If you want to sell online but don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a retail eCommerce website, then Shopify is the way to go.
This hosting eCommerce software service allows you to build your website and use their shipping cart solutions to sell, ship, and manage your products all in one place. And, it only costs $29 per month to create a fully functional website that will allow you to sell your products online.
If you are already using the platform, then you’re probably aware of the perks it has to offer. But, here’s some great news!
Shopify has launched a new app at the beginning of 2020, simply called Shop. It comes after the Arrive app, which allowed customers to track their online orders and shipments from Shopify stores. The new Shop app adds another layer of functionality. The main idea behind Shop is to bring together Shopify merchants in a simple, easy to browse platform that is successfully competing with Amazon.
But, what does the new Shopify app do exactly, and how it can help your online retail business?
We will go through all the features the Shop app has, and see what makes it such big news in mobile commerce today.
What Does Shopify’s Shop Do?
The simplicity of the name Shopify has given to its app suggests that we might see more coming from it in the near future. The way Shop works now is based on the customer’s previous buying experience on Shopify.
A store will appear in a user’s Shop app only if it previously made a sale to the user, if it’s situated in the proximity (meaning that it appears in local searches), or if the user searches for it directly. Your list of products will not be displayed entirely in the Shop app, but only selected products will be shown when your store is displayed.
If a customer wants to make a purchase or see more of your products, the app will redirect them to your website. This system gives you the advantage of keeping all the elements that you are using to engage with or appeal to your customers. Your store will have the design you chose and all the optimisations you implemented.
One of the main advantages the app offers to your customers is that they will be notified about their deliveries with every step. This transparency in communication also works to your advantage, as it can mean significant time and money saved from the customer support department.
Is Your Store Eligible to Appear in the Shopify App?
Not all Shopify stores appear in the Shop app. If you want to be one of them, you need to check a few requirements, the first one being, of course, having a store on Shopify and a product to sell. If you haven’t used the platform yet, we strongly recommend starting the Shopify 14-days free trial and get a taste of it.
Because the Shop app uses Shop Pay for a fast, unified check-out experience, your shop should have this payment gateway activated. You can easily turn on the Shop Pay from the payment settings section of the Shopify admin.
An important mention is that Shop Pay is only available for the stores that can add Shopify Payment as a payment gateway. It is only available in certain countries, so check the list and see if your store can use it.
Once your store is listed in the Shop app, you should let your customers know that they can use the app for better delivery speeds, product recommendations, and real-time updates on discounts, offers, and order status. You can display a link to the app on your order status page (available only for stores based in the US, Canada, or Australia). You can enable the link to the app from the Checkout section of your settings.
If you seem to have checked all the requirements for being listed in the Shop app, but your store is still not appearing in the app, you should contact Shopify’s support service and let them know. They can inform you if any of the requirements haven’t been met, or they can put you on a waiting list.
Features Included in the Shop App
Online Order Tracking
Following your Shopify orders is made very simple with Shop, as it displays the real-time status of every order and sends you personalized notifications when the status is updated.
You can also track non-Shopify orders by syncing your Gmail account with the app. It will then identify tracking numbers in your emails and show the order in the Order Tracking reports.
Getting your customers to visit your online shop again and keep in touch with you is another huge advantage of the Shop app. Once a customer has the app and they have purchased something from you, your store will be added to the list of stores they follow.
One of the main sections in the app is “New arrivals” which shows new products from the shops the user follows. This gives you exposure and reminds your previous customers about your brand and their experience with it.
Based on a customer’s list of followed brands and purchase history, Shop will recommend to them similar products from selected stores that fit their profile best. When a customer enters your profile, they will see a limited number of your best-selling products.
You don’t get to decide which products will be displayed in the Shop app, as Shopify automatically chooses them based on your sales data. This list is constantly updated as Shopify syncs the data.
There is one thing you can do to influence what products will be shown in the Shop app, and that is to hide certain products from the app. For this, you need to manually create a collection called “Shop app hidden”, and these products will be ignored by Shopify when syncing your product display.
