Every six months, Shopify launches a new Shopify Editions showcase to highlight its platform's latest launches, updates, and enhancements. Shopify Editions for Winter 2024’s theme is “Foundations,” which represents their goal to build a “stable, resilient, and powerful” platform. It also needs to adapt and evolve based on the ever-growing and changing needs of the merchants who rely on their suite of tools to run their ecommerce businesses.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the stand-out features our team at Blue Badger are the most excited about from this winter’s biannual showcase.
Our Favourite Feature Announcements and Updates from Shopify Editions Winter ‘24
As an ecommerce agency that’s been in the game for a while now, we’ve seen our fair share of Shopify updates and improvements over the years. Yet, we’re always left impressed and excited for what’s to come after the latest Shopify Editions event. Here’s what we’re the most excited about testing out and building for this time around:
Product Variant Limit Increase to 2000
Available globally on all plans, Shopify has released new GraphQL product APIs in developer preview to support 2000 variants per product, allowing users to build support for more complex catalogs.
This is a colossal upgrade from the current maximum of 100 variants. Previously, merchants would need to use and maintain a third-party app from the Shopify App Store or rely on a Shopify development agency or in-house developer to customize their store’s theme code to extract line item properties to get around this limit.
Finally, we get to say goodbye to annoying workarounds and extra steps with this new native functionality!
Shopify Magic AI Updates
Launched in Shopify Editions Winter ‘23, Shopify Magic AI has been helping merchants generate product descriptions, email marketing subject lines, headings, and more in a few clicks for an entire year now.
This Winter, we’re seeing even more additions to the Magic AI suite of AI-enabled features with Semantic Search, a storefront search feature that doesn’t just match keywords but also returns results based on shopper intent. This feature is free on Shopify Plus, and merchants can enable it using the Shopify Search & Discovery app.
Shopify Magic AI has also been expanded to help store owners edit product images with AI, enabling merchants to generate, match, or remove the background of their images through clicks or keywords.
Finally, Magic AI can now be used to write more page content, giving business owners the opportunity to harness it to write FAQ or About Us pages on their stores.
Shopify Combined Listings
Exclusive to Shopify Plus, the new Combined Listings App cleans up your product listings while also helping you improve your store’s SEO. Each product variation (multiple colors or styles) can be added to one parent listing, while you can give each variation its own unique description, URL, and media description.
Previously, in order to have a PDP for multiple products, merchants had to use workarounds like tags or meta fields to query the admin API on the PDP and then write code to support switching from one color to another. Now, they can control grouping many PDPs into one, essentially creating a grandparent/parent/child model quickly and easily.
Standardized Product Taxonomy
Rich attributes for each product category makes it easier for merchants to keep their products organized and classified, as well as automatically generate variants. New Product Attributes are pre-packaged meta fields that map to each product category to ensure that all your products get showcased with the right information every time, making them more discoverable on your store and throughout the web. Now, meta fields in the standard taxonomy are automatically available for products on the frontend without anyone having to add them in the backend manually.
If you’re looking to add a new product to your store, Shopify can now automatically choose a category for it and add a list of relevant category meta fields for you to review. Shopify can also then autofill these meta fields based on the media you upload for each product. For example, it can now guess that the shirt you’re adding to your store is a certain color or style. All of these fields can then be edited and reused by the user across all other products in the shop.
We know our clients will love how much faster this will make the process of adding new products and variants to their stores.
Shopify B2B Improvements
Shopify B2B has been around for a while now, but it hasn’t been without its pitfalls. That said, we’re seeing a lot of exciting improvements to the feature. Our favorite of the bunch being B2B support for sales reps.
Available on Shopify Plus, sales reps can now be assigned to customers using brand-new staff permissions. This will allow them to place orders and view customer information for their assigned company locations – and nowhere else.
Specific access levels for sales managers and sales reps can be set up and defined using roles within staff permissions, giving admins more control over their workflows without having to hand over full access to their Shopify admins.
