Shopify Editions Winter 2024 is upon us. Each year, Shopify launches new updates and enhancements to past features.
Shopify’s biannual Editions take us through the trends and tech that will shape the way we shop and sell online in the years to come. These eCommerce functionalities help Shopify developers, partners, and businesses grow their stores, reach more customers, and scale new heights!
And this year’s Shopify Editions are no exception. There are groundbreaking innovations in sales & marketing. Powerful tools for better visibility. New apps and updates to older ones. AI Magic. And much more!
In this blog, we leave no stone unturned and look at all the latest product updates changing the Shopify platform for the better.
Smarter Product Merchandising
Understanding the challenges faced by merchants with complex product catalogs, Shopify has made substantial updates to its product model.
Variant Limit Increase
The longstanding frustration of a 100-product variant limit has been addressed by increasing it to 2000. This enhancement simplifies the creation and management of products with high variant counts.
Shopify has released the new GraphQL product Application Programming Interface (APIs) in developer preview.
This is a game-changer for developers, allowing them to build support for more complicated product catalogs.
Advanced Merchandising With Combined Listings
Shopify has introduced the Combined Listings app, catering to Shopify Plus merchants. This app allows better merchandising of parent products with multiple options.
Each option as a child product can have its own description, rich media carousel, and dedicated URL—all within a single product page!
Standardized Product Taxonomy
In response to the diverse product categories, Shopify has introduced a standardized product taxonomy. This system automatically applies category-specific attributes, reducing manual efforts and ensuring more complete and consistent data across the catalog.
The updated taxonomy makes it super easy to organize, classify, and create products and automatically generate variants. And yes, it saves you a ton of time as well!
In this Winter Editions 2024, Shopify acknowledges the need for precise storefront customization to align with brand visions. Launched in the developer preview, Reusable blocks eliminate the need to define theme blocks multiple times.
Moreover, developers can nest blocks up to eight layers deep. This is a novel update because you couldn’t nest blocks inside other blocks, making complex layouts inflexible.
Now, the devs can streamline the process by defining theme blocks once and repurposing them across sections for a consistent user experience. This is a huge step for developer efficiency & flexibility, removing redundant work and coding.
First introduced in Shopify Editions Summer 2023, Shopify Subscriptions is a free app that allows merchants to offer products as subscriptions. Until now, the app was in early access.
With the Winter Editions 2024, Shopify has made the app available to store owners all across the globe.
It allows you to quickly set up and manage subscriptions directly from your Shopify admin.
Furthermore, you can provide your customers with the flexibility to skip or modify subscription orders directly from their accounts.
Here’s a quick overview of the Shopify Subscriptions app features:
- Allow your buyers to pause, skip, or cancel their subscriptions
- Access reporting to evaluate the store’s subscription performance
- Offer auto-billed subscriptions (renew yearly, monthly, or weekly) with discounts
- Use personalized email templates for payment reminders or order confirmations
Already considered the world’s best checkout by many, Shopify is building further on its legacy by launching more, better features to create the ultimate checkout experience.
In Winter Editions 2024, Shopify enhances checkout extensibility, allowing customization of the entire buyer journey. Over 90 new apps enable flexible upgrades, loyalty programs, and post-purchase surveys without compromising checkout security and performance.
Earlier, you could achieve all this only through a custom code in the checkout.liquid theme file. Further, this would require your checkout to fall off the upgrade path.
Now, checkout extensibility helps you make configurations that are flexible, upgrade-safe, and integrated with Shop Pay.
- Checkout extensions on other surfaces are now unlocked! This includes the Checkout Sheet Kit, Order Status, and Thank You pages.
- There are 14 new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and updates for checkout for developers and partners to build unique, app-based checkout experiences!
- Privacy consent support has now launched. This allows apps to get consent directly within the checkout procedure to meet compliance regulations in different markets.
Moreover, you can customize the overall look and feel of your checkout even more with:
- Different container styles
- Footer and header customizations
- Advanced color schemes & settings
Finally, the latest User Interface (UI) checkout updates include:
- Choice List
- Payment icon
- Map components
- Product thumbnails
Shopify Magic - Artificial Intelligence (AI)
With Shopify Editions Winter ‘24, the eCommerce giant continues to integrate AI across its platform with features like Shopify Magic.
After making waves in the eCommerce industry with the first-ever commerce assistant, Sidekick, Shopify has added new features in the media editor, leveraging generative AI to simplify product image editing and enhancement.
