I’ve recently returned home after a very good time, in San Francisco attending Shopify Unite. This is an annually hosted Partners and Developer conference by Shopify.
This was my first time attending this event and I attended it with the Impulsely Team. Impulsely is a funnel builder app we are creating, one of the core features is working with Shopify. So we as a team wanted to meet up here and have some team meetings as well. However, this is a report on the event itself and not so much on our App.
Let’s jump in and talk about what is on the forefront for Shopify. Shopify first hosted 2 party’s, one for Shopify Partners and one for Developers. Chase Bowers and I attended the developer’s party. We had the opportunity to meet up with other like-minded developers and see what some others are working on. One of the groups we meet was an App developer who had over 125K users all built from inside of the app store. Pretty cool to see others success from people who adopted early on inside of Shopify.
The next day we all made it to the keynote. Some things which stuck out during the event where. In 2016 Over $15 Billion Dollars were sold on Shopify $389M Shopify made and over $430M made by its partners. Now that is a Win-Win-Win-Win… A win for Shopify, a win for the Merchant, a win the partners and app builders and a win for the merchant’s customers. Now with over 400K online stores and over 5.2 million apps have been installed on stores. The user experience was Shopify’s success Join, Learn, Build and Scale.
CEO and founder of Shopify Tobias Lütke showed this image of Mario from Mario Bros and said Mario does not love the fire plant but Mario loves to throw fireballs. It’s from wall art at their HQ. The image of Mario, and below it, it says Merchant with a + sign with the Fireball plant, and under it, it says Shopify = with an image of Super Mario throwing fireballs, and under that, it says Marchant with super powers.
Tobi also talked about the decline in entrepreneurship which he felt was strange because the cost has come down but the bar has been raised.
Shopify has a combination of Apps and Marketplaces where a user can send a buy button to places like Etsy, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Some major users now with a broad spectrum of age and gender changes in the market. It uses to be only young males, but now it is across the board all ages including over 65 along with many more women who are starting to sell than ever before. Also a massive uptick on mobile. Last Christmas for the first time ever mobile purchases exceeded any other. This was a glimpse into the future, and proof mobile will one day exceed retail and desktop. This early stage is working really well with flash sales and frenzy sales.
So Shopify is opening up more Mobile Apps for sales. One which Shopify was featuring at the event called Frenzy and is now on Apple and coming soon to Android. This is an app which events can have timers and flash sale experiences with GEO drop zones. While we were at the event they used It, and It worked on me, and I bought a Shopify Hoody with zipper. Along with it linking sales channels with mobile apps like Frenzy.
One of the top announcements where mobile store apps. Giving merchants their own app for their stores which will be a lot like setting up a theme. Giving merchants the power of Mobile apps for their customer base having cool things like games and gamification attaching rewards. This was also great for game developers giving buyers access to physical products that work inside of games. Having browser access to merchandise for sale inside the game and app and increasing sales.
Another announcement was for Retail selling in person using Shopify’s POS (Point of Sale). Shopify in now in the hardware business and has built a small piece of hardware where customers can dip the credit card chip and pay for products and services in this multichannel inside of retail businesses and in any mobile location. Chip and swipe card reader for Shopify POS. A truly amazing device for physical sales. It’s Bluetooth and looks to be very easy to use for any store or brand. This is a very low-cost device (Actually FREE), Shopify is giving these away for FREE for any company to get started with. Helping companies get off the ground. It’s called chip and swipe pre-orders have already begun.
Next announcement was for theme editing which is all based on sections inside. Great stuff for theme developers and users. The shopping cart and partnerships with Android Pay and Apple pay. Giving Shopify users responsive themes, responsive checkout, and accelerated checkout. Making mobile purchasing easy for the end user.
This next announcement is probably this biggest one. Now users can checkout without email and now through mobile using mobile numbers based on history and IP. Accelerated checkout with “Shopify Pay“. This is a game changer. For the first time, someone checks out from any Shopify store the user now has the option to save their settings. All the user has to do is just verify themselves once, and then they can purchase any future order using Shopify Pay.
Here is how it works:
- Optin at checkout
- Enter the code received through SMS (text message)
- Review and finalize purchase
It’s secure and works with any store. This now knocks down 16 fields down to 2. This one is huge! Now when someone buys something on any other Shopify store, they will have access to it for future use. It’s virtually invisible and is there at any time every time. Shopify said they have 1300 users testing it and the results have been significant increasing converting. It reminds me of Amazon 1 click purchasing but now with Shopify giving everyone the same type of power from within their stores.
This is not an announcement, but I was able to test out the VR (Virtual Reality) Shopping. That was pretty cool. It was like I went to a furniture store where I was able to look at a desk look around it in 3 dimensions, Look at it with all the options. Test the up and down features before I bought it. On top of this, the desk set up was saved based on the past look I used. So as soon as I popped off the head unit I could then go ahead and purchase the unit last saved. This is just the beginning of online commerce in a virtual world but was pretty dang cool to see.
Here is a quick recap of what I learned along with some of my own personal thoughts on where the opportunity is.
- New Channel Partners
- Users at all levels and ages
- Mobile Store Apps
- Unity SDK for Game Developers
- Chip and Swipe Hardware
- Shopify Pay
Shopify announced a new UX or Users Experience and new color which is a blueish lavender look with new mobile APP, icon coming out soon and POS. Changing the search feature and just making it easier for merchants to navigate inside the backend of their store.
Along with another big announcement about of what I call convergence of all apps in the app store. It’s called Polaris and what Polaris does is it gives the user a better experience with embedded apps. It will make apps feel more a part of Shopify and not an outside app. It’s embedded and uses Shopify directions and code so it has higher conversion and use from the users stand point of view. It makes is more plug and play as it has the look and feel of Shopify, so it increases the usability.
A few things which came from this trip. One was we were able to make more contacts at Shopify. We were able to see the vision on where they are heading as a major player in online commerce.
The biggest opportunity for all levels was Shopify Pay and how much the focus was on Mobile. Cutting 16 fields down to 2 and giving the buyer the choice of saving their info inside of the Shopify cart so whenever the purchaser comes back to any Shopify shopping cart in any Shopify store they can purchase with much ease (Only 2 Fields). On top of this one of our meeting which I missed, we got some answers for Impulsely. I cannot say what they are as of yet, but let’s just say it was pretty exciting and game changing for the development of Impulsely and the Shopify integration. Possibly the first ever based on what we are hearing. Again I cannot say what it is until we have it working inside of the app.
Stay tuned for that announcement soon.
I will leave you with this one thing that Tobi said about building a business was, and that was. “Put great people in them and then get out of their way.”
Lastly, check out this breakfast I found in San Francisco. If you’re a foodie like me you need to go.
To Your Success!
Karl “The SharK” Schuckert