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A Shopify Marketplace?

We’re big fans of Shopify — they help with nearly all aspects of operations for ecommerce companies — perhaps the next step is to help drive customer acquisition and open up a centralized marketplace?

Shopify is a great ecommerce platform, but what’s next? It used to be only a store platform, but now Shopify helps with just about every part of digital commerce operations — payments, fulfillment, marketing list, shipping, etc — the one area it doesn’t directly help in finding customers. Shopify has integrations with other marketplaces and provides support for social commerce — but you’re on your own to drive traffic to have those efforts be successful.

Meanwhile, on the demand generation side, customer acquisition costs are rising — all clicks and traffic have gotten considerably more expensive. Amazon continues to dominate, and over 50% of new product searches now start on Merchants must deliver an exceptional online customer experience on their site, as well as maintain and keep their Amazon channel optimized, on-brand, and up to date.

Reading an article this morning, from the fine analysts at Marketplace Pulse, they argue that the time is now for Shopify to open up its own marketplace offering, just like Amazon. The argument is that with the millions of products that Shopify’s customers collectively already sell, they could quickly build up a compelling and new channel to help merchants bring more people and traffic to their stores. Personally, I think it’s a brilliant idea.

“With any brand new Shopify store, it is essentially in the middle of nowhere — in a desert on the internet. It’s up to the brand to make people come to the site, that traffic is critical to success. With a major brand like Prada, people come from all over. For many smaller brands, there simply aren’t enough Facebook ads they could buy to make people take the trip.”

Seriously, the entire Marketplace Pulse article is great — and the entire site is a great source for the best analysis of the ecommerce space. It’s on my regular must-read list. Read the article here.

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