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Shopify Unite 2017 - What matters for new merchants?

From April 20 to 21 2017, Shopify Unite 2017 took place in San Francisco (US) with the participation of Shopify Partners and developers. Starting with a small store in 2004, Shopify is now a global well-known eCommerce platform. According to the keynote by Tobi Lutke - Shopify CEO & Founder, 400,000+ merchants using Shopify to run their businesses every day up till now. Let's take a look at this event to know how you can get benefits from upcoming changes in Shopify.

 

What is Shopify Unite?

First, what is the purpose of this conference?

Shopify Unite logo

Shopify Unite is the annual conference held by Shopify. This event is for all Shopify Partners and developers who make apps, themes, and customization services for Shopify merchants like you. The goal of this event is to review achievements of the previous year, what's coming in the year ahead on Shopify. In this annual event, Shopify publicly shows their growth direction and how Shopify can help merchants sell things online easier.

This year' Unite is the second conference for Shopify Partners. The next Unite will be in the hometown of Shopify - Toronto, Canada.

To learn more about Unite or to register for upcoming updates on this annual conference, please go to its homepage to have a glance of what happened this year on Shopify.

 

Some quick statistics in Shopify Unite 2017

Here are some numbers of what Shopify has achieved in the last 2016 and the beginning of 2017.

    • From 377,600 in 2016 to 400,000 merchants 'til the first quarter of 2017
    • 1,000,000+ active Shopify users
    • 5,200,000+ Shopify apps has been installed
    • 65% merchant use a third-party app
    • Shopify users from 175 countries.
    • User growth globally: +52% Oceania, Europe +53%, Asia +65%, Africa +35%,  South America +88%
  • An average Shopify store has 3-4 apps. The number of apps will increase if the merchant has got more sales.

 

Shopify Unite 2017 - Highlights for new merchants

As a new Shopify merchant, you will question how Shopify can help you grow your business, and which announcements in Shopify Unite 2017 matter most for your store.

 

Highlight #1: Go multi-channel

In an integrated world of marketing where sales can happen anywhere, anytime, you should have more than one sales channels. In the marketing world, it's also called “omnichannel". As Satish Kanwar - VP of Product at Shopify said, “59% of Shopify merchant sell in more than one channel. 34% Shopify merchants sell in more than 2 channels.” If one channel is efficient, then merchants will expand the number of sales by adding more sales channels. This is also the reason why Shopify was born - help everyone sell anywhere easier.

The keynote of Lynsen Thorntorn, Director of UX - Insights on Shopify Merchants

One merchant has at least 2 sales channels. In general, there are 4 popular sales channels in Shopify:

  • Shopify store: starting with the default domain for example mystore.myshopify.com
  • Marketplaces: Amazon, eBay
  • Retail
  • Offline store
  • Pop-up store
  • Wholesale

 

In the upcoming months this year, Shopify will roll-out sales channel integration APIs with Wish, Kik, BuzzFeed, Linkr, Trendly. From Shopify Admin Dashboard, you can effortlessly manage your sale activities.

 

Highlight #2: Selling on mobile is the new trend

Since buyers now are too busy with many personal issues, they often make purchases on the go. Therefore, conversion rate optimization on mobile devices becomes the trending topic for many Shopify merchants. They need help from themes and app makers. And the first move to mobile-focus selling is the Shopify mobile store apps (both on Android and iOS devices), with a list of apps built to boost sales on mobile.

 

Highlight #3: Entrepreneurship is great but tough

Starting a business is exciting yet exhausting. Many Shopify merchants are not previously businessmen. They just start their store from an idea, then learn and do business day by day from online resources and friends. 

According to Lynsey Thornton, there are 4 top barriers for Shopify merchants, including:

  • Products: how to find promising products for selling, how to handle the shipping, how to ship the product items to customers.
  • Money: lack of money limit merchants from paid options, and lack of to choose which themes/apps needed. investigation. Thus, choosing free themes and apps is the best way for them in the first stage.
  • Marketing & Time: it takes time and effort to build and implement a comprehensive marketing plan. They need to learn how to set the right budget for paid ads, how to calculate marketing ROI, etc. but they don't have enough time to do them all.

Shopify was born to make the entrepreneurship road open and less tough for everyone. With Shopify, everyone (including you!) can start a business with the support of themes, apps, support staffs, and Shopify Experts.

 

Highlight #4: Theme with sections

“Sections” is the revolution in Shopify themes. It helps merchants customize their stores effortlessly without custom coding or design skills. With sections enabled, merchants like you have more control power over their Shopify stores, rather than depending on others to have it done for them. Imagine a Shopify without section; you'll agree that “sections” is a life-saving invention for you.

Up till now, more than 80% themes in the official Shopify Theme Store have sections enabled. So if you are considering a Shopify theme, you need to make sure that it goes with sections.

 

Highlight #5: Improved Discounts

Starting from the basic discount in 2007, the Improved Discounts will be officially launched next month (this May) with more power for merchants.

The Improved Discounts have advanced filters based on multiple collections/products/customer groups. You can also set a minimum order value to get the discounts.

The Improved Discounts pairs with a detailed discount reporting to help you have an overview of your discount's performance and Price Rules API to apply the discounts on your store.

Christopher Lobay keynote on Shopify Pay

With this Improved Discounts, you will have more freedom in sales campaign setups. Some applications can be:

  • Bulk discount codes
  • Cart discounts with buy 1 get 1 for free
  • Scheduled promotions

 

Highlight #6: Inventory management in more than one place

Inventory is also a big problem with first-time entrepreneurs. Having more than one inventory also means that you’ll have to spare more time for logistic management.

From that pain, Shopify built multiple-location inventory. Now you can stay at home and manage inventory on a single interface. From multiple locations: home, warehouse, shop, retail store, etc., it's easier to manage your product stocks without getting there in-person.

This multi-location inventory also leads to a better order fulfillment and more satisfied customers.

 

Highlight #7: Fast and safe checkout with Shopify Pay

Shopify Pay was born to solve buyer's pain on the mobile purchase. From 16 checkout fields on the desktop (plus the number of checkouts), there are now only 2 fields on mobile with Shopify Pay. Thousands of Shopify store are using Shopify Pay till now. It does help them reduce 40% checkout process time, yet boost 18% conversion rate for returning customers (statistics taken from Shopify Announcement). Goodbye endless repeated checkout fields!

“Each day we don’t have Shopify Pay live is another day we aren't making it easy for people to come back and make their subsequent purchases in a simpler way.”

(Preston Rutherford, Chubbies)

Shopify Pay will be officially applied to all stores in upcoming months of 2017. Hope you’ll be one of the first ones to try Shopify Pay!

 

In case you missed Shopify Unite 2017...

Don't worry! We have covered it for you.

The Shopify Unite 2017 has ended, but you can still rewatch all keynotes videos on this below playlist:

 

Shopify has also written a short blog post on everything that they have announced at Unite 2017.

 

 

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