Shopify Fundamentals

Scale online business in 2021 with 5 important releases from Shopify

By Sally Nguyen on December 15, 2020 2 Comments

Shopify and Shopify partners always put effort into helping store owners by launching new features, updating the platform. This article will cover 5 important releases, which may help store owners scale their business in 2021.

  1. Adding product to the online store by phone
  2. Free Shopify gift card
  3. Shopify email
  4. Stay local, go global
  5. Curbside pickup and Local delivery

1. Adding product to the online store by phone

By 2020, you can easily manage your products by phone. Now, products can be set up, reviewed, and published directly from the phone by Shopify POS or Shopify app on both iOS and Android.

According to Shopify, seventy-seven percent of merchants say that adding products to their store is the most time-consuming task in Shopify when moving from offline to online. Because when creating a product, it needs to add or update information about a product such as its image, price, variants, and availability from the Products page in the admin. The speed of product creation will be enhanced if store owners can scan the barcode and capture product photos, including photos for each variant from a phone’s camera. It is beneficial for store owners to quickly update products and collections with full variants during peak seasons such as Christmas, year-end, sale-off. It is also useful when expanding business with a big raise of products.

This is the quick guideline to set-up this feature:

  • Step 1: Install “Shopify: Ecommerce Business” on your phone
  • Step 2: Log-in to your Shopify store
  • Step 3: Choose “Product” on the bottom line

  • Step 4: A new display will appear. Choose “Add product” in the upper right corner of the screen
  • Step 5: Add image and then product information in blocks

Note: Information blocks are similar to desktop view. Additionally, with the “draft” option in Product status, you can quickly add images of products by phone then update other information by desktop or phone then switch to active status when your product is fully informative and ready to sell on a channel.

2. Free Shopify gift card

Since April 2020, Shopify has enabled gift cards to feature free on all Shopify plans to promote sales. There is currently no end date set.

Store owners can issue a free gift card with a set value to an existing customer as an incentive, promotion, store credit, or reward. You decide how much the gift card is worth, and the customer who receives it can use its value toward other products in your store. You also can set an expiry date for the gift card. Gift cards can be offered before payment or a reward after purchase.

Gift cards give customers more motivation to buy. The importance is giving away a gift card in reasonable ways or at the right time. If you have many abandoned carts, you may offer some gift cards before completing an order. For example, when a web visitor tends to leave the online store without an order, triggering a pop-up window to give a discount can make them consider again. If your repurchase rate is low, you can offer gift cards as a thank you after payment. It will encourage customers to repeat purchases. You also up-sell by setting a low or high-value gift card corresponding to the value of an order.

This is the quick guideline to issue a gift card:

  • Step 1: Log-in your Shopify store. The Shopify admin view will be opened as default
  • Step 2: Click the “Product” block then choose “Gift card”

Step 3: Click “Send gift cards” to issue gift cards


  • Step 4: Generate a Gift card code, which is unique, in the Gift card code block
  • Step 5: Define the value of this gift code in the block “Initial value”
  • Step 6: Choose “Set expiration date” then fill the date on the below block. You also can choose no expiration date if it does not expire.
  • Step 7 (optional): Add a customer with an email address or phone number in the block “Find or create a customer” if you want to send the gift card code.
  • Step 8 (optional): Add a private note to easily keep track or find again. This note won’t be shared with the customer.
  • Step 9: Click the “Save” button to enable the gift card

3. Shopify email

Shopify email was launched in April of 2020 to provide a powerful marketing tool for store owners. This feature may help you to enhance the conversion rate and expand your customer base. It does not require any experience to start. However, to optimize the capacity of this feature, it is necessary to build email strategies, which are highly personalized for different groups of marketing leads. Yes, email marketing should be closest to the customer journey. Enabling advanced or specialized email marketing functionality will be smoother if having the support of developers or Shopify partners.

For example, you have an abandoned cart email list. To convert these leads to buyers, you should set up a series of follow-up emails. Firstly, you can remind them about their abandoning carts and lead them to complete their purchase. Then some emails should offer customers a discount code or some other promotion to get them to come back and seal the deal. Shopify is set up to send an initial, non-customizable email. It is recommended to ask for custom and automated email marketing solutions from developers or Shopify partners, which handles this task easily and quickly.

This is the quick guideline to issue a gift card:

Shopify email is one of the marketing tools so you can enable it from the Campaign section of Marketing in the Shopify admin view.

  • Step 1: Log-in your Shopify store. The Shopify admin view will be opened as default
  • Step 2: Click the “Marketing” block
  • Step 3: Click the “Create campaign” button in the marketing campaign view
  • Step 4: When a pop-up window appears to allow selecting an activity, click “Email” on the third tab then click “Shopify email”

  • Step 5: You will be directed to a new window, where you can use Shopify email with many email marketing templates. Pick one then customize it and send it to your customers.

  • Step 6: When you pick one template, the display looks like the below image.

  • Step 7: At the block of “To” (receiver), you can choose the group of your customer.
  • Step 8 (optional): If you do not have any group of customers, click “Customers page”. Then click the button “add customer” and enter your customer information if you want to add one by one. If you have already had customers’ contact list, you can click the button “Import customers”.

  • Step 9: Fill “Subject” block, which should be specific and concise to spark interest
  • Step 10: Fill the “Preview text” block, in which you should write a summary of your email to display after the subject line.
  • Step 10: In the “From” block, it will have defaulted to your Shopify email address. If you want to customize to business email, click “Edit”
  • Step 11: Customize your content of the email
  • Step 12: Before sending to your customer, you should send a test email to your email by clicking the “Send test” button then enter your email.

