What to Make of the Markets World Platform Upgrade Announcement

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Here’s Everything We Announced at Shopify Unite 2020

At this year’s Shopify Unite, Shopify leadership took the stage to talk about the future of commerce, and to give the partner and developer community a look at our product roadmaps.

The opportunity ahead is bright and full of possibilities. To help you make sense of them all, we’ve put together a high level view of every product update and launch announced from the Shopify Unite mainstage.

Table of contents

1. Online Store: Core

The online store is the heart of any merchant experience: it’s often the center of their multi-channel strategy and where their entrepreneurial journey begins.

That means it’s critical that merchants can offer an online store experience that attracts buyers and showcases their products in the best possible light.

Today, we’re announcing a major upgrade to the online store, giving you access to more powerful tools to help merchants express their brand and delight their customers.

A new online store design experience

Our new online store design experience will make it easier for merchants to create and customize their storefronts without writing a single line of code. We’ll be introducing a new feature set that will allow you to focus less on guiding your clients through the basics of store editing, and more on providing those highly valuable skills and services needed to take a merchant’s business to the next level.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Sections on every page: When we first introduced Sections, it allowed merchants the ability to easily add or move content on their homepage with just a few clicks. We’ll now introduce sections-based editing to any page of a merchant’s online store, giving them ultimate flexibility to create and customize pages to their needs.
  • Master pages:This new feature will allow merchants to define the content that will appear on multiple pages, and apply changes to all pages under a specific page type, simply by editing the master page.
  • Content portability: Content will no longer be stored in themes. Merchants will no longer have to duplicate their themes to make changes to their store, and will be able to more easily switch between themes without transferring their content manually.
  • Draft changes: We’re introducing a new safe place for merchants to draft changes to their online store, prior to publishing. They’ll be able to change aesthetics and content on existing and new online store pages, and publish when they’re ready.
  • Online store editor: All of these changes are wrapped up into a new user interface that makes navigating store creation more intuitive, and makes it easier to edit all your store components in one place.

For Shopify Partners, these updates will also unlock new app sections, giving merchants the ability to add apps to their storefront, just like they would any other section. We’ll be releasing a new online store app extension for partners to facilitate this. Be sure to subscribe to the Web Design and Development Blog for more information leading up to these exciting launches.

Shopify Partners can learn more by visiting our technical documentation. Developers can also start exploring these changes with the Sections API in developer preview. You can find everything you need to get started in our changelog. Closer to merchant availability, we’ll also share the new UI.

[Coming Soon] Checkout app extensions: Subscriptions

We work hard to continuously improve the experience for partners, merchants, and their customers. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that coming soon, Shopify Partners will be able to access our first ever checkout app extension, which focuses on improving the purchase flow for subscriptions.

Buyers will no longer be routed outside of Shopify’s checkout to complete their transactions. Developers will be able to integrate their subscription apps into the checkout experience, surface their app’s information into Shopify’s checkout, and give merchants the ability to process transactions for subscription goods and services within one seamless checkout experience.

The checkout app extension for subscriptions will be available later this year. Keep up to date on all Shopify platform information by subscribing to our monthly product email for partners, What’s New with Shopify .

Build better brands with Video and 3D

Winning the attention of today’s buyers has a lot to do with weaving a powerful brand story—in fact, based on the current usage of Shopify AR, we know that interacting with a product in augmented reality significantly improves conversion rates. That’s why we’re investing in more powerful and robust product browsing experiences that drive higher engagement and better conversion.

Later this year, the Video and 3D update to the product section of the Shopify Admin will become available to all merchants, and will natively support video and 3D model assets for products. Storage, delivery, and access through both the Shopify Admin API and Storefront API will become available. This also includes:

  • Storage:Merchants will be able to manage media from a single location, with Shopify hosted video and 3D assets sharing the same workflow as images.
  • Delivery: Merchants using one of our 10 basic themes will be able to display their video or 3D assets on their storefront through the Shopify video player and Shopify AR.

This update also means that there is a new Shopify player for video and viewer for Shopify AR, as well as additions to Liquid to consider.

We’re also introducing a new area for partner contribution: editor applications. From image and video editors, to new ways to produce content for the web and augmented reality, developers will be able to build apps that allow merchants to create, edit, and refine media in the admin via a new, soon to be released, app extension.

With Video and 3D access, partners can now build richer and higher converting buyer experiences for their merchants. Read through our 3D model creation documentation to get started.

Introducing the Media APIs

Shopify Developers can now associate videos and 3D model assets with a product via new additions to the GraphQL Admin API.

For a long time, partners could only upload images to Shopify via the API. These new additions to the GraphQL Admin API enable partners to create, retrieve, update, and delete new media types, including video (hosted by Shopify), external video (via an embed, ex. YouTube), and 3D models.

Additions to the Storefront API will enable offsite storefronts and mobile apps to retrieve these new media types on a product.

