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The recently-released Shopify Editions gave merchants more than 1,000 product updates, ranging from the transformational to the tactical.
There were big unveilings that opened up new areas of commerce for Shopify and pointed the way to new directions for direct-to-consumer brands.
There are also plenty of new tools that are available for merchants to use in the day-to-day work of running an online store, and a few teasers about apps that will be available later this year.
There's a lot to sift through, and the biggest benefits might not become apparent all at once. We're here to help. Beyond the 10 headline announcements we covered last week, here are a handful of intriguing updates that make important upgrades to existing Shopify products, and offer new kinds of tools to connect with shoppers.
Take a look at what stood out below:
The checkout page is where customers make an order final. It's also a place to build loyalty and even make additional sales. For Shopify Plus customers, a host of new apps are available to customize checkout pages for the latter. Checkout Extensions includes capabilities to add branding through a custom UI, content and change the look and feel. Plus, merchants can create a new type of discount or offer. On the post-checkout page, merchants can show a product offer or capture additional loyalty info. More API capabilities are expected in September, as well.
Shop App upgrades
The Shop App looks like it is set to start looking more like a place where customers can discover new brands and products. It’s getting some new tools that are designed to add recommendations and curation to its customer-facing order tracking capabilities.
In the area of re-engaging customers, Shopify added new capabilities to add post-purchase offers, create personalized product recommendations and a new search functionality that prioritizes items from a user’s list of favorite stores.
In the area of the shopping experience, new capabilities include a way for users to browse online stores within Shop, which enables product recommendations. This means merchants can upload their logo and specific products within the Shop app itself. They can also view curated collections, such as gift guides or city guides.
Search and Discovery App
A signup for early access was made available for a yet-to-launch search and discovery app. No release date was detailed, but Shopify teased the following capabilities:
- Customize filter settings: This will allow customers to filter collections and search results by parameters like availability, price, color and more.
- Create product boosts: This will allow merchants to promote products on the search results page. They can also define synonyms for better results.
- Customize recommended products: Recommend products that complement a current selection, or offer alternative options on a product page.
Offered for Shopify Plus merchants, this tool is designed so business owners don’t have to turn to a data scientist to draw insights about their business. It’s powered by ShopifyQL, a SQL-like query language that Shopify says is built specifically for commerce. This is designed both for coders and non-coders, the company says. ShopifyQL Notebooks provides in-depth analysis in a particular business function, or allows merchants to combine multiple domains such as marketing, sales and fulfillment. Plus, merchants can add business context to unlock a deeper understanding of what the data shows.
Sustainability is top-of-mind for many customers and merchants alike. Planet is a new app that Shopify says enables merchants to make deliveries carbon neutral by automatically calculating shipping emissions and ensuring carbon removal from the process. It also offers storefront icons and visuals to display so that customers can connect with this commitment.
Trending in Shopper Experience
The platforms are integrating as PayPal makes a push into the headless commerce market.
The news: Checkout provider Bold Commerce and fintech company PayPal announced an integration that will allow brands and retailers to adopt both companies’ services together. PayPal said it’s a move to expand in the headless commerce market, which describes solutions that allow merchants to operate stores without a front-end layer.
How will it work? The companies described the integration this way:
Brands and retailers can use Bold Commerce’s headless checkout suite with the PayPal Commerce platform.
This brings together payments and checkout in a “single pre-integrated solution.”
Merchants can launch sales beyond their own website by integrating checkout in places like blogs, social, and QR codes on packaging.
Through a single service, brands and retailers can accept payment options including PayPal, Venmo and PayPal Pay Later solutions, as well as credit and debit cards.
Key quote from PayPal VP and Global Head of Channel Partnership David Bruce: “Payment choice and flexibility have always been a critical part of a successful commerce experience – but it’s only one part of the equation. Retailers today need to also offer a tailored checkout experience to help drive increased conversion. It’s a powerful combination for a composable checkout to plug into any tech stack.
What it means for ecommerce: The partnership highlights several key trends playing out in the market today:
Headless commerce: In a past generation, retailers built monolithic ecommerce systems with a host of interconnected parts. The cloud and API-driven architecture is ushering in a new paradigm where brands and retailers can separate out different components, and select what best fits their needs. The market is moving toward this, especially in the enterprise segment that long required custom-built systems for scale and category needs. The entrance of PayPal signals that longtime ecommerce platforms are building for this shift. Meanwhile, Bold Commerce itself has 9,000 brands and retailers on its platform, including Vera Bradley, Staples Canada, Pepsi, and Mars. This follows a move by Shopify to launch composable product suite Commerce Components with a focus on checkout earlier in January.
Checkout anywhere: Content brought commerce to platforms beyond ecommerce stores, enabling ads on social platforms and brand placement in posts. More recently, more of that content has become shoppable, allowing users to browse and start a purchase right within a piece of media. A solution like the Bold Commerce and PayPal integration takes another step, embedding the ability to finish a purchase by checking out right inside that content. It shows how ecommerce is becoming more embedded in the experience of the internet, as opposed to existing on specific stores and marketplaces.Fighting cart abandonment: The ability to check out through media is enticing to ecommerce leaders because they want to reduce the touchpoints and time between a person showing interest in an item and completing a sale. Bold Commerce found over half (53%) of consumers abandon checkout before making a buy. This is a long-standing issue, but signals that perhaps there is another technical step being taken. It’s one thing to make checkout easier; It’s another to bring it directly to the point of discovery.