Shopify UNITE 2019 - The Opportunity Ahead. PageFly Team Trip Review.
Shopify Unite is a yearly developer/business conference for Shopify partners who build businesses in the Shopify ecosystem. For Shopify UNITE 2019 the organizers decided to continue with Toronto as the city for hosting partners.
This year PageFly team joined UNITE with other partners from Asia region. We have learned a lot and in this blog post would like to share the latest news and insights.
Shopify Event’s Moments (Table of Content)
- Shopify UNITE Tickets
- Traveling from Vietnam to Canada
- Beanfield Center location
- Check-In at UNITE
- Gift SWAG package
- Custom T-shirt printing
- Shopify UNITE has the exclusive mobile app
- Teams from Vietnam
- Shopify Partner Day: Facebook & Google.
- PRE-UNITE day of APAC partners
- 5 Key Shopify UNITE Announcements worth attention
- Post-UNITE Shopify meetups around the world
Shopify UNITE Tickets for 2019
The Shopify ticket price this year was USD $599 (not including TAX). With TAX the final price was around USD $677. And this was the early bird price. Talking with veteran partners the pricing has been increasing from year to year. The tickets were sold out about 2 weeks before the event.
Traveling from Vietnam to Canada
PageFly Team is based in Hanoi, Vietnam. In order to reach Toronto, Canada, there are different routes with various airlines companies including Air Canada, EVA Air, South China Airlines or Korean Air. Based on the travel time, budget and business plan we decided to go with Air Canada. With this option, there was a layover in Beijing, China.
It was about 3 hours for the connecting flight directly to Toronto. It was quite an interesting experience when the Internet at the airport was very limited and there was no access to Google and Facebook services.
They are all blocked and there’s no way to get access without a VPN. The option to get WiFi using our phone number didn’t work, unfortunately.
The flight time duration from Beijing to Toronto was about 13 hours to pass over 11,000 km. The main difference for travelers from Asia with GMT+7 to Canada with EDT is about 12 hours difference in time zone.
It was the first time for me experiencing the true “jet lag” effect, and for the next trip, I’ll definitely take into account 2 - 3 days to overcome this problem ;).
In that way, you’ll be more productive in meetings and work sessions. If you’re curious about the cost for this trip, it was about $1,200 USD per the flight with return.
Beanfield Center location
Finally, we arrived! For the location of this event The Beanfield Center has been chosen. The first day of UNITE was the Partner Day. We drop a visit at this place to collect our badge and get to know the agenda.
Check-In at UNITE
The check-in process was very smooth. You just need to type your name into the iPad like display and a list of attendees will be displayed. After that, you’ll get a “freshly baked badge” with wifi password as well :).
I didn’t get the chance to be at 1st Shopify UNITE but this time the experience was quite good.
Gift SWAG package
Each attendee gets the sweet Swag pack including a custom printed T-shirt and water bottle. A nice Swag store is located right after the Information counter.
Custom T-shirt printing
Just behind the Swag store, there is an area with custom t-shirt printing. During the event’s sessions, I have seen Printful guys walking around, so I guess the supplier for UNITE is that company. There are four designs to choose for your t-shirt. For me, I decided to keep the original design (white color) with Shopify logo.
Shopify UNITE has the exclusive mobile app
To plan the schedule better Shopify released a mobile app just for a few days before the event. You can book sessions from the app and in that way make sure that you get seats at the session.
In order to enter the room, there is Shopify staff who scan your badge for verification. To be honest, the app sometimes gets a little bit “glitchy” and the booking process takes time and a few tryouts.
Teams from Vietnam
At the 4th UNITE other teams from Vietnam also joined. They are BoostCommerce, SecomApp, and Eggflow providing e-commerce solutions through Shopify apps. For the SecomApps guy, this UNITE is the 4th one. He has been with Shopify for more than 5 years already and recognized as a veteran in Vietnam.
From my knowledge, there are some big and small teams from Vietnam which couldn’t attend due to business and company reasons.
