Shopify to Offer More Services, Upgrades as Part of Growth Strategy

Written by Nicola Malaney

shopify-unite-growth-strategy“Canada needs more swagger!”

This was part of the message that special guest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered as he joined the stage with Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke at the 2018 Unite conference in Toronto. Trudeau was speaking on entrepreneurship and the specific talents of his fellow Canadians in the realm of eCommerce, and it was clear that he’d like to see his citizens’ homegrown technological ingenuity remain in Canada rather than flocking south to Silicon Valley.

Lütke opened the conference with a message of diversity and how Shopify benefits from the valuable perspectives its cosmopolitan staff provides.

Unite itself was certainly unique to the ReTrans Freight team in many ways. For one, the venue was nestled inside an old brick quarry, and not a sprawling, ostentatious casino like the previous two conferences we attended (Magento Imagine and Shoptalk). The vibe was much more laid back as there were no exhibition booths lining the conference rooms, but instead, attendees could spend time between educational sessions browsing the Unite store.

Giant LED touchscreen monitors lined the wall, and each panel provided information on a local Shopify client and their offerings. Attendees were gifted with the choice of one item from the store. From handmade floral-scented candles to Shopify branded skateboards, the Unite store had something for everyone. Much to our dismay, the skateboard came sans wheels, so we haven’t had the chance to take it for a ride just yet!

Shopify rolled out a plethora of new services and upgrades during the conference. From fraud detection and discount functionality to local payment methods and currency expansions, Shopify proved that it is on a mission to make scaling seamless.  

One development I found particularly interesting was the new Locations solution, which allows merchants to use location intelligence to gain inventory visibility and make more efficient fulfillment decisions, thus providing the opportunity to scale their business quickly. Knowing the ins and outs of their inventory is paramount to sellers making the supply chain decisions that will position them for rapid growth and customer satisfaction.

As the ‘Amazon Effect’ continues to permeate the market, merchants feel the pressure of getting their products delivered quickly, and part of that process is having the right goods at the right location. Shopify’s new tool appears to be able to assist sellers with this dilemma. The next step is securing a freight solution that will help execute these deliveries while keeping freight costs down. Shopify’s Locations tool is not available just yet, but if you’d like to be notified when it is you can sign up here.  

I’d be remiss not to mention the amazing after-party Shopify hosted at the Rec Room in downtown Toronto. The event was video game nostalgia heaven. Our team had a great time competing in Skeeball and motorcycle racing, and we probably put way too much effort into trying to win a prize from the claw machine.

The rooftop views of Toronto (most notably the CN Tower) were gorgeous, but the most memorable part of the evening was the edible helium balloons. Hearing my colleagues yelling “Shopify!” in a high-pitched cartoony voice was hilarious. Thanks for the hospitality, Canada. We hope to be back again soon!

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