Presented by Shopify

At Shopify, our clients and partners have created an entire, thriving industry supporting small merchants, an industry made up of many other successful entrepreneurs and small businesses. Shopify partners generated more than $430 million in revenue in 2016 alone by helping other small businesses compete and succeed. To date, we have also paid more than $100 million to our app developers, and the opportunity is only growing.

We provide a platform for 600,000 merchants around the world, and we are working tirelessly to address their needs as a business but we know that we can’t do it all. With talented entrepreneurs, developers, and designers all around the world, we saw the opportunity to grow an ecosystem that would bridge the gap and support our merchants’ growth.

Starting a business is challenging, and starting an online retail business is even more so. With large retailers and marketplaces setting the gold standard in customer service, consumer expectations are skyrocketing and responding to those needs can be difficult for businesses of any size. People want fast and free shipping, customized support, and the ability to buy almost anything, almost anywhere. Businesses constantly struggle to find the right solutions to cater to savvy shoppers.

To tackle this, small business owners have to look for support and flexible solutions. With limited time and resources, it can be extremely difficult for small business owners to keep up, especially since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for each and every type of business. From store interface to resourcing and fulfillment, a clothing store will have dramatically different needs when compared to an electronics retailer, for instance.

As consumer expectations evolve, and the way people interact with businesses transforms, an opportunity for dynamic and easy-to-use solutions to address these needs will be at the forefront. At Shopify, we work directly with thousands of small businesses to understand their challenges around running a company, and while we are constantly adapting our technology to fit their needs, our partners are really the key to solving these problems in the fastest, most powerful ways.

To compete for customers in a world of shifting demands for things like instant customer support or the ability to purchase wherever and whenever, store owners look for tech that offers a variety of solutions under the umbrella of a single platform. These tools work together to automate tasks and provide relevant and real-time insights to quickly help them make informed decisions, while allowing them to focus on the parts of their business they love. Entire businesses have been built on Shopify to provide merchants with exactly this kind of support, and Shopify merchants are always eager for more.

Take Lucid, a creative agency based in New Zealand and led by founder and creative director Galen King. Lucid helped Gearshop, an online outdoor retailer, develop a quick and easy solution for clearing out inventory. After experimenting with different tools and APIs, the end result was Daysale, a simple website that advertises low-stock inventory at a heavily discounted price. Not only does the website help Gearshop move product quicker out of its warehouse by enticing shoppers to take advantage of deals before they sell out, it also led to Lucid being selected as the best store experience in the 2017 Shopify Commerce Awards.

Around the world, developers, designers, and marketers are building innovative tools and services to help millions of small businesses launch and grow. This ecosystem is fostering new and advanced ways for anyone to sell their products and engage with customers. And the opportunity for these businesses increases as commerce continues to transform.

In a time of changing consumer shopping habits, technology is a constant that will drive businesses forward. And the power of these tools, built by thousands of successful developers, designers, and marketers, is and will continue to be integral to supporting our ever-growing merchant base.

If you’re interested in learning more about Shopify and our app & partner ecosystem, and in taking part in the growing opportunity to support our merchants, you can visit our site here.  And stay up-to-date on the exciting announcements planned for Shopify Unite, our annual partner and developer conference on May 7-9, 2018 in Toronto, by following @ShopifyPartners on Twitter.

Atlee Clark is Director, App and Partner Platform at Shopify.

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