The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

Shopify Editions Winter '24

Episode Summary

Expert Insights Unveiled

Episode Notes

Join Kurt Elster and a panel of Shopify experts as they delve into the Shopify Editions Winter '24 announcements. Our panelists, including Kim Samuelsen, Jay Larson, and John Festa, break down the latest Shopify features and updates, offering a deep dive into the new 2000 variant limit, combined product listings, B2B enhancements, and the transformative power of AI in e-commerce.

These updates are the tools you need to keep your brand ahead of the curve. This episode's a deep dive into all that and more, with insights from folks who really know their stuff. Worth a listen for anyone looking to stay sharp in this space.

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Episode Transcription

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[Music] Shopify Editions Winter 24 just dropped.

And you know what that means.

Product updates, new features, stuff we should probably care about.

Like past editions, this time we've got another 100 plus foundational product updates.

And the issue with that is there are so many, which ones should we care about?

What are the exciting ones that are going to get the buzz?

And so to find that out directly after the editions announcements, I joined a panel of smart folks, of agency folks, the stuff who get paid to care about this, who have to think about it and live, sleep, eat, breathe it 24/7 like myself.

And together we bounced around and figured out, okay, these are like the top five, six features, concepts, new things coming down the pipe.

So in this episode, we're going to talk to a panel of folks and get that broken down for you.

Joining us to discuss it, I'm your moderator, Kurt Elster.

Kurt Elster, Founder & Executive Producer, Shopify Editions Check nasty.

And we've got Kim Samuelson, who is Director of Delivery at Half Helix.

Jay Larson, Director of Engineering at Tomorrow.

And Jon Festa, Senior Solutions Analyst at Tomorrow.

And so collectively, we're going to figure out what we should care about, at least initially.

Like what's the big exciting stuff?

All right, let's go.

Thank you all so much for joining us today for our live session on Shopify Editions.

We are very excited to dive in in just a minute and break down some of the exciting updates that Shopify announced earlier today, just about an hour ago now during the launch of their Winter '24 Editions.

So by way of quick introduction, my name is Chelsea DeBalsey.

I'm the Director of Marketing here at Tomorrow and Half Helix.

So Tomorrow and Half Helix are two agencies that merged about five months ago in the fall of 2023 to form the largest independent Shopify-only agency in the world.

So combined, we have more than 200 employees across design, strategy, and technology, all working to grow brands on the Shopify platform.

So I'm excited to introduce a few of those teammates today who are joining us as speakers and Shopify experts.

So we have Kim Samuelson, who's the Director of Delivery.

Jay Larson, our Director of Engineering.

And then Jon Festa, who is our Senior Solutions Analyst.

And last but definitely not least, we also have Kurt Elster, who is joining us as our co-host and moderator.

Kurt is one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in the ecosystem and also the host of the unofficial Shopify podcast.

So please feel free to drop any comments or questions in the Zoom Q&A box throughout the session.

But with that, I will turn it over to Kurt.

And thank you all so much.

Chelsea, thank you so much.

I appreciate it.

So there were a few announcements today.

A hundred.

I would say a hundred announcements.

And it's a mix of this is new stuff we've not seen before.

These are updates on things that were announced and now maybe are available.

And all kinds of tiny changes.

Like I follow the Shopify change log that they just lit up today.

And so I think even for me, even for us, for people who are in this 24/7, it's overwhelming.

And so I need as much as our viewers need someone else to tell me what to care about.

Like over time, we'll figure it out.

But initially, I'm overwhelmed.

I get analysis paralysis.

I'm like, tell me what to care about here.

And so I think I want to know first thing from you fine folks, what's the one big one, right?

What's the number one thing that immediately stood out to you?

Anybody jump in.

I can go first.

All right, Jay, let's hear it.

Most clients would be excited about is that 2000 variant limit, especially if you're looking for, you know, like a clothing brand, for example, where you have different sizes, different colors.

That's a big, big unlock.

Simplifies a lot of things.

