Ottawa-based Shopify Inc. SHOP-T unveils over 100 new e-commerce products on Wednesday, including a variety of partnerships with Apple AAPL-Q, Google GOOGL-Q and Twitter TWTR-N, as well as a new feature which allows customers to unlock custom versions of online stores through cryptocurrency wallets.
In a pre-launch interview, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein described the products as part of the company’s broader, consumer-focused approach to helping merchants connect with customers across platforms. that they might be more comfortable with, such as social media websites. According to recent estimates, Shopify provides tools to approximately two million merchants worldwide to manage their online stores.
“A few hundred years ago, trade was done in the town square. This is where the baker sold bread and the cobbler sold soled shoes. And the reason it was was because that’s where people spent their time,” Mr Finkelstein told The Globe and Mail. “If you think about where people hang out now, it’s everywhere. I mean, it’s on TikTok, it’s on Pinterest, it’s on Facebook and Instagram, it’s offline in stores, it’s in farmers markets.
“And so fundamentally we want to be commerce, the retail operating system that makes it easy for merchants to sell on any of these surfaces.”
Shopify’s new offerings are announced as tech companies face a global slowdown after thriving at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first quarter of 2022, Shopify posted its slowest quarterly growth in seven years – missing analyst projections on earnings, revenue and gross merchandise volume.
Big tech companies, including those that Shopify is now partnering with, have lost trillions of dollars in market value in total this year as many investors sell their stocks and the US Federal Reserve raised its interest rate by reference.
Some of Shopify’s new products will only be available in the United States before launching in other markets. This includes a partnership with Apple Inc. that allows Shopify merchants to accept payments directly from their customers’ iPhones without using point-of-sale machines.
The company is also launching a local Google shopping feature from Alphabet Inc. that will allow customers from anywhere to search for a product and see one available nearby, listed on a Shopify merchant’s website. .
Additionally, Shopify is Twitter Inc.’s exclusive global partner for Twitter Shopping, which will provide merchants with integrated functionality to offer products to customers through the social media app and website.
Earlier this year, Shopify confirmed a deal to buy San Francisco startup Deliverr Inc. for US$2.1 billion, which was Shopify’s biggest acquisition to date and part of a push to expansion its warehousing and delivery services. Since then, the company has been offering two-day delivery and six-month free storage to its merchants. On Wednesday, Shopify launched shipping services to France and Britain.
Finkelstein said he’s especially looking forward to Shopify’s new “tokengated” feature that will allow merchants to create exclusive benefits, such as unique products and collections for customers, that will only be accessible with crypto wallets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). He called it a “golden ticket” for customers.
Shopify’s new foray into crypto comes as digital assets such as bitcoin fall to multi-year lows, while a broader industry rout has caused major crypto firms to cut much of their staff and a major player to halt all transactions indefinitely.
“Our job as the retail operating system for brands around the world is that whatever a merchant wants to do on Shopify, we have to make it available,” Finkelstein said.
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