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Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is also the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.[3] Shopify offers online retailers of a suite of services "including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools to simplify the process of running an online store for small merchants."[4]

Shopify Inc.
Public
Traded as
IndustryInternet
Founders
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Revenue$673.3 million[1] (2017)
Number of employees
3,000[2]
Websiteshopify.com

The company reported that it had more than 600,000 merchants using its platform as of August 2017, with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $82 billion.[5]

Contents

HistoryEdit

Shopify was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake after attempting to open Snowdevil, an online store for snowboarding equipment. Dissatisfied with the existing e-commerce products on the market, Lütke, a computer programmer by trade, instead built his own.[6][7][8] Lütke used the open source web application framework Ruby on Rails to build Snowdevil's online store, and launched it after two months of development.[9][10]

The Snowdevil founders launched the platform as Shopify in June 2006.[9]

In June 2009, Shopify launched an API platform and App Store. The API allows developers to create applications for Shopify online stores and then sell them on the Shopify App Store.[11]

 
A Shopify window display in north London.

In April 2010, Shopify launched a free mobile app on the Apple App Store. The app lets Shopify store owners view and manage their stores from iOS mobile devices.[12] In 2010, Shopify started its Build-A-Business competition, in which participants create a business using its commerce platform.[13][14] The winners of the competition receive cash prizes and mentorship from entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Eric Ries and others.[14] Shopify was named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2010.[9] The company received $7 million from an initial series A round of venture capital financing in December 2010.[15][16] Its Series B round raised $15 million in October 2011.[17]

In February 2012, Shopify acquired Select Start Studios Inc ("S3"), a mobile software developer, along with 20 of the company's mobile engineers and designers.[18][19] In August 2013, Shopify acquired Jet Cooper, a 25-person design studio based in Toronto.[20]

In August 2013, Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Payments, which allowed merchants to accept credit cards without requiring a third party payment gateway.[21] The company also announced the launch of an iPad-centric point of sale system. It uses an iPad to accept payments from debit and credit cards. The company received $100 million in Series C funding in December 2013.[22]

By 2014, the platform hosted approximately 120,000 online retailers,[10][12][23] and was listed as #3 in Deloitte’s Fast50 in Canada, as well as #7 in Deloitte’s Fast 500 of North America.[24] Shopify earned $105 million in revenue in 2014, twice as much as it raised the previous year.[25]

On April 14, 2015, Shopify filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols "SHOP" and "SH" respectively.[26][27] Shopify went public on May 21, 2015, and in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, started trading at $28, more than 60% higher than its USD$17 offering price, with its IPO raising more than $131 million.[28][29][30]

In September 2015, Amazon.com announced it would be closing its Amazon Webstore service for merchants, and had selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider;[31] Shopify's shares jumped more than 20% upon the news.[32]

On October 3, 2016, Shopify acquired Boltmade.[33] In November 2016, Shopify partnered with Paystack which allowed Nigerian online retailers to accept payments from customers around the world.[34] On November 22, 2016, Shopify launched Frenzy, a mobile app that improves flash sales.[35] On December 5, 2016, Shopify acquired Toronto-based mobile product development studio Tiny Hearts. The Tiny Hearts building has been turned into a Shopify research and development office.[36]

In January 2017, Shopify announced integration with Amazon that would allow merchants to sell on Amazon from their Shopify stores.[37] Shopify's stock rose almost 10% upon this announcement.[37]

In April 2017, Shopify introduced a Bluetooth enabled debit and credit card reader for brick and mortar retail purchases.[38]

In April 2018, Shopify announced a partnership with Deliv to offer same-day delivery capabilities to Shopify retailers.[39]

In September 2018, Shopify announces plans to locate thousands of employees in Toronto's King West neighborhood in 2022 as part of the "The Well" complex, jointly owned by Allied Properties REIT and RioCan REIT.[40]

Online cannabis sales in Ontario used Shopify's software when the drug was legalized in October 2018. Shopify's software will also be used for in-person cannabis sales in Ontario when it is legalized in 2019.[41][42]

Entrepreneur spaceEdit

According to a media release,[43] Shopify is venturing out of cyberspace with a permanent location in LA where business owners can come to both get advice from staff, and also to connect with other members of the entrepreneurial community.