Prior to that, we always had to do custom development to kind of stitch the products together retroactively.

Now in this new product object, obviously, it's not in general release yet.

So we're expecting some difficulties in the in the first couple implementations of it.

But it is a new like breaking change to the previous product object that uses GraphQL should be super fun.

Now that was a big one from my end.

That was the one I think that that stood out to me just because that's like infamously the 100 variant limit on Shopify.

Death to the 100 variant limit long live the 2000 variant limit.

But the limit has limitations.

We'll discuss it.

Kim, how about yourself?

Yeah, I think kind of building off of that, obviously, with the 2000 variants, we see that a ton across a lot of our fashion clients, a variety of different clients that have all those different variants.

But the Shopify combined listings, that combined listings app, I think is going to be huge.

Obviously building on these variants, we're probably going to see more consolidated parent products being able to merchandise those now on PLP is going to be a game changer, I think.

That one I'm excited to dive into because this really that feature that app, this like official Shopify app represents a custom is a theme customization that we have probably all done for our clients.

You know, in the last 18 months, it's just a popular practical thing to do for SEO for merchandising, but also to work around that darned 100 variant limit.


John Festa, how about yourself?

Yeah, I mean, they kind of stole my thunder there a little bit.

But I think those two are very exciting.

But to kind of touch the B2B side, right, you know, the ability to have those sales reps and say, okay, only my regional managers and whatnot can see these orders or place an order on a client's behalf, also applying specific discounts in their kind of by location.

I think those are some big unlocks for the B2B platform, which, you know, whether you have developed B2B program already, or you're trying to branch into that, you know, those are every location wants their own pricing.

So I think those are some unlocks that have been needed to help bring more customers into that B2B marketplace.

And then I think you can go headless with it now too.

So you can really match your D2C site styling if you're on a headless environment to B2B as well.

So there's some exciting things to look at in there as we go.

And I love the B2B features they've added.

We had that wholesale channel in the past, where you had to use an app or some workaround.

And then recently, we moved to that B2B feature suite, which is so nice.

It's everything I wanted in a wholesale channel.

And now they're expanding on that.

But the other features, I haven't even had a chance to look at what they updated on B2B.

So I'm excited to dive into that a little bit with you.

Chelsea, did you have a favorite feature?

I'm excited to hear more about the native returns and also the subscriptions.

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, returns and exchanges.

We got that update.

And yeah, subscriptions goes.

We had that was one that's like that was previously announced.

Now everybody can use this Shopify subscriptions official app.

And so I haven't played with it yet, but I look forward to it.

And I think the other one and I think will in practice will be really powerful and helpful for a lot of people is an update to Shopify magic.

It's what they call their set of AI features.

And certainly, you know, play it when AI works right, it does feel like magic.

But the there's a photo editor built into your Shopify admin now that uses generative AI where you could just like swap out backgrounds on photos, run AI photo enhancements.

And like I've played with similar features in Photoshop, they work incredibly well, assuming that this is a similar thing.

And in the demo, it really looked a lot like how Photoshop handles it.

What an unlock.

I mean, just like something unheard of 18 months ago for anyone to use is now just like, oh, that's just a free feature in a web app, you know, this SASS product.

Oh, wow.

Exciting stuff.

So I think the one that's going to generate a lot of buzz, the 2000 variant limit.

Start with somebody break down for me the 100 variant limit, like what it means, how we got there.

If somebody doesn't jump in with it, I'll do it.

I mean, you can take it if you want.

All right.

So 100 variant limit, this longstanding limitation on Shopify that was like that was the infamous oddball limitation they had.

And it's if I have a product, we'll do a shoe.

The shoe comes in 10 sizes and it comes in three colors, three times 10.

I have 30 SKUs.

That's 30 variants.

But the moment it comes in different widths, I've had, let's say it comes in three widths.

Well, now suddenly that's 90 variants.

And so I'm almost at my 100 variant limit.

I add one additional color weight, it's over.

