The release of Shopify Editions Winter 2024 is here, and it's jam-packed with over 100 new product updates that will elevate your ecommerce business. This edition's theme is Foundations, which couldn't be more perfect because I truly believe establishing strong foundations is essential for small businesses selling online.

In this blog post, we'll dive into the exciting updates and additions that will benefit small businesses selling on Shopify. But before we get started, there's a BIG caveat - you need to make sure you're using a Shopify 2.0 enabled theme to access pretty much all of these updates. If not, you may fall behind in the rapidly evolving world of ecommerce.

If you've not yet updated your theme (looking at you Debut) then please do check out my mini course How to Choose a Shopify 2.0 Theme it takes you through how to pick a new theme without the overwhelm, and feel free to message me with any questions you have.

Right, onto the good stuff:

Flex sections: Nested blocks

Shopify have introduced an exciting new design feature which should make creating unique websites even easier! At the moment you can add sections and within those sections sit blocks, which you can move around. Now with flex sections you'll be able to create nested blocks which will allow flexibility to move and change the design of blocks within sections. There's also a new feature  called reusable blocks which will eliminate extra work by allowing you to define blocks once and reusing them across sections. You can learn more about this in the developers update here.

Product classification: Organise effortlessly

One of the key updates in this winter edition is improved product classification capabilities. With better attributes for each product category and an updated taxonomy system, you can now classify and organise your products more efficiently than ever before.

More variants: Catering to complex catalogues

For developers and merchants with extensive catalogues, this update brings great news - later in 2024, you'll be able to use up to 2,000 variants per product on Shopify. This makes it easier for brands with complex offerings to effectively utilise the platform.

Combined listings

Shopify have announced a game-changing app called Combined Listings in this edition. It allows you to combine products with multiple colours or styles into one parent listing without losing individual products' visibility. While currently only available for Shopify Plus customers, there are themes that you can easily do this with already with the use of Metafields, so reach out if you need help.

Access all media files in one place

Managing media files just got easier. Images, videos, and other content can be accessed using a single file picker available on the products and variants pages. Say goodbye to re-uploading existing media files when creating or editing products – this feature is a game changer for brands that use the same visuals across multiple offerings.

Semantic search: A smart way to find products

Shopify has updated its search with powerful AI functionality called semantic search. This advanced feature allows customers to search for products using more natural phrases instead of relying solely on keywords. While currently exclusive to Shopify Plus customers, we hope it will become accessible to all merchants soon.

Shopify Subscriptions: Increase customer lifetime value

Exciting news! Shopify subscriptions has finally rolled out to all Shopify customers. If you've been considering implementing subscription-based options into your business model, Shopify Subscriptions makes it easy to install and customise whilst giving your customers flexibility options like skipping, modifying, or canceling their subscriptions. And it's free!

Expand your offering with Shopify Bundles

With the release of Shopify Bundles comes expanded possibilities for product bundling within your store. You can now offer up to 30 products per bundle (previously limited at 10), providing more value and choice for your customers.

Updates to discounts: Flexibility for promotions

Discounts play a crucial role in attracting shoppers, so it's great news that discounts can now be applied to draft orders. This feature is especially handy for businesses that take phone orders or manually process orders for customers. Additionally, new types of discounts have been added, including free automatic shipping and improvements to the buy X get Y promotion. Buyers will also see how much they're saving directly in their cart, helping push them to checking out.

Shop Pay installments

Say hello to Shop Pay installments. Shopify has launched this alternative payment option rivalling Klarna and Clear Pay. Allowing customers to view their loaned amount directly on the product page and complete transactions with confidence. This addition provides more flexibility and convenience for your shoppers during checkout.

Search & Discovery updates

The Search & Discovery app receives some significant updates in this edition as well. Visual filters for swatches and customisable filter logic make it even easier for your customers to find exactly what they're looking for on your online shop. Don't underestimate the importance of these improvements - an enhanced customer experience leads to increased sales. If you're not already using this app, add it right now and start creating a more user-friendly shop.

Gift card functionality improvements 

Making gift-giving more personal, Shopify now offers an improved gifting experience through its gift card options. Customers can add a recipient's name and greeting to their gift cards while scheduling when it should be sent - perfect for special occasions.

Reach new trade customers with Faire

Shopify has partnered with Faire, the leading online wholesale marketplace, opening up opportunities for you to reach new B2B customers. By easily installing the app and syncing your products, you can connect with a vast network of retail shops looking for unique offerings like yours.

Image editing with Shopify Magic

Shopify introduces AI-enabled image editing features through it's Shopify Magic app. With just a few clicks, you can create professional product photos by generating, matching, or removing backgrounds from existing images instantly. While we'll have to wait and see if it surpasses other design apps like Canva in accuracy and efficiency – it certainly shows great potential.

Unlock insights with new reports

Data-driven decision making just got better on Shopify. This product update brings 60+ new reports available across all plans on the platform. These reports provide valuable insights into what's working (and what isn't) on your online shop, enabling you to optimise your strategies and drive growth.

Enhanced Shopify app store experience

The Shopify App Store receives some exciting updates as well. With AI-powered guidance, finding the right apps for specific outcomes becomes even easier. Whether you're looking to streamline returns or enhance customer support, the new guided search feature will help you discover relevant apps effortlessly. Additionally, comparing apps side-by-side allows for better decision-making when choosing from over 8,000 available options.

Shopify Editions Winter 2024 is a game changer for small businesses selling products online. These updates provide a strong foundation for scaling your ecommerce business and improving customer experiences. From enhanced product organisation to smarter search functionality and expanded capabilities in discounts and subscriptions – this edition has it all!

Make sure to check out the full release on Shopify's website for more detailed information about these incredible updates.

Now is the time to take advantage of these advancements and propel your online business towards success.

This blog was written by

Why learn from me?

Hi, I’m Elle. I specialise in all things ecommerce for small businesses selling and growing online. I created The Ecommerce Assistant to help busy brand owners make more sales on their online shop by teaching them how to use Shopify + Klaviyo.