“Commerce is a powerful, underestimated form of expression. It’s a direct expression of democracy. This is why our mission at Shopify is to protect that form of expression and make it better for everyone, not just for those we agree with.”
There is a certain sincerity and the will to empower merchants in the founder and CEO of Shopify, Tobias Lutke’s words, that reflects in the robust eCommerce Platform that he built, a one stop solution platform for any retailer or merchant to create an online presence to sell its products.
Until now, in these 6 part series extensive discussion about eCommerce and Froogle, we have been talking about how as a retailer can you benefit from the vast opportunities that Google and its integrated partners can help you with to scale up your business. In this part 5 of the series, we will be talking in length about Shopify and how they are planning to help merchants get back in the online retail game stronger than ever.
Why choose Shopify?
Being one of the most popular eCommerce platforms currently, Shopify wins with almost 20 percent market share and empowering over 600,000 businesses worldwide. You don’t need to be an expert to use Shopify – it’s highly flexible and easy to use, with many add-ons available to customize the user experience.
Started in 2004, Shopify offered small businesses the ability to set up their online stores, place advertisements, process payments, fulfill orders, manage inventory, and more, available for a small monthly fee. Retailers who newly turned to the online sales platform since the pandemic closed their doors, along with the one million merchants already using Shopify, boosted gross merchandise volume 46% to $17.4 billion in the first three months of the year.
Shopify said the number of consumers who bought something from a merchant they had never shopped at before has spiked 45%, suggesting that many people are discovering new online stores and could become repeat customers. It also said brick-and-mortar stores have been able to replace 94% of their in-store sales online.
How does Shopify plan to help merchants?
“We are working as fast as we can to support our merchants by re-tooling our products to help them adapt to this new reality,” said Lütke in a statement. “Our goal is that, because Shopify exists, more entrepreneurs and small businesses will get through this.”
Shopify introduced a consumer-facing app last week that allows shoppers to search for retailers they’re interested in, follow them, and then track orders that they’ve placed. Shopify has come up with several tools to help small businesses during the pandemic which are listed below:
3-month free trial
Shopify has also made its platform available for a free 90-day trial for new merchants, instead of the normal 30 days. This is a great time to invest and get started with an eCommerce store and get a full-fledged experience
Gift cards for all plans and customers
Gift cards provide retailers with an immediate cash infusion and ensure that a customer will return to their business in the future. For businesses with thin margins, gift cards can help stay afloat until the crisis passes.
To further incentivize customers, you can discount gift cards, come up with a digital gift card program, or even collaborate with complementary local businesses to create co-marketing opportunities that can help you acquire new customers.
Shopify is launching Shopify Email available to all new and existing Shopify stores for free until October 1. It is a new marketing tool to make email marketing easier and more accessible for businesses new to digital marketing.
With spikes in screen time, merchants can take advantage of increased digital traffic by using email marketing to connect with their shoppers. With pre-designed templates that fetch data directly from a merchant’s store to create branded emails, Shopify Email makes communicating with shoppers more efficient and convenient.
These emails are perfect for communicating special promotions, changes in operations, or any other COVID-19 updates you want your customers to know about. Shopify Email also can track the results from each email in an analytics dashboard.
Shopify Shipping allows you to connect your Shopify account with Shopify’s shipping carrier accounts, which has the subsequent benefits:
- Display calculated shipping rates, rather than flat rates, to your customers at checkout
- Get reduced rates for your shipping labels
- Print shipping labels directly from your Shopify admin
Local Pick-up & Delivery
To make sure you maintain social distancing, Shopify has come up with a feature to create a local delivery option only visible to customers who live in a particular zone. Merchants with a brick and mortar store can take advantage of the opportunity to offer customers in-store/curb-side pick up for online orders.
You can find out the choice for patrons to select up their online orders at your mercantile establishment, curbside, or any location that you simply choose. To do this, enable the local pickup option for every location where customers can attend and get their orders. The shipping rate for local pickup is about to Free and cannot be changed.
Available in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Shopify plans to extend access to $200 million in small business funding for merchants with Shopify Capital. The Shopify Capital program does not promise to give loans, but “cash advances” to the merchants who use their platform.
There are no credit checks, no deadline on the repayment. they are not obligated to pay for anything if they’re not making sales. It is completely based on a factor rate, which is different. This makes Shopify Capital worth a shot.
Shopify brings you weekly virtual programming designed to help your business through these uncertain times, and local community meetups to help you connect with other business owners and experts online.
Learn more about Shopify’s collaboration with Facebook Shops.