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Shopify Unite 2017 Recap

2017-04-28T09:30:25.367-07:

Shopify Unite 2017 Opening Party, San Francisco City Hall

Last week, over a thousand Shopify Partners from all over the world came to San Fransisco for their second annual Unite conference.

The Unite conference is a two-day event where Shopify developers come to discuss and share ideas about the platform. It's also where Shopify makes their product announcements, and this year did not disappoint.

The only weirdness was a giant power outage in San Francisco that lasted most of the day Friday. The conference still went on, and speakers did their presentation outside. Besides a little sunburn, no big deal.


Shopify continues to innovate for both for large-volume and beginner merchants. We were impressed at how much they announced, but also how many things were actually launched.

Magento, take note.

When the power goes out, you give your presentations al fresco style.

Here are some of the key highlights announced at the conference:

The Shopify Chip & Swipe Reader
The new reader makes it even easier for Shopify merchants to sell in person. The device allows merchants to accept all debit and credit cards. The elegant reader works via dipping the card (much like common in-store POS 'chip' readers). Older cards can still use via a built-in magstripe reader. A great feature is that the card reader can be removed from the base and connect via Bluetooth, allowing a merchant to assist a customer with the reader in hand.
New merchants can get the reader for free, existing customers pay only $29

Shopify Pay
A powerful checkout feature that allows customers to save their information for faster checkout at your store and on other participating Shopify stores. Returning customers can check out with just one click or touch. And as we know, reducing the amount os of step from cart to checkout is always a good thing.

Expanded Sales Channels
Since launching the Multichannel Shopify in 2015, the platform as added over a dozen new channels to help connect with millions of shoppers. Recently added channels included Kik, Wish, Amazon and Messenger, which helps shop owners sell and provide customer support.

Flow
Flow is an automation platform that allows Plus merchants to customize unique backend business workflows.

The product is scheduled for launch in June 2017.

Payment Scripts
Shopify Plus merchants can offer customers a more relevant checkout experience that can lift conversion rates. Shopify merchants can use the Shopify Script Editor, which gives the merchant more control in presenting different payment gateways based on customer information or items in their cart.

Some examples:

  • Show, hide, or rename payment methods shown during the checkout based on products in the cart, customer group or tag, or a customer’s shipping address
  • Prevent discount codes from being used when certain payment methods are selected
  • Restrict payment options based on products or customers
  • Reorder to display preferred payment methods first
  • Launchpad
  • Schedule, coordinate, and execute major commerce events in advance.
  • Some examples:
  • Changing the product pricing at the start and end of an event
  • Publishing selected products to your sales channels to release them at a chosen time and date
  • Increasing inventory levels at the start of an event
  • Locking your online store for a set duration of time before the start of an event to build hype and anticipation
  • Scheduling creative changes and theme customization to better highlight the products involved in the sale
  • Enabling Captcha for the duration of the sale - to prevent bots from placing orders
  • Gathering data about the success of the event

Mobile Store Builder
This allows merchants to build a native mobile app for their store without and development or code expertise. Apps are built based on template systems using customizable themes.
The apps can be published to both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The Beta program launches in May 2017.