  • Step 13: When you complete all above steps, click the button “Review”

  • Step 14: A new window will be directed. Finally, review your email and click the button “Send” to send your customers.

4. Stay local, go global

Shopify is launching additional features to the online store that help store owners easily make transactions across borders with their buyers in 2020. These include two new features: Local domains and custom FX (Forex Trading Rate), which are strong tools for businesses to sell internationally.

Local domains

Store owners can be able to use local domains, enabling them to assign individual domains to a country or currency, as well as a language or set of languages. The local domains feature helps Google direct customers to the right country and language version of the store. It may enhance the shopping experience of international customers because they are served in their own languages. When customers see a familiar domain, they may feel trust more than a strange one.

Custom FX (Forex Trading Rate)

Later this year, store owners can enable selling in multiple currencies. That means that merchants can sell in 133 different currencies. Custom forex trading rate helps to automatically change prices corresponding to switching currencies. Therefore, merchants do not need to customize prices for each product according to currencies. When a buyer chooses his currency or locations, prices will be automatically matched to the local currency of the buyer. Customers will get easier to know how much a product in an international store costs in local currency. With better price transparency, store owners can prevent misunderstanding in price and gain more trust with international customers.

To display the multiple currency feature on your website, it needs to set up a currency selector. However, most themes don’t include a currency selector for selling in multiple currencies. Instead, you can add extension apps such as the Geolocation app or you can hire a Shopify partner to add a currency selector to your theme.

This is the quick guideline to add Geolocation app to your store:

  • Step 1: Reach the Geolocation app on the Shopify store. Click the “Add app” button when the Shopify Local Delivery app is found. If you have not logged in, it will require you to log in to your Shopify store to add this app.

  • Step 2: Click “Install app” button

  • Step 3: Click “Setting” option then choose “Store languages”

  • Step 4: Click the “Add language” button then choose languages. A pop-up window will appear.

  • Step 5: Choose languages, in which your website supports. Then click the “Add” button.
  • Step 6: Open the “Apps” options. Then click “Geolocation” in the “Installed apps”. You will be directed to a new window.

  • Step 7: Tick box “Show recommendations” and “Show selectors” to display currency and language selector on the website.

  • Step 8: Click the “Save” button

5. Curbside pickup and Local delivery

With businesses continuing to move online, Shopify released two features of delivery and pickup methods in 2020, which are curbside pick-up and local delivery. These features focus to enhance shopping experience.

Curbside pickup

On October 29th, 2020, Shopify has released a new version of Debut that contains the new pickup availability feature. This feature lets store owners show customers whether a product in the online store is available for local pickup. On each product page, the pickup availability section shows whether the product is available, and the estimated time frame for pickup. Customers can pick up their online orders at retail stores, curbside, or any location that they choose. The shipping rate for local pickup is set to Free and can’t be changed. The process of pickup order will update for both staff and customers.

To help buyers being most convenient, store owners can add pickup delivery instructions by managing the preferences for your pickup locations. For example, you can use pickup to offer curbside pickup. After a customer places an order online and arrives at your store, you can have them call you and then you can bring their order out to them.

Local delivery

If customers do not choose curbside pick-up, local delivery is ready to provide from 2020. Store owners in all countries can offer a simple local delivery experience by defining a local delivery area using zip and postal codes, or by radius. You can also set local delivery fees or minimum price for a free ship. Eligible buyers will see the local delivery option in their checkout and can provide specific delivery instructions if necessary.

Store owners also can create optimized delivery routes or corporate with shipment providers by Shopify Local Delivery app. With the app, both store owners and customers can track the delivery process in real-time.

This is the quick guideline to add Shopify Local Delivery app to your store:

  • Step 1: Reach the Shopify Local Delivery app on the Shopify store. Click the “Add app” button when the Shopify Local Delivery app is found

  • Step 2: Click “Install app” button

  • Step 3: Click the “Shopify Local Delivery” app

  • Step 4: A new window will be directed. Click the “Set up local delivery” button

  • Step 5: Click “Manage” in the Local delivery block

  • Step 6: You will be directed to a new window, which includes your location lists. Tick box “This location offers local delivery” at the block of location, which you want to set up local delivery.

  • Step 7: Set up the Delivery area

*Option 1: Set a delivery radius

Choose “Set a delivery radius” to set a distance around your location that you deliver to. Then enter the delivery radius, minimum order price, delivery price, delivery information.


*Option 2: Use postal codes

Choose “Use postal codes” to choose specific areas that you deliver to. Then enter postal codes respond to where you want to deliver, minimum order price, delivery price, delivery information.


  • Step 8: Click the “Save” button

  • Step 9: Click “Manage” in the Local pickup block

  • Step 10: You will be directed to a new window, which includes your location lists. Tick box “This location offers local pickup” at the block of location, which you want to set up a local pickup.

  • Step 11: Choose your expected pick up time in the “Information at checkout” block
  • Step 12: Text your pickup instructions in the “Order ready for pickup notification” block

  • Step 13: Click the “Save” button

If you successfully set up Local delivery and Local pick up, there will be “offers delivery” and “offers pickup” tags on correspond blocks like the below image


Final words:

This article has provided 5 important releases of Shopify in 2020, which may offer free solutions covering many sides of business such as marketing, sales, delivery to expand the business. Apply them to your advantage and get your business running even smoother from now.

We hope this article can help you catch up on news from Shopify. If you have any concerns about new features, we are open to hearing and solving them with you.

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