Shopify a fast-growing Software as a Service (SaaS) provider targeting mainly eCommerce companies is launching an interesting fulfillment network for its partner merchants. In a clear effort to offer a diversified portfolio of products, the company has also offered several improvements to its Shopify Plus platform. Some of the features like support for 3D models, translation APIs, and multiple currency support should immensely benefit subscribers.
As Shopify attempts to differentiate its product portfolio from industry rivals, the company used its annual partner conference to announce several feature additions to its platform. The new features use smart inventory-allocation technology, powered by machine learning, to match orders, route inventory and negotiate rates. These AI-driven features should help merchants accelerate sales, develop better, faster and more efficient shipping techniques and bring down costs.
Logistics or cost of shipping is often considered a challenge when trying to boost growth. In order to tackle the hurdle, Shopify, using its own fulfillment network, claims to offer merchants lower-cost shopping. Interestingly, Shopify assures the entire logistics will be managed through Shopify’s smart management and delivery system.
Say hello to Shopify Fulfillment Network – a network of fulfillment centers with smart inventory-allocation technology powered by machine learning to ensure fast, low-cost delivery. #ShopifyUnite pic.twitter.com/C0wh2JLCdr
— Shopify (@Shopify) June 19, 2019
Speaking about the new features and a comprehensive solution, Shopify CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux said, “In some ways, we are repeating our vision, in which merchants want to own their brand, and that drives our roadmap.” The fulfillment network, which will include a mix of Shopify-owned and shared distribution centers, is a first for Shopify. Needless to add, the majority of its partner merchants had to rely on third-party logistics providers to ship inventory. Lemieux assured that when merchants use Shopify’s own fulfillment network, the packages will be shipped out in merchant-branded boxes. Moreover, the network will support purchases made across different sales channels.
Shopify clearly wants to boost the business of the small and medium-sized businesses as it is these establishments that face the biggest challenges and high costs associated with logistics. Hence, the fulfillment network will primarily target small businesses first. Access to the program will depend on what the merchant is selling. However, Shopify will gradually expand its scope to include larger businesses.
Shopify Plus Platform For Enterprise Brands And Point-Of-Sale Platform Receive Updates
Alongside its fulfillment network, Shopify also announced a number of feature additions and improvements to its Shopify Plus platform for enterprise brands. The platform now has a slew of features that will significantly improve the merchants’ overseas market catering abilities. The platform now supports 11 new international languages. Additionally, the platform now has an updated Translations API. Moreover, merchants now have the ability to easily sell in multiple international currencies. If that’s not enough, the platform will now make it easier for merchants to run multiple sub-brands in stores. Despite running several sub-brands, the interface has been streamlined to ensure complete visibility of the sub-brands. Moreover, Shopify is promising a simplified workflow to add new stores.
Apart from the Shopify Plus platform, the company has improved its point-of-sale platform. A few critical updates to the system now make the platform much more scalable. Shopify has reportedly offered a simplified interface and new customer service shortcuts. Moreover, the company now offers extended access to all of Shopify’s POS app extensions.
— Step 1: merchants install app.
— Step 2: select products to be fulfilled
— Step 3: review costs
— Step 4: send products to 3PL
— 2PM (@2PMinc) June 19, 2019
At the backend are a few more improvements. Shopify’s most popular software libraries are now available in GraphQL. This will reportedly allow developers to speed up their development process and significantly improve the stability of their merchant apps. If that’s not enough, the Shopify App CLI (Command-Line Interface) allows developers to quickly scaffold an app by wrapping all app building steps into one unified command.
In an effort to improve app development, Shopify also introduced App Bridge. The platform is essentially a new comprehensive set of tools that allows developers to quickly and efficiently embed their apps across platforms including desktop, Shopify Mobile, and Shopify POS, within Shopify.
Shopify Makes Marketing And Promotions Easier Too
While there are technical improvements that significantly simplify the backend of the business and the logistics aspect, Shopify has also come up with better marketing and promotional tools confirmed Lemieux, “We are making it easier for people to upload and manage 3D models on their storefront. One of the biggest pain points is product returns, and people returning items because they don’t fit. We also believe you can’t have immersive AR experience without 3D modeling.”
— Shopify (@Shopify) June 19, 2019