AI-powered semantic search updates, free subscriptions, and B2B additions mark the biggest upgrade to Shopify’s platform foundations in 10 years as they unveil more than 100 updates as part of Winter ‘24 Edition, the twice-annual showcase of its latest products and innovations. These updates include new solutions to help merchants to be more productive and creative than ever before.
A more intuitive search
To help shoppers find the products they’re looking for, Shopify is launching a new AI-powered storefront search feature, Semantic Search. With the way customers search rapidly changing, this new storefront feature goes beyond keyword matching to better understand the buyer’s intent by giving them the ability to formulate search queries in a more intuitive way that provides richer and more relevant search results that can help drive conversions.
For example, if a buyer inputs “what would I wear skiing in freezing temperatures”, the algorithm will recognise that they are looking for something warm, surfacing results based on that intent even if there is no exact keyword match.
Semantic Search will be available through the free Shopify Search & Discovery app.
Customers’ demands for better commerce experiences are ever-changing, and we’re constantly working to optimise our foundations to keep our merchants at the forefront of innovation. In addition to our new AI-powered storefront search, we also offer a suite of free AI-enabled features with Shopify Magic, ensuring merchants can build AI into the core of their business, enabling them to optimise their stores, convert more customers and streamline their operations like never before.– Deann Evans, Managing Director, EMEA, Shopify
Shopify’s previously released Magic AI tools have already made a significant impact on UK merchants.
For me and my business, Shopify Magic has been a game changer. It has saved us so much time, and we can perform tasks that we couldn’t imagine being able to do.-Kwame Chambers, CEO & Co-Founder, Glitch Anomaly
Subscribe to connect with customers
To help merchants increase customer lifetime value and predictable revenue, Shopify is launching Subscriptions. A new free app, Subscriptions gives merchants the ability to set up and manage their subscriptions directly through Shopify. And it makes accessing their favourite brands easier for consumers too, with the flexibility to modify their subscription orders directly from their user account, such as skipping an order or updating their payment details.
The ability to buy via subscriptions has become an expectation for consumers, but this has historically been costly to set up. By offering the app for free, we’re lowering the barrier to entry for subscriptions so merchants can try subscriptions easily to see how it could offer value to their business.– Deann Evans, Managing Director, EMEA, Shopify
Humanising commerce for B2B customers
As more and more merchants look to integrate B2B functionality into their ecommerce offerings, Shopify is launching two features designed to make wholesale customers feel like individuals.
Headless Storefronts allows merchants to create highly customised buyer experiences. Merchants can now build headless B2B storefronts that offer unique experiences for wholesale customers, while still using their preferred tech stack. Merchants can also use Shopify’s APIs and developer tools to enable B2B checkouts and access personalised products and prices within their headless stores.
By enabling Headless Storefronts, Shopify is helping B2B merchants to reduce their technical debt and leverage their existing infrastructure seamlessly, rather than having to integrate an entirely new platform. Merchants will have full control over their end-to-end solution, allowing them to tailor the experience for customers and optimise conversions.
Shopify is also launching Sales Representative Permissions for B2B merchants, which enables them to assign sales teams to customers and streamline operations through one unified platform. Sales representatives can use the platform to place orders and view important customer information for their assigned customers, all within Shopify. Specific access levels can also be defined and managed to ensure permissions are secure.
Historically, wholesale commerce has been conducted offline, with representatives and customers interacting through calls, emails and even faxes to place orders. As B2B and enterprise commerce moves online, there’s a growing need for new technology that enables merchants and their sales representatives to sell in a new way. By expanding our B2B offering, Shopify is empowering them to strengthen their customer relationships and unlock new sales in a secure environment.– Rich Mason, Head of Enterprise, EMEA, Shopify