Shopify, a provider of essential internet infrastructure for commerce, unveiled its vision for the future of commerce and a major set of platform updates for UK businesses as part of the company’s new twice-yearly global product moment, Shopify Editions. These major platform updates come as the company reveals its accelerating growth in the UK and powering businesses such as non-alcoholic beverage company, Seedlip, and skincare brand, Tropic Skincare.
Following the global direct-to-consumer (D2C) phenomenon, Shopify is raising the curtain on how it is taking independent brands into a new era of commerce: Connect to Consumer (C2C). C2C is an entirely new phase of commerce where opportunities to connect exist everywhere. If D2C gave merchants a direct line to consumers, C2C gives merchants endless pathways.
The C2C era puts authenticity, loyalty, and trust at the heart of every interaction between merchants and consumers. It’s an era where personalisation matters, and where independent businesses have full control to create novel experiences across every potential touchpoint with consumers in ways that keep them coming back. It’s no longer about just the transaction; it’s about the connection. C2C will define entrepreneurship, and how we at Shopify build, for years to come.
“At Shopify, we believe in the infinite game. That means we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for entrepreneurs,” said Tobi Lütke, founder & CEO of Shopify. “We work hard to solve the complex challenges merchants face today while imagining entirely new ways for them to grow their businesses. With Shopify Editions, we’re sharing our big bets and latest innovations in commerce so that those ambitious enough to try their hand at entrepreneurship can start and scale faster than ever before.”
Shimona Mehta, managing director, Shopify EMEA says: “Shopify is betting on C2C as the next era of commerce, one that moves beyond the traditional e-commerce and high street divide. It’s a new era in which any British business that gets to grips with cultivating a community around their brand will thrive.”
Shopify launches Tokengated Commerce for buyers to connect crypto wallets to UK retailers
In this new era of commerce, we believe the most exciting experience isn’t selling NFTs, but activating them. Enter: Tokengated Commerce on Shopify.
Shopify merchants have already built amazing communities. Now, Tokengated Commerce offers a fundamentally new way to deepen those connections, and reward true fans and VIPs, by giving NFT holders exclusive access to products, perks, and experiences. For these consumers-turned-fans, all they need to do is connect their crypto wallets to a Shopify online store and they can use their NFTs to unlock exciting experiences. The best part is, merchants can activate Shopify Tokengated Commerce experiences everywhere—from online to mobile to physical retail through POS.
Shimona Mehta, managing director, Shopify EMEA, highlights: “We’re investing in blockchain technology to make Shopify wallet-aware. In the new era of C2C commerce, this makes it easier for NFT holders to unlock personalized experiences with their favorite brands based on the NFTs in their wallets.”
Tokengated commerce can also be multiplayer and collaborative. One brand’s NFT can unlock another brand’s store, making it easier than ever for brands to partner and collaborate.
Shopify expands into B2B to double the market opportunity for independent merchants
For independent merchants, connecting to consumers isn’t just something that happens one-to-one. There is a whole world of opportunity that exists in merchants connecting with other businesses—billions of untapped revenue, to be exact—which is why we’re introducing B2B on Shopify.
B2B is available to Shopify Plus merchants directly in the Shopify admin—the same back office they use to manage their DTC store. This makes it easy for merchants to access Shopify’s powerful customisation features and manage all aspects of their commerce business in one place. Shopify is also partnering with ERP providers such as NetSuite and Acumatica to bring a merchant’s essential business data into Shopify automatically
Now for the buyer experience. B2B on Shopify offers a similar online store experience merchants use to sell to consumers, but customised with tools that make it easier to purchase wholesale or in bulk directly from Shopify merchants.
Shimona Mehta, managing director, Shopify EMEA comments: “With B2B, Shopify is expanding into an entirely new market category. We’re doubling the market opportunity for independent merchants.”
Shopify teams up with Google to help UK consumers shop local
People make billions of local searches every month and often they’re looking for local businesses. Now Shopify is partnering with Google to help people find and buy what they need more conveniently from local businesses.
With the launch of local inventory sync on Google, Shopify merchants automatically let nearby customers know when a product is available in store, making it easier than ever to shop and support local brands. Google local inventory sync is available to retail merchants globally.
Shopify Functions is a radical step forward for C2C commerce on Shopify
Shopify Functions lets merchants customise out-of-the-box Shopify features to make their brand stand out from the crowd like never before. It lets developers extend or replace Shopify’s backend logic with custom code.
Functions creates the flexibility of an open source platform without needing to deal with any of the hosting, security, or code versioning headaches. Because Functions run on Shopify’s global infrastructure, they were built to scale. That means they’re able to handle the explosive traffic from internet-breaking flash sales, while still providing a checkout experience in under five milliseconds.
Starting with Discounts, Functions will let brands build powerful promotions by combining custom-made offers — like volume discounts (e.g., spend $100 get $20 off) or free gift with purchase — alongside existing Shopify discounts like free shipping. Best of all, merchants will never need to touch a line of code to create their advanced discount offerings, as they’re configured directly in the admin, just like existing Shopify features.
Shopify advances C2C commerce in the US with the launch of Shopify Audiences, Twitter Shopping and Tap to Pay on iPhone for US businesses
In the US, Shopify also releases a number of products to help merchants find new customers, turn conversations into conversions and make offline commerce surprisingly simple:
- Shopify launches Shopify Audiences to help merchants identify high-purchase-intent audiences and then reach them over the ad network of their choice, including Facebook and Instagram
- Shopify is the first commerce platform to partner with Twitter to launch Twitter Shopping to help merchants reach consumers directly from their Twitter profiles
- Shopify is one of the first commerce platforms to launch Tap to Pay on iPhone in the US, making it easy for merchant to accept payments at farmers markets or pop-ups via an iPhone