Following are the newest Shopify Magic features that you can use right in the admin:
Build Store Pages Quickly With Shopify Magic
You can now use the power of AI to write your FAQ or About US page automatically to weave the perfect brand story. All you need is a few keywords and clicks!
Product Photography Enhancements with AI
Why stop with words when you can make magic with pictures as well? Shopify seems to be keeping up with the latest trends in generative AI and empowers you to create professional product images in minutes.
With AI-powered image editing functionalities, you can:
- Quickly generate, remove, or match the backgrounds of existing photos to make your store feel more cohesive,
- Use common style presets to make your images look professional instantly, and
- Reimagine your product’s scene completely by writing a short description of the visual you want.
In the age of AI, mere keyword matching doesn’t cut it anymore. Exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants, Semantic Search is an AI-powered storefront search feature that can be used using the Shopify Search & Discovery app.
The feature goes beyond the obvious and better comprehends your buyer’s intent. For instance, if a customer types in Christmas party shirts, Semantic Search can link the search term to red and green colors, representing Christmas-themed shirts in said colors.
Thus, it returns relevant, richer search results.
Fulfillable Inventory for Localized Trust
Shopify’s Fulfillable Inventory update ensures that customers see real-time, region-specific views of in-stock inventory. Using the feature, you can split inventory between different countries.
So, buyers from specific countries can see local availability for a particular item both on the storefront and down through the checkout.
Needless to say, the feature builds trust by displaying accurate information throughout the storefront and checkout process.
Shopify Capital has significant updates in this year’s Winter Editions as well. These include three products - Capital Loans and Cash Advances, Shopify Term Loans, and the Line of Credit. Exclusive to brands on Shopify, these financial tools provide customizable lending options and flexible on-demand funding for merchants.
What’s more? You can now earn rewards, as an Annual Percentage Yield (APY), on the money in your Shopify Balance account.
B2B on Shopify
With each Editions, Shopify brings an abundance of updates for B2B merchants. Let’s look at some major ones:
Sales Rep Support
Shopify now supports sales reps within the admin, enabling them to access only the accounts assigned to them. This foundational update brings record-level access control across the platform, offering a more secure and tailored experience for B2B merchants.
You can now create truly unique customer experiences using your preferred technology stack using headless B2B storefronts.
Solely for your B2B customers, you can create promotional discounts using custom or third-party apps powered by Shopify Functions APIs. This feature is currently exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants.
New Web Performance Dashboard
Shopify empowers merchants with a new web performance dashboard, providing insights into real user experiences. This tool helps analyze and monitor customer experiences, positively impacting page rankings and conversions.
Using the latest and improved dashboard, you can evaluate your buyer’s interactions across three industry-standard Core Web Vitals. These are:
- Loading Speed
- Visual Stability.
For smart eCommerce entrepreneurs, this information can help you positively impact your online store’s page rankings!
To improve post-purchase experiences, Shopify has introduced Exchanges. Using native exchanges, merchants can create, track, and manage exchanges seamlessly, ensuring a positive experience for customers while retaining revenue.
Furthermore, Shopify can now accurately calculate payments, inventory adjustments, refunds, and taxes automatically for you!
Customers Accounts Extensibility
Customers currently face a disunited experience that may require multiple logins and portals for each app they use—for instance, several logins for loyalty programs, subscriptions, returns, and more.
Built on the same developer platform foundation as Checkout extensibility, Customer accounts now offer extensibility for developers to build brand-new logged-in experiences. This enhancement simplifies the customer journey by consolidating various app functionalities within a single account.
Enhanced Advertising: Shopify Audiences V2.2
Shopify Audiences is a powerful app that lets you (the business owner) build targeted audiences on top advertisement platforms. These include Meta, Pinterest, TikTok, Google, Snapchat, Criteo, and more.
This year, Shopify has introduced smarter retargeting algorithms and improved boost lists in Shopify Audiences V2.2. Shop campaigns offer an easy-to-use acquisition program, allowing merchants to pay only for converting customers.
Now, you can retarget twice as many potential customers and access new benchmarking for measuring (and improving) ad performance.
Shopify Markets Pro
The revolutionary Markets Pro is now available to all US businesses. It simplifies international selling through:
- All the localization tools of Shopify Markets
- Merchant of record service
- Built-in operational features
- Enhanced automation.
These features represent Shopify's commitment to staying at the forefront of ecommerce technology, providing merchants with tools to enhance productivity, customization, and customer engagement.
Check out Shopify's official documentation on this here.
How We Can Help
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