Updated POS, Multi-store admin and more: Shopify Unite 2019 Wrap Up

Some would say that jetting return from Melbourne to Toronto for 3 nights is not the smartest thing for your circadian rhythm, but when Shopify Unite is the drawcard… bring it on!

As a Shopify Plus Partner, Convert Digital were thrilled with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the planned Partner events, keynotes, track sessions, lightning talks, networking and of course the after party!

Touching down in Toronto at 7am after an overnight flight from LAX, there was no time to get settled before the festivities kicked off. Straight from the airport, our Shopify partner manager, Tristan Miller organised a tour of the Shopify office followed by a brunch with a number of Australian Plus Partners.

Following brunch we enjoyed a session at Google HQ where they educated us about Google Cloud, how to get started with Machine Learning and the growing space of augmented reality. For a bit of fun, Google “tiger animal” on your smartphone and click “view in 3D”.

To round out day one, drinks were organised at a number of bars before many Shopify Plus Partners descended on Patria to share their wins and challenges over a few drinks.

Day two fired up with coffee and breakfast for all attendees, before the moment everyone had been waiting for, the opening keynote. All speculation would be put to rest and the Shopify roadmap revealed with platform updates and new commerce initiatives to be presented. In this keynote, Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, presented the theme for this years Unite as “opportunity” and reaffirmed their ambition to make commerce better for everyone.

Although opinions on what is considered most valuable from the announcements will vary, here’s six I think our clients will be excited by:

1. All new Shopify Plus
Bridging the gap to Magento, Shopify Plus will release a new dashboard where multiple stores, users, automation, and more can be managed in one place.

2. Product video and 3D images
Customers are able to view every angle, contour, feature and more with the ability to import products and 3D images against a product, in turn significantly improving conversion rate.

3. Point of sale (POS)
Retailers will now have the ability to see loyalty and customer related promotions directly from Shopify POS. The new POS app that is faster and gives greater visibility to more frequently used features. There is also improved POS hardware available and although Australia is still awaiting a card reader solution (coming soon), retailers can capitalise on Shopify POS now!

4. New online store design
Release of sections to all pages (not just the homepage) which empowers merchants to create and customise their storefronts without writing a single line of code.

5. Checkout app extension for subscriptions
Enabling developers to integrate their subscription apps into the checkout experience, this release will offer increased functionality and allow merchants to process customer subscriptions within the current checkout.

6. Shopify Fulfilment Network
Potentially the largest announcement of from Unite 2019, Shopify will roll out a service similar to Amazon’s FBA, whereby merchants can store their products in warehouses to be fulfilled by Shopify and allowing AI to allocated stock to the closest point of purchase for speedy delivery.
Unfortunately it is only for North America at the moment, however this does allow Australian’s who haven’t tested the US market to “give it a go”!

There are a heap more exciting features that you can read about in Shopify’s blog post for Unite 2019.

As impressive as the announcements were, there was something missing. Following Shopify’s recent acquisition of Handshake, there was no mention of plans to enhance their wholesale (or B2B) channel and move closer to the deeper functionality offered by rivals Magento and BigCommerce.

To top off an information packed couple of days we enjoyed the after party at the incredible Rebel nightclub, overlooking Toronoto’s Inner Harbour. Partners enjoyed poolside drinks, table tennis and foosball while great conversations with attendees flowed. It was clear that Shopify Unite was a very well thought out event. The final part of the event saw Lupe Fiasco take the stage and get the party going well in to the early hours of the morning!

After three big days and nights, the 30 hour commute back to Melbourne was calling and a trip back to reality with a full checklist of ideas to roll out to our valued Convert Digital clients and prospects into the future.

If you’re excited about the opportunity of replatforming to Shopify Plus, or would like to discuss which e-commerce platform is suitable for your business, contact us here or call our office directly on +61 3 9070 3463.

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