As a Shopify Plus agency, we know firsthand how exciting this feature will be for some of our clients who have been waiting for support like this to launch to take the plunge into the world of Shopify.
Along with B2B support comes the ability to set up custom discounts for wholesale customers using third-party or custom apps powered by Shopify Functions and the ability to go headless with B2B and use Shopify’s API and developer tools to improve your overall wholesale and user experience.
Shopify has also launched a new theme, Trade, which is optimized for B2B/wholesale businesses. With Trade, customers can use new quick-order features immediately, making store setup even faster for B2B merchants while still being fully customizable. Or, if you prefer, spin up your custom stack or Hydrogen & Oxygen and leverage all of Shopify’s B2B features through the storefront API.
Now available in developer preview, Shopify’s new Store Credit feature and API aims to help merchants issue, track, and report on store credit. Merchants on Shopify can now use this feature to build trust with customers by issuing store credit for out-of-stock items, for example. Customers can then easily apply this credit at checkout in one click.
Shopify Audiences & Campaigns
Available to those using Shopify Payments and on Shopify Plus, with Shopify Audiences v2.2, merchants will be able to double the size of their retargeting audiences and cut customer acquisition costs by up to 50% with improved/smarter custom Retargeting Boost lists, according to Shopify.
Shopify Audiences can help boost your ad performance across Google, Meta, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, and Criteo. Businesses can increase conversion rates by now being able to compare ad performance to similar stores or industry groupings and pinpoint where to make improvements with the latest Benchmarks for Meta.
This update will allow you to set maximum customer acquisition costs and build customer lists easily.
Increase sales by viewing historical ad trends and separating your campaign performance from seasonal trends to drill down into your marketing campaigns and confidently make updates and changes that sell.
New Shopify POS Features
Merchants will now have even more reasons to love the Shopify POS with the launch of new features like the ability to capture customer emails at checkout and one-tap digital receipts.
These will streamline the checkout process, make it easier for merchants to save important customer information to user profiles, and later create exciting, high-quality marketing and online store experiences for them long after they walk out the door with their purchases.
These updates join an already amazing suite of powerful Shopify POS features built to improve customer experience and make omnichannel selling a breeze for Shopify merchants.
While we’re the most excited about the above improvements, here are some more features and updates that we’re looking forward to playing around with and learning more about:
- Checkout Extensibility: Shopify now has 90+ apps and 14 new checkout APIs to improve the checkout experience for your customers. We’re excited to see how merchants plan to customize and expand their checkout flows with these new tools.
- Fulfillable Inventory: We’re behind anything that our clients can take advantage of to build trust and make shopping online easier for their customers. This feature makes it so shoppers can only see locally fulfillable inventory on the store through checkout, making it so much easier to shop with international stores.
- Theme Block Improvements: Available in developer preview, Shopify developers can now create and use reusable theme blocks across merchant stores to reduce editing, design, and development time. These blocks can also be nested up to eight layers deep, which, as developers, we at Blue Badger are so excited to get our hands on and start building much more customized and exciting storefronts for our clients.
- Web Performance Dashboard for Liquid Storefronts: Get trusted insight into your user experience by now being able to monitor website performance across three core web vitals:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which affects loading speed.
- First Input Delay (FID), which affects interactivity.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which affects visual stability.
- Exchanges: Shopify users can now include tracking and managing their exchanges from the admin along with their returns.
Want to see what else is coming to Shopify with this edition? Check out the full Winter 2024 showcase here.
As a certified Shopify Plus Partner, we at Blue Badger are ecstatic about these new features and improvements to the Shopify admin and ecosystem. We strongly believe that Shopify is at the forefront of ecommerce and omnichannel sales, and this Shopify Editions presentation for Winter 2024 further cements that.
Blue Badger isn’t just a Shopify agency; we also offer a variety of other services, such as web development, custom theme creation, strategy, conversion rate optimization, performance marketing, and more. Whatever your business needs, our team of skilled developers, strategists, and marketers would love to help you build an ecommerce ecosystem that you can rely on. Get in touch with us today to learn more.