26 June 2018

Shopify Announces Big Benefits For Australian Merchants At Unite 2018.

A lot has been said about the ruinous state of retail in Australia. The biggest takeaway I had from attending the Shopify Unite conference was that while traditional retail struggles, the numbers show that online retail is on a strong growth trajectory and offers many opportunities for those willing to invest in digital. This was our first time at the very polished Shopify Unite Conference in Toronto, Canada. We did a commendable job of representing Lamb Agency - though I may be slightly biased. I would hope most attendees at the event would have seen me proudly shuffling around the conference floor with a life-sized lamb statue in hand. With difficulty, I made sure that every activity we participated in for the entire three-day event was accompanied by our loveable lamb. This even went to the length of taking our lamb on a conference-sanctioned 5km run, brutal!

The 2018 Unite conference came with a range of great product updates that deal with overcoming some limitations that have affected our clients in the past, along with improving Shopify as a facilitator of international commerce. We've spent some time reviewing all the announcements and have extracted those that we saw as most relevant to the Australian merchant. 

Shopify: The Australian context

Australia has one of the highest adoption rates of the Shopify platform, punching well above its weight. In our experience, a large majority of our clients are using the platform to its full potential by cultivating international markets. So, there are a number of interesting updates for those merchants, as well as those seeking incremental improvements in their e-commerce solution. 

New Shopify announcements

A range of interesting product features was presented at Unite 2018 from technical, hardware and transactions. The most interesting additions for Australian merchants related to:

  • Multi-currency payments

  • Multiple inventory locations

  • New promotion structures (buy one get one free, volume discount)

  • Localised payment methods

Multiple inventory locations

 The ability for Shopify to only store a single inventory value has been a common pain point for larger retailers we have been working with. Particularly those interested in 'click and collect' capabilities, or more complicated inventory arrangements that included reserve stock. The new functionality will allow for inventory of up to six locations to be included out of the box for Shopify Plus clients.


  • The ability of the website to show stock based on a store location.

  • Simplified implementation of 'click and collect'

Multi-currency payments

"Grow locally by acting locally" is the theme of multi-currency payments. Previously payments had been fixed to one currency per store. Now that will change. Shopify will have a built-in geo-location capability that will automatically detect and select the local payment currency. This eliminates a common friction point when purchasing internationally and provides customers with a greater sense of pricing confidence when making purchases. From product creation to payout reconciliation, merchants will see the proper currency presented across Shopify so they don't need to worry about reporting inconsistencies or inaccuracies.


  • Reduced friction when purchasing internationally

  • Reduction in reporting inconsistencies due to currency conversion.

Launch date: Late 2018 (Shopify Plus using Shopify Payments) 

New promotion structures (Buy one get one free, volume discount)

 Promotion structures improve that all-important average order value. Buy one get one free (BOGO) and volume discounts have previously relied on the installation of additional plugins, this update brings them natively into Shopify.

Promotion examples:

  1. Buy X, get a second product or collection for free, or % discount: Buy 1 shoe, get socks 50% off

  2. Specify single or multiple products or collections for X and Y: Buy any product, get 50% off shirts and pants

  3. Customise details down to the product variant: Buy 1 medium red sweatshirt, get 1 t-shirt free

Bulk discounts examples:

  1. Offer a % discount based on quantity or cart value: Buy 2 or more socks, get 20% off

  2. Offer $ discounts based on quantity or cart value: Spend $100 or more, get $25 off

  3. Offer free shipping based on quantity or cart value: Free shipping when you buy 3 or more products


  • Reduced reliance on 3rd party plugins

  • Native support

  • Improved purchasing incentives to increase average order value

Launch date: Now 

Localised payment methods

Most retailers we work with within Australia are oriented towards credit payments for online transactions. But did you know that in Germany, credit cards make up just 22% of online transactions? Around the world, different countries have different payment method biases. Previously those payment systems have been out of reach. Shopify is focusing its attention on extending the most popular payment methods to all Shopify Payments customers.


  • More inclusive payment methods for international customers.

  • Automatically select the best payment method based on a customer's location

  • Increase international conversion rates

Launch date: TBC 

Bottom line

These changes will make a big difference to international commerce for Australian merchants. We also believe that multiple location inventory is a game changer for larger retail brands online. Download article summary - 527kb (PDF)

Want to know more?

If you would like to talk to us about how these and other changes(fraud protection, seamless multi-channel retail, POS hardware!) apply to you, get in touch at greg@lamb.com.au or check us out at http://www.lamb.com.au

About Lamb Agency

Lamb Agency is a Shopify expert. As an Australian digital agency based in Brisbane, we specialise in premium solutions for the Shopify Plus platform. We work with brands including Dissh Boutiques, Price Attack, National Storage and many others. We have extensive experience with eCommerce, conversion optimisation, and website design.

Greg is the Managing Director of Lamb Agency, a digital agency focused on creating industry-leading websites.

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