Shopify is basically a bank now
Shopify has so much money now, they are able to offer a new product: Shopify Balance.
Shopify balance is the collective name for financial products now offered by Shopify. This will offer an account, a physical card and rewards (e.g. cashback and discounts).
When? Later in the year in the US. Everywhere else? “The near future”.
They are also expanding Shopify Capital to the UK and Canada (it was previously US only). Shopify Capital allows businesses to apply for financing from $200 to (a cool) $1m.
A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool… umm actually for some stores, this is probably really useful means of greasing cash flow at the moment.
Shop Pay Instalments
More credit shenanigans, this time for your customers! Store owners using the Shop Pay accelerated checkout can join the waitlist to include Shop Pay Installments in their checkout flow. This will allow customers to spread the cost of their purchase over 4 equal, interest free, installments.
Useful and could help stores increase their overall cart value. Interest free and without fees could also help people to stay away from using traditional (expensive) credit options.
As more stores are pivoting to online due to Coronavirus, Shopify have created a stripped down 1 page theme called Express. We tested it on a site last week and were up and running in around 4 hours (with tinkering and setting up the product catalogue).
It's basic and simple but makes it almost too easy to get a store online. Finally, I have time to setup my mail-order-tattoo-yourself kits.
2 big changes here:
Stores can now have local domains (e.g. no need to open a separate store to have different URLs) It also uses...
Merchants using multiple currencies will be able to set a stable price for products. Currently it's all done on exchange rates and I believe the end customer still has to pay in the store's currency. This change will allow them to pay in their currency but the store owner will receive it in theirs. There are also going to be rules based padding (whatever that is).
Both of these are coming (guess what) TBC!
Genuinely sounds like a no brainer if you have multiple stores.
The new online store design experience is still coming soon…
Sections. Everywhere. Announced ages ago (see below) this unreleased feature is already getting updates in the form of App sections—allowing the admin to add new sections from apps. This will actually make Shopify a competitive player from a CMS perspective. The lack of admin control for customising content is infuriating. I had high hopes this might be released with this update. Alas.
My god we have been waiting a while for this. You will hear me sighing “finally” when this does finally drop. Announced in June 2019 (to be live by end of the year) we are still waiting and I will not get my hopes up of this being delivered before a Coronavirus vaccine.
Another feature announced last year was allowing developers to create apps to extend the checkout which will make subscription apps better.
Anything that makes subscriptions easier is a win, but why aren’t subscription based products just native functionality???
A built in email marketing solution. Right in the admin as one of the main nav items. No faffing with configuring apps to sync mailchimp or whatever.
This is great. For most clients this will be all they need to meet their marketing needs and for everyone else, there’s Klaviyo. It's free… until October and there is no way of knowing how much it will be after that. Which makes it difficult to recommend.
Shopify Shop… The App!
Shop! I think this is an app… which puts all the shops in one place… But it's also an assistant(?)... and users can follow shops and get recommendations from the shops they’ve bought from.. But it's also a payment gateway… So it's kinda like the Amazon app but for Shopify..? Umm… The checkout is the fastest on Shopify!
Currently, this feels like a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Looking at the home page tells me nothing. However, this feels like the direction Shopify is heading in–a direct competitor with Amazon. Although maybe a bit classier. If Amazon is a giant sprawling warehouse (think Costco) with a mass of market stalls in the car park, Shopify will be a Mega Mall with a mix of boutique shops.
New product states
You will (soon!!!) be able to set products to Draft and Archives states.
WHY IS THIS NEW??!!
Faster product creation
Upload products directly from your phone, capturing details like barcodes, prices, variants all from your phone’s camera. You’ll also be able to add multiple products at once on desktop(!!).
This is gonna make a massive difference to everyone who starts a store. Great idea can’t wait to see this (oh, it's coming soon).
The orders page
Orders has been updated so that you can see more info from the list screen.
Again, this is a no brainer win. Having to go into every order to view what's been going on with it must be hellish when you get any level of traffic.
Local delivery and pickup
Shopify have added new local delivery and pickup methods. These are super easy to use (and are available now!). They also mentioned further updates to this will be coming soon—hopefully in the form of collection time slots… They’ve also built the Shopify Local Delivery app.
Another example of where Shopify have shown some real initiative, and kudos to them. Getting these features rolled out quickly is a great response (for them as a business and for the people who rely on them for a living).
They’ve re-written the storefront renderer which will improve load times between 40% and 200% (coming now… ish!). This would be cool on its own but they are also adding (this summer) a performance dashboard. Meaning you and your clients can see how fast or slow your store is and how theme customisations and app installs slow it down.
I love this.
- POS updates including contactless checkout (without chip and pin) and being able to see what's in the physical store (COMING SOON KLAXON!!!)
- Free Google Shopping listings (US only for now. It's coming elsewhere. And soon… 🙄)
- Gift cards are free (for a bit)
- You can allow tipping
- Purchase orders for receiving inventory
- Shopify Fulfillment network—Announced last year. Still US only. BORING!
- Robots. Warehouse robots. Pretty cool. They bought a company last year and it was basically for these robots. ROBOTS!
Some great new features and a few that are very much long overdue. Well done for Shopify pivoting and jumping in to offer leadership in a really strange time. That said, I hate when things are Coming Soon with no date time frame attached. It's difficult to get excited or recommend features to clients which could be a year (or longer away)...