In return, Shopify agreed to let its merchants easily list their products on Amazon’s marketplace and to provide Amazon Pay to them. So how Shopify outfoxed Amazon?
In February of 2020, the online retailer Shopify Inc. replaced the “Ottawa, Canada” dateline that began its press releases and earnings reports with a strange new one: “Internet, Everywhere.” Tobias Lütke, the founder and CEO of Shopify, who has the propensity to see things through the lens of cold, hard logic, insisted on the geographic shift.
Only a few months into the pandemic, in May 2020, he’d made the premature, seemingly rash decision to terminate the leases on Shopify’s offices in Ottawa and six other cities, declaring that his entire 7,000-person workforce would remain virtual forever. He came to the conclusion that Shopify was now in the digital ether, along with its staff and clients. His senior executives were baffled by the peculiar wording, but they refrained from challenging him. Also check our Shopify vs. Amazon guide.
The dateline thing might be a little pompous and too cute, but Lütke has earned some creative license after a nearly two-year run that transformed the quiet enterprise-tech company into a global e-commerce powerhouse.
Since he founded Shopify 15 years ago, the business has sold software that enables approximately 2 million merchants worldwide to operate websites without being constrained by the complicated embrace of Shopify’s main rival, Amazon.com Inc. Shopify provides merchants with more than a dozen services for managing an online store, from the actual e-commerce website to inventory control and payment processing, for a monthly fee ranging from $30 to $2,000.
Large retail chains like Staples Inc. now use its technology to power their websites. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.; recently ordained public companies that grew up on the platform, including shoemaker The retail side businesses of celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and others include Allbirds Inc., the manufacturer of medical scrubs Figs, and others.
The company’s greatest influence, however, has been felt at the lower end of the spectrum, in the vast constellation of mom-and-pop businesses, venture capital-backed startups, influencer mini-moguls, twee entrepreneurs, merch heads, and more obscure outfits, like Offlimits, two-person New York City startup that is working to reinvent breakfast cereal, of all things.
What Zoom was to corporate America during the early days of the pandemic, Shopify was to small-business owners, many of whom had never sold a single product online until it became the only way they might stay alive. Shopify, a little-known company that at the time powered about 1 million merchants, was more likely to be mistaken for the music streaming service Spotify than for an e-commerce platform.
But when businesses all over the world were forced to shut down in large numbers, Shopify gave them the means to instantly transform into online stores. When sellers testified in front of a congressional subcommittee looking into big tech in 2020, it confirmed Amazon’s reputation as a vampiric partner to merchants. However, Shopify unexpectedly emerged as their strongest ally.
The global quarantine increased the company’s market value from $46 billion at the beginning of 2020 to $177 billion at this time. Its sales increased by 86% from 2019 to $2.9 billion in 2020. Shopify sellers made $6.3 billion in sales over the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, an increase of 23% from the same period last year.
It made up 8.6% of U.S. GDP and is currently the most valuable company in Canada. e-commerce sales in 2020, well behind Amazon’s 39% but ahead of Walmart and EBay, according to EMarketer. “Simply put, the pandemic gave them a boost. It’s ridiculous,” says Rick Watson, an e-commerce consultant and host of Watson Weekly, a podcast about online selling.
Shopify is frantically trying to maintain its momentum and blend itself into the zeitgeist as the popularity of Zoom, Peloton, and other pandemic breakouts starts to wane.
Recently it hired a veteran of Kanye West’s Yeezy brand to run a new influencer program, opened a slick entrepreneurs’ hub in Manhattan, teamed with the actual Spotify to help musicians become merch machines, and rolled out a feature that allows shopkeepers to sell unique digital artworks—”I am creating NFTs,” tweeted Martha Stewart, a current Shopify seller, tagged the business in October.
Also a fan is Pharrell Williams, who sells his skin care products through Shopify. “If you’re able to come up here and be part of this platform, you’re in great, great, great company,” the producer-rapper-singer-entrepreneur told a group of business owners over At the company’s yearly conference in October, Zoom.
For additional information and insights, consider delving into resources on how to initiate and run a successful e-commerce business on Amazon, offering you valuable guidance and strategies for your entrepreneurial journey.
How Did Shopify Beat Amazon?
Compared to Amazon, Shopify offers a much wider variety of advanced ecommerce features. For those looking to cut costs associated with inventory storage, its dropshipping integration also makes it a better platform. Although Amazon has a respectable selection of sales tools, they lack Shopify’s level of power.
Does Amazon Partner With Shopify?
You can easily integrate with Amazon to sell on that marketplace if you manage a profitable Shopify store. This is a fantastic choice because it gives you access to the biggest eCommerce platform in the world.
Is Amazon Built on Shopify?
Shopify allegedly forms a part of Amazon, according to a rumor. This is untrue; Shopify is a separate business. Amazon does, however, have a platform called Amazon Webstore that enables companies to set up their own online stores.
Where Was Shopify Started?
Tobias L’tke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake founded Shopify as we know it today in Ottawa. Since the company’s shopping cart system was introduced in 2007, retailers using its platform have made a combined total of $100 million in sales. The business debuted its yearly Build-a-Business competition in 2009.