To learn more, read our guide to Media APIs or explore the developer preview.

Stay in the know

Subscribe to receive What’s New with Shopify, our monthly email featuring Shopify’s latest product news.

How the Best SaaS Companies Write Upgrade Emails that Convert

Written by Janet Choi on May 28, 2020 .

Upgrade emails are your bread and butter messages. They help convince and remind people to convert and upgrade from free to paid accounts and to higher plan tiers.

Before we dive into one of the most important types of emails for your business, a reminder:
if you really want to grow conversions and upgrades, you have to lay the groundwork first. Invest in your product, onboarding, and support to bring value to people — all before you make your big asks. As Wistia says in one of its trial expiring/upgrade emails, you have to do some work up front:

“If we’ve done our jobs right, you’ve gotten a good feel for what Wistia can do for your video marketing.”

When is the best time to ask people to upgrade? There are two answers: towards the end of a series in which you build trust and value before you sell — or based on behavior such as active use, indicating that that trust and value is already in place.

In this post, you’ll find some tactics, examples, and templates for you to use to plan and create your own upgrade emails.

Quick Tips to Level Up Your Upgrade Emails

  • Make it relevant.Personalize your emails with names and pertinent details, such as how much time is left in a trial or based on certain user activity, to make your message feel relevant and timely.

Specify features that people will gain or miss out on when upgrading.
Here’s an example from CloudApp that talks about gains like faster, larger uploads.

On the other hand, Followup.cc takes the loss aversion approach, bringing up previously available features that you’ll lose when you don’t upgrade.

    Include plan pricing details. Clarity around pricing is helpful for people making a purchase decision. Front makes this evident by including an image of their pricing plans:

Use social proof to persuade.

Make it easy to keep in touch.: People might not be ready to upgrade or want to cancel, but that doesn’t mean you should say goodbye to them forever. Make it easy for them to stay connected. Here’s how Wistia does it at trial expiration.

Make your call to action stand out. Most CTAs in upgrade emails are basic, such as “Upgrade Now!”. Try a/b testing copy that is more specific to the rest of your email or benefits-focused, such as Followup.cc’s “Get them back.”

5 Upgrade Email Templates

Now let’s look at some examples and copy templates that you can start using today:

1. Free trial over: upgrade/subscribe to continue

Example: Basecamp
Subject: Your Basecamp trial has ended. Subscribe today to pick up where you left off.

Take note of the subject line here. It includes all the vital facts you need to convey: the stage of the trial, what to do next, and what happens to your work.

This upgrade email also does a great job of allaying any worries and being clear about what’s to come. It explains what happens to your data, team member access, and how to pay —
while providing some social proof to get your brain to say yes.

All it takes to subscribe or cancel is a click of a button. If you’ve been getting value out of the tool — and want to “keep using” it and keep getting that valued, this nudge to give Basecamp your money should be pretty effective.

Trial Over: Upgrade Email Template

[be nice, say thanks]
Thanks so much for giving Readerific a whirl!

[main message: trial status + what to do next]
Your free month to try out Readerific has reached the end, but you can keep using Readerific to stash, organize, and share your work reads when you subscribe!

[CTA] (Keep on reading!)

[Proactively address concerns, what happens next, what happens to data]
Your library will stick around until you’re ready to subscribe and any team members you invited will still have access.

[Pricing plan or payment details]
Our subscription plans start at $8 a month. [Persuasive tactics – social proof, benefits, etc.] Don’t miss out on what everyone else in your team is reading and offline access to your library.

[open communication channel for questions and feedback]
Have any questions or feedback? Just reply to this email to get in touch!

Keep reading!
The Readerific Team

2. Free trial expiring – transitioning to free plan

Wistia’s trial gives people a taste of the premium life. Once that trial is over, you can either upgrade or stay on a free plan.

Example: Wistia
Subject: 3 days left in your Wistia Premium Features Test Drive

In this upgrade email, Wistia reminds you of the cool premium features that you’re getting to test drive (and will lose if you don’t upgrade). They also link straight to the premium features’ related documentation in case you hadn’t had a chance to try them out.

Not upgrading at this point also isn’t goodbye. The email explains clearly that you can keep using the free plan and for how long.

Trial Expiring/Free plan Transition Upgrade Email Template

[main message: trial status + what happens next]
Your Readerific trial is coming to an end in 3 days, and you’ll be on our free plan if you choose not to upgrade.

[premium benefits reminder, other persuasion tactics to upgrade, etc.]
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check out our snazzy premium features, like the weekly reading digest, offline mode, advanced search, and work chat. Take 60 seconds to upgrade if you’re enjoying the premium reading life.

[CTA] (I’m ready for the Super Plan!)

[What happens with no upgrade?]
Not ready to upgrade? No sweat! You’ll be on the Readerific Free Plan so that you can keep checking out your library and shared reads. You’ll also be limited to 10 articles a month and restricted chat capabilities.

