A Quick(Ish) Guide To Shopify Editions Winter ‘23

Shopify kicked off 2023 in style. In early February, they surprised us all with over 100 new features and updates as part of the Shopify Editions Winter ‘23. We’ve combed through all the announcements to bring you the top features to put to use, and those to keep an eye on for the future.

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Still trying to read and digest the latest Shopify updates? Join the club.

With 100+ product updates announced in Shopify Editions Winter ‘23 and an impressive 6,000 word summary on the various expanding areas of their platform, Shopify certainly haven’t held back in their latest offering.

We’ve compiled a few of the most exciting updates for UK-based Shopify stores to help you figure out what you need to know now, which ones are lesser known, and which ones will have to wait.

The Universal Features

1 - Page Loads

When it comes to your website, speed is the aim of the game.

Shopify's new global infrastructure with 270 points of presence around the world offers lightning-fast page loads for customers anywhere in the world, with response times twice as fast as before. Speed improvements will occur globally - and we’re excited for it!

2 - One Page Checkout

This one’s a big one.

Anyone familiar with Shopify’s lengthy Cart > Information > Shipping > Payment process at checkout will know that four steps can be one too many for customers debating their purchase.

This year, a new one-page checkout is being introduced that is faster and higher-converting, with fewer fields to enter and fewer page loads. We’ve still got a bit of time to wait for the one-page checkout to land on our stores, but it’ll be totally worth it when it comes. Less friction, more conversions.

3 - Shopify Magic

Struggling to think of original product descriptions on a store with thousands of collections? Shopify Magic is Shopify’s very own AI-generated content tool designed to help beat writer’s block. Simply input keywords or features of the product you want to write a description for and let the tool bring the copy to life! High-quality, compelling descriptions at the touch of the button? It truly is magic.

A word of caution on this though: as with any AI software, it’s important to check over the finished content. The more niche your offering, the more carefully you’ll have to edit what Shopify Magic writes.

4 - Search & Product Recommendation Improvements

With any Shopify store, it’s all about getting the right products in front of your customers - and fast. Shopify’s Typeahead tool helps buyers find what they’re looking for with improved search suggestions and relevance - even with misspelt words or phrases.

5 - Introducing Metaobjects

Metafields have given merchants the ability to customise their stores like never before. Offering users the ability to extract store data to create bespoke store features, like different product specification information for variants and collections, metafields are now an integral part of the Shopify experience.

Now, Metaobjects will allow merchants to combine metafields to create even more dynamic additions to your storefront. In the image below, a series of metafields have been placed together to create a dynamic product feature banner.

There’s a variety of metafields that can be grouped together, including but not limited to:

  • Specifications tables
  • Blog bios
  • Banner, text, CTA combinations
  • Product information for cross-sells e.g. “this product goes well with…”

6 - YouTube Shopping

If you’ve got a healthy YouTube following, then this is the update for you. Now with the ability to sync up your store with your YouTube channel, you can tag products and feed information right beneath your video - whether pinned in the chat or even tagged as you stream live. Perfect for customers who love to shop with you on-demand.

7 - Shopify Collabs

Collabs is Shopify’s very own creator platform, allowing you to find and recruit influencers to get your products out into the social sphere. An app available on the App Store, Collabs allows you to source relevant creators with your very own application page, send and track gifts through Shopify natively, and track commissions as your chosen influencers get to work. Whether you’re selling beauty products or beds, influencer marketing is here to stay and can have a huge impact on your brand awareness and community building. Well worth a look if you haven’t already. Not sure why user generated content is so important? Check out our blog on User Generated Content too!

8 - Everyone Can Extend Their Checkout

This is another BIG one. Finally you can modify your checkout. For the most part, all Shopify checkout pages have looked the same since the beginning of the platform. Barring a very limited (and burdensome) ability to tweak checkout code for Plus members, all merchants, no matter their tier, have had a checkout with the same set of features and functionality for years.

But there was method behind the madness. The checkout page is one of the most vital elements of any online store - it’s where your customers hand over their precious payment details, and give you their hard earned cash. The sensitivity of the page makes it ripe for attack from hackers and other cyber criminals. Shopify subsequently kept it locked down for a reason: to keep you and your customers safe.

But now, that’s changing. After launching for Plus merchants last year, now everyone can modify their checkout pages.

After taking the time to develop a solution that’s both functional and secure, Shopify’s new checkout extensibility means that at long last, the checkout page is no longer off limits.