I only wish there could be more Shopify partners team from Vietnam coming for the next 5th UNITE. Let’s see and plan it from now on.
Shopify Partner Day: Facebook & Google.
PageFly team got lucky to get a booking for this interesting session at Facebook HQ in Toronto. There was myself and Victor from PageFly Team. The core idea with the Facebook session covered the customer’s behavior from discovery, purchase and post-purchase stages.
We should carefully plan the strategy to target customers based on the stage they are at. In addition, the whole customer’s journey can happen on the Facebook platform. With Facebook checkout, the user won’t need to go outside Facebook which means “less friction” and smoother buying process.
PRE-UNITE day of APAC partners
Before the UNITE event, some partners from the Asian region gathered together for a great lunch and to discuss Shopify announcements. Some ideas with organizing the regional Shopify meetup were proposed and we all have great spirit to push Shopify further into the market.
The initiative came from Xavier (Jumpstart Shopify Plus Expert) with organizing partner’s meetup to exchange the experience when working in the Shopify ecosystem. We believe in tight collaboration which could create more trust for potential Shopify clients.
5 Key Shopify UNITE Announcements worth attention
During UNITE, a lot of announcements came from Shopify. There are five core new things we’d like to bring to the table for your attention. Shopify UNITE video announcements and keynotes are available for the public access at Shopify Partners Youtube channel.
The Shopify Experts Marketplace (Shopify Unite Track Session 2019)
If you’re a Shopify Expert, you can find the Services menu item in the Navigation. New service requests will go directly to the Jobs sub-menu section. In the screenshot below you can find the dashboard from SellerSmith Shopify Expert. The new marketplace has been released, so check it out to see a fresh look in live.
Here is the video covering key things regarding the new Shopify Experts marketplace.
From the fall of 2019 it will be possible to create sections not just for the homepage only, but for any pages across your online store. This announcement pushes Shopify forward with a great customization ability compared with other solutions such as WordPress. Moreover, a new mechanism sections for the online store also allows merchants to add specific apps on the page.
For example, you create a landing page and want to add reviews to a specific part of that page, soon it’ll be possible and with ease.
The New Shopify Plus
Multiple-store management and better user permissions inside the organization are two main points in the coming Shopify Plus update. It’s expected to be available for Shopify Plus customers by the end of this year. Currently, Shopify Plus Beta is available for signup here.
Shopify Fulfillment Network
Soon, Shopify will launch an AI based fulfillment network for Shopify merchants. When the order is fulfilled, the only thing from a merchant needs to do is send goods to the fulfillment center. More importantly, the cost will be affordable and faster shipping time available. Shopify solves a major problem with the overall ecommerce conversion rate in the buyer’s flow (shipping times).
Fully translated Shopify App Store
Selling cross border is gaining popularity lately and more customers are buying abroad. Looking at Shopify merchants, they have been growing in non-English speaking market segments.
More merchants are looking for a solution based on their own language. We’re very excited with this news since we could showcase to Shopify merchants what PageFly is and which problems it solves.
It’s expected to see a higher Installation Rate after translating the content description to other languages in addition to English.
Post-UNITE meetup deBrief for Shopify partners
Right after the event’s day at Toronto happened the 1st Shopify post-UNITE meetup gathering over 100 partners from theme and apps developers, and service providers. Topics covered at the panel discussion includes Themes & Front - end, App Development, The Shopify Economy, The App Economy and The Future of Commerce.
Shopify announced exciting new things which created more opportunities ahead.
Post-UNITE Shopify meetups around the world
UNITE just happened last week and POST-UNITE meetups are happening worldwide in coming days. From Asia to Europe, check Shopify Meetups page to find a location close to you. The PageFly team also plans to organize a Post UNITE Shopify meetup at July 6 at BraveBits office (Hanoi, Vietnam), BoostCommerce Team plans to push the event by July 9 at co - working space in Ho Chi Minh City (Details TBA).