Since the dot-com crash, no Canadian company has reached the billion-dollar evaluation mark, until now. With one of the largest venture financings in Canadian History, Ottawa’s Shopify has managed to successfully change the landscape of Canadian startups and e-commerce in one fell swoop.
Shopify recognizes that the future of retail is all about the consumer, and is making strides to bring that future to life.
Shopify is an e-commerce leader and is already used by thousands of Canadians. A one-stop shop for anyone looking to setup an online store, Shopify does everything from provide free web-based store building software to unlimited e-commerce website hosting and 24/7 support.
With over 100,000 customers in over 80 countries already, Shopify is well on their way to revolutionizing how and where customers make their purchases.
By providing options to accommodate its retails to better serve customers both on and offline, Shopify is leading by example. In the words of their Chief Platform Officer, Harley Finkelstein, “It’s not about offline versus online, but rather consumer choice. Whether customers want to buy at a store and have it delivered to their home, or buy online and pick it up in the store, retailers need to provide these options and cater to consumer needs.” It may seem like a simple concept, (mostly because it is) but it is this belief that is setting Shopify a part from the pack.
As bricks and mortar begin to go out the window, retailers will need to start focusing on transforming mobile apps into personal concierges. From electronic personal shoppers to virtual fitting rooms, our apps, mobile beacons or NFC chips will automatically sync and deliver highly relevant content or recommendations directly to our phones. This information even has the potential to become so synced with our virtual/physical interactions, that our apps will even be able to tell us which celebrity wore the sunglasses we are holding in our hand.
That all may seem far fetched to some, but that reality is coming up quick. The future of retail will give the power back to the consumer, and enable retailers to engage with their shoppers on a level never before believed possible. The ability to get real-world (and real-time) feedback from prospective shoppers will help make our online shopping experience better, and as a result, lead to more sales for savvy retailers.
But as Shopify knows all to well, the future of retail isn’t only online, it’s also offline – and the key to its success is right in our pocket. Thanks to the invention of the smartphone we all have our very own big data tool at our fingertips. Our mobile devices can scan bar codes and compare prices, check reviews, and even be used to snap a picture to share with friends when we need advice. But thanks to the invention of beacons and forward-thinking companies like, Shopify, that’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
As more and more information becomes available, the more we will be able to shop around. This hard fact will drive retailers to become more transparent, and ultimately make way to the age of the consumer.
So the next time you’re out trying to find that perfect pair of shoes to go with that new suit you bought, think about your phone – as it will soon be able to locate that perfect pair Cole Haan’s for you, even before you knew you needed them.
For more on how Shopify is revolutionizing the future of retail, don’t miss Atlee Clark when she speaks next week at GROW about the guest experience, innovation and startups with Lululemon’s Celeste Burgoyne.