The thing with tech announcements–be they hardware or software–is that a lot of what gets announced doesn’t actually exist yet and, call us old fashioned, but we have a hard time getting excited about what might come later, maybe if we’re lucky. On the other hand, announcements like these are a great way to get insight into the platform and where it might be going, and for that reason we look forward to them every six months or so.
The last several editions have been a mix of product announcements big and small and have been spread across the various aspects of the platform, and this one is no different. We see native bundles (finally!) and even native subscriptions (hear, hear!), and we see the addition of a PO field for wholesale (which, duh).
Maybe more importantly, we also see where Shopify and its leadership team are heading, and when we look at that, we see smart and encouraging things. We see investment into POS for retail sales. We see a continued investment into turning the Shop app into a real network player, and at the same time we see the ways that Shopify is continuing to try to own the product and order backend, while acknowledging the reality of a multi-marketplace world.
Every announcement balances things that will make the app developer ecosystem happy, offers expanded low-end functionality for the majority of Shopify users, and features focused improvements at the enterprise level. This summer we see all of the above and that is good.
Like the rest of the world, Shopify is scrambling to imbue its app with AI superpowers and these seem… fine. But we’re cautiously optimistic about the sidekick function Tobi announced a week or two ago; querying databases is annoying, and if we can do it in a text-based wrapper, so much the better.
Most interesting as a portent of the future is the tease of a drag-and-drop editor for Shopify page editing. This is the obvious next step to the work the team has done since rolling out Online Store 2.0, and for a team that builds and maintains Shopify sites, perhaps one that will have the greatest impact on our workflows. We’ll see how it goes, but if Facebook’s early model was to move fast and break things, Shopify has shown a proclivity to move slow and do it right, so we remain hopeful.
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