Digital Main Street Partner Spotlight: How Shopify is working to make commerce better for everyone
Proudly founded in Ottawa, Shopify is a leading provider of essential internet infrastructure for commerce, offering trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify’s mission is to make commerce better for everyone and currently powers over 1.7 million businesses in more than 175 countries. With a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, to deliver a better shopping experience for consumers, Shopify is the absolute go-to, to start and grow a business.
1.How does Shopify work to support small businessess
Shopify lives by its mission to make commerce better for everyone. WithIn that lens, Shopify ensures each merchant, regardless of size, has access to the latest digital tools to successfully sell their product online and grow their business, because when our merchants win, we win. For every $1 of revenue Shopify makes, Shopify merchants earn $40.82.
We are committed to creating more value than we capture because we are focused on something far more meaningful than revenue. We truly believe that commerce is more than a transaction. It is a relationship between a business and its customers. We are talking about a relationship with your favourite bakery, or favourite jewelry store or artisanal hand soap store. And we want to be part of this connection and help make it even greater. And because of what Shopify does, we want to keep fostering and supporting this online dialogue between merchants and their customers as we see it becoming increasingly important.
2.What changes have you seen this year with respect to SMBs and digital adoption?
- The world is changing fast, and commerce is changing with it—permanently. In under a year, we’ve seen merchants and consumers adapt with lightning speed to entirely new norms. We also have seen how incredibly resilient retailers are.
- Take the example of Flourist, a small Canadian business owned by Janna Bishop and Shira McDermott. Because of the pandemic they had to take the tough decision to pivot from selling flour, their core product, to selling only online when they were forced to close their doors. At the pandemic’s peak, they would sell nearly one month’s worth of product in an hour every time they restocked, their most popular variety gone within minutes. Flourist wasn’t the only company to experience rapid growth last year, despite the chaos and unpredictability brought on by the pandemic. Businesses pivoted. Many online retailers thrived. And the proof is in the numbers.
- Additionally, Shopify merchants created 3.6 million jobs in 2020 and we expect this to continue. That means that collectively, Shopify merchants have been supporting the largest workforce in the world. You will find Shopify merchants in 175 countries using our platform as of May 2021 representing entrepreneurs of all kinds! You can learn more about some truly inspiring entrepreneurs in this article, on the Shopify Effect.
- We’ve been conducting an experiment since Shopify was born to test a few hypotheses: that commerce can be a force for good. That entrepreneurs drive communities forward. That small businesses are the backbones of economies. Over the years, and especially this past year, we’ve found all of these things to be true.
3.Are there any trends you would want to make sure an SMB owner was paying attention to?
We unlocked five predictions using data from 1,700,000+ merchants and survey insights from consumers around the world that you can find in our Future of Commerce report.
- Young consumers will change the business landscape as ecommerce charges ahead
- The pandemic kick-started a behavioral shift to ecommerce that young consumers will continue to drive forward. Brands need to strengthen their omnichannel strategies, invest in their social media presence, and demonstrate authenticity to have staying power.
- Physical retail as we know it will transform, giving local business new advantages
- Omnichannel features and experiences will give new life to physical stores and allow businesses to take advantage of proximity to local consumers.
- Consumers want to shop independent. Businesses will adapt to make that easier
- Consumers expressed the desire to shop with independent businesses but still purchase from marketplaces for convenience. Independent brands that improve their discoverability and fulfillment capabilities are poised to succeed.
- More consumers will vote with their wallets
- Brands must demonstrate authenticity, transparency, and accountability as consumers increasingly support local businesses and sustainable products.
- Modern financial solutions will disrupt business and consumer banking, finance, and lending
- Speed and access to capital, faster ways to pay with digital wallets, and more flexible payments like installments will grow in popularity.
4.What is one piece of advice above and beyond anything mentioned that you would want to provide for SMB's generally.
Shopify believes the coming years will be the most exciting and innovative ever for Canadian retail. The retail experience is going to become even more inspirational, exciting, and convenient — all thanks to the consumer’s ever-changing needs. That’s why the future of commerce needs to have more voices. More entrepreneurs, not fewer. More dreamers and less monopolies. More tools to help retailers enhance the customer journey, not less. We are in an era of retail resiliency. Those who push forward are sure to thrive.
5. Anything else you want to leave behind for our SMB audience?
- To make it easier for merchants of any size to take advantage of the global opportunity, we’re now centralizing and enhancing Shopify’s cross-border capabilities. Merchants can use Shopify Markets to identify, set-up, launch, and optimize international markets—all from a single Shopify store!
- Furthermore, now we are able to convert merchants’ storefront prices to over 133 local currencies and translate content for international customers.
- Shopify announced a first-of-its-kind commerce partnership with TikTok that brings the world’s leading destination for short form video to Shopify’s more than one million merchants. With the TikTok channel for Shopify, merchants can take advantage of TikTok’s global scale to reach new and highly engaged audiences. Building a successful brand means Shopify merchants need to be wherever their customers are spending time, and today that means growing their social commerce presence.
- Shopify and TikTok will continue collaborating to test new commerce features that will further empower merchants to expand their paid and organic reach in video and on profiles. Stay tuned!
Shopify builds for the future and will continue to make commerce better for everyone, helping businesses thrive in a world that needs more entrepreneurs.