Shopify shows that it’s about more than just digital
For the last decade, Shopify has been an ecommerce company first-and-foremost: at its heart, it’s an online platform that lets people and businesses create their own ecommerce stores. The success it has found in this regard speaks volumes, and it’s easy to see why: Shopify uses cutting edge tech and economies of scale to power a back-end that gives operational parity with the big boys in the online retail arena. The combination of big player functionality and affordable price tag is too good an offer for many small to medium size businesses to ignore. But now, Shopify is working hard to push beyond digital and into the physical world.
Shopify’s share price has soared so far in 2019: up by almost 50% already!
Source: Yahoo Finance
Recently, Shopify decided to push into what it calls the retail space, including “point-of-sale (POS) and payments platform services” as well as “new services for its brick-and-mortar merchants.” If you’re only aware of Shopify’s history as an ecommerce company, it might come as a surprise to realise that the company offers things like card readers and support for inventory, orders and fulfilment to offline retailers – but it’s a key part of Shopify’s business. And the company is looking to push it further.
Ian Black, Shopify’s new director of retail, is the man at the helm of this vision. Formerly the head of UberEATS North America, Black has plenty of experience in navigating the join between digital and brick-and-mortar operations.
In a recent interview, Mr. Black summed up the challenge facing him: “It’s important to think about retail as multi-channel. As we work with our retailers, they don’t necessarily think about selling to customers in any one channel, they want to be able to operate in a variety of ways. Shopify is trying to have all the pieces in place for them to be able to do that.”
The company’s vice president of product, Satish Kanwar, also spoke to interviewers – choosing to focus specifically on brick-and-mortar: “There are different challenges that physical retailers have and there will be different things that they need from Shopify when onboarding to our solutions, visiting our physical spaces, or setting up payments hardware.” Black added: “It’s hard to overstate the size of the opportunity.”
Dominion holds Shopify in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
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