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Pandectes - Shopify Unite London 2022 Key takeaways from the event

Shopify Unite London 2022: Key takeaways from the event

Introduction

Shopify Unite is the annual conference of Shopify for developers, partners, and merchants who use the Shopify platform. Is an event for the whole Shopify ecosystem. The event typically includes presentations and workshops on a range of topics related to the Shopify platform and e-commerce, and it provides attendees with an opportunity to learn about new features and developments, network with other professionals, and explore new ways to grow their businesses. In previous years, Shopify Unite has been held in locations such as Toronto, San Francisco, and Chicago.

Shopify Unite was undergoing a transition this year and is poised to develop into an even more program-rich event with more chances for partners to present their work, network with colleagues, and advance their businesses.

Participants were able to hear from members of Shopify’s leadership team, network with top partners and developers, and get a sneak peek at the newest product developments. There were lots of chances to learn and develop because there were so many breakout sessions and seminars.

Unite 2022

It returned in September and October 2022 with a revamped format that was centered on Shopify developers. It took place in three different cities, London, Toronto, and Melbourne to give attendees a more in-depth look at the announcements from their Summer Editions ’22. Shopify employees gave talks and led workshops, and some of the partners from around the world presented sessions on technical and business best practices.

The London event

Between 12-13 September, London hosted the first Shopify Unite of 2022. Only 250 people were allowed to attend the first live Unite conference since the pandemic. Attending the event was such a great experience for us and it was a chance to meet again some good friends as well as talk with some new ones. The event gave us the opportunity to network, communicate, and spark innovation.

Due to the fact that Shopify now distributes even greater updates when they are ready and because the event’s full program was accessible in advance, the event itself did not result in any significant surprises or new products.

The two days of the event may be summed up as the first day being more developer-focused and the second day being more agency and technology partner-focused for Shopify. Of course, networking was always on the spot and there were office hours with specific Shopify team members where we had the chance to discuss specific issues and questions we have as partners.

Shopify Unite Keynote

Dion Almaer, Liat Zakay, Surma Surma from Shopify opened the first day of the event with their talks.

Shopify Talks

Shopify Dev Tools to Improve Your App Building Process

Improving the developer experience for building apps is a top priority for Shopify. In this talk from Shopify Unite 2022, they presented the latest improvements made to Shopify’s developer tooling built to support you through the entire development process like; Polaris and the CLI 3.0, and get a sneak peak of what Shopify plans to work towards in the future.

Presented by:
Megan Majewski, Developer Advocate, Shopify

Building Powerful Checkout Customizations with Checkout Extensibility

Shopify’s new Checkout Extensibility features provide a range of powerful new ways to customize Shopify’s checkout. This talk from Shopify Unite 2022 outlined the key components that make up checkout extensibility, how they interact with each other, and when to use each feature to help you. It provided a better understanding of the checkout extensibility landscape and how to use it to build the next generation of customized checkout experiences for merchants.

Presented by:
Hayward Peirce, Technical Partner Advocate, Shopify

The State of Shopify Theme Development

Building on what was shared on Shopify Editions they talk about Shopify’s vision for Liquid and themes. They also cover theme-related tooling and example workflows to help you level up your theme development game. Whether you’re an experienced theme developer or just getting started, this talk from Shopify Unite 2022 is for developers keen on getting more out of theme development.

Presented by:
Jan-Emge-Triebel, Development Manager for Developer Advocacy EMEA, Shopify

High Performance Headless Storefronts with Hydrogen

Hydrogen has been built to power headless storefronts that are both performant and dynamic, traditionally competing priorities. In this talk from Shopify Unite 2022, they dig into the recent advances in web technologies that allow Hydrogen to achieve incredible performance scores. Through the power of streaming, React Server Components, and edge-rendering, Hydrogen enables custom storefront developers to build fast and dynamic e-commerce experiences.

Presented by:
Scott Dixon, Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the presentation here.

Customize Your Store’s Business Logic with Shopify Functions

Shopify Functions allow merchants to finally unlock their backend business logic. This Shopify Unite 2022 talk covers why Shopify Functions was created; what technology powers Functions, how to get started building your first Function including what APIs are available to customize; and what resources you can use to jumpstart development.

Presented by:
Steve Martinelli, Staff Developer Advocate, Shopify

Make your App Stand Out Using Our Latest Design Guidelines

Looking for actionable ideas on how to improve your apps? Our App Design Guidelines (ADGs) give you well-defined principles that you can use to make your app stand out. In this Shopify Unite 2022 talk, they go over why we created them, what they are, and show examples to help you better understand the ADGs and why to follow them.

Presented by:
Mathilde Vandenbosch, Enterprise Architect Lead, Shopify

What Merchants in EMEA Need – Opportunities for Developers

There are millions of merchants on Shopify and they all need different apps to solve different problems. As a developer, it can be hard to know what merchants are looking for. In this Shopify Unite 2022 talk, they cover specific opportunities and share insights into examples of global and regional needs in EMEA upon which app developers can build upon.

Presented by:
Jamie Wolman, Product Lead, Shopify

Check the presentation here.

Guided Workshops

In parallel with presentations, there were several Shopify workshops that took place. These workshops provided a guided, tutorial, and hands-on coding experience. Most workshops stepped through the process of building an application, theme, or function.

