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A forthcoming release in the Shopify app store will overhaul the marketplace itself.
Shopify is preparing to roll out changes to its app store that are designed to improve discoverability, a top executive shared this week.
The “major update” was previewed Sept. 15 in tweets by Shopify President Harley Finkelstein. Shopfiy’s app store is a marketplace where brands and merchants can access apps for their online stores that were built by both Shopify and third-party developers. It has created a software ecosystem around Shopify’s ecommerce infrastructure, empowering startups and developers that don’t work for Shopify to build new capabilities, and tech businesses of their own.
With the volume of apps on the store growing, Shopify is now making moves to overhaul search and categorization.
“It’s going to be much easier for merchants to find & learn about your apps so you can get more installs & build your biz,” Finkelstein wrote.
\u201cWe've got something awesome cooking with a major update to the @Shopify App Store. TLDR; it\u2019s going to be much easier for merchants to find & learn about your apps so you can get more installs & build your biz. Here are some initial changes & what you can do to make it awesome\ud83d\udc47\u201d— Harley Finkelstein (@Harley Finkelstein) 1663260219
The changes include a reorganization of categories within the app store.
“We made things simple & cut down the categories to help merchants discover apps as they browse through categories that are more in line with how they think about commerce problems.”
There will also be a new-look search page.
“We gave the search page a facelift,” Finkelstein wrote. “We’ve updated the search page design to have more of a focus on apps and reduce noise from filters that were rarely used.”
The listing page is in line for an overhaul, as well. This area was the source of an action item in the announcement.
“If you’re a developer, update your app listing,” Finkelstein wrote. “We're redesigning the listing page. The new listing page will make it simpler for merchants to get the key information they need in a format that's best for them.”
Finkelstein didn’t provide a date for the new release, but a public announcement from the company president makes it a fair bet that it is getting ready to ship.
The update comes in the months after the release of Shopify Editions, which detailed more than 100 recent product updates from Shopify. This included a host of new apps built by the company itself to enable functions such as checkout customization, B2B selling, cross-border commerce and sustainability.
This fall, Shopify is hosting a trio of developer-focused events under the umbrella of Shopify Unite. The first was held last week in London. Events in October are planned in Toronto and Melbourne.
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Can Shop Cash entice more users to use the app for browsing and buying?
Shopify is launching a new rewards program for items purchased through its checkout system.
Shop Cash will provide the opportunity for consumers to earn 1% back on purchases made through Shop Pay.
The feature includes a direct tie-in with the Shop app. Users can check their balance through the app, and the rewards are redeemable for future purchases through Shop, as well.
“This is a coming of age moment for Shop. It’s become an incredible app that allows shoppers to discover great brands, check out with one tap, and track orders in real time,” said Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, in a statement. “Shop Cash represents the next evolution of Shop, connecting independent brands to more shoppers, and rewarding those shoppers for being loyal fans.”
The launch falls on Shopify’s 17th birthday, so the ecommerce software company is giving away Shop Cash to celebrate. For Shop Day, Shopify partnered with dozens of merchants, including Trixie Cosmetics, MrBeast and Monday Swimwear. They’ll share custom links across channels that offer cash to spend on the Shop app. In all, Shopify will give away more than $1,000,000. Brands will also be running exclusive Shop Cash offers throughout the day.
The rewards program marks a new way that Shopify is aiming to transform Shop into more of a shopping app where users can discover new items, extending beyond its initial use for post-purchase order tracking and management at launch in 2020.
Shopify has been making moves over the last year to provide more opportunities to browse and buy recommended products, as well as giving brands more tools to showcase storefronts and tell their stories. With Shop Pay, the app offers one-click checkout. There are signs that it is all inspiring users to seek out the app. Shopify said 35% of the orders on the Shop app are repeat purchases.
With more brands joining the app and infrastructure for the shopper experience and checkout in place, rewards can help make the app stickier for consumers. The opportunity to earn cash, redeem it and even check a rewards balance are all reasons to keep returning to the app, and make it a destination to shop.
Shopify has long been known as the infrastructure layer of commerce, as it provided the tools for brands to run and manage an online store under their own name. With the Shop app, it is aiming to make Shopify itself a destination for shopping. It remains a nascent effort, even as more brands have taken advantage of the new features to enhance storefronts.
This comes as marketplaces continue to rise across ecommerce, and giants like Amazon and Walmart experiment with tools that do more to boost discovery of new products.
Social media has long been the engine of discovery in ecommerce, especially in the direct-to-consumer realm that Shopify has owned. Users found products on Facebook or Instagram, then finished checkout on a brand's phase. With the push toward privacy making performance marketing more difficult and customer acquisition costs rising, the ecommerce platforms are attempting to take that power into their own hands. With advertising placed close to the point of sale through retail media and the ability to check out on the same page where a user sees a product, marketplaces and Shop are realizing new opportunities to attract, convert and deliver for users within one app. For Shop, the trick is to attract more shoppers to the app. Rewards like Shop Cash are a carrot to do just that.