Shopify is constantly growing from strength to strength. In this year alone, we’ve witnessed major updates to the platform, the addition of new tools, and some key offline events and meetups. With all of these significant things pouring in, staying on top of what’s new on Shopify can be tricky. That’s why we’re starting a new series of articles that will keep you up to date on all the significant changes and news from the platform.
This first edition will cover all the key happenings from Q1 to now. Let’s dig in!
Updates From Shopify That Merchants Need To Know About
The first few months of 2023 were pretty jam-packed for Shopify. Here’s all the important stuff you may have missed and definitely need to know about.
Winter Editions 2023 Highlights
Shopify Editions is always a melting pot of fresh features and updates to the Shopify platform. Staying true to form, Shopify Winter Editions 2023 was packed to the brim with more than 100 updates across the platform.
The online store was injected with new features, including metaobjects, and the ability to add sections in headers and footers. Developers were also given a more leisurely ride with custom CSS, code completion technology for Liquid, and new color settings in the theme editor.
What’s new in the Online Store?
The Online Store has a few new notable features you may have noticed.
In early February, Shopify launched its customer self-serve returns feature. The free tool lets customers request a return directly in your online store. The whole process is managed within Shopify Admin. There, you can approve or decline a returns request, give customers instructions for the returns process, and track returns.
The rich text in the online store editor has been expanded. Now, ordered lists and headings can be configured to match the semantic styling of your Shopify store.
The final online store update will be welcoming news for stores with a robust blog strategy. Dynamic sources are now available for blogs and articles. This means you can connect metafields and metaobjects to a blog or blog post. A block in your Shopify store can then be created that dynamically pulls content from the blog. This feature will make managing and creating blog posts a lot easier.
Shopify Flow updates
Shopify Flow was built to give merchants the power of automation. We’re sure this has been a godsend for tons of Shopify stores! Well now, new features promise to take the app’s capabilities to the next level.
Rather than needing a commerce event to trigger a workflow, you can now use the Scheduled time trigger to set a time and a date for the workflow.
New actions have also been introduced that allow you to be more specific with the data that is fetched. This includes:
- For each action - performs an action on every item in a list when that action is connected to the Do this for each item option
- Count action - tallies the number of items in a list
- Sum action - adds up the total of items in a list and provides the sum value
- Get data actions - fetches data from collections, products, orders, or customers
These new actions and trigger can be used to fetch data for daily reports, get hourly or daily updates on inventory levels, or cancel orders if a customer has placed too many orders in a day.
Currently, these new features are only available to Shopify merchants on the Plus and Advanced plans.
Customizable checkout for Shopify Plus merchants
The checkout page and process play an important role within an eCommerce store. It can make or break your chances of converting, influence whether a customer returns, or impact your average order value. Shopify understands the significance of the checkout for merchants, that’s why checkout customization is now easier than ever.
With checkout extensibility, Shopify Plus merchants can create the exact checkout experience they desire without touching any code. Instead, you’ll use various apps and branding tools to customize your checkout.
Custom branding on checkout page (Source: Shopify)
There are tons of customizations you can make, like:
- Branded checkout page - there’s a brand new checkout editor that allows you to use custom fonts and colors. More advanced customizations can be made in conjunction with a developer and the branding API.
- Additional functionalities - third-party checkout apps now integrate with Shopify checkout. With them, you can add new functionalities to your checkout page like a date picker, banners, and the ability to collect extra customer info.
- Post purchase page - third-party apps can also be used to present one-click upsells or invitations to a loyalty program before the Thank you page
- Customer behavior tracking - add pixels to the checkout to track events
- Custom logic - by installing apps built with Shopify Functions, you can add custom discounts, shipping rules, payment methods, and more.
This is huge, as adding customizations to the checkout was only possible with the help of a developer. With this new feature, Shopify Plus merchants can save themselves heaps of time and money and take complete control over their checkout experiences. Hopefully, we’ll see this functionality rollout to more Shopify merchants soon!
Updates to Analytics
For your brand and eCommerce store to grow and flourish, you need to have a deep understanding of your customers. So you’ll be pleased to hear that richer and more complete insights are now right at your fingertips.
Shopify introduced new marketing reports and data sets to Shopify Analytics.
