New Shopify App Offers Local SMBs a Bridge to E-Commerce
Shopify announced its new digital store assistant called Shop, earlier this month. The app helps consumers find local businesses and get relevant product suggestions from brands they’re interested in. It also allows its users to checkout with ease and to track the delivery progress on orders afterwards.
The app has an auto-tracking feature that can be turned on and off at will. This feature collects and monitors online orders. Another feature allows users to customize their feed with sale offers, trending products, and personalised ads, with an algorithm that allows local merchants to stay on the mind of their old and potential customers.
The Shop app also has a feature that allows users to search for shops close to them and evaluate their delivery options. Users can leave reviews, initiate product returns, and get answers to their questions.
It promises to be one of the most practical ways for consumers to patronise indigenous markets. The Shop app builds a trustworthy and hassle-free connection between SMBs and consumers at no additional cost.
Modern-day mobile shopping apps need to be able to automatically monitor online orders, track and manage receipts in storage, and implement shopping policies. With such apps, consumers are now being introduced to small scale businesses that offer top-notch services. Most of the time, these retailers cannot host their mobile shopping apps to keep the competition on, hence registering on apps like Shop gives them unlimited access to waiting consumers.
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on online shopping is baffling. More businesses are relocating online and as a result, online sales are shooting through the roof. Shoppers are under pressure to support indigenous businesses but are still sceptical about patronizing them on eCommerce apps. Shopify’s Shop is changing the narrative. With a platform large enough to host your favorite local brands, the app makes retailing stress-free.
The Secret Merging Ingredients
Shop incorporates multiple features from Shop-Pay (once called Shopify Pay), an enhanced checkout add-on with $8 billion worth of sales. It also integrates Arrive; the app from Shopify with over 16 million users, that monitors online orders.
Constellation Research’s principal analyst, Liz Miller, says “I stumbled onto Arrive about eight weeks ago and have to admit I was sceptical at first. Why in the world did I need an app to track all of this when I can do the same thing within each retailer’s e-commerce site?”
She has her answers. Shop is a merger of all your favourite features. “Multiple retailers, multiple shippers, all in one spot, including details on my order, stock availability, multiple packages … right there,” she said to the E-Commerce Times. “I’m in on using Shop based on how easy my checkout experience has been at Shopify retailers and then with this app”.
Privacy and Security
Shopify does not sell its users data. Users are also free to deactivate their accounts whenever they want. Its servers are PCI standard compliant for the storage of credit card data and users’ private and payment information is encrypted back to back. Shopify endorses the independent verification of the Shop app to securely manage emails as required by Google API Services.
“I guess that Shopify will make personal data available, at a cost, to its stores,” Nicole France, another primary analyst at Constellation Research says. “PII may not be included, but it’s not clear from these announcements how easy that might be to reconstruct based on available information,” she voiced to the E-Commerce Times.
Shop: App Reviews
Old and new Shopify sellers will be impressed with Shop. The CEO of Netalico, Mark Lewis, told E-Commerce Times that it allows them to “offer an app experience to their customers without any work on their part,”. He also added that users “won’t really care about it or know that it integrates into merchants they shop from unless Shopify or merchants push it to them”.
Regardless of this, Shop “puts customers in the driver’s seat, where they should be,” Nicole France observed. “This is crucial. So is the fact that customers’ personal details won’t be sold.” The app “may well prove a fundamentally different and revolutionary model for connecting customers with brands on digital platforms,” she added.
Shop not only provides value for its users; it eases the hassle of transactions between the customers and small business owners. “As shipping options and times have been upended in the midst of stay-at-home orders, the ability to choose among them and track progress is more important than ever,” she concluded.
The Square and Shopify Margin
Netalico’s Lewis says the app’s local search may or may not be engaged greatly. “It’s much more about Shopify trying to break into the brick-and-mortar market, which Square already dominates,” he says to the E-Commerce Times.
Like Shopify, Square provides SMBs with tools that simplify eCommerce between them and their customers. Earlier this year, Square announced its partnership with a leading logistics company, UPS, to incorporate its freight expertise into Square’s market for sellers. They believe this strategy can give them a competitive edge over Shopify.
“Shopify is definitely more e-commerce oriented and e-commerce first than Square — and particularly as consumers shift their buying to online shipping, they’re in a good position to help merchants,” Lewis adds.
Ray Wang, another analyst at Constellation Research thinks that “Local merchants need these capabilities more than consumers.” He believes the potential of indigenous businesses can expand internationally with them. “Bringing small merchants together and giving them the tools of Google and Amazon at scale,” he says to the E-Commerce Times.
Wang is positive that the Shop app provides SMBs with “enterprise-class capabilities at the SMB level”. He affirms that it is “the bridge between brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce. It’s Shopify’s push to go even further downmarket to local retailers and get them into the e-commerce age”.