Reunite 2020: Everything we announced and exclusive updates from Shopify Plus

Reunite 2020: Everything we announced and exclusive updates from Shopify Plus

The global pandemic has accelerated nearly a decade of ecommerce evolution into ninety days. And just as businesses around the world have pivoted to adapt to the new climate, we at Shopify Plus have scrapped our normal plans and timelines to immediately solve the problems businesses face today. 

We’ve been hard at work filling the gap that a decades’ worth of progress would have had on commerce, shipping innovative new products and updates faster than we’ve ever shipped.

Your exclusive look at the Shopify Plus roadmap from Reunite

Just because we’re launching at a record pace doesn’t mean we have nothing left in the tank. Our product roadmap remains robust and we’re building the tools you’ll need to future-proof your business long after the pandemic subsides.

This is obvious to the more than 100,000 registered merchants, developers, and partners attending Reunite, a virtual gathering taking the place of our fifth annual Shopify Unite conference.

We’ve unpacked the most relevant announcements for Shopify Plus brands, the largest and the most complex businesses on the platform. Watch the video for product update highlights and a keynote address from our GM Loren Padelford:

 

Part inspiration and part education, Reunite 2020 is ground zero for businesses to learn about the future of commerce. Most importantly, Reunite 2020 is where we pull back the curtain to show the world what we’re building for our largest brands. We unveiled new and upcoming tools in finance, retail, shipping, and other areas crucial to your business.

While the world is at home, we're working from home to ship these updates. Let’s virtually reunite as we share the most exciting updates to the platform and what it means for large retailers. Watch the highlights below or watch the full recording of Reunite:

 

Or, skip to one of the announcements below:

  1. New Shopify Plus exclusive announcements
  2. Finance tools
  3. Borderless commerce
  4. Reaching more customers
  5. Ecommerce infrastructure
  6. Fulfillment capabilities

1. New Shopify Plus exclusive announcements

We’ve upgraded the Shopify Plus admin 

We’re excited to reveal the new Shopify Plus organization admin, allowing you to manage your staff, stores, and automations securely from one central location.

The new admin positions you to adapt quickly and expand into new geographies, products, or brands by launching new stores and copying existing data like themes, users, and preinstalled apps from your current stores. It also empowers you to give your staff the right tools and permissions they need across multiple stores and provides a full business overview of your store performance. 

The Shopify organization admin rolls out next month with additional functionality coming soon.

Automation templates

We’ve made it easier than ever to automate ecommerce workflows and campaigns across applications so you and your team can accomplish more during these unpredictable times. With our new Flow and Scripts templates, you can automate tasks, customize checkouts, and create promotions in just a few clicks. 

Instead of coding scripts yourself, we’re rolling out templates and app connectors so you can more quickly use automation like:

Stop focusing on manual, repetitive tasks and put key parts of your business on autopilot without any coding with our new automation templates.

Page activity

In the work from home era, remote collaboration is more important than ever. With Page activity, you now can see who else is working on the same product as you. Avoid losing work: If someone is currently editing or saves changes to a product page, anyone else viewing that page will be notified.

Use this new functionality on product pages now, and expect this functionality to be added to additional pages in the near future.

Storefront renderer 

Give your customers the fastest buying experience in the world with our new storefront renderer, an infrastructure upgrade that accelerates site speed. Technically, the storefront renderer changes the way Shopify serves read requests. Practically, expect to see server-side performance gains of 2.5 to 5 times—specifically on cache misses.

Eligible Plus merchants will see this automatic update within the next three months.

2. Finance tools

Shopify Capital

In uncertain times, we’re not only building the future, we’re also financing it.

Accessing the cash you need has never been easier or faster. Through Shopify Capital, we’ve given more than $1 billion in cash advances to our merchants this year. And we did it fast—merchants got their funding in a matter of days upon approval. In addition to the U.S., we’ve extended financing availability to Canada and the U.K. Eligible merchants will automatically see an offer for Capital in their Shopify admin. You won’t need to fill out a lengthy application, give up any equity in your company, or wait on a decision from a bank or venture capitalist (VC). 

