What’s New at Shopify: Year in Review 2018

What’s New at Shopify: Year in Review 2018

whats-new-2018

In the past year, we've accomplished a great deal together.

From major releases to new updates, we’ve seen our platform evolve in myriad ways. As Shopify Partners, you've worked with merchants from all industries and perspectives, helping them succeed, and helping us build a brighter future of commerce.

In this end of year edition, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest moments on the Shopify platform. We’ve included our top releases, features, and updates, as well as our most exciting partner events.

Read on for a year in review of What’s New at Shopify. 🎉

1. Major releases for partners

The major releases listed below are those that have the biggest impact on our ecosystem, helping you find new opportunities and grow your expertise as a Shopify Partner.

The new Shopify App Storewhats-new-2018-shopify-app-store

In September, we launched the new Shopify App Store, a marketplace that makes it easier for merchants to discover, evaluate, and use apps (built by partners like you!) that help them run and grow their business.

The new app store was designed with the merchant experience in mind, and is organized to help app developers showcase their apps based on a merchant’s decision making criteria. With the introduction of improved categorization and the redesign of app listing pages, merchants at every stage can more easily find the best apps for their business.

We’ve also built the app store to support continuous refinement, as we find more ways to connect the right merchants to the right apps. Stay tuned in 2019 for more improvements to the Shopify App Store experience.

Learn how your app can be successful on the new Shopify App Store.

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Locationswhats-new-2018-locations

At this year’s Unite, we introduced Locations—a new feature that gives Shopify merchants visibility and control over how inventory moves between different locations.

Locations helps merchants track inventory and fulfill orders across all places inventory is stocked; from retail stores to warehouses, to dropshippers, and beyond. This helps merchants manage inventory across all locations where they store, ship, and sell.

As a Shopify Partner, Locations offers a new opportunity for fulfillment apps, custom fulfillment services, dropshipping apps, print-on-demand apps, and third-party logistic apps to facilitate inventory management. For agency partners, this also means that Shopify provides a better out-of-the-box solution for merchants who sell from multiple locations. Working with merchants with both physical and digital storefronts is now faster and easier.

Learn more about Locations in our Help Center.

Shopify Partner Academywhats-new-2018-partner-academy

In April, we launched Shopify Partner Academy, a collection of courses, study guides, and exams to help you and your team develop critical commerce skills, test your knowledge, and demonstrate your expertise as a Shopify Partner.

The perk of this program is that it’s flexible; you learn what you want, when you want. Access courses in any order, and complete them within a timeframe you define.

Your enhanced quality of work will also better prepare you to tackle new business ventures, build trust with prospective clients, and ultimately help merchants find success.

Learn more about Shopify Partner Academy.

Shopify goes multilingualMutliLanguage_V2

In the spirit of making commerce better for everyone, Shopify became multilingual in 2018. The first beta launched in early May, giving merchants the option of managing the core features of their store in six additional languages: French, German, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish.

If you’re a Shopify Partner who creates development stores, you have the option to toggle between languages of the store in the language settings of your account.

whats-new-2018-translating-theme

In addition to creating opportunities to experiment with localizing applications, new languages allows partners to onboard clients from more parts of the world.

Learn more about translating your theme.

You might also like: What’s New: November 16th, 2018.

Shopify AR/VR

whats-new-2018-ar-vr

This year at Unite, we announced that we’re moving closer to unlocking the ability for businesses of all sizes to deliver immersive AR, VR, and 3D web commerce experiences at scale.

We’ve expanded our partner ecosystem and released new tools to make this innovative form of shopping a reality for everyone. A limited beta is currently available for Shopify merchants to store 3D models in Shopify, as well as access 3D modelling, AR app building services, and more through our partner ecosystem.

By offering a new API for managing 3D content, and unlocking 3D modeling and storage tools, we’re setting our merchants up to work with specialized partners to bring immersive 3D-enabled commerce to their customers at scale for the first time.

Learn more about how we’re working with AR/VR.

2. New features

As ecommerce continues to grow around the world, so does its complexity. Read on to learn about the new features we launched in 2018.

Selling in multiple currencieswhats-new-2018-multiple-currencies

In December, we rolled out the ability to sell in multiple currencies to Shopify Plus merchants on Shopify Payments. This new feature automatically detects a customer’s country, and offers prices in that customer’s local currency; an experience that carries on through checkout. Pricing automatically adjusts based on foreign-exchange rates and displays buyer-friendly prices with simple rounding rules.

