Shopify released a slate of updates on Jan. 31. The ecommerce platform says the more than 100 updates will improve client experiences across conversion, channels, marketing and operations.
In North America, 45 of the Top 1000 online retailers use Shopify as their ecommerce platform. The Top 1000 is Digital Commerce 360’s database of the largest online retailers in the region by annual web sales. In 2022, those 45 online retailers combined for more than $8.29 billion in web sales. Retail clients include Fashion Nova (No. 115), Figs Inc. (No. 173), Nine West (No. 252) and Steve Madden Ltd. (No. 262).
These are the most important updates Shopify released in its Winter ‘24 Edition.
Shopify conversion updates
Shopify said it improved how it lists products with the biggest update to its product model in more than a decade. Now, products that come in multiple variations can be purchased under a single product listing. The updated model also reduces the time and effort that go into creating new product listings, Shopify said. The product page can now automatically categorize listings by features like color and size, eliminating the need to categorize them manually. Customers can also find products based on these attributes, it said.
The checkout page also got an update, Shopify said. The platform streamlined the checkout experience, reducing three pages to just one that customers must interact with. That cut buyer completion time by an average of four seconds, it said. Shopify added 14 new APIs and 90 new apps retailers can use to customize their checkout pages. The new apps allow for features including loyalty programs, post-purchase surveys, order tracking and other customizable content.
Shopify released a new semantic search tool using artificial intelligence (AI), too. The storefront search feature uses AI to surface results consumers are more likely to buy from, rather than exactly the keywords they searched, Shopify said.
Shopify channel updates
Shopify said some of its new updates were designed to make it easy for retailers to expand into new marketplaces and social channels. One such update is point-of-sale ship from store. Retailers will be able to select a store as the fulfillment location for an order through Shopify, so staff can pack and ship the order directly from the location. In-store fulfillment can increase efficiency, reduce warehouse load, and minimize shipping costs, Shopify said.
The platform also released Markets Pro to U.S. customers. The product bundle is designed to make selling internationally easier for U.S. retailers as a hub for help on global taxes, international shipping labels, customs, and more.
New marketing releases
Shopify says Shopify Audiences will “help you find more customers, lower customer acquisition costs (CAC), and improve return on ad spend (ROAS).” The app gives retailers the ability to target consumers on social platforms like Meta, Snapchat and TikTok. Then, Shopify uses machine learning (ML) to improve advertising targeting. This edition of Shopify Audiences includes benchmarks for measuring results against similar retailers and industries, Shopify said.
The platform also announced it will rebrand Shop Cash as Shop Campaigns. The customer acquisition tool will add new estimates and analytics in this update, Shopify said.
Business operations updates
Shopify said it’s using AI on several new releases to simplify retailers’ business operations under the banner “Shopify Magic.”
Media Editor uses generative AI to create instant product images for free, Shopify said. The editor tool can create professional-looking images and enhance low-resolution files into high-quality media assets, it said.
Sidekick, meanwhile, will be “the world’s most useful AI-enabled assistant for commerce,” Shopify said. “It allows you to use AI to increase productivity, improve workflows, make smarter decisions, and spend less time on operational tasks.” The tool is in an early access rollout with select retailers. Shopify did not share when results will be available, or when other customers will get access to it. It previously demoed Sidekick answering retailer questions, such as “How do I set up a discount for my holiday sale?”
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