No strings attached—use the money any way you like, whether it’s an investment in your marketing, inventory, or technology. Check if you’re eligible for funding today

Shop Pay Installments

Sell more by giving customers the option to pay in installments. With Shop Pay Installments, Shopify’s “buy now, pay later” payment method, you can give your customers the flexibility to pay for purchases in four equal payments—interest-free and with no additional fees. Shop Pay has already seen 91% higher conversions than our regular checkout. This added payment flexibility will make purchases even more palatable to customers, resulting in even higher checkout conversion and increased average order value (AOV). It’s also a way of showing customers you care during times of economic stress. 

More importantly, you’ll receive the full purchase amount (less fees) upfront, and our partner will collect the remaining payments from your customers, so there’s no risk for you. Unlike other installments providers, Shop Pay Installments centralizes your data so you can track sales performance all in one place while also giving your customers a seamless end-to-end checkout experience. 

Shop Pay Installments will launch in the U.S. later this year for merchants eligible for and using Shopify Payments.

Online tipping

We’ve seen an outpouring of support from customers for the brands they love, particularly for mission-driven brands and those giving back amid the pandemic. It’s why we’ve made it quick and easy to allow brand evangelists to leave you tips. Merchant tipping allows you to offer customers an option at the checkout to show their support for your team, or a charity you support. Better yet, you can enable tips without having to customize the checkout. It’s also an important way for service providers to allow customers to reward you online as they might in a brick-and-mortar transaction.

Shopify Balance

We’ve made it easier to access critical financial products to manage and grow your business with Shopify Balance. Shopify Balance will include an account that gives you faster access to funds and helps you track incoming and outgoing expenses right within the admin, and a Shopify Card so businesses can spend online or in-store using a physical or virtual card. It will also feature rewards on everyday business spending like marketing and shipping.

Shopify Balance will launch later this year to merchants in the U.S. first, and expanding to more merchants in the future. Stay tuned as we continue to look at ways we can help Plus merchants simplify their finances. Learn more about Shopify Balance

What these product updates mean for merchants with custom checkouts

Flexibility is what attracted many of you to Plus. We see it in the creative custom checkouts you’ve flexed our platform to build. The new checkout features we’ve announced here will only bolster the customer experience you can offer: 

  • Online tipping
  • Cross-Border duties
  • Curbside pickup
  • Local delivery settings

Plus merchants with custom checkouts will be able to add these new features after the next checkout upgrade. We’re planning the next upgrade as we speak. Details will follow in the next few months.

3. Borderless commerce

Local Domains 

Scale your global ecommerce strategy with a localized buying experience for international customers. Whether you manage your business from one store or multiple stores, local domains are a simple way to tailor the currency and language based on your customer's location to give them a local buying experience.

Local domains will be available later this year.

Custom FX

Sell globally using different pricing strategies for different currencies with Custom FX. Lock in a set price for each currency you sell in, giving you more control over your price lists, so you no longer have to worry about constantly fluctuating exchange rates.

Advertise more effectively with Google and Facebook ads in your customers’ local currencies. Your customers will see the same price on your shop as they see in the ad.

4. Reaching more customers

Shopify POS

We reimagined what a POS system should be and built the one and only “back office” you’ll ever need. The new Shopify POS unifies your in-store and online business and delights customers with a seamless online-offline experience at every touchpoint. From brick and mortar to pop-up stores, it’s the most versatile and scalable POS we’ve ever built. Shopify POS sits at the heart of a robust omnichannel strategy and easily enables fulfillment options that are especially popular today: local pickup, delivery, or ship to customer. 

In addition to a seamless customer experience across channels, with Shopify POS, you can search for inventory across locations, leverage rich analytics to monitor store performance in real-time, and set retail-specific staff permissions and roles. 

With downtime in retail stores and staff available, now is the perfect time to reevaluate your POS platform. Unify your online and offline business on one platform with Shopify POS.

Local pickup

Fulfilling orders quickly and safely has never been more important to customers. With local pickup, otherwise known as click and collect or buy online, pick up in-store, customers can now pick up online orders in-store, curbside, or other convenient locations. Instead of shipping orders, local pickup saves time and shipping costs, allowing customers to pick up orders in their local area when it’s convenient for them. 