Another great feature of Shopify’s Shop app is that it offers customers the possibility to shop locally, from independent stores with a brick-and-mortar business near them. If they are in a hurry to get your products, they can also opt for local pickup, which makes Shop a great choice for urgent needs. If you do have the possibility to offer personal pickup of your products, we do recommend offering it in the app. Also, check how you can get Shopify POS, to make your processes run smoother.
A very welcome feature for e-commerce customers is being able to assess whether an online shop is trustworthy or not. Of course, Shopify does have plenty of regulations when it comes to shops that appear on the platform, but they have added the Shop Facts feature in the Shop app, for extra reassurement.
The kind of information that customers will see in the Shop Facts section is related to the shipping of your products. The app will tell your customers if you are shipping fast, if free delivery is available or if you can let them pick up the products themselves.
This information is generated automatically, so there’s no way of optimising your shop for the Facts section other than delivering fast.
Shopify Stores Selected for the Beta Version of the Shop App
Shopify has invited selected USA-based stores to participate in the Closed Beta testing of the Shop app. You can get a better idea of what we can expect from Shopify in the future by what Beta testers are working with. They can customise the logo, cover photo, and the store description. They can also add and customise social media links or contact pages.
Developers should also keep an eye on the evolution of the Shop app, as it might bring new opportunities for them, too. Currently, partners who register in Shopify API sell their apps in the Shopify App Store. Shopify API is also an open-source for app development, and it continues to contribute to making e-commerce better for both businesses and customers. Even if Shop proves to be a great success, it doesn’t eliminate the previous experience at all, since users are redirected to the main Shopify page of a store.
Payments in the Shop App
Shop Pay, formerly known as Shopify Pay, makes it easy for customers to buy products from independent stores on Shopify with just a few clicks. The Shop app allows them to browse, pay, and track their orders all in one app, which greatly improves the customer experience.
Having all purchases powered by the same payment gateway makes the checkout process faster and easier, an important point of improvement compared to how the platform performed until now. Customers want a hassle-free check-out and will abandon their cart if the process wastes too much time, or requests the same information each time, for example.
By simplifying this step of the process, the Shop app eliminates a lot of these problems and gives stores a higher chance of converting customers. Similarly to the Amazon experience, customers can save their payment details to Shop Pay when they make the first purchase through the app. All the following purchases will be much easier since the information is already there.
The Availability of the Shop App
The app is currently available for Android (version 5.0 or later) and iOS (version 10.3 or later), for free. While a web app would be welcome, Shopify hasn’t announced anything regarding a possible development. It does make sense to only have a mobile app, as Shopify has stated that it’s meant to give mobile shoppers a better experience.
Should You Use the New Shopify App?
It’s clear that Shopify is trying to do more and more in-house. From launching their own email marketing tool, Shopify Email, to creating the Shop app, they are constantly developing new ways to make e-commerce faster, reliable, and convenient for both businesses and consumers.
Do you need the Shop app as a Shopify store owner?
First of all, you cannot ignore the fact that more and more people are spending more time on their mobile devices than on desktop computers. Consumers nowadays are using their phones not only for entertainment but also for work and shopping.
So, if you want to experiment with new mobile applications or if it’s already available in your country, then yes, the new Shop app can add a new layer of sophistication to your online store.
But things do remain as you know them, and the app only guides the customers to your own website. So, don’t expect the app to do the hard work for you and to get new customers just because you are using it. Don’t get lazy with your routine marketing strategies, keep your Facebook ads running, optimise your product pages, and keep in touch with your clients.
For many small businesses, the e-commerce platform is a chance of getting a new business running. As we are witnessing the beginning of the Shop app, we can guess that Shopify has big plans for the near future, and we hope that it will treat its business partners and its users with consideration, as it has done so many times before.
Do You Need Help in Setting and Optimising Your Shop Listing?
We at Australian Internet Advertising are excited whenever Shopify launches a new feature or a new product. In our opinion, the Shop app is a game-changer, and store owners should get on this train as early as possible. Our team of Shopify Website Development experts here to answer any questions you may have and can help you build a website designed to maximize your conversions. Contact us for a free consultation with an online specialist.