See What Shopify Stores Should Be Excited For in 2016
With 243,000 merchants and counting, Shopify is the largest single platform for multi-channel commerce in the world. One reason for its dominance is the rapid development of new features and tools that make selling online easier and more profitable.
If you’re a Shopify user, there are some exciting upcoming and newly released features you’ll want to learn more about to grow your store. We’ve compiled a list of the most important upgrades and tools and why they matter for ecommerce.
Amazon Sales Channel
Shopify’s current integrations with Amazon allow for easier selling and shipping for store owners who use Amazon services. But what they have planned is a game-changer.
Coming soon will be Amazon Sales Channel for Shopify. Online store owners using the soon-to-be-released tool will be able to list and sell their products on Amazon directly from Shopify. Like other sales channels, your product, customer and order data will be automatically synchronized with Shopify.
Get ready now: Prepare for the launch of the Amazon Sales Channel by thinking about which products would best perform in the Amazon Marketplace. Once a timeline on integration is established, make sure you have the inventory you need to support increased demand from Amazon shoppers.
To be among the first to try the Amazon Sales Channel, click here to join the waitlist for notification of the launch.
Sales Channel SDK
Shopify does a fantastic job keeping up with trends in shopping behavior and has identified a significant shift in buying patterns that centers around meeting consumers where they are. In other words, don’t think of selling exclusively from your online store. Find a way to sell your products through channels where your customers spend time.
In order to help merchants meet this need, Shopify just released Sales Channel SDK (Software Development Kit). It’s a toolkit that allows you to add commerce to any mobile app, marketplace or website. With it, you can build a rich commerce experience into your native channel.
Last year, Shopify added Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter sales channels. The new SDK tool allows developers to use the same technology to build new channels for Shopify. The first companies to take advantage are Ebates, Houzz and Wanelo with more coming soon.
What this means: Shopify believes by creating new sales channels and meeting customers where they spend time, ecommerce can happen virtually anywhere. If you capitalize on this opportunity now, you’ll be ahead of the competition, grow your customer base and improve the bottom line.
Stay on top of new sales channel innovations by signing up for notifications of newly launched channels. (after clicking, scroll to bottom)
After launching buy buttons last year, Shopify wanted to give store owners greater flexibility as to how and where they use buy buttons and what they look like.
How to get started: You many need help from a partner for this feature. Shopify has a list of its own development experts, or you can use one you already work with. Depending on your niche, you can build anything from fashion lookbooks, to custom storefronts or sponsored content.
Upgraded Mobile SDKs
One of the key metrics tracked by Shopify is the share of storefront views that come from mobile versus desktop. Last year, in the 20 billion page views served by Shopify, 61% came from mobile. But when the company looked at the data in detail, they saw mobile dominance was not translating into purchases, with desktop sales conversions at 54% versus mobile at 46%.
To help boost mobile conversions, Shopify just announced upgrades to the iOS and Android Buy SDKs they released last year. The upgrades include a toolkit that makes it easy for partners to quickly build new apps. The UI kit is a collection of views and templates to build a mobile store. Shopify estimates it will reduce development time from months down to weeks.
Other upgrades include Android Pay and a customer login. The login brings identity into the application, allowing stores to offer shoppers a more personalized experience.
Why this matters: The trend of mobile browsing and buying will continue to grow. In order to remain competitive, online stores must operate with a ‘mobile-first’ mentality. Taking advantage of tools offered by Shopify to build a mobile app is a good first step.
Shopify Acquires Kit CRM
A move by Shopify just a few days ago is a sign they’ll be offering chatbot capabilities to ecommerce sellers soon. The company announced the acquisition of Kit CRM, a startup that helps companies interact with customers via text messages.
It could mean Shopify users will soon be able to enter the space of “conversational commerce”, with the ability to chat, support and answer customer questions via text or other messaging platforms.
Shopify Announces Facebook Messenger Integration
In another attempt to enhance the ability of store owners to communicate with customers, Shopify announced its integration with Facebook Messenger. This move makes Shopify the first ecommerce platform to integrate with the messenger app.
The integration will make it easier for stores to build stronger relationships with customers, allowing them to provide live customer support, automatically send order confirmations, shipping updates, push notifications, and more, all within Facebook Messenger.
Now that you’re caught up on new announcements and upcoming features, it’s time to prioritize and strategize about updates that are most important for your own online business. In the mind of Shopify, there’s no limit to the opportunities and possibilities that lie ahead for ecommerce.
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