Towards Toronto. Shopify Unite 2019.


We’re super excited about being at Unite in 2019. For us, Shopify is all about helping ecommerce business people and Unite will give our team a huge download of new information and skills to share with Perth ecomm business owners.

— Scott Sanders, Director, The Cut

What is Shopify?

If you don’t know the answer to this, there are some other pages and articles on this website that you should read first. But if you want to stay right here, very quickly, Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform.

It is software dedicated to ecommerce functionality and buying things online. It allows business people, and agencies like us, to build ecomm websites that offer the core product management, categories and transactional functionality, as well as security and feature updates and endless options to add features and customise.

If you want to know more, you’ll have to read on elsewhere.

What is Unite?

Unite is Shopify’s international conference that is held once a year in the Canadian city of Toronto. The event’s name reflects Shopify’s commitment to, and the strength of, their community and Unite is all about bringing that community together.

Unite is not about the merchants. This three day conference is for Shopify Partners and Shopify Developers who build apps and custom integrations, or who work with Shopify merchants providing services like web design, development, marketing, business strategy, and more, just like we do at The Cut.

The purpose of Unite is to bring the Shopify community of partners and developers together to learn more about the platform and upcoming feature releases, to view product demonstrations and to get direct assistance from Shopify and their experts on how to better help the merchants we work with.

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The second best thing about Shopify is the people. The first best is the platform itself. The most exciting thing about heading to Unite will be people we’ll meet and the opportunities to learn. It’s an awesome opportunity for us to bring it all back to Perth.

— Ben De Jonge, Director, The Cut

Shopify Learning

Shopify’s culture is founded on the concepts of community, sharing and learning, and Unite is the perfect example of that. Shopify also hold events in Australia and APAC and The Cut’s team have been attending those for a few years now.

The annual Australian event is called Pursuit, and this year Scott went to Sydney for the first Commerce Plus event, with a focus on Shopify Plus and the enterprise level offerings from Shopify.

We have also started to attend events in Singapore, that have a firm focus on the fast-growing APAC markets.

These events are all based around learning and sharing information, and of course meeting other agencies, and Shopify experts to form relationships and share insights on challenges and the different approaches we all have to helping Shopify merchants improve and grow.

Our focus here and for Unite is on agencies and development partners, but Shopify apply their community ethos to their merchants too. The famous Shopify Meetups are run all over the world to bring merchants together to learn from agencies and each other.

Plus, Shopify’s online communities are many and varied, and all highly engaged. It is super easy and accessible for merchants to reach support and get guidance from Shopify people, agencies and other merchants. If this is what you need, find Shopify channels in Slack, Facebook and via Shopify themselves.

Look Back at Unite 2018

While we didn’t make it last year, Unite 2018 was Shopify’s third annual partner and developer conference and the focus was on new features and helping merchants and agencies simplify, automate and accelerate global growth.

Often, even new and relatively small ecomm businesses will start to explore international markets, such is the power of ecommerce as a whole, and Shopify’s own capabilities in this area. So, Unite 2018 was focussed on expansion into international markets and solving the challenges that come with that.

Supported by the development of the Shopify Plus offering, Shopify have helped thousands of high-volume businesses scale across borders, and they use that experience to help all merchants reach new channels and markets more easily.

Unite 2019, Overview

So, why are we travelling for 18,142 kms and 36 hours, times two? No, it’s not for the points. It’s for the ecommerce learning.

At Shopify Unite 2019, Ben and Scott will be joining around 1000+ partners and developers from around the world and coming together for three days (plus) of presentations, workshops, events and conversations about the future of commerce.

And, we imagine the odd rejuvenating cold beverage after those long days of learning.

This will be full immersion into Shopify with the world’s biggest and most integrated ecommerce community. We’ll be hearing from Shopify leadership, getting exclusive insights into the release and planning for new product features and exploring the opportunities that lie ahead.

Unite 2019, Expectations

So, let’s look at what we are expecting to experience at Shopify Unite 2019.

And first, the deets - This year, Shopify Unite will be on from June 18 to 20 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, Canada. So, that’s where we’ll be, far, far away on the other side of the globe.

As approved ticket holders we are looking forward to getting our hands, ears and brains ‘dirty’ with the following presentation formats and topics.

The Product-Focused Keynotes will give us the chance to be among the first people to hear exclusive details about the future of the Shopify platform from their most senior people. We’ll get the chance to see where the new opportunities lie, the features that will help capitalise, and how we can help merchants here in Perth to take advantage of them.

Workshops will give us the opportunity to collaborate and learn from smaller group sessions, where the focus tends to be technical and all about solving specific challenges. We’ll have the chance to give direct feedback to Shopify people about the tools and features we work with on the regular.

The Office Hours sessions allow us to book 1 on 1 time with a range of Shopify team members from those specialising in the technical to experts in business strategy, growth and marketing, specifically for ecommerce.

No event of this size exists without a focus on networking. For The Cut, making connections across Australia and the APAC region is becoming more important, and we’re also looking forward to meeting agency owners from North America. As you’d expect, in the US of A, the scale of the ecommerce businesses, and the Shopify solutions built, are often super-sized.

We’re excited to make plenty more connections in the partner community, get to know our Shopify support people better and to share ideas with all of them.

So, after 3 full days of key notes, workshops, 1 on 1’s and networking we imagine that Ben and Scott will be ready, and more than ready, for the Unite 2019 after party. This will give us a chance to sit back, relax, and have some laughs, food and drinks with our fellow partners, and Shopify’s team from around the world.

Sharing the Learning

At the end of the day, we’re doing this trip to add to our Shopify skills so we can share new learnings with the Perth and Australian ecommerce businesses we already work with, and the greater Perth Shopify community. And why wait?! We want to start the sharing asap, so we’ll be publishing stories about our trip and the event as we go.

If you’d like to stay in touch with our trip across the globe in search of Shopify enlightenment, and get the scoops early, we will be publishing regular blogs and podcasts as we go. So watch this space and / or subscribe to The Cut’s podcast, you’ll find it at all good streaming platforms.