Shopify Unite 2019 is a wrap. It was a tall task following up the Raptors' championship parade that took place the day before the conference started, but Shopify and its community of partners, developers, and agencies brought the energy all week long. Verbal+Visual’s team in attendance included our CEO, Director of Technology, and Partnerships Manager. Our objective every year is to gain insight into how Shopify’s strategic roadmap will impact our agency and our merchants, and to connect with our ecosystem of technology partners. Here’s a recap from our team members and takeaways from the conference.
Our partners are located across the country and the globe, a testament to Shopify’s global presence and the diversity of technologies that power e-commerce. Shopify Unite gives us the opportunity to re-connect with our partners face-to-face or, in some cases, meet for the first time. With our partnership manager attending for the first time this year, we used the opportunity to think strategically about potential clients, co-marketing efforts, and our implementation processes. A few of the partners we caught up with:
An updated Shopify Plus will allow some of the more sophisticated retailers managing multiple brands and global storefronts to have increased control and visibility through a single dashboard view. Shopify Flow, the native automation tool, will now be available at an organizational level. This will reduce admin workflows for key decision makers from merchant and agency organizations by automating repetitive backend tasks.
APIs for Fulfillment, Delivery Profiles, and Order Editing
Shopify announced new Fulfillment APIs, currently in beta, that enable app developers to give their users more control of order fulfillment. Some of the new features include multi-location order fulfillment, improved transparency into the fulfillment process for merchants, streamlined communication between the app and merchant, and the ability to decline fulfillment requests.
The Delivery Profiles API will optimize the customer checkout experience by setting per product and per location shipping rules. Shipping rules can be based on product characteristics, like bulky or fragile. Rules can also be set for the location of inventory; customers will see shipping rates and delivery times based on their delivery location.
The GraphQL Admin API enables apps to modify orders (add, remove, replace items) before the order has been fulfilled. This will make merchants’ lives much easier on the back-end so they can provide customers with greater post-purchase flexibility.
Shopify Fulfillment Network
Shopify announced plans to invest $1 billion in a network of fulfillment centers across the United States, helping speed up delivery and drive down costs for merchants. This will allow them to compete with Amazon’s two-day delivery that has raised consumers’ expectations of fulfillment and customer service. The Fulfillment Network, located in seven states, utilizes machine learning to predict demand, allocate inventory and find the closest fulfillment centers for quicker and low-cost deliveries.
AR and 3D
Lastly, Shopify announced improvements to AR and 3D capabilities. Later this year, the Video and 3D update will natively support video and 3D model assets for products. Storage, delivery, and access through the Shopify Admin API and Storefront API will be available. Verbal+Visual has already implemented these new features on select products for The Sak, as part of its 30th anniversary collection.
See You Next Year
Our team will be implementing Shopify’s new features and testing those that are still in beta. We continue to be incredibly optimistic about the future of Shopify Plus and the tools we use to empower merchants. Thank you to our partners at Shopify and everyone in our tech ecosystem for sharing insights and a beer or two with us in Toronto!