Shopify Touts Expanded Suite of Tools for Merchants

Shopify bag logo feature

Shopify is expanding its fulfillment services as part of a package of 100 new items in its toolset for merchants, including app connections to Flexport for supply chain tracking and visibility, to acquired unit Deliverr for inventory positioning and to Loop Returns to improve that experience for shoppers.

These additions roll into the SMB seller platform’s answer to Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery guarantee, which has fallen on hard times. Shop Promise lets merchants customize their own delivery speed guarantee, to a maximum of five days. In September alone, the company reported on its last earnings call, the Shopify Fulfillment Network saw two-thirds of domestic packages delivered within two business days. Shopify claims displaying the badge increases conversion by up to 25%.

While Amazon has reported some challenging quarters in the recent past, including a falloff in ecommerce revenue, its 3P sellers appear to be doing okay. Nearly 90% of them said they entered 2023 in the black, according to a survey of 2,600 Amazon merchants.

“Shop Promise is now automatically enabled on storefronts for merchants using Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN), allowing them to easily communicate fast, reliable delivery to customers,” the company said in a blog post announcing the raft of updates.

The timing is also interesting, coming ahead of Shopify’s fourth quarter results next Wednesday. It reported a narrower-than-expected third quarter loss in October, which investors cheered.

Aaron Brown, CEO of Shopify Logistics, said while the internet has leveled the playing field for many parts of a merchant’s business, supply chain has not been one of them.

“The reality is that offering fast, affordable and reliable fulfillment is no longer optional for businesses who want to remain competitive,” Brown said. “Our mission with SFN is focused on reducing this supply chain barrier and providing merchants of all sizes a port-to-porch solution that moves at the speed of commerce.”

Concerning Deliverr, which was acquired last May for $2.1 billion, Brown said the new integration creates a “massive unlock” for merchants, with real-time data for balancing and positioning inventory closest to customer demand. This is a table-stakes capability in 2023 for keeping stocks right-sized and optimizing shipping costs. Merchants can access the capability through the Shopify Fulfillment Network or the Deliverr portal.

“This means merchants of all sizes can offer fast and reliable delivery to their customers with Shop Promise,” he said.

In another area of the competitive battle with Amazon, inventor of the one-click checkout, Shopify is touting an upgraded, simplified one-page process for ordering goods on its platform. Also, a new checkout editor enables drag-and-drop changes and branding vs. a coding process.

For mobile app developers, Shopify has created a software developer kit (SDK) to add things like product links, video, influencer avatars and collection previews to a merchant’s mobile shopping experience. It also allows them to hook into the growing livestream commerce and “creators” trends, as well as social commerce by making things like Instagram posts shoppable.