The Shopify team is committed to improving the platform so it constantly releases updates to improve its users’ experiences. As a merchant, you’re probably used to their basic features, but you may also want to look out for updates that can help you become more efficient as your business grows.  What are these Shopify updates? Here’s what you need to know. 

Money

Before you can start your business, getting funding is crucial. Fortunately, Shopify has programs that enable merchants to get the financial support they need. 

Shopify Capital

New shop owners often experience difficulties in funding their marketing campaigns, increasing their inventory and managing operations. To get your store up and running, Shopify Capital lets merchants apply for business loans ranging from $200 to $1 million. The best part? It involves no personal credit history and minimal paperwork. Loans are paid based on a percentage of the store’s sale. Hence, you pay more when you sell more, and you pay less when you make less.  This service is currently available in Canada, US and UK. 

Online Store Updates 

Shopify Partners must have access to responsive themes and efficient processes to build a seamless shopping experience. However, since your ecommerce website can be accessed from anywhere in the world, how can you accommodate international shoppers? 

With the latest Shopify updates, you’ll be able to expand your customer base beyond your local market.

Tipping (Available now)

Similar to an in-store shopping experience, Shopify stores can now ask for tips from customers.  During checkout, customers can add a tip based on the percentage of the order amount or they could specify an amount. Your tip request can be based on goals such as donating to charity or increasing funds for your business. 

Express Theme (Available now)

Shops that only have a few products can create a Shopify store with a one-page theme and start selling immediately. This complete package includes a responsive website, cart drawer and product modals. 

Local domains (TBA)

International customers may prefer to shop at stores with copy and images that’s personalised based on their location. Lucky for us, Shopify is planning to enable local domains. This lets a site’s content change based on an individual’s country, language or currency. We expect that this update will propel your brand to an international level and encourage more customers to shop in your store.

Custom FX (Coming later this year)

Currencies are constantly fluctuating so it’s difficult to maintain a stable price for your products, especially if you have an international market. With Shopify’s custom FX, merchants can get paid based on 133 different currencies and maintain a stable price of products. This makes it easier for international customers to buy products from your store. 

Channels

As the number of online marketplaces and platforms increase, merchants must be able to engage with customers in multiple ways. Hence, Shopify is releasing new features that can improve customer service and shopping experiences in multiple platforms.

Facebook Shops 

Setting up shop in social media seems promising. In fact,  130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month. Meanwhile, 63% of surveyed shoppers use Facebook to shop, and 30% of online shoppers claim that they’ll purchase from social media networks. 

If you’ve ever wanted to attract customers through social media, you’ll be happy to know that Shopify is launching Facebook Shops. This experience lets merchants build a branded version of their online store on Facebook and Instagram. Unlike creating a Facebook Shop yourself, this version could be synced with Shopify.

Shopify Ping Staff Accounts + Android & Web version (Coming later this year)

Whenever customers have questions about the product, they want to communicate with staff ASAP. 

To mimic this experience online, the Shopify Ping messaging app will be released soon. It’s equipped with staff accounts which enable customer service agents to communicate with customers through messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Shopify Chat and Apple Business Chat. Consequently, staff can also message their co-workers for improved collaboration.

Back Office

Due to a boost in demand for online shopping, staff must be able to manage bulk orders, create product pages and monitor inventory. That said, here’s how Shopify is improving their back office features.

Product states (Coming later this year)

Managing products will be a lot easier with Product States. This update lets sellers create a product, save it as a draft, make revisions and publish at their preferred time. It will also allow sellers to archive products.

Faster product creation (Coming later this year)

Launching a product in your Shopify store is often a time-consuming process. Through Shopify’s upcoming update, sellers will be able to create product pages through their smartphones. They can take high-quality photos, add details (i.e. product name, description, price) and scan the barcode through mobile. 

If you’re launching a collection, then you can also create products in bulk through a desktop. Pretty soon, you’ll also get to add product details and photos for multiple products and speed up the process.

Purchase Orders (Will be available soon)

When several customers buy from your online store, it can be difficult to determine your inventory based on orders and deliveries. It’s also challenging to determine inventory when suppliers deliver new products. With Purchase Orders, Shopify merchants can track and receive orders from suppliers. By using the Shopify mobile app, you can receive updated information about your store’s inventory too.

Orders list page redesign

Shopify has redesigned the order list page to make it easy to process orders and view information. The redesigned order list page enables users to view the payment status, fulfillment status, number of items and delivery method of multiple customers through an all-in-one dashboard. Prior to this update, merchants had to click an order to view the details. This lets merchants immediately identify the number of orders that are fulfilled and ready for pickup or delivery. They can also add tags for rush orders, giftwrapped orders and more. Overall, expect a faster order confirmation and shipping process.

Shipping

In the era of social distancing, more customers are opting for contactless deliveries and shipping options. So, Shopify is adopting to this new era by giving customers and merchants more shipping options. 

Local and curbside pickup (Available now but fulfilling orders from POS coming soon)

Shopify will allow merchants to pick up their orders from their preferred locations. They can pick-up their orders via in-store or curbside.

In an upcoming update, merchants can also fulfill orders through the new Shopify POS (point-of-sale system). They can receive notifications when customers arrive to pick-up their orders. This option will also help businesses implement contactless ordering and exercise safe distancing measures.

Local delivery & Local Delivery App (Coming soon)

Shopify merchants across the world will soon have the ability to simplify local delivery experiences. Sellers can define a local delivery area through postal codes, zip codes or by radius. This means sellers can also set accurate delivery fees and minimum order pieces.

A Shopify Local Delivery app is also in the works to help merchants optimise delivery routes and share shipping information with staff. When a package is set to arrive, shoppers can receive order notifications to let them know the package will be arriving soon. The app will be launched globally soon.

Performance

What is the acceptable site speed? A study found that 37% of visitors leave when a website takes five seconds to load. However, only 15% of websites have an acceptable page speed. If you want to speed up your website, here are more options.

Storefront renderer 

The Shopify engine takes a storefront’s Liquid theme, renders an HTML output and sends the information back to the buyer’s browser. Shopify has updated its engine so merchants can expect a  40-200% improvement, which will ultimately boost conversions.

Online store performance dashboard (Coming later this year)

Shopify is planning to launch their online store performance dashboard soon. The redesigned version will let sellers identify the impact of actions like app installations and theme code customizations on a site’s speed. By having access to this data, shop owners can troubleshoot performance issues and improve their user’s experience.

Hopeful for the future 

The global pandemic and recession makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to thrive. 

Shopify’s new updates will help sellers adapt to these changing times. Merchants can get funding through Shopify Capital to continue marketing and operations. Contactless deliveries are now an option thanks to improved shipping and online store capabilities. Online purchases can also get picked up at customers’ preferred locations.

With improved back office features, sellers can create multiple product pages and manage bulk orders. There are also more options to speed up your site and increase conversions. 

Which update are you most excited about? Have you used any of the available updates? Let us know in the comments section.