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Shopify — The Ultimate E-commerce Powerhouse


May 2, 2023


Jono Cook

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Shopify Partner N4 Studio


As an official Shopify partner, it’s no secret we love the platform

With Shopify’s dominating feature set and consistent drive for improvement, more and more businesses are turning to the platform to claim their stake in the e-marketplace. 

Shopify is always innovating and looking for ways to improve the user experience. With the most recent update, comes new tools and advancements to help scale and grow businesses, with a laser focus on B2B integrations. We’re going over some of our favourite features that we think will be most valuable and help our clients (new and existing) outperform their competitors.

Shopify brings B2B to the forefront  

The way businesses define their target audience is broken up into two categories:

  • DTC or B2C | Direct to consumer or business to consumer. As the name implies, communications are positioned directly to customers. 
  • B2B | Business to business. This avenue targets business owners that would benefit from the others’ goods or services.

B2B has been dominating e-commerce — the market size hit US$9.55T, with B2B accounting for just under 60%... and that was in 2021 — with no signs of slowing down. Shopify listened and rolled out some of its most exciting features to date. 

Before this release, implementing a B2B shopfront required plugins and extensive workarounds as Shopify was mainly a DTC platform. Now, we can build out custom systems for our clients with complex integrations that take advantage of Shopify’s traditional features, optimised for a B2B world. This introduction makes B2B natively available so we can focus on refining experiences and improving customer engagement instead of wasting time on backend integrations. 

Content management and Shopify’s meta fields

Making content editing and management easier has been in Shopify’s crosshairs for a minute now and the latest update pushed the needle from idea to execution. Before, content creation had you jumping through hoops, following a multi-step process, and often external web development resources just to get live. Shopify’s newest edition, however, goes beyond the typical storefront and offers content-rich experiences that are a breeze to DIY. 

Taking cues from social shopping trends à la liketoknow.it, Shopify introduced customisable metaobjects — shoppable galleries, specs & features, and cart upsells — that offer not only an intuitive shopping experience but an opportunity to share your brand’s carefully curated story. 

We love this integration because, while we are a full-service Shopify agency and do offer post-delivery support, it makes maintenance and updates seamless for our clients to execute on their own. Drop a new collection? Go live in a flash. Think customers who bought X will love Y? Let them know using Shopify’s now natively built Search and Discover. In addition to these content management improvements, there are so many apps and add-ons that we as web developers recommend exploring to optimise your storefront. 

Reach more customers with Shopify Markets Pro 

Two driving forces behind how consumers, well, consume, are: 1. shopping local and 2. supporting small. Shopify Markets provides all the tools a business needs to succeed domestically and be there for those shopping locally. But what about the demographic of customers wanting to support small…from afar?

Making the jump from domestic to global trading comes with nuances that could make even the most seasoned entrepreneur baulk. Serving global web design and web development clients ourselves, we get it. But now Shopify has made it easier for our clients to scale and go international too. 

Markets Pro builds upon the OG Shopify Markets with improvements to cross-border payments, global fulfilment & shipping, and duties & taxes. Introducing these localisation upgrades affords shop owners a wider reach while maintaining a consistent experience for customers no matter where they are. As for business owners, we love that with faster, affordable shipping, higher transaction success rates, and fraud coverage, they can enjoy better conversions and less risk as they reach a broader audience. 

Thoughts on AI-generated content

This last featured update is a bit of a hot-button topic; AI, which Shopify has taken a stab at with its AI-generated storefront content. Our concern? SEO. While AI has its place, we don’t believe it can truly replace humans. Not yet at least. There are many arenas that AI has yet to master and SEO goes far beyond selecting the right keywords. That’s not to say AI can’t be used as a tool, but we’re big proponents of it being just that; part of the solution. Not something to be relied on fully. Here’s an example:

We put AI and a real-life human head-to-head, asking each to “write a 20-25 word product description about a sustainably made gold bracelet inspired by an African tree.”

  • “Our sustainably made gold bracelet is inspired by the natural beauty of African trees. Each piece is crafted ethically and with eco-friendly materials.”
  • “Inspired by the native Baobab tree, our ‘Adansonia’ bracelet is handcrafted from sustainably-sourced 18k gold by local artisans that are proudly paid a living wage.” 

Both are technically accurate, each containing the appropriate keywords (sustainable, gold, bracelet), but which one is more likely to convert your customers and motivate them to purchase? AI can be a great jump-off point to smash through writer’s block, but we think human touch is necessary to take it across the finish line.

N4; a full-service Shopify agency

Shopify’s monstrous offering of features and tools can feel overwhelming to navigate in the calmest of seasons. Add running a business and the stressors of everyday life into the mix? Sounds like the perfect recipe for burnout and exhausted resources.

But at N4, we’ve mastered the art of all things Shopify and are a proud official Shopify partner. With a robust team of web developers and designers, we’re here to help no matter where you are on your journey. Whether you need some guidance getting off the ground or are ready to tackle aggressive growth, let’s talk about moving forward together. 

Jono Cook


Jono Cook

Founder / Developer




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