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Here’s What Merchants Need to Know From Shopify Unite 2021

Alfred Lua
Alfred Lua
June 29, 2021
2 min read
Here’s What Merchants Need to Know From Shopify Unite 2021

Shopify Unite is Shopify’s annual conference where the team shares where commerce is heading and announces new products and features.

If you run a Shopify store, there are plenty of exciting updates to look forward to. Shopify Unite is focused on developers (and this year’s theme is “Coding Commerce. Together.”), but these changes will impact the Shopify ecosystem.

We know it can be hard to keep up with all the news and tweets, so we wrote this recap for you. Let’s talk about the major announcements for merchants and what they mean to you as merchants:

  1. Customize your online store (with no code!)
  2. Store and display more product information
  3. Get personalized app recommendations
  4. Improve your checkout experience
  5. Provide a buy now, pay later option
  6. Offer more payment options
  7. Build custom storefronts

1. Customize your online store with sections and blocks

Yep, sections are everywhere!

With the launch of Online Store 2.0, your Shopify store will become more modular and customizable. You can more easily add and rearrange content on every page with sections and blocks—without having to touch the code.

You can even add apps as blocks and customize them via the theme editor.

Here’s how it will look like:

You can expect new themes with new powerful features starting in August 2021.

2. Store and display more product information

If you wanted to add extra information about your products, customers, or orders, you usually have to change your code—which can be scary!

Shopify will soon allow you to create and edit metafields directly inside your Shopify dashboard (again without needing to touch your code). You can see how this looks like from this tweet.

This has two benefits:

  • You can add additional information about your products (such as specific care instructions) and display them on your online store.
  • You can store all your data about your products, customers, orders, and more in a single place—your Shopify account.

3. Get personalized app recommendations

Personalized Shopify App Store

(Image from Shopify)

There are so many apps in the Shopify App Store that it can be hard to find the right ones for your business. Businesses of different sizes and industries need different apps.

Soon, the Shopify App Store will provide personalized app recommendations that similar merchants are using. This will help you save time finding suitable apps and focus on growing your business.

4. Improve your checkout experience

You can now customize your checkout and post-purchase checkout experience using apps. Check out (no pun intended) the conversion apps on the Shopify App Store.

“Your checkout is SO important as a final touchpoint to build trust with your customers. Now you can make it even easier to build that trust,” tweeted Kelly Vaughn, founder and CEO of Shopify Plus Partner, The Taproom.

For example, you can show additional information about the products in a customers’ cart during checkout:

Checkout experience

You can also use apps like Checkout Promotions & Upsells, which allows you to show promotional products or offer free gifts after your customers have checked out.

5. Provide a buy now, pay later option

I don’t think this was announced during Shopify Unite but I did spot it in Shopify’s recap.

The concept of buy now, pay later has become popular recently. It allows customers to pay less upfront while increases conversions and average order values for merchants.

With Shop Pay Installments, your customers can split their purchases into four interest-free payments. This is currently available only in the US and for orders between $50 and $1,000.

Shop Pay Installments

(GIF by Shopify)

6. Offer more payment options

Customers around the world have various preferences for paying for their purchases. According to Shopify, “although credit cards are the most popular payment method in the US, 52% of online shoppers in Brazil use a QR code to make a purchase.”

In short, Shopify will soon allow you to accept more payment methods so that you can deliver a more localized shopping experience and increase your checkout conversion. You will be able to do this by adding the relevant payment apps.

(If you are curious, they are doing this by allowing developers to build on top of their new payments platform to add new payment methods.)

7. Build custom storefronts

You can easily create an awesome online store with Shopify without knowing anything about web development. I built my Shopify store in an afternoon.

But as your business grows and you want to provide more custom experiences to your customers, Shopify also allows you to do that. Its APIs let you do a lot more things with your online store, such as displaying local pricing based on locations, show availability for in-store pickup, and create custom selling plans.

If this sounds too complicated for you, don’t be worried. Shopify helps you find freelancers and agencies who can help you handle all these (and more).

Shopify Experts

What is your favorite announcement?

Now, over to you. After reading through this year’s announcements, which is your favorite? What do you think about the new products and features? How do you think merchants will benefit from these changes?

Let us know in the comments below.

Further reading

For more insights, check out Shopify’s recaps:


The featured image was taken from Shopify’s Facebook Page.

Alfred Lua
Alfred Lua

Alfred does marketing on the ReferralCandy team. In his free time, he reads a lot and trains for triathlons.

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