I have now gone past the 100 variant limit and now I need to break that product listing out.

And so that in the past, the solution was the custom product options apps that brings in its own set of issues.

They can't track inventory properly.

It's a workaround.

But that was how we had to do it.

It just wasn't an option.

Now they're saying, "Hey, in a particular set of circumstances, in the future, you're going to have access to a 2000 variant limit."

Somebody walked me through what I have to do to get to that 2000 variant limit.

Yes, right.

Right now, being that it's an early access, most likely involves a conversation with Shopify to see if you can get it within your storefront.

Also the current like REST API and product object is likely not compatible with that 2000 variant limit.

It's a different GraphQL API.

Some changes.

So there will be custom development that's needed in order to actually reference the correct 2000 variant limit product object.

I would be curious to see in the future if that 2000 variant limit is compatible with the combined listings.

I feel like we probably wouldn't need it at a certain point if your variant limit is that big.

But I think it would still be nice to have the ability to unlock like merchandising on the color level or size level or something like that specifically.

So I'm sure they're thinking about it.

We'll see what it ends up looking like once we get the general release.

So currently this is going to be available only in developer preview.

I mean, it's like developers can start building tools for and with it, but nothing that is going to be available to like an actual production store.

And then, you know, based on how we've seen these things go in the past, figure like six to 12 months, you know, and that's nothing official.

That's just my guess.

You know, as we see apps and methods get developed to leverage this thing and use it and see it in the wild.

So it's happening.

We've got a solution for the 100 variant limit.

Any other thoughts on that before we dive into the other solution, combined listings app?

Yeah, I think I said early access before.

What I meant was developer preview.

So like developer preview, like Kurt said, you cannot put that on a production instance.

In fact, Shopify just will not let you.

So one little caveat there, but I think we can.

I think we can move on.


Early access is their language for beta being like this can be used on a live store, but you have to get invited.

And that's like, you know, features like Shopify collective would be an early access or the developer preview.

Yeah, it's like, all right, hey, here are your new toys.

Start experimenting.

But you can't use that on a real story yet.

Very exciting, but nothing any merchant can realistically do anything with right now.

The other one that solves this problem in a different way, combined listings app.

Who has combined listings thoughts?

Yeah, I guess I'll speak from a brand perspective.

So we see a lot of brands that are maybe they want to merchandise their PLP to expand on all the different colorways they have.

Maybe they're releasing a smaller collection.

So they don't necessarily want to have just one or two products represented there.

So I think being able to have this single parent product and then expand that on PLP to represent maybe the 12 different colorways.

But then you're still just managing a single parent from like product description, etc. will just make that so much easier and provide that flexibility.

Right now we're trying to like work around that sometimes.

But yeah, I think from like a brand perspective, it'll allow them to achieve what they want to do from merchandising.

Yeah, and that's it.

I was leaning on like, oh, well, this is a workaround for the variant limit.

But it's also the approach.

The purpose is merchandising.

It's like one way we work around that 100 variant limit is, hey, in my shoe example, well, it's got sizes, it's got widths.

And as soon as I had colorways in, things get complicated.

Well maybe I want to break it out.

So my shoe comes in three colors.

I have three product listings.

And that way I can show those in the collection grid.

I can optimize the title for SEO with the color.

It surfaces the product more.

All of us had been doing this as a theme customization where it's like a meta object.

You would then tell Shopify, hey, these products are related and then it would appear in the product form like available in other colors.

And it would jump between them.

Fancy headless stores would make it like really seamless.

Yeah, like fancy, fancy, where you really couldn't even tell that it was jumping product pages.

That customization that we're like all doing anyway, I guess Shopify took notice.

It's we're make this official.

And so they have a Shopify Plus exclusive app called Combined Listings App now.

Do we know what availability on that?

I think it's in preview as well.

Maybe not dev preview.

Yeah, I think it's in preview.

It's got access for qualified plus merchants.

OK, so it's invite beta.

You got to go hassle your partner manager, please.

