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Global ecommerce provider Shopify today made a major move into the future of online business by launching a set of app updates and additions that ostensibly will address the way business will be conducted in Web3.
Shopify, which for years has provided a relatively simple way for merchants to open their own online storefronts, is now providing a set of tools for users interested in creating new sites handling social network-oriented merchandising, local shopping in partnership with Google, DeFi (banking), an NFT (non-fungible token) marketplace, cryptocurrency, business-to-business marketing and sales, and other categories. In total, Shopify is adding more than 100 new features to its basic offering.
The company made the announcement under the auspices of a new semi-annual product showcase called Shopify Editions that will unveil new apps and features and improvements across the entire platform.
“At Shopify, we believe in the infinite game,” Tobi Lütke, founder and CEO of Shopify, said in a media advisory. “That means we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for entrepreneurs. We work to solve the complex challenges merchants face today while imagining entirely new ways for them to grow their businesses. With Shopify Editions, we’re sharing our big bets and latest innovations in commerce so that those ambitious enough to try their hand at entrepreneurship can start and scale faster.”
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The new offerings are designed to help merchants of all sizes navigate today’s challenges in running a business by opening up new revenue opportunities and building customer loyalty for the long haul.
Some of the more important updates are as follows:
Tokengated commerce: This will be Shopify’s take on building its own home base for NFT sales and marketing interaction. Shopify Tokengated commerce will use NFTs, which will – at least at the outset – be the creations of its users. Shopify didn’t say if it would provide tools for the creation of NFTs, but that information is expected to come later this year. The company said that Tokengated “will be a way to reward true fans and VIPs, by giving NFT holders exclusive access to products, perks and experiences.” Tokengated will link crypto wallets to stores on Shopify. Merchants will be able to activate Shopify Tokengated commerce experiences online, on mobile and in physical retail, Shopify said.
B2B: B2B on Shopify will be a new home for retailers who want to sell to businesses only. B2B on Shopify isn’t only for companies that work in wholesale; it’s for anybody who wants to sell to the B2B universe. Business customers usually buy in specific patterns based on quarterly budgets, and typically require different types of payment methods and tax requirements. The new platform will make it easier for global retailers to automate these things and potentially grow B2B revenue.
Shopify on iPhone: What? This wasn’t available previously? Well, it was released last month, but not with a lot of promotion. In order to increase shopping transactions, Shopify is now providing the ability for users to tap to pay on Shopify-powered transactions on iPhone. While other point-of-sale services have relied on POS hardware, Shopify is using Apple’s tap-to-pay features to make it easier for a merchant to enable in-person payments with only an iPhone and no terminal required.
Shopify and Google: Shopify and Google were already working together to provide products on Shopify-powered sites to be more discoverable on Google searches. This is now taking on a location-specific angle. When customers are looking for a specific product attached to a Shopify-powered retailer or brand, shoppers will be able to see if it’s available to pick up locally in a physical store.
“We will go wherever the world of commerce goes,” VP of product Glen Coates told a press conference. “We want Shopify to be a big easy button.”
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