In their new locale, aspiring entrepreneurs can take educational classes and get involved with a workshop to further their careers. In addition, events will be held monthly to showcase new products, provide networking opportunities, and host panels to discuss the ups and downs of independent business ownership.

CriticismEdit

In 2017, the #DeleteShopify hashtag campaign called for a boycott of Shopify for allowing Breitbart News to host a shop on its platform.[44][45][46] Shopify's CEO, Tobias Lütke, responded to the criticism,[47] saying "refusing to do business with the site would constitute a violation of free speech".[48][49]

Also controversial, President Donald Trump's sales on the Canadian e-commerce platform for Make America Great Again (MAGA), which has been labelled as hypocritical.[50] [51]

In October 2017, activist short-seller Andrew Left released a detailed report which described the e-commerce platform as a "get-rich-quick" scheme that is against Federal Trade Commission regulations.[52][53] The day the report was released, the stock plunged more than 11%.[54] The main question he posed was "Outside the roughly 50,000 verifiable merchants working with Shopify, who are the other 450,000 the company says it has?" Third-party marketing tactics are expected to be improved going forward.[55]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Yahoo! Finance
  2. ^ "Shopify 2017 Year in Review" (PDF). Shopify.com. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  3. ^ Bradbury, Danny. Hands-off business a reality The Financial Post. April 21, 2008.
  4. ^ McLeod, James. "Shopify holds healthy chunk of pot sales' upside, says COO." The Financial Post. October 30, 2018, p. 2.
  5. ^ Shopify Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) 2014-2018
  6. ^ Cole, Trevor (November 27, 2014). "Our Canadian CEO of the year you've probably never heard of". Globe & Mail. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  7. ^ Whittaker, Stephanie. The Web as a safety net The Montreal Gazette. May 4, 2009.
  8. ^ Donnelly, Jim. Shopify picks up $7M in venture funding Ottawa Business Journal. December 13, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Donnelly, Jim. Fastest Growing Companies Ottawa Business Journal. May 3, 2010. Archived May 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b Duryee, Tricia. E-Commerce Assistant Shopify Raises $7 Million in First Round All Things Digital. December 13, 2010.
  11. ^ Duncan, Katherine (March 12, 2012). "How Shopify Became the Go-To Ecommerce Platform for Startups". Entrepreneur. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Rip Empson (April 11, 2013). "After 7 Years & 50K Storefronts Created, Shopify Launches Major Redesign To Simplify Online Store-Building". TechCrunch.
  13. ^ Kolodny, Lora. Maker of iPad Cases Wins Shopify Competition The New York Times. July 19, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Rip Empson for TechCrunch. July 10, 2012 Shopify Teams Up With Tim Ferriss, Eric Ries, FUBU Founder To Help You Build A $1M eCommerce Biz
  15. ^ Lewis, Rob. Ottawa's Shopify raises $7 Million Series A Funding from Bessemer, FirstMark, and Felicis Techvibes. December 13, 2010.
  16. ^ McLeod, Mark. Shopify Gets Fundified! StartupCFO. December 12, 2010.
  17. ^ Duryee, Tricia. "Shopify Picks Up $15 Million as It Faces New Competition From eBay". All Things D. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  18. ^ Rao, Leena (February 1, 2012). "Ecommerce Platform Shopify Acquires Mobile App Development Studio Select Start". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  19. ^ Berkow, Jameson (February 1, 2012). "Ottawa tech merger: Shopify buys Select Start Studios". Financial Post. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  20. ^ Lindzon, Jared (August 1, 2013). "Shopify acquires design agency Jet Cooper". BetaKit. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  21. ^ Shopify debuts fully integrated credit card payment processing TechCrunch, August 12, 2013,
  22. ^ Etherington, Darrell. "Shopify Raises $100M To Drop The 'E' And Become The Commerce Company That Spans On- And Offline". Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  23. ^ Pileci, Vito. Shopify.com makes it easy for new online entrepreneurs The Montreal Gazette. September 20, 2010.
