant that combines AI technology and Shopify's data to offer support for your day-to-day tasks.
Sidekick is designed to help retailers with mundane and time-consuming tasks, conduct research and more. It can also help improve your writing and answer your Shopify queries.
It’s also free across all plans, but you do have to sign up now for early access.
Similar to Shopify Sidekick, Shopify Magic is an AI tool designed to support merchants, this time with content creation.
Able to be integrated across Shopify’s products and workflows, Shopify Magic helps merchants:
Shopify Magic tools and experiences are available for free to all Shopify merchants, regardless of their subscription plan.
Shopify will now allow brands to have more than 100 variants – soon to be 250 – meaning merchants can have more product combinations without a development workaround – great news if you’re a company with a high SKU count.
"Shopify Bundles makes creating bundles a much quicker and cleaner process for merchants, as well as giving them the opportunity to play around with different types of sales.” George Linton, Head of Strategy at By Association Only
Merchants can now easily build and sell bundles and multipacks using the Shopify Bundles app or create more complex custom bundles using an API.
There is no coding required when using the app and you can customise the bundle product pages with images, variants and product options.
Customers can choose from options such as size and colour, and inventory is updated in real-time to protect brands from overselling.
As well as building bundles US merchants can now connect and curate complementary products from other brands on Shopify with their store.
The process takes minutes – all you have to do is browse suppliers and products then click import before earning a margin on every piece sold.
The supplier will even ship directly to your customer, meaning you don’t have to store stock.
It’s worth noting though that Shopify Collective is currently only available on US plans and on early access only.
Another way of expanding your reach is through Shopify Marketplace Connect, an app that allows businesses to integrate their product catalogue with marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Merchants can manage and synchronise listings, orders, and inventory all from one place, as well as measure performance.
There is no limit on marketplaces and you can even sell in multiple regions thanks to built-in currency conversion.
Merchants can now create and manage subscription products using the Shopify Subscriptions app.
Particularly useful for small businesses, the app allows retailers to select products directly from their catalogue as well as choose delivery frequencies and discounts.
In turn, customers can choose the frequency they wish to receive their products as well as skip or pause subscriptions and edit their payment method.
“Research from a big three global consulting firm shows that Shopify’s overall conversion rate outpaces the competition by up to 36 per cent and by an average of 15 per cent.” Glen Coates, VP Product at Shopify
As well as new statistics proving that “Shopify’s checkout is the best on the planet”, checkout has been improved by making it a streamlined, one-page experience.
Even better, Shopify’s new Checkout Extension allows retailers to extend their checkout with custom validation logic, delivery options, address completion and more.
Examples include suggesting changes to and correcting a buyer’s address, and customising delivery times and instructions.
Developers can now also preview the one-page checkout, order status and thank you pages directly in the Checkout Editor.
Shopify Credit is a new pay-in-full business card designed for entrepreneurs who want to keep track of everyday business expenses in Shopify admin.
Currently available to select businesses in the United States only, retailers can apply with no impact to their credit score, pay wherever Visa is accepted and put money back into the business with zero fees and no interest.
Thanks to Imagine My Business merchants can now offer customers interest-free payment plans for orders exceeding $50 and below $17,500 without a third-party provider.
Shopify Pay Installments includes payment terms between 12 and 24 months, helping merchants attract more customers whilst still receiving funds upfront.
With B2B on Shopify you can easily manage selling products D2C and B2B all on one platform. Updates in this Edition include:
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.