Last year at Unite, we shared that one of the biggest struggles merchants face is navigating how to create and manage marketing campaigns. Since marketing apps frequently solve this problem for merchants, we invested in helping Shopify Partners showcase how their apps can improve merchant marketing efforts through use of the Marketing Events API.
This year, we’re continuing with that investment.
In doing further analysis of our merchants and their marketing needs, we’ve identified that busy, on-the-go entrepreneurs benefit from more streamlined workflows, explicit prompts for how and when to run marketing campaigns, automations, and ways to manage marketing from their mobile devices.
To help Shopify's marketing app developers better serve the needs of these on-the-go merchants, we’re excited to announce three new marketing tools that will help you entice and engage app users new and old: Marketing Activities app extensions, our new mobile platform Shopify Ping, and easier ways to integrate with Kit.
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At this year’s Unite, we introduced a marketing section in the Shopify Admin that acts as a workspace where merchants can plan, execute, and track all of their marketing activities.
With the recently released ability to build app extensions within the new and improved app section of the Shopify Partner Dashboard, app developers can now build Marketing Activities app extensions, bringing your app to the foreground of a merchant’s campaign planning.
Not only does this provide greater visibility for your app, but the way merchants experience your app is more cohesive with the rest of Shopify and frictionless to their workflow.
You can also surface campaign results in this space, ensuring that merchants see the value your app brings to their business, helping them learn and improve.
Launching this summer, the Marketing Activities app extension only needs to be built once to be surfaced in both the Shopify Admin on desktop and in our mobile app.
We know that a significant number of merchants use mobile devices to help run their businesses, and that many of them are on the go, time strapped, and need to be able to execute tasks faster and more efficiently.
To make managing their stores from mobile devices quicker and easier, this summer we’ll be launching Shopify Ping: a free mobile workspace that brings customer conversations, marketing workflows, and more together in a single mobile app.
A key feature of Shopify Ping is that it helps merchants centralize their conversations with shoppers—no matter where those conversations are initiated—so they can respond and prioritize them over other business tasks.
Building strong relationships with customers is what makes a small business special, and drives loyalty. Shopify Ping will allow merchants to respond to customer messages through Facebook Messenger, Rep.ai, and Chat Kit, with more partners to be announced later in the year.
To become one of these messaging partners, contact us at email@example.com to apply for access to the private Ping API, coming out later this year.
Another significant feature of Shopify Ping is that it will be powered by Kit, Shopify’s virtual employee who can be taught to do new tasks through Kit Skills. We’re now making it easier to teach Kit new skills and showcase your app’s functionality to a whole new set of mobile-focused merchants.
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Kit currently provides proactive recommendations for marketing campaigns and makes them easy to execute. This virtual employee can create Facebook ads, Instagram ads, social posts, and email campaigns.
We know how much merchants benefit from these types of prompts and automations, and wanted to work with our app ecosystem to extend the functionality of Kit to help entrepreneurs with all aspects of running their businesses.
That’s why this summer, we’re making integrating your app as a Kit Skill much easier. We’ll be adding Kit Skills as a type of app extension you can build and submit directly within the Shopify Partners Dashboard.
Not only does Kit offer you another platform for serving your app to clients, it also helps expose you to a new audience for your app. In creating skills for Kit, you’ll be able to capture mobile-centric merchants as app users and engage with them through conversation, without having to become a mobile app developer yourself.
Stay tuned for the new Kit Skills app extension, launching Summer 2018.
More ways to integrate into merchant workflows
Your apps have helped thousands of merchants succeed in their marketing efforts, and we want to help you continue to provide marketing solutions at scale, and reach even more merchants.
By introducing the Marketing Activities app extension and the marketing section in the admin, apps will have another central way to help merchants run and track their marketing efforts. In making Kit Skills easier to enable, and in introducing Shopify Ping, we’re making it even easier to reach mobile-centric merchants.
Look for the Marketing Activities and Kit Skills app extensions in your partner dashboard this summer. If you are interested in an integration with Ping, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.