[Pricing plan or payment details]
Our subscription plans start at $8 a month. [Persuasive tactics – social proof, benefits, etc.] You’ll be joining a community of 10,000 smarties at great companies like Super Acme and Woogle, who are always in-the-know at work.

[open communication channel for questions and feedback]
Have any questions or feedback? Just hit reply and we’ll gladly help.

Thanks for trying Readerific!
The Readerific Team

3. Trial Over – extension / upgrade

Businesses will often offer extensions on trials when asked — and they will include that in their upgrade emails with a quick sentence such as “Need more time to try our app” or “Didn’t get enough time to check out our premium features?” and directions to get in touch.

Squarespace sends a whole email dedicated to the trial extension. Their empathetic acknowledgment that everyone gets busy and could use a little extra time also conveys that they understand human beings — something that often gets left out of promotional asks.

Example: Squarespace
Subject: Need more time?

The fact that all one extra free week takes is a simple click feels like a nice gift. But note where the focus is for the call to action here — on the upgrade button.

Trial over – Extension/Upgrade Email Template

[trial status]
Your Readerific free trial has expired! [what happens to my stuff?] Don’t worry: your library and chats have been saved.

[trial extension rationale + offer]
We know how busy life gets — and thought you might need some extra time to check out Readerific. Just reply to this email or click to get an extra 10 days: (Extend my trial)

[the quick upgrade pitch]
If you enjoyed Readerific, take one minute to upgrade. Our subscription plans start at $8 a month and all include 24/7 support, the weekly reading digest, offline mode, and more!

[CTA] (Upgrade now to keep using Readerific)

[open communication channel for questions and feedback]
Have any questions or feedback? Just hit reply and we’ll gladly help.

Thanks for trying Readerific!
The Readerific Team

4. Hit a limit or paywall — upgrade

Send this type of email to encourage upgrades to paid or higher plans at the most opportune time, as people actively approach any limitations on usage.

Example: Dropbox
Subject: Your Dropbox needs more space!

Similar to the trial-related upgrade emails, be clear about the status of the account. You can personalize the email to feel more relevant or urgent by including actual usage details.

Don’t spend too much time in this email on making a persuasive pitch. In this situation, customers are active enough to reach the next tier, so they already realize the value of your product or service. What would be most useful to them at this point is to explain any new benefits of upgrading.

Hit Limit or Paywall – Upgrade Email Template

[account status]
You’ve already saved 30 reads! Your Readerific plan is running out of library space. [what happens if I don’t upgrade?] Enjoy unlimited storage and other great Pro features by upgrading now.

[CTA] Upgrade now for more reads

[upgrade benefits]
Upgrading to Readerific Pro will get you limitless saves and shares and access to advance search and work chat features.

[open communication channel for questions and feedback]
Need a hand with anything? Just hit reply and we’ll gladly help.

Happy reading!
The Readerific Team

5. Announcement/pro feature = Upgrade opportunity

Here’s an email from CloudApp, educating users about its relatively new annotations feature.

Example: CloudApp
Subject: New: Annotate your screen grabs

Great features offer opportunities to ask for an upgrade — either as part of your free-to-paid email series or a one-time announcement of a new feature or pricing plan change. With these types of emails, focus on showing and explaining your feature or change.

Announcement/Pro Feature Upgrade Template

[Describe feature/plan change and benefits]
One of our most requested features for Readerific has been full-text search, and today we’re excited to announce our new superfast, powerful advanced search feature that’s unlocked when you upgrade to Readerific Pro.

[CTA] (Start getting your search on!)

[Quick explanation of pricing & benefits of upgrading]
By upgrading to Pro for just $X, you’ll gain access to our new power search functionality, which includes the ability to use filters and operators. You’ll also get to unlimited library storage and our work chat Slack integration.

[CTA] (Upgrade to gain pro powers)

[open communication channel for questions and feedback]
Have questions or need help with anything? Just reply to this email!

Happy reading!
The Readerific Team

Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and New Value Creation

Developing new economic and business models that are digitally driven, creating sustainable value for an inclusive economy.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly driving transformational disruption across every sector. By 2022, over 60% of global GDP will be digitized. An estimated 70% of new value created in the economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled platforms. Currently, about 50% of the world’s population does not currently participate in the digital economy at all – and growth in internet adoption is slowing. The G20’s Global Infrastructure Hub estimates a global funding shortfall of nearly $1 trillion for information and communications technology infrastructure by 2040.

Industry structures and business models are being disrupted by innovation in new products and services, changing cost structures, lower barriers to entry and shifting value pools. Companies need to re-imagine how to create, distribute and capture value in this new environment. Navigation requires holistic and sustained insight & intelligence.

Our Platform works with over 1,000 executives, experts, policy-makers, civil society leaders and academics to create new frameworks for disrupting traditional business, investment and innovation models, and to create sustainable value for an inclusive economy.

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