Marketing Summary lets you see your marketing KPIs at a glance, Top Channel Performance shows you the top 5 channels based on your chosen metric, and Overall Channel Performance visualizes trends over time on all of your marketing channels. You can also collect cross-device data to determine how your customers interact with your store over all their devices.
Enhanced Inventory Management
Staying on top of your inventory can be an incredibly complex task, especially if you’re operating in multiple locations. Fortunately, it’s now easier to maintain an accurate and more granular view of your inventory within Shopify Admin.
New states for your inventory have been added to Shopify Admin:
- On hand - all the products you physically have at a location
- Unavailable - products that are part of a draft order or items an app has set aside
On the developer side, the recently launched Inventory States API allows third-party to manage inventory values at a location, and transition products to different inventory states. This means merchants will now have better visibility of their inventory amounts within Shopify Admin.
Recent Major Shopify Updates, Announcements, and Events In 2023 So Far
Updates and Shopify news didn’t stop post-Q1. There’s been a heap of notable announcements, updates, and events over the last few months.
AMA sessions on Shopify Community
One of the most exciting revelations are the monthly ask me anything (AMA) sessions via Shopify Community. These sessions allow Shopify merchants to connect with and extract knowledge from industry leaders and experts.
Shopify merchants take part by going to the Community AMA page and finding the latest AMA thread. You can then post a question in the thread before the deadline. Questions are later addressed in a video format.
So far, there’s been an AMA session with Shopify product leaders about Winter Editions ‘23 and one with 2H Media to help merchants plan their marketing budget. The next AMA session is on May 10, focusing on getting the most out of Klaviyo and Shopify integration.
AI-generated text has arrived at Shopify! If you’ve ever been stumped when it comes to creating compelling product descriptions, Shopify Magic is the tool for you.
Product descriptions are vital in the race to drive traffic to your store and bring shoppers closer to making a purchase. So to give you a helping hand, Shopify Magic automatically writes product descriptions for you. All you need to do is enter some keywords and features as prompts, select a tone of voice, and in an instant, you’ll have a high-quality product description.
To use Shopify Magic, go to Products in Shopify Admin, choose a product, go to the product description box, and select the Shopify Magic icon in the toolbar.
Mock Shop API
In some big news for Shopify developers and partners, Shopify has released a free, new prototyping tool.
Mock.Shop is a tool that lets you build a proof-of-concept storefront without running any server-side code or setting up a shop. Now, you can quickly test any Shopify eCommerce projects you’re working on with high-quality mock data.
The tool uses a GraphQL API to query commerce data like sample products, variants, and carts to instantly prototype storefronts. You can input queries manually or use the AI feature to generate a query.
This is a real game-changer! Mock.shop makes it much easier to test the look or functionality of new features and integrations being made to a Shopify store before going live. Plus, the AI-generated prompts mean you don’t need to be a coding master to build a mock Shopify store. So if you’re developing custom integrations, customizing the payment gateway, or just want to see how a redesign will look, give this tool a try.
More developer news
Besides the new Mock Shop API, there are some other noteworthy updates Shopify developers need to be aware of.
- Apps that are using the API version 2022-04 now have until June 30, 2023 to migrate over to API version 2022-10 or later
- An app can now charge a store for features or services on a per-use basis with appUsageRecordCreate in the Admin GraphQL API version 2023-04
- Developers can create app charges in the local currency of their clients in the Admin GraphQL API version 2023-04
React Berlin April Meetup
Last month, developers from the React community gathered in Berlin to discuss all things React.
The meetup dug deep into the React tools, patterns, and popular libraries with talks led by React experts. Attendees got to learn about the impact of the new “use” hook, how Zattoo applies and improves keyboard accessibility, mobile DevOps with React Native, and Remixing Hydrogen after React Server Components.
2023 has been filled with lots of exciting updates and events for Shopify merchants and developers. In just a few months, we’ve seen a wave of new practical tools and improvements to existing ones come into effect. There’s also been plenty of opportunities for developers and merchants to learn more about the platform.
There are still tons of promising features and tools on their way to being released, so keep your eyes peeled for our next round of Shopify updates.
Boost Commerce is a technology company that is helping nearly 14,000 Online Stores Across 80+ Countries grow sales with Shopify Advanced Filter, Intelligent AI-powered Search, Flexible Merchandising Rules, and Dynamic AI/ML Product Recommendation in one single app.