On January 31, Shopify dropped the latest version of Shopify Editions, showcasing everything they’ve rolled out in the last six months. The Winter ’24 Edition brings over 100 new updates designed to boost your business.
In this article, our CTO, Philip, takes you through the most impassive features in Shopify Editions Winter ’24. He talks about how these features help both merchants and developers and gives his personal take on their potential and significance.
Let’s dive right in!
- Storefront performance update
- Shopify combined listings app
- Semantic search
- New standardized product taxonomy
- New permissions for Shopify user accounts
- Fulfillable inventory
- Checkout Extensibility
- Reusable theme blocks
- Exchanges on Shopify
- Customer account extensibility
- New feature to give store credit to customers
- Shopify audiences
- Enhanced Finance Section
- Shopify Magic (AI-powered content)
Storefront performance update
Shopify has introduced a new web performance dashboard that provides merchants with real user data and insights to improve their website’s performance. This dashboard replaces the previous Speed Score and utilizes Google’s Core Web Vitals to assess key aspects of user experience, including loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. It empowers merchants to identify and address performance bottlenecks, leading to improved conversion rates and reduced bounce rates.
Shopify has also made significant gains in optimizing its web infrastructure, achieving a 95% reduction in initial checkout page load time and a 35% reduction in storefront page load time. With a global presence of 300 points, Shopify’s infrastructure ensures a consistently smooth and responsive user experience for customers worldwide.
Shopify combined listings app
Shopify now offers a new app called Combined Listings that allows merchants to create virtual variants, or faux variants, for products. This means that merchants can now create multiple variations of a product from a single parent listing, each variation with its own description, media gallery, and URL. This is a great way to merchandise products that come in multiple colors or styles.
Previously, Shopify had a limit of 100 variants per product, but this limit has now been increased to 2,000 variants per product with the Combined Listings app. Merchants can now create a much wider variety of product variations without having to worry about hitting the variant limit.
The Combined Listings app is exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants.
Shopify has also made significant improvements to its search and discovery capabilities. The new Semantic Search feature goes beyond keyword matching to better understand the intent behind a customer’s search. Customers can use more natural words and phrases, and get richer, more relevant results.
Let’s say a traveler is off to a tropical paradise and types in “clothing for humid climate.” Semantic Search doesn’t just focus on those exact words. It also considers related terms and synonyms. The magic happens as the results showcase clothing perfect for humid conditions, even if the traveler didn’t use the exact phrase.
Shopify has made several improvements to its checkout experience. The new one-page checkout is now even faster, and the infrastructure has been improved to accelerate checkout loading speeds by up to 95%.
Shopify has also made it easier to customize the checkout with the new Checkout Extensibility feature. This feature provides some new APIs and UI components that you can use to extend the checkout experience.
New standardized product taxonomy
A new standardized product taxonomy will make it easier for merchants to classify and organize their products. This new taxonomy will automatically generate categories and attributes for each product, which will help merchants make their products more discoverable through sales channels. Also, it will make it easier for merchants to create variants of their products.
Shopify has rolled out its Shopify Subscriptions app, making it easier for businesses to offer subscription products. This app simplifies set-up and management, allowing customers to personalize or discontinue subscription orders directly from their accounts.
Shopify has also increased the maximum number of products that you can offer in a bundle from 10 to 30. This means that you can create more complex bundles and offer your customers more options.
New permissions for Shopify user accounts
Shopify is introducing new staff permissions that give store owners more control over how their sales team can access and manage customer information. This includes the ability to restrict sales reps to only viewing and placing orders for their own customers. Additionally, Shopify is now allowing businesses to add B2B sales reps as users and providing a new Permissions API that developers can use to integrate staff permissions into their apps.
The new permissions features are only available to Shopify Plus merchants.
Sopify’s Fulfillable inventory lets you control how many products you can sell from each of your locations. You can choose to sell from all locations to all shipping zones, which means that customers can buy items from anywhere, even if it’s not in stock in their area. This is a good option for small businesses or businesses that want to make as many sales as possible.
The other option is to sell only within configured shipping zones. This means that customers can only buy items that are in stock in the location that ships to their area. This will work better for those businesses that have multiple locations or that want to prevent overselling.
Shopify has enhanced the Checkout Extensibility with new APIs and UI components, making it easier for merchants to customize their checkout experience. This includes the ability to extend the checkout to customer accounts, customize the Thank You and Order Status pages, and expand styling options for the checkout. Additionally, Shopify Functions can now be used to create public apps that inject custom validation logic into the cart and checkout.
Reusable theme blocks
Shopify is introducing a new feature called theme blocks that will make it easier for merchants to create custom layouts for their storefronts.
Theme blocks are reusable pieces of content that can be dragged and dropped into sections to create custom layouts. This will make it much easier for merchants to create unique and engaging storefronts without having to write any code. Theme blocks are also nested, meaning that blocks can be placed inside of other blocks to create complex layouts. This will give merchants even more flexibility to customize their storefronts.
Exchanges on Shopify
If a customer doesn’t like an item they ordered, you can let them exchange it for another item instead of giving them a refund. Just mark the items for exchange in the Shopify admin and send the customer a new item. There is no need to deal with refunds or sending back unwanted items.
It’s a simple way to keep customers happy and make more sales.
Customer account extensibility
Merchants can now customize their customer accounts with new UI extensions. These extensions can be used to add new features or functionality to existing customer account pages, or even create new pages altogether. This will give merchants more control over the shopping experience for their customers.
However, these extensions are only available for new Shopify customer accounts. Merchants with classic customer accounts will not be able to use them.
New feature to give store credit to customers
Shopify has made it easier for merchants to give store credit to their customers. This is a good way to reward loyal customers or give them discounts on future purchases. Merchants can now use the store credit primitive and API developer preview to give store credit to customers, see how much store credit they have, and even set an expiration date for store credit.
Shopify announces enhanced retargeting capabilities in Shopify Audiences, enabling merchants to reach twice as many potential buyers with smarter algorithms. Additionally, creators can now be easily discovered and managed through Shopify Collabs, with streamlined payment processing and consolidated profiles. Furthermore, TikTok Shop is now available to all businesses, fostering organic product discovery and seamless order management.
Enhanced Finance Section
Shopify Lending is a new way for businesses to get the money they need to grow. It offers three options: a line of credit, term loans, and a free account with benefits like earning interest on your idle cash.
The line of credit lets businesses borrow money when they need it, and they can repay as they go, without any extra fees. The term loans are customizable, so businesses can adjust them to fit their specific needs and repayment plans.
So far, Shopify Capital has lent $5 billion to Shopify merchants.
Shopify Magic (AI-powered content)
Shopify Magic is a free AI-powered tool designed to empower Shopify merchants with efficiency, SEO optimization, and enhanced sales. With its intuitive features, Shopify Magic streamlines tasks such as background removal from product images, generating SEO-optimized product descriptions, crafting personalized FAQs, automating email marketing, and providing exceptional customer support.
Shopify Editions Winter ’24 is dropping a whole bunch of awesome new features that are going to shake up the eCommerce world for merchants and developers. We’re still exploring these innovations, but we’re here to help you make the most of them. Feel free to reach out to us for further discussions.