“We are arming the rebels… the entrepreneurs, the small business owners, the independent brands, and the rebels are winning,” says Shopify President Harley Finkelstein. “It feels like the retail world that would have existed in 2030 was pulled back to 2020. We have seen this massive catalyst to an acceleration in digitalization in commerce and retail. We are writing the future of commerce and entrepreneurs are really the heroes of the Shopify story.”
We Are Arming The Rebels
There’s a lot to be optimistic about even in the second half of 2021. It feels like the retail world that would have existed in 2030 was pulled back to 2020. We certainly have seen this massive catalyst to an acceleration in digitalization in commerce and retail. But actually, we are writing the future of commerce and entrepreneurs are really the heroes of the Shopify story. We are arming the rebels… the entrepreneurs, the small business owners, the independent brands, and the rebels are winning.
Consumers have been voting with their wallets for the last ten months or so to buy from independent brands wherever possible. In 2020, 47 million consumers purchased from a Shopify merchant. That’s up 52 from 2019. Our merchant’s performance helped expand Shopify’s lead on an aggregated basis to be the second-largest e-commerce retailer in the U.S. Shopify is now about nine percent of all US ecom. If you think about it, Shopify is a proxy for independent retail and for direct-to-consumer retail.
Shop Pay Launches Accelerated Checkout
We only succeed when our merchants do. This has led to us having more than 1.7 million merchants on Shopify. This includes people from first-time entrepreneurs making their first sale every 28 seconds to the likes of O’Neill and Hallmark and Herman Miller and Purina. Diageo, who also just launched in Shopify and in Q4 alone revenue nearly doubled year over year to $978 million. There’s a lot to be optimistic about. Actually, the future of retail and commerce we think is going to look a lot more like these independent brands than these sort of department stores that existed in the past.
Shop Pay is our accelerated checkout. We just announced it last week. We know that it not only helps merchants get more sales, it helps buyers convert better and much faster. Now we think that providing it to the Instagram and Facebook platforms means that our merchants can not only access new customers on those platforms, and frankly anywhere where customers are, but now can transact in a more efficient way. Shopify is becoming far more than an e-commerce provider.
Future of Retail Is Wherever Consumers Are
We are trying to build the world’s first retail operating system, which makes it as easy as possible and where the cost of failure is as low as possible, so more people can participate in entrepreneurship. We think the future retail is not online or offline or anywhere, in particular, it’s wherever consumers are. That’s what we’re trying to build. Seeing Shop Pay move into Facebook and Instagram is a really great way to demonstrate where the future of retail is happening.
We are trying to get to a point where we completely democratize entrepreneurship. We use a 100-year perspective and we want to build a 100-year company. We’re about 15 years into our journey right now and we have 85 years left to go. In the long run, we’re happy where Shopify is but frankly, on the topic of more participation in the equity markets, we think that is also entrepreneurial and we think that’s also democratizing.