With the world of e-commerce in major flux, Canadian payments giant Shopify took this moment to quietly launch their new consumer app: Shop. There hasn't been a huge amount of fanfare yet, but a huge number of online businesses depend on Shopify and sowill likely now be featured on the app. We've performed a first pass on what you can expect from the app and whether it should feature in your future retail strategy.
So the first thing to know is that this is not a wholly new product; it's a rebadging and expansion of their pre-existing package tracking app that let customers . The pro of this is that Shop already has a user base; the con is that, until recently, this was a logistics app, not a marketplace and the app has not changed radically.
The app is built around 3 tabs: Home, Shops and Profile. In Home you can track packages and orders.
In Shops, you can search for almost any shop on Shopify (without much filtering) and in Profile... well, you can adjust a huge amount of settings for an app this simple. Once you've found a shop you like, you can follow it to stay updated in a feed or click through on the products listed to buy them on the seller's main website. Right now, you can't purchase anything directly on the app - it's just a portal to the site. That's a little clunky right now.
Right now, you can't product search or even filter by category or location. So you almost certainly need to know what you're looking for. The app also doesn't have the social or suggestion aspects of Instagram, which could
The big benefit of Shopify is that it let you sell things your way on your site. Sellers controlled the branding, marketing. Of course, the downside was that Shopify sellers couldn't count on the massive traffic of a huge site like Amazon. The hope is the app would provide the best of both worlds: all the individuality
It centralises every Shopify store, theoretically providing a single marketplace. However, it currently lacks the curation and discovery features that would make it truly consumer-friendly. Without that virtuous loop - consumers discovering new shops, shops using the app to find new users - it's hard to see the app mounting a real challenge to the likes of Amazon just yet.
This is Shopify's first real consumer product and right now, it feels like an MVP. That said, it's early days and Shopify have a good track record of launching into new spaces. Any smart e-commerce founder will definitely want to keep their eye on this.