Shopify Inc. kicked off its Shopify Unite event today in Toronto, where it recently opened a new office, with announcements about updates to its Shopify Plus platform and point of sale (POS) system, as well as new languages and currencies being added to the platform.
New languages and currencies
In a country as diverse as Canada, providing a platform in as many languages as possible, with as many currencies as possible, is a no-brainer.
“Canada is a unique country in that most Canadian merchants are immediately able to speak to buyers who domestically are bilingual. And that extends even more so into merchants or into buyers that are in Europe. I want those people to be able to see my store in French and German and have a Euro experience or Pound experience,” explained Brennan Loh, the director of international markets for Shopify. “And so I think for merchants in Canada, it’s not as if you have to just go and launch your brand and your story with one language or one currency. You can now take in business from all over the world much easier.”
Shopify announced it has added 11 new languages for admins to its platform, bringing its total up to 18 languages.
The new languages announced were Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hindi, Malay, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean and Thai.
“That just really pushes the accessibility aspect of our platform forward. And so even if you weren’t maybe super comfortable in English or using a user interface that was English focused, that’s going to make the product just that much more approachable,” said Loh. “And that accessibility is so important for our global aspirations, which is to make entrepreneurs all over the world able to use Shopify and use it with the greatest amount of comfort.”
Additionally, Shopify is now offering new language translations on the consumer side.
Along with the new languages, Shopify is now also allowing shop owners to sell products in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments. The most up-to-date conversion rates will be applied so that shop owners can still be paid in their local currency and customers can see item prices listed in the most up-to-date value in their preferred currency.
The currency currently supported are AUD, EUR, JPY, SGD, USD, CAD, HKD, NZD, and GBP.
All-new Shopify Plus
Designed for enterprise brands, Shopify Plus aims to simplify what can be a tangled web of multiple geographies, audiences, and sub-brands.
The new Shopify Plus brings together much of the organizational controls into one centralized dashboard; allowing admins to view insights and analytics, adjust settings, and manage all of their multiple stores, buyers, and brands from one centralized location.
“Prior to that existing, it was very difficult to get a sense of your business across multiple stores, as well as to manage and control the aspects of that business from one place. We’re now providing a single view into all of their business from one place so that when you log in, you can see how all of your properties are doing, whether they be across the world or whether they be the different brands that you run,” said David Moellenkamp, director of product, Shopify Plus. “Which we think unlocks the potential for them to be able to experiment and do risk-free type things very quickly, which otherwise in the past has been a pretty difficult task to do.”
Additionally, Shopify Flow, the workflow automation tool, will now be available at an organizational level. No longer will any workflow automation changes need to be duplicated for every single store.
This will save merchants the time they need for other vital aspects of their business, said Moellenkamp.
Updated POS system
Shopify announced multiple changes to its POS system user interface; which it hopes will make it more user-friendly.
The announced changes included:
-new staff permissions setting
-a more prominently featured global search bar
-easier to locate icons which are now displayed in text
-a more prominently featured connectivity indicator
But possibly more exciting, is the new abilities for brick-and-mortar stores to offer customers the option to buy online but pick up in store, which Arpan Podduturi, Shopify’s director of product, said should make a big impact for those with brick and mortar stores.
“Our point-of-sale has been in market for about six years. And over that time, our merchants have really scaled at the point of sale. And now they have multiple locations that are running multiple brick and mortar stores. And so for us, we felt like we needed to step back and re-imagine the experience for this new kind of customer,” said Podduturi. “We’re no longer just supporting those who sell at fairs and markets or those merchants who run pop-ups and things like that. We really have a huge brick and mortar footprint all across the world. So the impetus for the project was to better support those kinds of merchants.”