Learn more about what selling in multiple currencies means for app developers.

Google Shopping channelwhats-new-2018-google-shopping-channel

In July we released the Google Shopping channel. This enables merchants to set up Google Shopping campaigns directly in the Shopify Admin, as long as they have a Google Adwords account. This new feature allows merchants to create ads quickly and efficiently, and helps promote their products and increase traffic to their online store.

To learn how to set this up for the merchants you work with, check out our help documentation.

Google Pay for merchantswhats-new-2018-google-pay

Starting back in March, merchants using Shopify Payments have been able to connect to Google Pay, which allows their customers to instantly access payment and shipping information already stored in their Google Account.

Thanks to this accelerated checkout experience, merchants can reduce abandoned carts and increase conversions, resulting in more sales.

Learn how to set this up for your clients in our Help Center, and help them increase sales by lowering abandoned carts.

Transporterwhats-new-2018-transporter-app-for-migrations

At Unite, we announced Transporter, a data migration tool for Shopify Plus merchants. It allows merchants to upload large files to import products, customers, orders, and metafields to Shopify. Transporter is the fastest way to load data into Shopify, making re-platforming easier.

With Transporter, you’ll also have access to a command-line tool, allowing you to help your clients extract and transform data from other ecommerce platforms.

Read our Help Center documentation for more information.

3. Updates

This year, we did a lot of work to refine our products in order to improve your experience as a Shopify Partner. Read on to learn about our latest mobile improvements, our enhanced Partner Dashboard, and important updates surrounding General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Shopify Mobile 8.0

This November, we released our latest version of the Shopify mobile app, with new features and capabilities that allow you to pitch Shopify to even the busiest, on-the-go merchants.

Using Shopify Mobile in seven languages

Shopify Mobile can now be used in each of our supported languages: English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, and Italian. The default language is pulled from your client’s device settings. This means clients will automatically see the app in their preferred language.

Shipping on draft orders

When draft orders were introduced to Shopify Mobile, it was not possible to add shipping rates. With this release, we've introduced the ability to add existing or custom shipping rates—giving merchants full order creation capabilities on mobile.

Marketing section

Shopify Mobile now includes a new tab that is home to Shopify's marketing section. This section can be used to create and monitor marketing campaigns with Facebook and Google.

Enhanced Shopify Partner Dashboard

We’ve enhanced the Shopify Partner Dashboard to give you better insights into your business. Read on to see what this looks like, specifically for Shopify Affiliates and Developers.

Affiliate toolswhats-new-2018-affiliate-tools

In January, we announced powerful affiliate tools that approved Shopify Affiliates can start using right away.

Affiliates are now able to create robust campaign links with tracking parameters, like campaign and sub ID, and can monitor their performance (including conversions)—all within the affiliate tools section of their Partner Dashboard.

Learn more about these affiliate tools.

Enhanced app metricswhats-new-2018-enhanced-app-metrics

Also in January, we made several improvements to the app analytics section of the Partner Dashboard, that help you better understand your app’s performance in the Shopify App Store.

One of the most exciting changes is that instead of only getting a snapshot of current installs, total installs, and total uninstalls, you’re now able to see how these numbers change over time.

Learn more about our enhanced app metrics.

GDPR updates

whats-new-2018-gdpr-updates
Check out our App privacy policy template, available in the docs.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May, imposing new obligations on any party that collects, stores, or processes personal data of anyone located in Europe.

If you serve merchants based in Europe or any merchant that could potentially have a customer based in Europe, this regulation affects you. Given that Shopify serves merchants who sell to customers worldwide, you should default to assuming GDPR applies to you.

For additional information on GDPR, consult our whitepaper on the subject. If you’re an app developer, check out our blog post on what you need to know as well as the the developer-specific docs we’ve published.

4. App development

In 2018, we expanded to help make Shopify app development more efficient and powerful by introducing the GraphQL Admin API and Shopify Flow. Learn how you can start using these tools to better serve your clients.

