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Since launching Shopify, our focus has always been on the individual shop and the care that goes into presenting one’s products in exactly the right way. That focus will always be there in Shopify because we believe that there is enormous value in a uniquely designed customer experience. Up until now, though, each shop has lived a rather solitary life separate from all the others that our users have created.
Enter jaded Pixel’s second product: Shopify Marketplace.
Visitors to Shopify Marketplace can search and find products from all participating Shopify stores using a streamlined interface and backed by a powerful search engine. You can search the Marketplace using a lot of the nice features you might already use with search engines like Google, such as
"searching for exact phrases using quotes" and
excluding -certain terms -"using dashes". Once you add your shop to the Marketplace, each of your products will be listed there and continually tracked with full-text indexing of all of its attributes. Getting your products indexed by Marketplace is free for any Shopify user.
The benefit to shop owners is obvious since we are providing a way for every visitor to shopify.com to actively search for and buy the products being sold. Shopify.com gets a lot of traffic every day and that traffic is now directly helping customers and Shopify stores find each other. Shop owners are also able to promote their shop by getting it exclusively featured on the front page of the Marketplace for a particular day. A featured shop’s products are also highlighted within visitors’ search results for the next month.
While Shopify Marketplace and Shopify each work to support the other, the Marketplace is really a new entity independent from Shopify itself. Specifically, The Marketplace interacts with our users’ shops completely through Shopify’s API which we will be releasing to for public use shortly. That’s right, developers: the API will give you all the tools you need to build applications with just as much Shopify integration as you see demonstrated in the Marketplace.
Shopify Marketplace is a lightweight product right now, and we are committed to keeping its interface as clean as possible. With that in mind, we also have big ideas for expanding the Marketplace into a really powerful platform for shop promotion, customer interaction, and community-building in general. So stay tuned.
Update: Our friends from CouldBe Studios put together a OSX Dashboard Widget
In the interest of improving the way we communicate with our users, we’ve started a little something called the Shopify Advisory Council. The Council is made up of a handful of Shopify users who are particularly passionate and active in the forums, and we will be bouncing ideas off of them concerning both how we communicate changes to our users and specific strategies for improving Shopify in general. This means that the Shopify team will be able to get user feedback on things before they are quite ready to be announced publicly, and we’ll then be able to balance our priorities and adjust our efforts accordingly.
Right now we have seven people on the Council and each of them can be identified in the forums by the title of “Shopify Advisor”1 under their name. They aren’t getting paid for their help, they will have to construct their own lightsabers, and we are counting on them to be as uncompromisingly honest as ever, so we give them our deep thanks.
Since Shopify was launched, more and more people have been telling us that they love what they see, but the unfortunately the price is a deal breaker because the transaction fee is too high. We are excited to announce that Shopify now has a number of pricing options available, all with lower transaction fees than the original 3% plan that everyone had to use up until now. We also have a free trial plan that lets people get a feel for Shopify and do some designing without entering any credit card information and without any pressure to upgrade right away.
Active shops can stay on with the plan their owners signed up for, or upgrade to one of the new plans through the administration interface. Inactive shops are moved to our free trial account automatically. More details about the rollover to the new plans can be found on our shiny new informational site.
...That’s right, we’ve got a new site to show off! We’re really proud of the new design and there’s a whole whack of new content there for visitors to peruse. One thing that I love about the new site is the page showcasing great examples of Shopify storefronts. For a while I’ve found that when people ask me about Shopify I often just point them directly to our shop of the moment feed, because I think the best way of showing off this product is with the great array of beautiful and well-designed shops that are built with it. Now that feed is mirrored directly on the examples page and I think it fits in beautifully.
One thing that might seem strange at first is the domain name we’ve got for the new site: shopify.info. Because shopify.com gets so many visitors every day, we decided that instead of continuing to use it as a brochure site we should use it to drive traffic directly to our users’ shops. The Shopify Marketplace will let customers globally search through products from all participating Shopify stores and will act as a platform for shop promotion in other ways as well. We are extremely excited about the potential for this new aspect of Shopify, and you’ll hear more about it really soon.
Brandon Buttars from shopify.sitefromscratch.com sent along this really well done video introduction to Shopify:
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