The Biggest Announcements from Shopify Unite

Every year, Shopify hosts an annual conference called Unite which brings together partners and technology companies from across the Shopify ecosystem. Some have even referred to Shopify Unite as the “Coachella of Commerce”!

While perhaps not quite as eccentric as Coachella, it’s certainly comparable in terms of its relative influence in the overall ecommerce industry and the energy from its participants. When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stops by for a panel talk, you know something interesting is going on.

This year, Shopify Unite was bigger than ever — both in terms of the number of agency partners and technology companies that attended and in terms of the number of new platform announcements. Convictional is proud to be a Shopify Partner. Our team spends a lot of time working with customers using Shopify and Shopify Plus and we continue to make investments into the platforms.

We’ll be writing about specific announcements and product launches individually and how they specifically relate to topics our customers care about (dropshipping, B2B commerce, multi-location inventory, EDI, etc.). But for now, here’s an overview of the most important announcements of Shopify Unite 2018 and how it relates to your business.

If we had to summarize Shopify Unite 2018 in a single word, it would be SCALE.

Shopify Unite 2018 was all about how using Shopify — suppliers, wholesalers, and merchants alike — can scale up faster and eliminate common inhibitors to growth.

Among the roster of announcements, it’s evident that Shopify is working tirelessly to help its customers go global with the launch of multi-currency, multi-language, and location-aware payments. Stripe has had multi-currency capabilities for a while now, but it seems like that functionality is finally being rolled out across Shopify Payments which is Shopify’s own white label payment application built on the Stripe infrastructure. Convictional has supported customers selling in multiple currencies since the beginning, and we were excited to see Shopify participate in this effort to accelerate the growth of global commerce.

But why stop at global online selling? Achieving scale also requires selling across new channels. That’s why Shopify introduced the new Tap & Chip Reader.

According to the Shopify, the new Tap & Chip Reader is “a contactless reader that enables you to run your business from any device and offer a seamless secure (PCI-compliant) experience that is synced with your store.”

Shopify stores use Convictional’s platform to achieve true endless aisle functionality.

That means, merchants can sell merchandise to customers in stores without holding the physical inventory, and the supplier can dropship the order to the retail location or to the customer’s personal shipping address. Run out of a particular size? Close the sale with your new Tap & Chip Reader and have your suppliers ship it later with Convictional.

But achieving scale also means planning ahead.

For merchants and suppliers looking to grow, that often means that your infrastructure needs to be more robust. As you grow, your inventory may live in different locations. We were incredibly excited to see Shopify Plus introduce multi-location inventory to its customers. It’s called Shopify Locations.

Shopify Locations will be a mission control center for inventory planning and strategy. It promises to be a centralized backend hub for monitoring, planning, and decision-making by providing Shopify Plus customers with a single source of truth across their various inventory locations. For more details on Shopify Locations, Shopify’s forthcoming multi-location inventory solution, read more here.

In addition to providing more scalable infrastructure, there were a number of announcements that help automate tedious tasks (Shopify Flow Connectors), allow merchants to centralize their marketing initiatives from a single backend, and implement new strategies to grow average order value (BOGO and Quantity Discounts).

Shopify Unite 2018 certainly did not disappoint.