Do you want to know what the Shopify Plus 2021 roadmap will look like?
In February each year, Shopify shares its latest product updates and announcements. There are some things to look forward to this year.
What people like about Shopify
Shopify allows people with little or no coding, design, or ecommerce experience to create an online store. However, for those with some HTML or CSS skill, it is also possible to create your own customizations. You can also add functionality with apps.
With a wide range of ‘themes’ that can be customized to meet branding requirements, businesses can start selling physical or digital products online quickly. Payment processing, blogging and email marketing tools are all available ‘out of the box’.
Shopify runs on its own servers and is available for a monthly fee, so users don’t have to pay for hosting or install software.
Shopify Plus is the enterprise level product which adds to the core ecommerce functionality with enhanced customer support, application programming interface (API) support, advanced security features, multiple currency sales, and automation tools.
Looking ahead for Shopify Plus in 2021
International pricing – Shopify aims to make international selling easier using its building tools to give customers a clearer view in their own currencies throughout the purchase process, including taxes and shipping costs.
Businesses can operate in multiple currencies and languages from one Shopify store or add up to nine expansion stores. With many countries taking up online buying for the first time during the covid-19 outbreak, it provides a valuable tool to accept payments by preferred local methods.
Local pick-up – delivery and collection methods have become a priority for ecommerce businesses in 2021. Shopify can now support information about whether items are available for pick-up directly on the product page; customers can simply input their address to check pick-up availability.
Since launching local pickup functionality at the end of April 2020, Shopify has seen 35% of retailers provide a local pickup service. With many shops closed, social distancing and concerns about hygiene throughout the supply chain, it’s not surprising that this option has not only proved popular but is expected to remain a priority.
The new Shopify point of sale (POS) offer has been informed by lessons learnt during covid-19 to make local pick-up quick and efficient by simplifying staff permissions, speeding up local search, pack, and fulfilment options and customizing workflows to improve communication with customers.
Shopify admin and the Shopify mobile app can be used to support the local pick-up option so all types of businesses from full omnichannel operators to users who don’t have an online storefront or Shopify POS can still arrange local pick-ups.
Shopify POS also integrates with third party apps like Zapiet for advanced or specialized local pick-up needs, including time slots and controlling specific products.
Polaris – after releasing the design system Polaris in 2017, Shopify has been collecting feedback from users and has released version 6, with further enhancements to follow. It offers more flexibility and faster performance to improve user experiences and to speed up prototyping for app development by:
- streamlining administration management
- designing, building and using apps
- creating localized interfaces.
It provides guidelines and principles for designers building apps and channels for Shopify. It includes the building blocks needed to create apps, style guides, a library of components and patterns, and a user interface (UI) kit. There’s also best practice guidance for accessibility, internationalization, and advice about content from writing product descriptions, colour choice, and typography to illustrations, sounds, and interface elements, including React and CSS components
Payments – Shopify is focused on supporting more payment providers. They are improving ShopPay and PayPal support this year. For payment gateways, there are also plans to provide more support for Braintree and PayPal Pro.
Shopify Payments is available to handle transactions securely in real time in Europe, the UK, US, and Canada, and can also be accessed in:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
It has a dashboard so that users can keep track of transactions and histories at any time. Shopify’s currency conversion calculator doesn’t add additional fees so products can easily be sold internationally, and payments can be received in different currencies.
Shopify suggests there will be more announcements at the Shopify Unite event, which usually takes place in May, but the date has yet to be confirmed for 2021.