Shopify reveals AI suite, business credit card, dropshipping-like feature in latest product showcase

Shopify credit card
Canadian rapper Drake launched his website Drake Related using Shopify Collective.

Ottawa retail-tech giant Shopify has revealed several new products and updates for its merchants, including an AI suite, business credit card, and dropshipping-like capabilities as part of its 2023 Summer Editions.

Editions are Shopify’s twice-yearly showcases where it unveils new features. This Editions landed just one day after the departure of long-time Shopify executive Satish Kanwar, who helped steer the company’s product strategy as its VP of corporate development and head of product acceleration.

Shopify’s credit card rewards merchants through “amplified cash back” on categories like wholesale, marketing, and fulfillment.

Over the first half of this year, Shopify has leaned into the potential applications of AI by introducing a whole suite of AI tools that it named “Shopify Magic.”

As part of Shopify Magic, the company also introduced features for AI-driven email campaigns. With a few words inputted by the email coordinator, Shopify says the tool can produce tailored email newsletters and announcements, among other content types. It can also recommend times to send emails to drive higher click-through rates to a merchant’s store.

Earlier this month, Shopify unveiled its AI assistant for merchants, Sidekick, which the company claims can craft and complete administrative tasks such as responding to customer inquiries and making design changes to the online storefront.

The company has also introduced several new tools to help its merchants expand their supply and distribution channels. First, a new central hub for merchants to manage the different marketplaces where they sell their merchandise, such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay. The hub, named “Marketplace Connect” is an app that allows business owners to sell, connect, manage, and fulfill every order across their disparate marketplaces through Shopify.

Shopify is also delivering more dropshipping capabilities for its merchants through its new Shopify Collective offering. While Shopify doesn’t liken Collective to dropshipping, it shares a similar concept, enabling businesses to source products and fulfillment from third parties.

Collective was built for merchants to collaborate with other brands on Shopify. What makes Collective different from dropshipping, according to a spokesperson from Shopify, are the eligibility requirements. Each merchant must share a point of contact and approve any partnership prior to supplying or reselling another merchant’s products.

Because of the eligibility requirements to use Collective, Shopify said merchants are better positioned to deal with some of the problems associated with dropshipping such as customer service issues and long delivery times.

Merchants have been able to dropship with Shopify previously. In 2017, it acquired dropshipping app Oberlo to allow users to link AliExpress products to their Shopify stores for easier dropshipping. Shopify shut down Oberlo in 2022.

Shopify Collective will include a searchable database as well as features for order syncing and auto payments. Drake Related, an interactive e-commerce store and website by Canadian rapper Drake, uses Shopify Collective to sell products from other Shopify brands including Funboy, Elder Statesman, KRINK, and more.

To help businesses fund everyday expenses, Shopify is launching a business credit card exclusively for its merchants. Called Shopify Credit, the card was created in partnership with Stripe and issued by US-based Celtic Bank.

Shopify Credit provides merchants with a credit line that grows alongside their business. The amount owed must be paid in full 25 days after the close of their monthly billing cycle, for a total of up to 56 days to pay for purchases.

Using Shopify Credit, merchants can also earn cashback rewards on their purchases. A spokesperson for Shopify noted users can earn up to three percent cash back on their monthly top spend category—a choice between wholesale, marketing, or fulfillment—and one percent cash back on the other two categories. The cashback is rewarded as a statement credit.

Shopify also offers cash advances and loans through its small-business financing arm, Shopify Capital.

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Beyond new products, this Editions showed that Shopify continues to make enhancements to its existing solutions.

In May, Shopify released a joint report with an undisclosed “Big Three global management consulting firm” that found its checkout solution has the best conversion rates among other options in the market.

With this Editions, Shopify said it’s doubling down on checkout extensibility with over 15 new APIs and updates including the addition of customized delivery methods (pickup points, delivery dates, and suggested addresses) integrated into the checkout editor.

Featured image courtesy Shopify.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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