Please, I beg you.

I do think it is a it's a good like quality of life change.

Like you said, we've all been doing this customization for many, many years, whether it's through meta objects or just through like product tags.

But having it consolidated and grouped within the admin itself is huge.

Obviously we all love that.

Yeah, we've been splitting on color way or size or something like that.

So it's nice that it will at least be available in the admin for these storefronts.


Now a quality of life improvement, you know, in the past, like doing it as a theme customization, that's fine.

The only oddity to it is you're not standardizing this approach.

So like you could potentially get into, you know, incompatibilities with apps.

And I can't think of a single issue that this is created off the top of my head, but that advantage to having a standardized, documented approach from the mothership telling us this is how you're going to do that thing you were doing anyway.

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Worth mentioning goes like right along with this discussion of, you know, variants.

We're talking about variant options here.

Rich attributes for product categories.

Did anyone get excited about this one?

I did see that.

And that's going to be on like product cards, right?

Which I think this ties into with what you just mentioned, the combined listing to a degree because something I just want to mention there is we used to kind of split.

We would like apply a filter when you got to a collection page if you wanted to only show one color.

But I'd be curious if there, this can be extended to say in my recommended products, you only searched red.

I'm only going to give you red products or blue or a certain size, right?

If there's ways to more specifically target a customer as a result of their browsing behavior, I'd be curious if there's a way to kind of feed into there as well with what they're releasing.

Oh, so, okay.

So they call it rich attributes for each product category.

It's taxonomy.

And that's another maddening thing about working in Shopify catalogs is maintaining clean product information management.

And up until now, it's really up to the merchant or their vendors to figure out how you're going to handle that.

And it sounds like Shopify is trying to standardize that approach.

And like the little screenshot they have in their example is like, you know, category shorts and they break it down by activity, color, target, gender, material.

And you're taking it a step further and go, okay, if we know how they're filtering based on that, we can segment them.

And you know, then maybe in our newsletter, you know, like through Klaviyo, we could send them just, we could show them only the relevant stuff.

Like if I'm only ever shopping men's shorts, then I don't need them to show me, you know, women's dresses.


I think this is just another like, kind of good quality of life change that Shopify has implemented.

I don't know if this one was a general release now or I missed the memo on when this is actually being released, if they did mention it.

But like, for example, right now in like meta objects and meta fields, if we want to have something that's referenceable on every product page, you kind of have to like pin it.

But that pin may barely be the same for every single product type.

And you can only pin 20.


So in this, being able to change it based on product type or collection or whatever that category is that you can define will be really nice and it will just be available in the admin.

Obviously a lot of our clients are using like PIMS that's sending that information automatically.

But if you're not using a PIM and you are using Shopify to load your products, it's going to be a huge unlock just in that quality of life that I mentioned.

It should be a good change.


Yeah, I think as far as availability on this rich attributes feature, rich attributes for product categories, it looks like that's early access.

You could sign up for early access right now.

So I'm guessing that's like it's potentially available in beta for some select folks.

And for past experience, it seems like they'll define an ideal category of customer.

And if you fit that profile, okay, you can use, like they'll let you play with it.

If you don't fit it, obviously like they don't want you tearing your hair out, trying to use a new feature, which I appreciate.

Okay, we've talked, I mean, all of that, the first three or four things we talked about, all of it is related to merchandising, related to product information management.

It involves everything we discussed maps to a SKU, right?

So let's switch gears a little bit.

I want to hear about B2B.

Because for the people who do B2B, it's like, it's tremendously valuable to the business.

And also a source of pain, trying because B2B programs vary so much.

So I know, John, you had you had B2B thoughts.

I did.


And you know, I do remember the old where our wholesale channel frustrations, right?

You would upload your price list, but you could never see it.

You had to save the file externally to even know what the prices are, right?

All via CSV is how you manage prices, right?

And just like, it was a great baseline.

And certainly some limitations there now, there, but with the way they're pushing B2B, right?