GraphQL Admin APIwhats-new-2018-graphQL-admin-api

In May, we announced Shopify’s GraphQL Admin API. This update meant that the functionality of our REST Admin API could now be consumed in GraphQL—a modern, powerful, and easy-to-use API language. Using GraphQL is an exciting way of interacting with APIs, and opens a whole world of new possibilities for app developers.

To learn more about the GraphQL Admin API, visit the docs.

Connectors for Shopify Flowwhats-new-2018-shopify-flow

Using the app extension platform, you can now extend the functionality of your app into Shopify Flow—a platform for Shopify Plus merchants that is used to simplify tasks and create efficiencies through automations.

You can create connectors that consist of triggers and actions that start or end automated workflows.This can be done quickly and directly within the Partner Dashboard

To learn more about building Flow connectors, visit our guide on the topic.

5. Shopify POS

Simplifying the Shopify POS experience means better business for your clients. Here’s everything that happened in the world of Shopify retail in 2018.

Discount codes for Shopify POSwhats-new-2018-discount-codes

This year, we announced that Shopify merchants can create smarter discount codes that can be applied online and in-person through the Shopify POS system.

This means that merchants can apply the same discount codes they’ve made available online at checkout in-store, offering their buyers a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels.

Learn more about discount codes for Shopify POS and multichannel promotions.

Improved POS functionalitywhats-new-2018-pos-functionality

Selling in-person comes with many challenges, as merchants juggle different responsibilities while trying to deliver excellent customer service. This summer, we introduced returns, exchanges, and tipping for Shopify POS, to help merchants rise to the challenge.

All of this creates a branded, consistent experience for customers, and helps your clients build trust with their buyers.

Learn more about the new Shopify POS functionality.

6. Shopify events

Shopify Unite and Pursuit are our biggest events for Shopify Partners. They allow us to come together, share what we’ve learned, and build a strong partner community. Here’s a quick recap of what happened at our in-real-life events in 2018.

Shopify Unite 2018whats-new-2018-unite

Unite is Shopify’s annual partner and developer conference that aims to educate and inspire our ecosystem. We bring together Shopify Partners from around the world for three days of discussion on the complexities of entrepreneurship, the needs of our merchants, and the biggest trends impacting the commerce industry.

This year at Unite, we launched products like the new marketing section within the Shopify Admin, centralized conversations with Shopify Ping, new discount types, Fraud Protect, and much more.

Check out our YouTube channel to catch up on everything you missed at the conference, or read our product roundup, What’s New: Unite 2018 Edition.

Unite Fund 2018

In an effort to increase the diversity of voices in our community, we announced the second annual Shopify Unite Fund this year, which helps underrepresented members of the tech community attend Unite.

This year we awarded 10 Shopify Partners and Developers from around the world airfare, accommodations, and a ticket to Shopify Unite 2018. We worked closely with our recipients to ensure they got the most out of their Unite experience before, during, and after the conference. It was an honor to help them deepen their relationship with Shopify and to witness how being selected for the Unite Fund helped their businesses grow in 2018.

Interested in becoming a Unite Fund recipient in the future? Sign up for updates.

Not yet a Shopify Partner?

With revenue opportunities and lots of resources to learn from, becoming a Shopify Partner is your chance to work with clients to build commerce solutions and grow your expertise. Join a community of entrepreneurs and start building your business today.

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Shopify Pursuit 2018whats-new-2018-pursuit

Shopify Pursuit is our international conference series for partners, which took place across five different cities in 2018.

It was a great opportunity to build personal relationships with other Shopify Partners, learn valuable business lessons, and share best practices with the wider partner community.

Want to get a taste of what you missed? Check out our article on the best tips and tricks we picked up at Pursuit’s NYC stop.

Celebrating the wins 🎉

As we round up the year's achievements, it’s important to reflect on the milestones we’ve achieved as a partner community.

Heading into the holiday season, take this time to celebrate some of your biggest wins. The last 365 days have been filled with major changes and growth that have helped shape your business. We hope that these changes have left you with a sense of optimism and confidence as a Shopify Partner, as we begin to ramp up for all the excitement to be revealed in 2019.

Thanks for tuning in, we’ll see you in the new year. ✌

What new releases were you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

Alex Preston is a content marketing intern on the Shopify Partners Team. She’s passionate about small business, community development, and design. When she’s not brainstorming new content ideas, you can assume she’s planning her next big bike trip.

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