Amazing experience: that is my personal summation of a great few days in San Francisco at Shopify Unite 2017. Between the product releases, Shopify Plus networking events, and the general accessibility of everyone, from the CEO to the new junior account manager, the conference was nothing short of awesome. Daniel and I got to attend and we would love to share our experience.
Opening Night Networking Event
- The first night that we were in San Francisco there was a SweetTooth, Klayivo, and ReCharge event at a local speak-easy. Daniel and I got to talk to a few agencies about problems they face and where their businesses are thriving. There were some really great technology exchanges and it set the tone for the week.
- In addition to the speak-easy, there was a Shopify Plus Partner-only mixer that allowed us to rub elbows with other like-minded individuals and agencies. The view was incredible, and we were again able to make some connections that carried on through the whole conference. We had the chance to talk to the Shopify Plus VP of Sales. This was an excellent opportunity to give input on where we see the product going and the Magento “exodus.” We asked to be a part of any discussions for retailers moving from Magento to the Shopify Plus platform.
Keynotes & Breakouts
The keynote and general sessions were great; you can watch them yourself if you’re interested. If you don’t have time to watch the video, I’ve listed the best tidbits I gleaned below.
- Shopify and Shopify Plus
- Their Partner program has tripled over the last 2 years (which is incredible)
- 2,500 merchants on Shopify Plus
- 400,000 merchants on Shopify & Shopify Plus altogether
- There was a large rebrand of the UX for Shopify Desktop and Mobile admin panels.
- New Hardware
- Custom Storefront API
- Other Shopify APIs – See this post for a general overview of Shopify APIs
Price Rules API (No link yet; anticipated by end of May 2017)
- Native Mobile Store App
- All Shopify Plus merchants will have access to make their own native Mobile App outside of the Shopify platform or eCommerce site
- Right now the app program is in a merchant closed beta with Plus clients only.
- New Base Theme: Slate
- New Liquid Code Updates
- Shopify Pay: One-Click Payments
- Demo of the Wholesale Module
- As a Plus Partner, we have access to this product now. If you’d like to check it out, contact us.
- Internationalization, Translation, and Multi-Store
- Shopify is pushing hard to have something in place for internationalization by the end of the year, but there have been roadblocks with features and the platform itself. Some high-level team members within Shopify mentioned that they have to rethink about how business is done and how their technology is managed to get this accomplished.
Day Two: Black-Out
There was a massive city wide black out on day two of the conference. As a result, most of the talks and conference events were a washout, but we did get to see a few great ones.
- Retailer MVMT hosted a fireside chat that explored and explained why they chose Shopify Plus. Jake Kassan dove deep into their technology stack, how they choose vendors and apps, and told some “what not to do” stories about some of their worst eCommerce experiences.
- The highlight of the week was the one-on-one chat with Shopify’s Founder & CEO Tobi Lütke. For 30-45 minutes he took direct questions from the audience and answered them with his opinion and his vision for the company. One quote that will stay with me: “Shopify hasn’t grown because of it’s technology and being better; it has thrived because of the stupidity of other companies.”
In summation, we left the conference excited for the future of Shopify, Shopify Plus and all the clients on the platforms. We were excited to hear that, because Gauge is a Shopify Plus partner, our clients may get the chance to beta-test new features. It was great to get a taste of their new product launches and to see their commitment to being scalable and easy to work with. We can only assume 2017 is going to be a great one for Shopify and its retailers everywhere.