Now you can create an extension which allows you to edit or modify the checkout page, much like any other page.

But even better, app developers can build an app that incorporates checkout extensions. These apps will enable you to add new elements to all checkout pages, whether it’s the info page, shipping page, summary page, or a Shop Pay page.

You can change the layout, and add elements that allow you to offer shipping insurance, upsells or free samples. You can also easily localise the page for different markets.

9 - More Flexible Shopify Forms

Capturing data is an integral part of the marketing process - the most effective advertising campaigns, promotions, and even products, are all those guided by powerful customer data.

The Shopify Forms app has been available for a while, but now Forms can do so much more. You can customise your forms to high intent shoppers, with targeted sign-up discounts and promotions. They can also sign in with Shop Pay, unlocking and applying their discount to their account the moment they sign in. These features will allow us to be more agile in targeting customers and driving conversions, just with a few clicks.

10 - New Automations In Shopify Email

Shopify’s built-in email app is getting more advanced. In addition to the basic segmentation features that have existed in the app for a long time, you’ll now be able to proactively re-engage customers who lose interest at the final hurdle.

New automations will allow you to increase your conversion rate by automatically sending an email to customers who abandon their cart or even those who browse products without buying. The email can remind customers of what they left behind, and encourage them to return to complete their purchase.

Read our blog to learn how to craft more effective abandoned cart emails, and if you’re looking for more advanced automations, be sure to check out our piece on the features of third-party email platform Klaviyo.

11 - More Granular Permissions For Staff

Many businesses have entire teams of people working on their Shopify store. Whether they’re working on your homepage content, product descriptions, or managing inventory, there’s a wide variety of different use cases, with varying levels of access required. As well as varying levels of access, there’s also varying levels of knowledge and expertise, and not everyone is qualified to tool around the inner workings of your e-commerce presence.

While different permissions have existed for a while, now you’ll have even more granular permissions for your team. 10 new permissions for staff are now available, allowing or denying staff to action things like refunds, viewing of financial details, ad reports and theme management. Notably, there’s now view-only permissions - giving staff the ability to view information but not alter it, empowering your team with the information you need, while you can feel confident in the knowledge that they won’t be able to change any vital settings as they go about their work.

Shopify Plus Exclusive Updates

1 - Shopify B2B: Quantity Rules

If you sell B2B, then you’ll want to set certain rules about how much customers can or can’t spend with you. Now with Shopify’s new quantity rules, you can add minimums, maximums, case-packs and set people’s carts to increase in increments per product.

Set specific rules for different customers or businesses, and customise your catalogue based on their individual needs.

2 - Drag-and-Drop Checkout Editor

Speaking of checkouts, Shopify has introduced a drag-and-drop checkout editor exclusive to Shopify Plus, allowing you to easily customise the look of your checkout. Brand your checkout page up with your colours, logos and images, and even install checkout apps to extend the experience with loyalty programmes, offers and more.

3 - Increased API Rate Limits

If you use multiple external business apps, like ERP platforms such as Brightpearl that closely integrate with Shopify, you’ll frequently be pulling on the strings of Shopify’s multiple APIs. These cover integrations with a variety of fundamental Shopify features and technologies, including the Admin API, the Storefront API and the Payments app API. Shopify limits API calls to ensure the stability of the platform for merchants worldwide.

The amount of requests that can be called upon dictates the performance of the apps you use. If you have a sudden rush of requests, apps could incur errors.

So with 10x more requests (depending on the API) available to Plus merchants, you’ll be able to reliably process more site visitors and orders than ever before.

The Ones To Watch

1 - Shop Promise

The Shop Promise badge works alongside with the Shop channel, adding a badge to your store to display anticipated delivery dates and a limited guarantee for your customers if they’re missed.

Not yet available for all stores.

2 - Product Bundles

You can now sign up for early access to the new Shopify Bundles app, allowing you to configure bundles of products to upsell and cross-sell items on your store.

POS Go: Mobile Point Of Sale Device

Heading to a lot of pop-up shows over the coming year? With Shopify POS Go, you can control and run all of your contactless sales from a mobile - without the need for additional tablets or card readers. This new launch is currently only available in the US but we’re excited to see it roll out across Europe.

The Future’s Bright

Shopify has kicked off 2023 with plenty of new features, apps and integrations that make us excited for the year ahead. With new ways to checkout, automate, and manage your store, the future is bright for Shopify. We can’t wait to see these features in action, and to see what’s next.

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Get in touch with our team to discuss your Shopify requirements today.