What’s Next in Commerce?

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A Content Roundup from Shopify Commerce+ 2021.

 

The face of retail has advanced dramatically over the last 18 months. The global pandemic changed everything, as eCommerce growth and trends were accelerated by 10 years. In 2020, 150 million people shopped online for the first time – and have continued to do so as restrictions have been lifted.

 

To meet the evolving needs of these consumers, as well as those still coming to market – both online and through social commerce – it is more important than ever for brands to keep an ear to the ground for new techniques that will help them reach, acquire, convert and retain customers across of all their channels.

 

Last night, Shopify hosted their annual masterclass event: Commerce+. The virtual event featured talks from industry disruptors and leaders, such as music industry icon and Humanrace founder, Pharrell Williams, on adopting a winning approach to failure and using the DTC model to build connections. Jimmy Butler, NBA star and founder of BIGFACE Coffee, also offered insight on customer experience and branding innovation.

 

Build Customer Relationships

The prevailing theme throughout Commerce+ was how to connect and build relationships with consumers through an authentic and immersive brand story. Throughout the event, we heard key insight from high-growth brands in a range of verticals on topics such as connecting with the next wave of consumers, building an engaged community through educational content, as well as channel expansion and growth opportunities.

 

Light-hearted insight into the very serious topic of dealing with counterfeit products was also offered by the VP of Marketing and Growth at Peak Design, Elish Patel, who explained how the brand used creative marketing to discredit an imitation product produced by Amazon

 

Shopify of course used the event to announce a host of new features, improvements and tools that will be launching throughout 2022; from a powerful new editor, Online Store 2.0, which expands the platform’s creative customisation capabilities to make it easier and faster to scale branded content across a Shopify store, to new B2B features to allow brands to manage their business customers, offer personalised pricing and payment terms and provide a seamless B2B checkout flow. 

 

Some more exciting features coming down the line next year include: 

 

  • Shopify Markets – giving brands a centralised hub from which to manage their global commerce strategy
  • ShopifyQL Notebooks – crediting merchants with more flexibility to explore and visualise datasets from multiple sources in a single interface, and 
  • Shopify Flow – enabling retailers to build eCommerce workflows to automate tasks, campaigns and processes within their store.

 

With the rise in popularity of live shopping events, social commerce was also explored during the event. Shopify was keen to mention their new ad integration with TikTok, which allows merchants to create a mini storefront within TikTok to sync their catalogues and create interactive video ads within Shopify.

 

According to Shopify: “In TikTok, content is shared with audiences that are most interested in it, so brands and creators can leverage their already highly engaged followers and reach new audiences to make the most of a product discovery opportunity in an authentic way.” 

 

Following the success of their initiative to offset carbon emissions from shipping in 2020, which saw Shopify offset the equivalent of carbon captured and stored by over 80,000 acres of forest in one year, the commerce platform announced that they will be offsetting emissions from shipping for every order placed during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday week. 

 

Event facilitator and Shopify’s Managing Director for EMEA, Shimona Mehta, commented: “We are not just building the products for brands to start, build and scale their businesses, we’re also building the infrastructure that supports their journey in sustainability.”

 

Mehta also offered some advice for merchants on how to strategise for the future of commerce: “The future of commerce must be bold because, as we’ve talked about, the landscape is noisy and crowded and the way consumers discover brands is making the world even smaller. 

 

“Brands need bold to cut through: bold innovation, bold design, language, statements and value propositions that draw people’s attention in and bring their passion to the forefront.”

 

If you missed the live event, don’t worry! You can still catch up with the recording from Commerce+ on-demand (for a limited time only) here.

 

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