Shopify Editions are the company’s bi-annual highlights of what’s new in terms of products and features. The Summer 2022 release covered a lot of cool new developments. We thought it would be helpful for us to pick out the things that have us most excited, explain what they might mean for your business, and what are some next steps you can take to leverage the latest of what Shopify has to offer.
1. B2B on Shopify
What it is: B2B on Shopify provides a new version of native functionality so you can run your entire business (DTC and wholesale) from one branded storefront, or choose to create an integrated expansion store customized for your B2B business.
Why you should care: B2B on Shopify provides a lot more flexibility and customization opportunities to ensure a consistent, DTC-like brand experience for wholesale customers. It eliminates a lot of the challenges we faced as designers and developers in finding work-arounds to make wholesale sites intuitive for customers, and the UX easy for merchants to manage on the backend. Now wholesale customers can shop more easily and self-manage information in their accounts. It’s also much easier for merchants to set up customer accounts and set prices, payment terms, contact permissions, and tax exemptions.
What to do next: Now that it’s more streamlined to sell wholesale, if you’re not already selling in this channel, you may want to try dipping your toe into new revenue streams. Talk to your agency about migrating your separate wholesale storefront to B2B on Shopify DTC store or adding wholesale to your existing business.
2. Shopify Markets
What it is: Shopify Markets continues to add more native functionality to make selling internationally easier and more manageable for merchants.
Why you should care: It’s a big world out there, with a lot of potential new customers! Localizing your brand (e.g., language, currency, products, payment methods) for each market you sell in can significantly increase conversions. Shopify Markets enables you to customize and manage multiple international stores through the Shopify admin. If you’ve been thinking about expanding internationally and testing out new markets, Shopify Markets can be a cost-effective and reliable way to get started.
What to do next: It’s essential to first review your eCommerce business structure (e.g., financials, operations, marketing) to understand how you might need to set up your business internationally going forward. Will a single backend with multiple expansion stores (what Shopify Markets enables) work for your business? Or would you need to set up separate Shopify stores/distinct businesses for each different region or country?
Also, consider the effort required for language translation. If your site and catalog are pretty simple, Shopify Markets may be an easy fit. However, if you need customized images, product descriptions, lifestyle content, marketing campaigns, sizing, etc., for each market, and don’t have native speakers on your team for fast translations, you could run into delays and extra costs. It's important to consider all the different needs that are unique to your business.
3. Shopify Fulfillment Network + Shop Promise + Deliverr acquisition + carbon neutral + Shop Cash
What it is: A shot across the Amazon ecosystem’s bow, Shopify is now providing a combination of services to help merchants compete on customer experience when it comes to shipping and returns. Shopify Fulfillment Network provides warehousing for product storage, order fulfillment, and handles processing and tracking of returns.
The “Shop Promise” badge at checkout helps remind your customers that your store guarantees 2-day delivery.
The acquisition of Deliverr supports merchants’ inventory management and pre-fulfillment logistics (e.g., inventory inspection, packaging, and labeling to prepare for warehouse requirements).
Another badge, Shopify Planet, tells customers that your brand cares about the environment by offering carbon-neutral shipping.
Shop Cash is a new rewards program for Shop app users – customers can earn 1% in Shop Cash on all eligible Shop Pay purchases and redeem it on the Shop app.
Why you should care: You can provide a delivery and returns experience to rival Amazon’s. Guarantee more environmentally friendly, 2-day shipping and returns (including for international) – services many customers expect now. Shopify prices fulfillment on a per-item-sold basis, so you only pay for fulfillment services when you make a sale.
What to do next: Run the numbers and see if Shopify Fulfillment will make financial sense for your business. If yes, you can apply to join the network.
4. Discount Combinations
What it is: Shopify now lets customers combine multiple discounts in a single order.
Why you should care: This is a hot development for merchants! Our clients are always asking “can customers stack multiple discounts or promotions?” and sadly in the past, our answer has had to be “no.” Now it’s a brand-new promotional world, and Shopify merchants can enable certain discounts or promotion combinations they want.
What to do next: Review your discounting strategy to see how you can make it more effective. Take time to test out new promotions now, before the holiday season and Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
5. Headless: Hydrogen + Oxygen
What it is: Shopify now offers developers a bunch of tools (Hydrogen) to make building headless storefronts a whole lot easier, faster, and cost-efficient. Oxygen provides hosting services, so merchants don’t have to worry about server infrastructure and maintenance.
Why you should care: While not for everyone (yet), headless storefronts enable more flexibility for brands to sell or deliver content anywhere and connect it all on the backend. Typically, going headless has been complicated and costly – but tools like Hydrogen and hosting services like Oxygen are making it more accessible to more brands.
What to do next: As we’ve said before, deciding to go headless is a business decision and should only be implemented to solve specific problems and support specific business goals. The first step: run a cost/benefit analysis to understand the potential financial impact.
6. Built for Shopify
What it is: A toolkit and guidelines for developers to help us more easily build and customize apps that perform like native apps.
Why you should care: It’s easier, faster, and more cost-effective to create custom functionality for your business needs, with less impact on speed and performance. Whereas before you had to find a third-party app that best matched the functionality you were looking for, now your developer or agency can more easily build one or customize apps for better solutions.
What to do next: Talk to your agency about leveraging this new flexibility.
What it is: Shopify is looking to fill the gaping void that is Facebook advertising. Merchants can now leverage the Shop network of merchants to identify “look-alike” customers and then export audience lists to ad platforms.
Why you should care: High customer acquisition costs! Since Apple’s iOS updates, we’re all looking for new ways to target and find new customers. Audiences may be a solution to help fill the customer acquisition hole and decrease conversion costs.
What to do next: If you’re a Shopify Plus client in the US or Canada, go check it out – Audiences is included in your subscription.
Sky’s the limit
Hopefully, these product updates spark some ideas for new ways to improve your brand’s customer experience and positively impact your business. Not sure? Not to worry, we have lots of ideas! Give us a shout to talk strategy.