Highlights From Shopify Unite 2019

Graphic of Shopify Unite design on a blue and beige background.

Today, we kicked off Shopify Unite 2019, our annual conference where Shopify partners and developers convene in Toronto from all over the world to forge new connections and discuss the future of commerce.

At the heart of these conversations is what we plan to build for you, our merchants. Whether you’re a maker or curator selling online or in-person, we’re excited to announce a number of new products we believe will enable businesses of all sizes to realize their goals in entirely new ways. We can’t wait to show you what’s in store.

A reimagined design experience for your online store

Animated GIF of various storefront pages being edited and updated.

Many entrepreneurs start their business with a distinct vision for the look and feel of their online store. Seeing that vision through, down to the last detail, has sometimes required the upfront investment of learning to work with code or the need to hire expert help. And while those options offer their own advantages, we want to make it easier for everyone to fully realize the design they had in mind right from day one.

Available later this year, the new online store design experience will significantly expand our existing customization options within our website builder. You’ll have more control over the layout and aesthetic of your store, and it’s simpler than ever to save and preview design changes before going live. Here’s a quick look at what's in the works:

  • Easier customization at the page and store level. Any page can now be customized by using sections, just like how you currently do on the homepage. You can also save time by setting content that you want to appear on multiple pages with master pages.
  • Portable content that moves with you. Your shop’s content will now follow you when you want to make changes to your store, whether it’s downloading a new version of your theme, or trying out a new one. No more need to duplicate your theme or move content over manually.
  • A new workspace to update your store. Make minor tweaks or ship major changes with confidence in a new space to draft changes, which lets you edit and preview updates before publishing. Once you’re ready, you’ll know that your shop will go live exactly as it appears.

Bring your products to life with video and 3D models

Animated GIF of Nomads product pages displaying videos and 3D versions of various bags and products.

The convenience of shopping online has always come with the built-in tradeoff of not being able to touch, feel, or physically examine the products you're considering. Previously, bringing the online experience closer to parity with buying in-person was left solely to your product photography. No more!

Soon, Shopify’s product section will natively support video and 3D model assets, adding a new dimension to your products and providing a richer purchase experience for your customers. Available to all merchants later this year, here’s a short overview of how you’ll be able to make your products more immersive with video and 3D models:

  • Manage media through a single location. Upload, access, and store video and 3D models from the same place where you currently manage your images.
  • Deploy through the new Shopify video player. Using one of our 10 starter themes, you can easily display video or 3D models using the new Shopify player for video or the viewer for Shopify AR. If your theme is custom-built, you’ll have the option to manually add this functionality.
  • New editor apps. We’re inviting partners and developers to create additional apps and custom integrations to open up new ways to create and modify images, videos, and AR experiences.

Cutting edge merchandising with custom storefront tools

Headless commerce, enabled through Shopify’s Storefront API, allows you to decouple the front-end customer experience from the underlying infrastructure that powers your business. Put another way, our custom storefront tools can free your storefront from certain back-end dependencies, giving you the flexibility to sell anywhere and in any way you need to.

This is especially exciting for more complex or niche businesses that use the web, mobile, gaming, and other interactive mediums as storefronts to reach their customers. Shopify merchants have already been able to use our Storefront API in diverse and exciting ways. Inkbox has built a tattoo-creation tool that allows customers to create, edit, and upload tattoo designs and share them on social media, offering an even more engaging way to shop and customize temporary tattoos.


It’s inspiring to see the inventive ways merchants have used custom storefront tools to enhance the customer experience. Grass Roots Co-Op, for example, have built a Progressive Web App for their farm-to-table meals, and NTWRK hosts a live stream shopping show to offer a wholly unique way to experience live shopping. Here are just a few more opportunities you can unlock with custom storefront tools:

  • Connect microservices to create personalized experiences. Think dynamic content for your blog, storefront, and product pages or accurate shipment alerts through third-party shipping services.
  • Turn the world into your storefront. Engage with your customers through vending machines, live streams, smart mirrors, voice shopping, and beyond.
  • Speedy and scalable to have development teams work in parallel. The flexible architecture enables your development teams to work alongside each other to create the experiences and storefronts of your vision.

