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#4 – Retail operating systems, Shopify studios, and headless e-commerce

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Recent Newsletters

Here’s a sneak peek at the most recent Shopifreaks newsletter. Join today for all the latest Shopify news, apps, and happenings in a short e-mail each Monday. 

Stock News

Mon, Feb 8th – Open: $1,303.86 – Close: $1,345.09

Fri, Feb 12th – Open: $1,457.00 – Close: $1,455.49

Today (Feb 15th) – NYSE closed in observance of Presidents' Day

1) The ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF) picked up another 32K shares of SHOP even with shares hitting a new high of $1,347.24 last week.

2) Thornburg Investment Management Inc bought Shopify Inc, Zynga Inc, Black Knight Inc, Repay Holdings Corp, Horizon Therapeutics PLC, and sold Alphabet Inc, Franco-Nevada Corp, Facebook Inc, Netflix Inc, and MFA Financial Inc during the 3-months ended 2020Q4.

3) Over the last 52 weeks, SHOP shares are up 173%.

4) REMINDER: Shopify plans to announce its Q4 2020 financials before markets open on Wed, Feb 17, 2021. Management will host a conference call to discuss results that morning at 8:30 a.m. EST which you can stream on their investor events portal. [Add to your Calendar.]

Shopify News

1) Shopify President Harley Finkelstein spoke to Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about how Shopify aims to be world's first “retail operating system”. A few highlights from the interview

  • In 2020, every 28 seconds a new Shopify store owner made their first sale. That's down from every 52 seconds in 2019.
  • 98% of companies in Canada are small businesses.
  • 2020 showed us two things from the consumer side: 1) 2020 was the year of the conscious consumer when consumers began to vote with their wallets to support brands whose missions reflect their own. 2) They also voted with their wallets to support independent entrepreneurs and brands whenever possible.
  • Canadians are more interested in supporting their local economies than almost anywhere else in the world. 68% percent of consumers shop local in Canada vs 57% globally.
  • On whether Shopify can justify their valuation… “The world and the investment community is beginning to understand what Shopify actually is. I think for a long time Shopify was misunderstood and most people assumed that we were just an e-commerce provider. But remember Shopify has a billion dollar capital business. We have a point of sale program for physical retail stores. We have a payments business. We have a fulfillment and shipping business. We now have Shopify balance which is going to help with cash management for small businesses. So more and more shopify is becoming the world's first retail operating system. And for those million and more merchants that use Shopify, we are their work. We are the thing that they do when they open up in the morning, and close when they go home at night. We are the most important software they use.”

2) “Own The Room” produced by Shopify Studios premiers exclusively on Disney+ on March 12. The film follows five students from different parts of the world as they take their budding business ventures to Macau, China, to compete in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards — the most prestigious competition for student-entrepreneurs. Did you even know that Shopify had a production division? It launched in 2019 to spotlight facets of the entrepreneurial journey. 

3) Shopify's Shop Pay feature is coming to Facebook and Instagram. This will be the first time that Shop Pay is available outside of the Shopify platform. This is big news because as platforms begin to adopt Shop Pay in a similar fashion to how they now accept PayPal, this will become a new way for Shopify to capture online consumer activity outside of the Shopify platform and become a defacto payment system among online consumers. 

4) Headless e-commerce platform Fabric raised $43 million in Series A funding just four months after raising $9.5 million during its seed round. They company feels that there's a gap in the market for solutions for growing brands and that they can fill the sweet spot between stores who outgrow Shopify Plus but aren't ready for Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Shopify Apps

Last week Shopify added 42 new apps to the Shopify App store. Here are a few that look promising. 

1) Canada Customs Duty App – Allow your customers to see all customs charges at the time of checkout, removing the mystery and fear associated for Canadian consumers. Free.

2) Callcord – Their telemarketing service calls the customers you specify by selecting the timeframe and minimum spend amount – for example customers who have not spent in three months and have spent over $200. 20% of sales collected.

3) Linkie URL Shortener – Create short URLs of your products and pages to share on social media using your own domain name (versus a 3rd party shortener URL like so that you have control of the links and can easily analyze the data. Free.

4) Smart Store Locator – Add your store locations to a Google Map to display on your website. Free – $23.99/month.

5) Smooth Scroll to Top – Choose from 10 locations to add a simple customizable scroll to top button to your pages. Great for themes that don't include this functionality. Free.

6) Instant FAQ & Help Center – Build a help center with unlimited FAQs to reduce support time. Integrate messaging apps and e-mail for when customers can't find the help they need on your forum. Free

7) Cart Messenger – Show messages on the cart page based on dynamic conditions such as cart total, particular SKUs in the cart, number of unique items, etc. Use the messages to share discount codes or upsell. Free – $7/month. 

8) Sales Chart – See your recent store growth visually with line charts (products sold), pie charts (product types), and radial bar charts (top countries) to help you spot trends. Free.

9) 2fa passwordless login – Allow customers to login into your store without a password via OTP over email, mobile, Google Authenticator, WhatsApp, Telegram, and more. $25-39/month.

10) Smart Product Descriptions – Generate automatic product descriptions for your store using AI and Natural Language Generation (NLG). $10/month. 

Thanks for being a Shopifreak!

If you have any Shopify news, apps, or deals that are worthy of sharing in our next newsletter, e-mail [email protected] or hit ‘Reply' to this e-mail.

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See you next Monday!


Paul E. Drecksler
[email protected]

PS: What did the green grape say to the purple grape? Come on man, breathe dammit!