Updated: Jan 20
Key takeaways from Shopify’s Partner summer event include more opportunities and capabilities tailored toward customer experiences.
Just getting back from a trip to the “heat dome” that the West and Southwest are experiencing. It was crazy to be able to go outside only in the early morning, but taking a break and finally seeing my parents again after a year and a half was well worth it.
Sometime in the middle of traveling was Shopify Unite. We found it well-orchestrated and compelling for a software startup like VIEWN. It is worth sharing what we are excited about and how we plan to strengthen our partnerships within this inclusive ecosystem that’s growing like gangbusters.
First thing you feel the urgency as this market is evolving. Way more shoppers are demanding online service; the industry has grown extremely competitive. That means standards of service and experience are constantly increasing, and store owners are jostling for the one-up over their competitors. Independent eCommerce store owners also have to compete with the likes of Amazon, with their Prime offering and free 2-day shipping. Play chain streets are actual. Just try ordering some wood a deck in the US.
1. Let’s let you make it first.
Zero percent revenue share annually on your first million dollars in the Shopify App Store. Let’s get the money out of the way before we go technical. This announcement needs to go first because it shows how serious they are in supporting developers and partners and just getting off the ground. The reality is that any expense at the beginning just kills the runway.
When you earn more than $1 million, you’ll pay a 15 percent revenue share. Five points lower than the previous 20 percent revenue share and more competitive with other platforms. It looks like Shopify has the firepower to draw the best-in-class application makers for the long run.
2. Check out... Checkout extensions
The check-out experience has become an obsession for me this past year, especially the need to tailor customer experience (CX) for customer acquisition differently from customer retention and subscriber processes. To allow developers to build custom checkout experiences, Shopify introduced checkout extensions. This new feature is big news for retention. Check-out extensions are a set of extension points, APIs, and UI components used to build apps for checkout.
Using these tools means that you can build flexible solutions for checkout without impacting your acquisition CX. Being able to own the experience also opens the door for apps like ours to introduce new CX optimizations. We will use new extension points, which allow us to build experiences for different parts of checkout. Also, the component library lets us create custom experiences and inject them at various extension points- way more speed and flexibility.
For the branding obsessed, Shopify gave us a Branding API, which lets you change the colors, spacing, typography, and more of the checkout experience. Custom checkout experiences built through checkout extensions will work smoothly with accelerated checkouts like Shop Pay, so your users will still be able to leverage the increased conversions that come with faster checkouts. Shopify is going into fintech.
3. Post-purchase checkout means more retention.
Post-purchase is an interaction between the merchant and buyer after a purchase is made but before the customer has exited the store. It falls between checkout and the thank-you page, a place where the buyer is highly captive and engaged, and the perfect page to offer product upsells, requests for donations or surveys, discount offers for future orders, and more like carbon offsets.
Shopify’s engine is now directly integrated with Shopify Checkout, so focus moves from technical barriers to delivering great post-purchase experiences for your users’ buyers. Of course, Shopify provides a fast, reliable, and world-class checkout.
4. Be on the lookout! More extensions for GCP developers
Out west, you hear about the need to join forces against a formidable competitor. I had heard a lot about the forces that would compete with Amazon through the years. And in this case with Shopify, GCP is there to defend. It’s just the way they innovate.
Shopify owners that I have been talking to want real-time that isn’t enterprise-defined. They want events instantly, so Shopify cued in webhooks.
For veteran Google Cloud Partners, this is productive news that only means we can deliver better experiences from the technology. Google Cloud Pub/Sub is now available to developers as an easier way to manage webhook events. With Pub/Sub, you can pull in events at a pace that you can control. Incoming events are delivered more reliably, and that app errors and delays will be minimized, even during the busiest periods.
Pub/Sub makes it easier to consume webhooks at scale- no longer needs to build and host an API and queue system to receive webhooks. Instead, Pub/Sub will take care of reliably receiving all webhook events with low latency, so you don’t need to worry about scaling web servers.
In the end, our software and Shopify’s incentives are all focused on growing merchant businesses. Whether it’s increasing average order value with an upsell offer, gathering critical customer information through surveys, or promotional offers at the right time. The data is out there to interpret and connect. For sure, post-purchase apps will soon include more customer experience offerings in addition to subscription apps.