Create custom experiences

Build lasting customer loyalty with retail shoppers

Personal, engaging shopping experiences will define retail’s bright future. Fortunately, creating these meaningful connections with customers is about to get easier.

With our new Shopify Point of Sale cart app extensions, you or your staff can apply and edit loyalty and promotional details directly from the customer cart. With a growing variety of loyalty and retention apps to add to your POS checkout flow and online store, you’ll be able to reward and engage with your most loyal customers without needing to click away or interrupt checkout.


Here are a few more exciting ways our POS cart app extensions can help you stay fast and personal:

  • Apply discounts lightning-quick. We’ve reduced the number of clicks needed to apply a discount from four to just one, saving you 10 seconds for each sale on average.
  • Important information at your fingertips. Key customer details, from birthdays to reward milestones, are surfaced automatically and in-context so you or your staff won’t have to navigate to the apps to get alerts.
  • Create small moments of delight. Our app partners give you the flexibility to pick the program that works best for the customer experience you want to create—letting you reward a long-time customer or create an impromptu “wow” moment for a new shopper, online or in-store.

Browse the new apps

Grow globally with seamless cross-border selling

Translated views of the Shopify admin.

At last year’s Unite, we committed to helping more merchants run their business in their preferred language with our first ever multilingual beta, which made Shopify available in French, German, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish. Since then, 100,000 people have opted to manage their Shopify business in a language other than English.

Today, we’re doubling down on that pledge by making Shopify available in 11 additional languages: Dutch, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Malay, Hindi, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Korean, and Thai. Collectively, over two billion people around the world speak these languages.

And we’re not stopping there. As cross-border selling becomes more commonplace, we’re also invested in making it easier for your customers to buy from you in their local currency. That’s why we’re excited to announce that selling in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments is beginning to roll out today, and will be globally available to all Shopify merchants later this year.

Display of multiple currencies as selection options.

Displayed prices use simple rounding rules and automatically adjust based on current foreign-exchange rates. From your product listing all the way through to checkout, you’ll soon be able to offer shoppers the ability to convert between nine major currencies—GBP, AUD, CAD, EUR, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, and USD to start—so they can use their preferred way to pay.

Announcing the Shopify Fulfillment Network

Shopify Fulfillment Network

A significant part of a customer’s overall experience with your store is determined by what happens at checkout and beyond. When it comes to customers receiving their products, expectations are high and the bar keeps rising—in many parts of the world, products ship fast and prices for expedited delivery are becoming increasingly competitive.

That’s why we’re making it easier for merchants to fulfill orders (and promises) with the Shopify Fulfillment Network, a dispersed network of fulfillment centers that uses machine learning to automatically select the optimal inventory quantities per location as well as the closest fulfillment option for each of your shipments. Once available, you’ll simply install the app, select your products, get a quote, and begin sending us products.

Animated GIF of the Shopify Fulfilment Network demo.

With the Shopify Fulfillment Network, you’ll be able to take the complexities of fulfillment logistics off your plate without needing to cede control of your customer experience. You’ll be able to provide fast, low-cost delivery while maintaining ownership of customer data and your branded shipping experience.

Here are more ways Shopify Fulfillment Network can help you improve your purchase experience from sale to delivery:

  • A single back office. Your order, inventory, and customer data will stay synced and up-to-date across all warehouse locations and channels.
  • Recommended warehouse locations. Based on where your sales currently come from, we’ll find the best locations to place your products to save costs on shipping.
  • Low stock alerts. When inventory runs low, you’ll know when to replenish to continue meeting demands.
  • 99.5% order accuracy. Rest easy knowing the correct package will be chosen and out the door on time.
  • Hands-on warehouse help. A dedicated account manager can assist you in finding the best path to reach your customers so you can keep costs low.

Shopify Fulfillment Network is currently available in the United States, and interested merchants can learn more and apply for early access.