Workshop 1: Learning Liquid through Building Theme Sections

Presented by:
Liam Griffin, Senior Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Workshop 2: Build a Product Page with Hydrogen

Presented by:
Scott Dixon, Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Workshop 1: Creating Custom Shopify Checkout Experiences with Checkout UI Extensions

Presented by:
Elizabeth Kenyon, Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Workshop 2: ShopifyQL: A Data Querying Language Built for Commerce

Presented by:
Nevin Tan, Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Workshop 1: Render, Notify and Automate with Shopify Metafields

Presented by:
Abe Haskins, Sr. Staff Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Workshop 2: Effective Ways to Improve Your Online Store Performance

Presented by:
Helen Lin, Web Development Manager, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Workshop 1: Create a Volume Based Discount in Rust with Shopify Functions

Presented by:
Steve Martinelli, Staff Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Workshop 2: Build a Product Page with Hydrogen

Presented by:
Scott Dixon, Developer Advocate, Shopify

Check the workshop here.

Partner Talks

Partner community is growing fast. Ιn our previous event in Shopify Pursuit held in Berlin back in 2018 we were much smaller as a community. Now we saw many new Partners with larger teams that are working with large firms around the word. This means that the community is mature enough and includes many experienced people that can create even better products and services for Shopify merchants.

Based on Shopify, the Partner ecosystem—which includes developers, designers, marketers, accountants, logistics providers, and other experts who help our merchants succeed—supported 656,000 jobs and totaled $32 billion in revenue last year. Partners increased their earnings 45% from 2020, grossing nearly 7x Shopify’s 2021 revenue.

Here is a list of the partner’s talks during the event.

Achieving 10x growth: A scalable D2C infrastructure for a global superbrand

The CIO of SodaStream and the CEO of BOA Ideas shared insights from developing SodaStream’s international e-commerce infrastructure, used across 14+ markets. They explained the complex enterprise needs they solved with 30+ advanced applications. Plus, how they enabled HQ to manage operations and brand while providing each market with a tailored experience. This partnership transformed SodaStream’s D2C business into an essential revenue driver.

Presented by:
Amos Shacham, Co-Founder, BOA Ideas
Nir Rehav, Head of Global IT, SodaStream International

Check the presentation here.

How We Made React Developers Love to Code on Liquid Projects

After 4 years of specializing in headless Shopify development, they recognized Shopify’s great push to improve the Shopify platform and developer experience. Developing and running your store on a native Shopify setup became more attractive and so they’ve focussed on building more Liquid Shopify themes again. Bringing their React best practices to our custom Ask Phill Shopify theme, shared how their dev team has improved their Shopify starter in this Shopify Unite 2022 talk.

Presented by:
Gordon So, Head of Tech, Ask Phill
Tico van Beurden, Head of Tech, Ask Phill

Check the presentation here.

Cutting Cookies at Auctane

When working with microservices a lot of time can be spent writing boilerplate code just to get your basic API running and operational concerns like logging, and monitoring addressed. This is boring code to write and reduces the time available to work on features with differentiating business value. Learn how they solved this at Auctane by using a cookie-cutter tool to improve both the developer experience and time to market for new products in this Shopify Unite 2022 talk.

Presented by:
Natalie Parker, Engineering Manager, Auctane

Check the presentation here.

From App to Platform: How to Grow Your Business on the Shopify App Store

Back in 2011, Yotpo started out on the Shopify app store as a tool to collect and display written product reviews. Fast forward to 2022, and Yotpo has evolved into a complete eCommerce marketing platform that includes 6 different products, powering thousands of Shopify merchants. In this presentation, they cover how businesses can leverage the Shopify app market as the ideal platform to propel growth.

Presented by:
Lior Haimovich, Senior Product Manager, Yotpo

Check the presentation here.

How to grow a successful Shopify App

Shopify has its own marketplace called “The Shopify App Store” where developers can build plugins. But growing an app in a marketplace is a bit different than growing a classic SaaS. Mat in this talk teaches the essential steps to grow an App on the Shopify App Store. You will learn the dos and don’ts that can make or kill your business.

Presented by:
Mat De Sousa, CEO, The Wide Company

Check the presentation here.

Out of Step: From Bootstrapped to Venture Backed

Rhian speaks about her journey of co-founding and bootstrapping Venntov into a multi-million dollar revenue company, after which she founded Govalo, where she raised venture capital. In this Shopify Unite 2022 talk, Rhian speaks about the ups and downs of both, and answers questions from the audience with radical candor.

Presented by:
Rhian Beutler, Founder + CEO, Govalo / Executive Chairperson, Venntov

Check the presentation here.

Shopify Unite 22 London Partner Panel

Dion Almaer and three Partner panelists took live audience questions around everything from app and theme development to custom storefronts from the perspective of a developer in this Shopify Unite 2022 panel.

Presented by:
Dion Almaer, Vice President of Engineering, Developer Experience at Shopify
Björn Forsberg, Founder, Forsberg+two
Jan Frey, Co-Founder, Freemote / Coding with Jan
Lital Hay, CTO, BOA Ideas

Check the presentation here.

Unofficial Shopify Meetup

We had the chance to attend another event and meet even more partners there before the official event. Our friend Jack had the pleasure to arrange and host it in a nice place where we had the chance to talk, present and exchange ideas.

Conclusion

The Shopify Unite event was great and for sure was even better than what we were expecting. The Shopify ecosystem is growing fast with many more app developers around the world and more brands and businesses that are using the platform. Industry leaders, small business owners, marketing leaders, Shopify partners, tech partners, industry experts, retailers, and brands, all have to attend such events. It was a combination of keynotes, talks, and workshops that had a lot of things to provide to all partners. Headless commerce, customer experience, extension points, and best practices were on the spot. For sure digital commerce is the future and any ecommerce business will need to have actionable strategies and create more opportunities.

The fact that the partners were fewer than on other unite events was good because it helped us on the networking side. I hope we will be able to see even more exciting future events from Shopify. Also, the coming Unite events to have major announcements, to focus on the latest technologies of eCommerce and more networking opportunities even after the event. Another good idea is to have more events and maybe in multiple languages.

Til’ Next Time

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