The future of eCommerce is interesting, brimming with opportunities yet fraught with challenges. For anyone who is new to eCommerce or thinking about joining in, you must have concerns and questions. From user experience to sales to automation in marketing to competition posed by the big fish – everything is a fresh slate in 2019 and beyond. But as an industry leader, Shopify has been guiding merchants through it all and helping brands see a global market with a competitive edge over the others. And they don’t just do it by sharing informative resources on their blog, but also hosting one of the biggest eCommerce events every year – Shopify Unite.
Shopify Unite is a partner conference attended by partners and app developers from across the globe – everyone bringing to the table, a new strategy that brands can use to grow faster.
At Unite, we spoke to agencies on which trends they see come into action, and how they work with clients. But we also connected with app developers on understanding what unique value they are adding to Shopify merchants. So we decided to share everything we learned with you.
Here’s everything that was announced for merchants to look forward to, at Shopify Unite 2019.
Lifting the curtains on the future of eCommerce at Shopify Unite 2019
1. Design experience made easy
The look and feel of your online store is a key concern for every eCommerce merchant. Everyone wants something that’s simple to work with and easy. No one wants to go deep into the code to create their online store to come up with a sophisticated look. Creating and maintaining the store should be hassle-free. But at the same time, every brand wants a unique touch to their store!
Shopify has always believed in giving eCommerce merchants the ease and freedom to create and manage their stores easily.
The future is even more promising. New online store designs that you create with Shopify will provide umpteen customization options. With this new feature, you don’t need to be an expert coder to make customizations in your store design.
You’ll be able to customize at the page and store level with just a few clicks. The feature also makes your content portable, which means that you can make any changes to the design/layout without having to move your content elsewhere while you make the changes. Basically, portable content is about keeping your existing content intact when changing themes. Earlier, this was a manual and a tedious job!
You can also create drafts and preview your changes in a separate workspace, allowing you to ship changes to your online shopping store as you prefer.
2. Render realistic product showcasing
Call this taking product page optimization to a whole new level.
Proving a magical, larger than life experience to your customers will soon be a dream come true for Shopify merchants. You will be able to provide a truly sensory experience to your shoppers by making online shopping feel like buying in-person.
How do you ask? Shopify announced its product page features — product sections supporting video and 3D model assets. This might seem like too much work but it will be effortless to implement when you can:
- Upload, access, and store videos and 3D models from the same location where you always manage your images from.
- Easily display video or 3D models with Shopify player for video.
- Use additional apps and custom integrations to explore, create and modify images, videos, and AR experiences.
Wow, right? It’s almost like trying out a product at a brick and mortar store and looking at yourself in the mirror to see how it really looks.
3. Upgraded merchandising
In the near future, Shopify’s custom storefront tools will lift off any back-end dependencies from your storefront. This means that you’ll have a lot more flexibility to sell anywhere. This is a great move especially for complex eCommerce businesses such as mobile, gaming, and other interactive mediums.
Let’s consider an example here to delve deeper into what this means.
Inkbox has taken customer engagement to a new level by making a tattoo-creation tool that allows them to create, edit, and upload their tattoo designs. This way, they have won a lot of interest and engagement from their target audience.
Similarly, eCommerce merchants using Shopify will be able to create engaging customer experience by showcasing their merchandise and enhancing their experience in a completely new way through vending machines, live streams, smart mirrors, voice shopping, and beyond.
We would like to call it an immersive and engaging merchandise experience.
Ps. Shopify introduced headless commerce features in 2016. They are currently adding more capabilities to it.
4. Re-fostering loyalty
We all know that customer acquisition is a tough battleground. And, that survival largely depends on retention. As such, continuously engaging existing shoppers is important for every eCommerce merchant – big or small. The good news is that creating engaging and interesting browsing and buying experience will no longer be a challenge for Shopify stores.
Shopify Point of Sale cart app extensions will now allow merchants to easily apply and edit loyalty and promotional details directly from the customer’s cart. With this feature, you’ll be able to easily reward your most loyal customers without interrupting their checkout process. All this sums up to mean that:
- You’ll be able to apply discounts at an amazing speed.
- You’ll have all the details about your loyal customers right on your dashboard and won’t require third-party apps to add more context to customer data.
- You can use the POS cart app extension with loyalty apps like Smile.io, to quickly create small delightful moments for your loyal customers.
5. Borderless transactions and sales
Opening your business to global frontiers will become easier for every kind of merchant. In 2018, Shopify committed to helping more online merchants to run their eCommerce business in their language of choice.
Within the past year, over 10,000 merchants have chosen to run their store in languages other than English. Now, merchants have 11 more languages to pick from!
That’s not all.
Shopify is also making it really easier for your customers to buy in their local currency! For this, the platform is rolling out Shopify Payments, allowing selling in multiple currencies. Your brand is all set to become truly global, starting today.
6. Reinventing customer experience beyond checkout
Shopify merchants have been doing a great job at making the customer journey to check out seamless. However, you don’t need to stop at your thank you page to make shopping an amazing experience for your shoppers.
Your customers expect a lot more out of the product that they have purchased from your store, in terms of the time of delivery, the condition of the parcel received by shipment, etc.
That’s why Shopify has introduced the Shopify Fulfillment Network, which is a dispersed network of fulfillment centers. The network makes use of machine learning to identify optimal inventory quantities per location, as well as automatically selecting the closest fulfillment option shipments.
This way, your orders always reach your customers in time, keeping them happy and satisfied – and of course, coming back for more!
With Shopify Fulfillment Network, you will always be well-informed about low inventory, have 99.5% accuracy in your order dispatch, receive hands-on help for warehouse management, and be able to effectively manage all sales and dispatch requirements.
With Shopify working towards making eCommerce a successful endeavour for you, you just need to keep your eye on the ball and upgrade your store as soon as new features come out. Keep a tab on the latest updates that Shopify comes out with to make your shopper’s experience with your store seamless and enjoyable – before your competitor does, to sweep them off their feet!
Want to stay up-to-date with everything Shopify and how you can use these frequent updates to grow your online store?
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