Like, we're getting into much, I feel like a true B2B service, I would say versus, "Hey, I'm a shop and I have one or two clients where I just sell like by the pallet."

But here, you really are able to go in and say, "I have 100 different locations and three sales managers who go in there and service them directly."

Their ability to, their ability from a service manager perspective to just directly view the orders related and information to their sites and to their customers to give specific pricing in there to those, right?

Been tied to some B2B work in the past and some past e-comm life.

And it was just some things that we couldn't do B2B online at all.

But I think there's some unlocks that allow merchants to kind of make that next step without a technology frustration holding them back from delivering the service that is going to be required in there, right?

There's some headless pieces where you can, you're on a headless site, your B2B site can map, it can go headless now.

So right from a styling perspective, your D2C and your B2B customers can see a unified brand online, which I think is huge.

So I mean, yeah, there's a lot to dive into there, but certainly things that even for clients that were helping service now are unlocked to get them into the B2B space with Shopify.


Yeah, I think one of the new B2B features is new staff permissions where you could say, you have a sales rep, they manage this client, like this is their customer.

And so you can limit it where like they only have access to that customer location, their orders as you can kind of silo these things a little bit, which anytime you're dealing with customer order information, it's still, it's personally identifiable information.

So it's nice to be able to silo it.

But I think it speaks to a larger theme we've been seeing is Shopify is quietly becoming more secure over time where the staff permissions are becoming increasingly granular.

So you can really kind of limit risk for everybody involved by saying, okay, you're doing X work, so you have access to just the things you need to see.

And the more granular they make it, the better.

And this B2B update just is part of following that trend, which I like a lot.

Yeah, and to your point, if you haven't, like if you were turned off by the old wholesale channel or old solutions and have not explored the B2B solutions yet, when they work the way I had always hoped a wholesale channel on Shopify would work, it makes sense.

It's very sensical.

All right, going back to D2C, you know, talking about our consumers' returns and exchanges, this looked like a nice welcome update.

Any experience or thoughts there?

Yeah, I think our clients are going to be very excited about that.

Also looking into that store credit component.

Right now we see a lot of like discounts being issued if there's an issue with the order, etc.

So having that just available right in their accounts when they can check out with that store credit, I think is great.

And on the exchange front, you know, just more retention, making sure they're keeping that sale.

So I think brands are going to be excited about that.

I also appreciate just the ease of use, the convenience of moving various day to day operations into the native Shopify admin.

And so like not long ago, they gave us self-serve returns.

And it looks like this is that feature evolving where previously, yeah, you can handle returns in Shopify.

Now we're adding exchanges in there and store credit.

And you're right, it's like, all right, you'd issue them a discount code, you'd issue them a gift card.

You essentially had to do like a workaround to handle store credit.

And that goes away now.

Yeah, I think the people that are issuing gift cards, exchanges, it also doesn't allow them to have a good sense of data, like what's going wrong?

Why are we having so many exchanges or store credits?

Is there an issue with how we're describing products online?

Things like that.

So I think having the store credit to be able to tie back to an order and figure out what the issue is, if there's an issue with merchandising or whatever it may be.

It also, I feel like it helps give a more holistic picture of the customer, right?

If I'm a CSR, customer service rep, I call in or live chat and either return exchange, I could see that in my entire customer history from the admin side and say, "Oh, you've got $40 in store credit already from something previous.

Maybe we don't want to lose you and you're already calling customer service agents because you have an issue or frustration."

Having that holistic picture, you can maybe more specifically address those customers, people say, right?

And not just, "Oh, give them a store credit."

It allows for a higher touch, I would say, which we all like, right?

When we reach out to a brand, I want to feel like you've valued my time because I'm taking time out of my day to contact you.

So I feel like that's kind of a good reciprocal respect piece that from a customer management perspective, you can start to implement business.

For sure.

Well, I think we have to bring up the specter of performance.

There are web performance updates that have happened here.

Did anybody have a chance to look at that?

