Shopify Unite 2021 is coming: What might the company announce?

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Shopify’s annual developer conference — virtual once again this year — is June 29, 2021 and the company typically makes big product announcements then, so what could be in store this year?

Some analysts say that select partners have said the company will be introducing an “audience network.” However, Guggenheim analyst Ken Wong told clients that the company isn’t expected to monetize merchants directly.

“We believe monetization is more likely to materialize in the form of Shopify giving publishers access to the advertising budgets of their participating merchants,” Wong wrote.

This could include giving merchants free access to high intent audiences, according to Wong.

There are also reports that other Unite announcements will focus heavily on Shopify themes, including possible new announcements about sections and the theme builder.

The conference comes on the heels of the major announcement that Shopify is opening its Shop Pay platform up to Google and Facebook audiences.

Shopify canceled Unite 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company had been considering switching it to a virtual format, but would eventually scrap those plans as well.

In May 2020, the company offered the first edition of Reunite, a broadcast event for store owners (as opposed to developers).

At that event, the company announced the Shopify Balance and Card products, Shopify Capital funding, installment payment options in Shop Pay, tipping and subscription features, a new version of the Shopify POS and an integrated email marketing solution among other news.

Because the event is virtual, there’s no cost to attend.