Two weeks ago, the Shopify Unite 2018 circus put up its tents in our own backyard: the Toronto Evergreen Brickworks. For several days, the Shopify team, hundreds of their partners, and even the Prime Minister of Canada the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, came together to share insights, learn from each other, and discuss one thing: what is the future of entrepreneurship and commerce?

More specifically: how can the Shopify Partner eco-system enable entrepreneurs and merchants to grow beyond their current borders?

After all, it’s an exciting time to run an eCommerce business! With the help of platforms, such as Shopify Plus, it’s never been easier for entrepreneurs and merchants to sell their products or services online. Whether their customer is around the corner or across the globe, rapidly-evolving eCommerce technology can empower them to reach new markets.

That being said, outgrowing the single store concept, with rapid market expansion across languages, currencies, geographies, and distribution diversification, comes with its share of complexities and challenges. Maintaining product information consistency is just one of them.

It was great to experience the passion of all attendees to help solve these issues for the Shopify merchants!

In this post, we won’t go into detail on all the product announcements that were made (you can read those right here: https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/unite-2018). Instead, we’d like to share some key takeaways of Shopify Unite 2018, and about the Shopify partner eco-system in general.

Bringing Commerce to Everyone, Everywhere

“It actually made a lot of sense for us to have Unite in Canada.” Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke shared with the mostly non-Canadian crowd during his keynote; calling out the vision and culture his company shared with that of the True North: a place of diversity and inclusion, tolerance and acceptance.

“The future of commerce as we envision it has more voices, not fewer.” Powerful words in today’s ever polarizing world.

Tobi obviously landed that message to tee up Shopify’s vision of breaking down borders for their merchants. Shopify’s vision is to make its platform truly global, and that vision was supported by many product and feature announcements. The company understands they need to enhance their platform – which will now be available in six languages – for both the Shopify customers who started as small-scale entrepreneurs and are growing and for the enterprise market they target with the Shopify Plus platform.

As a SaaS Product Information Management solution, the Jasper PIM is a solution built exactly to help merchants scale their business into a thriving global enterprise. The focus of Shopify is to build a platform that can support growing global businesses. Including new native features to tackle growing pains of growing merchants, it’s exciting, to say the least!

Building a Partner Eco-System

A conference is only ever as good as its audience and the passion it brings to the table. That passion was strong with the Shopify Partner eco-system during Unite! You simply had to be there to see the excitement and the energy of Technology and Agency Partners coming together from across the globe to share insights and help solve merchants’ challenges.

The Jasper team witnessed this first-hand during our own Shopify Unite social event at the Northern Maverick Craft Brewery in the heart of Toronto. How could we not host something special when Unite was happening in our own city? A select group of partners came together to bond, share industry best practices, and sample some of the city’s greatest craft beer.

The entire conference really had a very comfortable vibe – in part due to the beautiful weather which was a nice change from the frozen rain storms just two weeks earlier. Several partners have described Unite as more like a summer camp than a traditional conference. If anything, that shows the great atmosphere at Unite and within the eco-system.

During all this, it’s only fair to congratulate the Shopify team as well. It is simple enough to preach inclusion and transparency, but the on-going engagement and soliciting of feedback by the Shopify team at numerous side events and office hours, shows a genuine partner obsession.

Let’s get started

At the end of the day, there was lots of networking, several exciting announcements, and now Shopify and their partners need to put words into action! Together we will be building an evermore efficient path for merchants to truly take their business global.

That growth into different markets and across several languages and currency regions, will rely on consistent product information. The consolidation and publication of your data can quickly become a crippling administrative burden. To succeed, you’ll need a powerful eCommerce platform like Shopify Plus and a robust yet flexible product information management (PIM) solution. The Jasper PIM team is here to help! Feel free to reach out to us via https://www.jasperstudios.com/free-demo

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Do you want to relive Shopify Unite and all of its exciting announcements? Check out the keynotes on the Shopify Blog and browse Shopify’s YouTube channel to watch recordings of all the break-out sessions.

Keynotes at Shopify Blog: https://www.shopify.com/partners/blog/unite-keynotes-2018?utm_campaign=partner+blog+rss&utm_medium=email&utm_source=mailchimp&utm_content=180518&mc_cid=d25202de41&mc_eid=9e2349ba02

Break-out sessions at Shopify YouTube Channel; https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvQF73bM4-5Vxu_b8ofskvvRuitNOHnM_