With local pickup, you can easily fulfill your pickup orders in your Shopify admin, Shopify mobile app, or Shopify POS. Local pickup is available today for eligible stores

Local delivery

Offer a simplified delivery experience for nearby customers with local delivery. Define a local delivery area using distance radius or zip/postal codes, set delivery fees and minimum order price, and fulfill local delivery orders in your Shopify admin, Shopify mobile app, or Shopify POS. The soon-to-be-released Shopify Local Delivery app will let you see all local delivery orders in one place and plan optimized routes.

Local delivery has started rolling out to eligible stores.

Google

Google just made it easier than ever for customers to discover your products. Now you can list your approved products on Google’s Channel tab for free using Shopify’s Google Channel app. This functionality is currently available to businesses selling in USD. Google will expand it globally later this year.

Shop app

From product discovery to package delivery, the Shop app is a first-of-its-kind shopping app designed to create a more intuitive online shopping experience. 

More than 16 million users are on the Shop app to discover local businesses that offer delivery and pickup as well as investigate the brand’s return policy. For businesses, it’s an opportunity to gain new customers with little to no effort and increase repeat purchases. After using the app to checkout quickly, customers can track their orders in real-time and receive delivery time estimates.

With the Shop channel coming later in the year, merchants will be able to customize their shop profile on the Shop app to further tell their brand story.

5. Ecommerce infrastructure

[BETA] Sections everywhere

We know you love the ability to edit sections on your homepage, so we’re extending that functionality to all pages on your online store, making it faster and more intuitive to make changes to your store. In addition to editing sections on any page, you’ll also be able to drag and drop apps anywhere you’d like.

Sections Everywhere is currently in Partner Beta so our partners can update their themes and apps to be compatible with Sections Everywhere. When sections are available for your store, you’ll receive a notification in your admin.

Product states

We’ve made the process of offering your products for sale online faster than ever. By clearly differentiating products in draft, active, and archive states, the functionality helps offline-to-online merchants identify, filter, and perform work on their products faster. 

Create a product you want to sell online, save it as unpublished, and add the necessary details later. We make it easier to do the work you need to do when you’re ready to do it. Product States also makes it easy to archive products you no longer want to offer for sale.

Orders interface 

Fulfilling orders just became more efficient—spend more of your time increasing sales rather than on administrative tasks like order review. With Orders Interface, the redesigned orders list page now surfaces more of the information you need so you can fulfill orders faster, like customer details, items on the order, delivery method, order notes, and tags. Instead of reviewing each order, you can now use bulk actions to fulfill certain types of orders like local delivery.

High-volume Plus merchants can use Orders Interface to create more efficient workflows so orders are shipped faster.

6. Fulfillment capabilities

Shopify Fulfillment Network 

Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN), our full service, end-to-end multi-channel inventory management solution that gets orders to your customers easily and quickly, is now accepting merchant applications in the United States. With a vast network of strategically located fulfillment centers nationwide, stock the right merchandise at the right location to ship orders faster and cheaper. SFN is a great fit for high-volume merchants: We’ve significantly increased the volume of orders (10,000 per day) and SKUs (up to 2,000) for each merchant we work with—so, we’re ready for you. 

SFN provides smart inventory allocation to businesses that sell both essential and non-essential products, allowing merchants to start, scale, or evolve their fulfillment strategy throughout the network.

  • Inventory intelligence: Shopify recommends which inventory should be stored where in order to be close to customers.
  • Control your brand: Own the unboxing experience with branded packaging and marketing inserts.
  • Own your customer data: Get full insight into your hard-earned customers.
  • Easy integration: No technical integration required. Shopify will install and help set up the Shopify Fulfillment app for you. Most 3PLs require extensive integrations and ongoing maintenance.
  • Same-day fulfillment: Orders received by 4 p.m. EST are shipped out the same day.

Plus merchants in the U.S. currently evaluating 3PLs can apply for SFN today. And Canada, we’re coming soon!

Thank you

We’re excited to share new product updates as they launch. Until then, as businesses around the world continue to grow and adapt, know that we’re busy building the future right alongside you.

Not on Shopify Plus yet? Chat with a real human today to get on the commerce platform built for today's largest brands.

About the Author

Nick Winkler is a contributor to the Shopify Plus blog and founder of The Winkler Group, a strategic communications firm that provides content marketing services to the world's best-known brands, businesses, and marketers. Get more from Nick here.