Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce platform that offers accessible e-commerce solutions for businesses that rely on it to build their e-commerce and sell online. Merchants, as Shopify calls them, can connect different channels such as their own physical and online shop or social networks, thus going the omni-channel route.
Although the idea of Shopify's service is generally associated with small businesses or freelancers who need help with the digitisation of their processes, the reality is that Shopify is behind success stories such as Allbirds, Gymshark and Sephora, among others and Ecoalf, Scalpers, Tropicfeel, PDPaola or Lady Pipa in Spain.
FashionUnited spoke to Gonzálo Torres Porta, the new General Manager at Shopify in Spain, who participated in the second edition of Shoptalk Europe, the leading retail innovation trade fair from the US which made Barcelona the centre of attention in the retail sector last week.
During the conversation, the current topics of the industry appear: omnichannel, customer experience and integration of artificial intelligence, all of them the result of Shopify’s "open system" that leaves room for its partners to let their imagination run wild and transform their ideas into benefits with their feet on the ground.
How does Shopify work?
By offering plans that adapt to the size and state of your business, they provide a subscription-based model, where you delegate the technology side of your business so you can focus on the business itself.
In return you get a powerful, easy-to-integrate technology that can connect with other channels allowing you to offer an omni-channel experience.
Is it a platform for small businesses?
"It's very accessible, which makes it easy to use for entrepreneurs, and it's powerful, which is why it helps you succeed," says Torres. Through Shopify you can operate and export to different countries, work with B2B and B2C, among many other solutions.
The Spanish jewellery company PDPaola started with Shopify two years ago. At that time it had a turnover of a couple of million and now the figure is more than 40 million euros. Scalpers, on the other hand, with a turnover of more than 150 million, is also part of their success stories.
Shopify's innovations translate into benefits for its customers, which, far from being limited to freelancers or young companies, in Spain include companies such as Ecoalf, Tropicfeel and Lady Pipa.
An open platform that leaves room for imagination
Shopify "doesn't build to order", the executive points out, but thanks to its open system, a company, even if it doesn't offer a specific service, is able to work with partners who offer such services and thus customise its online space according to its needs. A process in which Shopify usually lends them support.
For example, they helped Spanish brand Tropicfeel to develop a type of crowdfunding with which they only sold when they reached a certain number of orders. Another case would be the blue light glasses company Banner, which included solutions to remove barriers in the virtual fitting room.
One of the company's most interesting solutions is ‘Shopify magic’, which introduces artificial intelligence to automatically generate product descriptions for the website, which is a great help when dealing with very large product catalogues.
"Commerce is no longer purely a 'buy and go transaction'", rather you have to connect with the consumer on multiple levels "with your storefront, on social media, in the shop", which has led Shopify to focus on the physical retail sector with very effective stock management solutions.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.ES. Translation and editing from Spanish into English by Veerle Versteeg.