I know it sounds like it's a new dashboard with real user insights.

So in the past, you would have in the dashboard, it was like PageSpeed score.

Use Google Lighthouse and it was like an average of home product collection.

Like it tried to group things together and give you mobile versus desktop and it would say like, "You're compared to other stores.

Your store is insanely slow."

Or, "I like medium slow.

Your store is medium slow."

Now it sounds like it's going to show...

Because PageSpeed is kind of an arbitrary score, right?

Now it's going to show more real metrics like loading speed.

"Well, that's a thing I can measure."

Timed interactivity, visual stability.

So that's like the core web vital stuff.

Like a welcome change.


Yeah, for sure.

I think that's a solid idea.

I think we'll kind of see how it's implemented after the fact.

But it does look like they opened up APIs to it as well or to like specific metrics.

I'm not sure if that's just for the headless side or for the online store 2.0 side as well.

It looks like it's on online store under themes.

Oh, is it?



I said as of today, they'll start rolling it out.

So some people may see it already.



I'm interested to see what those APIs look like just to get a better look at it.

But DVD on that one, in my mind.

And they do say, "We're committed to making our platform lightning fast.

In the past year, we've expanded infrastructure, resulting in 35% faster performance."

All right, I'll take it.

I think for the most part, that is true as well.

They've obviously gone pretty far in serving things at the edge.

I know that was like a big thing for them on the hydrogen side, but I know they're applying it to the online store sales channel as well.

So intrigued to see if that improved performance keeps climbing closer to like the checkout performance.

Obviously, it's probably not possible just realistically to get like one to one performance benefits on the checkout side just because it's so much more lightweight than the online store side.

But we'll see if that...

Because I think they said, did they say 80% or 90% faster on the checkout side?

Oh, 95%.




So there's still some room to improve on the online store side for sure.

I mean, that's a tougher...

Like the checkout is so...


It's such a sandbox versus the rest of the store.

That is just a much tougher problem to solve.

Now in the extensibility world too, where they've taken away like Dom access, that just keeps...

It was for the best.

We abused it.

Oh yeah.

No, no, I'm not arguing with you.

We absolutely abused the Dom access and checkout.

But yeah, it should be.

It should be faster and it is than the online store.

That's where I'll leave it.

A lot of our customizations just show it was practical stuff, just showing like prop 65 warnings, that kind of thing.

And so having that move to checkout extensibility just kind of made everybody's life easier, even if it is, hey, you got to learn a new model, a new framework.

But so far we've had a pretty good experience with checkout extensions.

So seeing that continue to evolve is always positive.

Just having them go, hey, everything is just faster out of the box.

Or you're like, you're just starting at faster.

I'll take it.


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A lot of the 100 variant limits going away.


Also, death to page speed scores.

I'm thrilled to have it switching the performance dashboard KPIs moving to like actual, you know, KPIs that map to something, you know, that are quantifiable in a real way and not so subjective.

The, okay, we covered performance.

I think the only other big announcement we didn't talk about was subscriptions being, Shopify subscriptions just being in general availability to everybody.

I have not, I have never played with it.

I haven't played with it in the store.

But right, but you know, like read the documentation that it's now available and, you know, from, I mean, from an offering, right?

It's nice to have that built into a platform now.

Like previously, you always had to go third party.

You always had to pay an external service and, you know, engage another team to manage that, which, you know, always leads to just more time spent operating the business, which is time you're not spending improving it.


So, you know, I'm excited to see how, how extensive that is, right?

Like there are the candy emails that Shopify is going to have.

So, you know, we don't have to build those templates.

You know, it has the PDP function.

It's got, there'll be something there in accounts.

But I think it's, I think it's a big unlock for brands that are just starting to get into a subscription type model without wanting to maybe make the plunge into a third party that, you know, potentially supports more, like more, like more recommendations or just like a more robust, my account type of feature.

So there's, there's, there's definitely a lot of potential in there.

