Top 10+1 Shopify must-know new features and updates for 2024

Tomas Janu

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February 17, 2024

Top 10+1 Shopify must-know new features and updates for 2024

Discover the latest features and updates announced on Shopify Editions Winter 2024. Comprehensive summary of the most important changes for merchants.

Top 10+1 Shopify must-know new features and updates for 2024

Shopify Editions Winter 2024 are over, with 100+ platform updates and new features. It may be overwhelming to navigate through all of them, so we have compiled a list of the top X changes relevant to merchants (businesses). Some of them are live already, while others will be released later this year.

1. Native color swatches and visual filtering

Color swatches are a convenient way of displaying product colors. Instead of using words like "red" and "blue," customers can navigate visually through the variants.

An example of the native color swatch in Dawn theme
An example of the native color swatch in Dawn theme

Previously, this could be done via a third-party app or theme, but Shopify brings this functionality natively to themes like Dawn.

The functionality is not released yet, but you can sign up for early access.

Similarly to color swatches on the PDPs, Shopify also enhanced their Search & Discovery app, which now supports visual filtering using colors or images.

This feature is live, and you can test it right away on your store.

2. The variant limit increased from 100 to 2,000

The previous variant limit of 100 products was very limiting, and merchants had to use a third-party app to overcome it. Shopify is now increasing the limit to a generous 2,000 natively, so you can combine multiple variants of each product without worrying about reaching the limit.

This feature is available in developer preview but will be released soon for all merchants.

3. New discount types and draft order support

There are two new types of discounts:

  • Automatic discount for free shipping
  • Fixed amount off for Buy X get Y discount type

The savings are also visible right in the cart.

Besides the new discount types, the discounts (and metafields) can now also be used in draft orders.

These features are live, and you can test them right away on your store.

4. New web performance dashboard

Shopify completely revamped the store performance measurement. Previously, you could see the scores from the PageSpeed Insights for various key pages on your store. The problem was the scores were typically very low, suggesting performance issues, while the real user experience was fine.

A screenshot from the new web performance dashboard
A screenshot from the new web performance dashboard

The new web performance dashboard is accessible via Analytics > Reports > Web Performance or the Themes section. It measures your store's loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.

Essentially, the report uses the same tool and metrics as before, but the thresholds have been shifted to be more "relaxed."

5. Shopify Subscriptions (new app)

Already announced on Editions Summer 2023, the new Shopify Subscriptions app is available on the App Store for all merchants. Subscriptions are a popular trend in e-commerce, and it makes perfect sense for Shopify to develop their own app.

Shopify Subscriptions app is now live on the App Store
Shopify Subscriptions app is now live on the App Store

The app features are pretty standard and cover the subscription basics (i.e., custom period auto-renewal, subscription management for customers, e-mailing, etc.). The biggest benefit for merchants is the cost of the app, as it's free. However, it may lack features like multiple shipping options, formatting options, or translations, hence the current app store rating of 3.1 out of 5.0.

If you want to explore other subscription apps, make sure to check our curated list of Best Subscriptions Apps for Shopify.

6. Shopify Combined Listings (new app; Shopify Plus only)

You probably know the product catalog architecture dilemma of having multiple products or one product with multiple variants. For example, you can have two products, a Blue T-shirt and a Red T-shirt, which are better for SEO and store browsing experience but are challenging to maintain. Or you can have just a T-shirt product with variants of Blue and Red.

Creating combined listings via Shopify Combined Listings app
Creating combined listings via Shopify Combined Listings app

With the new app Combined Listings, you can do both. The product is maintained from a single listing, while the variants may have custom descriptions, images, and even SEO-friendly URLs (i.e., "blue t-shirt").

The app is now available in early access for qualified Plus merchants. You can also sign up for early access.

7. Theme blocks (part of Flex sections)

The flex sections were one of the most resonating updates on the Editions Summer 2023. They are still not live yet, but Shopify is apparently working on a whole new theme editor. The first part are the so-called theme blocks.

Reusing block in different theme sections
Reusing block in different theme sections

Theme blocks allow you to create a custom liquid block in your theme and reuse it in different sections. This is useful for inserting the same content across your site.

For example, in one of our stores, we have a block with store USPs (i.e., free shipping, return options, etc.). We share the same content on multiple pages (i.e., PDPs, homepage, cart page, etc.), and it's very difficult to update it because we need to update it on every single location. Using theme blocks, we could update the single block and the content will be updated automatically everywhere.

To test the new theme blocks, you need to access the developer preview.

8. Shopify Markets Pro (US merchants only)

The main difference between standard Shopify Markets and the new Shopify Markets Pro is the liability. Using Markets Pro, Shopify takes responsibility on your behalf and acts as a merchant of record (MoR). You are still the seller of record (SoR). That means they remit local duties, taxes, and VAT on your behalf while customers pay them directly at the checkout.

A visualization of the MoR model by Shopify
A visualization of the MoR model by Shopify

Besides lifting the international liability, merchants using Markets Pro can also benefit from:

  • Cheaper and exclusive shipping rates
  • Customs documentation and pre-clearance
  • Fraud and chargeback prevention
  • Guaranteed exchange rates
  • Various local payment options

9. Semantic search (Shopify Plus only)

Merchants using Shopify Plus can activate the new semantic search, which is part of the Search & Discovery app. The semantic search uses AI to understand customers' search queries so customers can use native search terms and language (i.e., "I am looking for waterproof ski gloves in a dark color").

Relevant results displayed on the human-language query
Relevant results displayed on the human-language query

This feature is live, and you can enable it right away on your store (if you are on a Shopify Plus plan with an English storefront and fewer than 200,000 products).

10. Stored payment information (Shopify Enterprise only)

This is my favorite new feature of all. Customers who create accounts can add their credit card information and use it for future purchases. The credit card is stored and used for all future checkouts. It's unclear whether the payment details are just prepopulated during the checkout or if it enables the famous one-click purchase.

Unfortunately, storing customer's payment information is only available to Shopify Enterprise merchants (a plan above Shopify Plus).

Bonus: Pricing and plan changes

Besides the new features and platform updates, Shopify has also changed the pricing and features of their plans. See our article Shopify plan & pricing changes in 2024 to learn more.

Conclusion

Shopify didn't disappoint and delivered another solid update of new and upcoming changes to their e-commerce platform. I am keen to see all of them live and already looking forward to Editions Summer 2024.

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Tomas Janu

Tom loves writing about upselling, conversion optimization, and e-commerce trends. He is one of our co-founders, and you can sometimes talk to him if you contact our support team. Make sure to follow him on LinkedIn for more Shopify-related tips and news.

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