  24. ^ Louis Columbus (November 20, 2014). "Software Companies Are Dominating Deloitte's Technology Fast 500". Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  25. ^ Reader, Ruth (May 21, 2015). "Shopify pops 65% on the NYSE, starts trading above $28 per share". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  26. ^ "E-Commerce Software Maker Shopify Files for IPO". April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  27. ^ Kokalitcheva, Kia (April 14, 2015). "E-commerce company Shopify files for initial public offering". Fortune. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  28. ^ Armental, Maria (April 14, 2015). "Canadian Software Company Shopify Files for U.S.-Canada IPO". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  29. ^ Tech IPO Scorecard: Shopify Skyrockets 51%, While Baozun Rises A Slimmer 4.6%
  30. ^ Abelson, Jeremy; Narasin, Ben (May 21, 2015). "IPO Scorecard: Shopify is another point against bubble proponents". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  31. ^ "Shares in Shopify Jump 23% Following Integration with Amazon".
  32. ^ Dingman, Shane (2015-09-17). "Shopify's stock soars on news of Amazon partnership". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  33. ^ "Shopify acquires product design firm Boltmade to boost Shopify Plus". TechCrunch. October 3, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  34. ^ "Nigerian Merchants With Shopify Accounts Can Now Accept Payments Via Paystack | TechCabal". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  35. ^ "Shopify's experimental product shop launches flash sales app Frenzy". TechCrunch. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  36. ^ Jama, Robleh (December 5, 2016). "We're Joining Shopify". Tiny Hearts studio. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  37. ^ a b "Shopify's E-commerce Revolution". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  38. ^ Rao, Leena (20 April 2017). "Shopify Takes on Square With New Credit Card Reader". Fortune. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  39. ^ "Deliv now offers same-day delivery for Shopify retailers". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  40. ^ O'Kane, Josh. "Shopify will invest up to $500-million in new Toronto office". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  41. ^ "Ontario Chooses Shopify to Run Online Cannabis Sales". CBC. February 12, 2018.
  42. ^ "Pot is Now Legal in Ontario. Here's What You Need to Know". CBC. October 17, 2018.
  43. ^ "Shopify Launches Brick-and-Mortar Entrepreneur Space in Downtown Los Angeles." Health & Beauty Close-Up, 18 Oct. 2018. Health & Wellness Resource Center, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A558664163/HWRC?u=miam11506&sid=HWRC&xid=9e7c297c.
  44. ^ Alba, Davey (12 February 2017). "Shopify's Breitbart Fight Proves It: These Days, Tech Has to Take a Side". Wired.
  45. ^ Pearson, Jordan (7 February 2017). "People Are Calling For a Shopify Boycott Because It Hosts Breitbart's Store". Vice – via Motherboard.
  46. ^ Silcoff, Sean (9 February 2017). "Shopify caught in political crossfire over refusal to drop Breitbart webstore". The Globe and Mail.
  47. ^ Etherington, Darrell (9 February 2017). "Shopify CEO attempts to defend continued hosting of Breitbart's online store". TechCrunch.
  48. ^ Tess Townsend (February 8, 2017). "Breitbart gets to keep using Shopify to sell its merchandise". Recode.
  49. ^ Captain, Sean (23 February 2017). "Shopify, Breitbart, And The B2B Boycotts That Are Dragging Brands Into Politics". Fast Company.
  50. ^ "Trump uses Canadian e-commerce company to sell MAGA merch". Death and Taxes. 2017-07-24. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  51. ^ "Make...Canada Great Again? Trump uses foreign company to sell #MAGA merch". Newsweek. 2017-07-24. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  52. ^ "Shopify's CEO calls out Citron's Andrew Left as 'short-selling troll' - Article - BNN". BNN. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  53. ^ "Short seller Andrew Left says he's found a 'business dirtier than Herbalife'". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  54. ^ "Ignore Citron Report and Use This Dip to Buy Shopify Inc (US) (SHOP) Stock". Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  55. ^ Expect Shopify to rein in third-party marketing tactics in earnings call: Citi, retrieved 2017-11-27

External linksEdit