I'm very curious to see which of our merchants start to use it and also just how it impacts the way merchants operate on Shopify.

There's a lot of businesses that need a subscription model because they have a product which is usable.

It's not like a shirt that, you know, I buy two or three a year if it's a consumable, whether it be, you know, in the makeup department, whether, you know, like body washes, things like that.

Like these are all items that we regularly need just to sustain life essentially.

So I think this is, it empowers the merchants.

For sure.

So let's see.

Well, okay.

Key takeaways.

Like, Kim, what's the, if you get on a client call with a merchant and they're like, you're like, "Hey, Shopify announced a bunch of new stuff and additions," and they go, "What's new?"

What's the one thing, the first thing you're gonna tell them?

There's a couple of things just based on who the client is.

I think variance is a huge thing for many of the clients that we have on our side.

But the other piece, the product image enhancement, really excited to see how that works.

Right now, we're, you know, it's kind of the season where we're doing a ton of rebuilds, redesigns, etc.

A big piece of that is often like the onus is on the client.

Are you going to reshoot your product?

Your product needs to be reshot by X date in order to launch.

You know, that's a lot of pressure on them in an already like busy time of their lives for that business.

So I think it's going to be nice to see how that plays because potentially they can reuse the shots they already have, if they can align with a consistent background based on updated designs.

I think that's kind of topical right now based on where a lot of our clients are in their life cycle just this season.

So I think that's definitely a big one that I would like to flag.

Yeah, I think that's like, just because we're so developer focused, we focused on the really nerdy stuff.

But like, what's the practical, useful tool if I'm just a Shopify merchant trying to run a store, or I have a successful business?

And I think you're right.

I think that that magic editor represents huge time savings for people.

And I think ultimately, like a better outcome, a more polished store, when you can quickly, easily recrop a photo, change the background so that it better fits into like whatever, you know, section and custom block you're using.

Yeah, definitely.

I mean, in redesigns, we're often seeing, like we'll recommend maybe it's better with this design, maybe you should have like a white background, you know, for simplicity sake, across all these pages, client goes, okay, well, all my stuff is shot on this velvet drape.

That's like a massive, massive piece for me to like go and reshoot that.

So if we're able to kind of like quickly change those backgrounds, I think it'll take some pressure off the client also alleviate like maybe they don't have someone technical on their side who's familiar with Photoshop enough to do this quickly.

So I think enabling them to have that in their hands will be great.

I was gonna say, I know how to do this now in Photoshop.

So like, that's what I'm doing.

It works.

If you know how to do it, it's not too bad.

But you know, not everybody has that skill set.

That's what I'm gonna be comparing it to.

You know what, and I didn't, I don't even know if we looked up like when that's available.

You know what it says, release status general availability.

So maybe that's in there now.

I gotta go play with it.


Yeah, I'm definitely gonna go back to the team and say let everybody know because we have a ton of, a ton of redesigns happening right now.

Jay or John, what's the, somebody asked you, hey, what's new?

What's the thing you're going with?

I would go with returns, exchanges and store credit because that right, that's every business generally needs to support that in some way, shape or form.

Maybe not store credit for everybody, but returns and exchanges.

If you're selling a product, a physical product, even a digital product, right?

Not losing that conversion.

Like they said, you know, you keep that customer engaged.

Hey, this didn't, yeah, that size didn't fit or, you know, maybe you didn't like that style.

No problem.

We'll deal with, we'll, we'll help you out right now.

Boom, you get your new, you know, you, your new, your new products on the way, ship us back your old one, right?

Whatever your business flow is going to be.

It just allows you to help the customer so much more.

So yeah, that's, that's where I would point people to.

I mean, you need to be using new customer accounts for the, to take advantage of those features.

But there's certainly, that's, that's, that's certainly the way Shopify is moving.

And right, Checkout Extensibility is going to plug into the new, my account, you know, template and so whatnot as, as they continue to evolve.

So there's, I just see a lot of growth in how you're able to help your customer as, as we continue on.

And yeah, anything, well, it improves the experience for the customer.

But also really a lot of time savings on just like a kind of annoying day to day task that people have to work through otherwise.

And now having that be a smoother operation in Shopify, welcome change.

Jay Larson, how about yourself?

My answer is kind of twofold, but in the same, same kind of area for both.

First, the reusable theme blocks.

We've kind of had a solution for this in the past, at least within our build tooling where we could just write a single block once and then it would populate to all the other ones.

But this just simplifies it a bit, takes it outside of our build tooling and just makes it native to the platform, which is always nice to see.

And then also the nesting ability of blocks.

I think selfishly, I'm also hoping for the ability to restrict nesting on certain blocks.

And from all the way.

Yeah, yeah, mainly just for like QA, UAT reasons.

So we don't have like a text box inside of a text box inside of a text box inside of a text box, like eight players.

You want to put guardrails on it so I can't just abuse it.

Yeah, yeah.

That's essentially, essentially what it is.

So just some expanded guardrails.

And I think Shopify has done a pretty decent job of that on their latest, like theme editor releases, specifically for like online store 2.0.

Right now they have sections that you can restrict to certain template types or in a specific order in some cases.

So yeah, I think I think that will be a good one.

I'm all for having consistent theme blocks along the way because no one really likes it if they can use an image on one homepage section a certain way and then they get to the next section on the product page and they use the image in the same exact way.

So I think it would just be nice having like a very consistent set of tools for our merchants to utilize.

100% Yeah, yeah.

All of this is geared less toward like here is new functionality.

And there's a lot of new functionality for it.

But like the direct benefit, the direct outcome is let's streamline operations.

Let's make everybody's lives easier, both on the customer side, the merchant side, and developers, vendors like ourselves.

So Chelsea, did you have one that you liked?

Like this is you're going to run with?

Yeah, I mean, I think you guys covered all the bigger ones.

I would say one thing we didn't talk too much about today is the AI enhancements.

Also some of the changes to photography and the search functionality.

So maybe search, oh, we didn't even mention the search.

Yeah, yeah, search.

I guess search just works better now.

It's AI powered.


I'll take it.


So yeah, what they announced with search is instead of just looking at, you know, the keywords that you input, it's called semantic search.

So it'll start to take in if like if it recognizes me, and I've purchased in the past, you know, it can start to look at my browsing history, it can look at my order history.

So essentially, that semantic, it takes into account not external factors, but factors that might be on the fringe that aren't directly part of my purchase journey, and my conversion funnel, but you know, maybe how I got there and some other things like that, right?

We've seen this with third party platforms, right, they're able to look at, you know, outside data to a degree, and kind of pull that in.

So the suggestions which are provided, and the way I kind of broke it down for myself is searching chocolate milk versus milk chocolate is very different from a human perspective.

If you search chocolate milk, you want milk, right?

You want you want milk in that chocolate versus if you search milk chocolate, does the search engine believe I want the drink or is it going after the actual, you know, square product, right?

So making being able to, that's a very simple example, right?

But being able to make those differences and give you a better recommendation is where this is leading us.

And this what's cool, it's a shame we didn't mention semantic search earlier, because all the other features we got excited about you can't use yet, right?

For the most part, semantic search, this is available now, if you install Shopify search and discovery, then I think it's a, the settings are in there.

I don't know if you have to enable it or how it works.

But I mean, yeah, I guess you have to configure the logic for it.

But yeah, There is some, but it's there, right?

It's available now.

And exclusive to Shopify plus many of these, these features were that we went over or Shopify plus exclusives.


I believe Chelsea, is it, is it time to wrap it up?

Yeah, I think that was perfect.

So thank you guys so much for joining us and to all of our attendees who dialed in, we appreciate having you and we're happy to host you for the session today.

We did record this session and we'll be publishing a recap as well as the recording.

So check back on the tomorrow and a half, you'll it's LinkedIn pages for that.

But yeah, thank you so much and hope you have a great rest of your day.