I tweeted my initial reaction during Satish Kanwar’s keynote at Shopify Unite 2017 and I stand by it.
I really can’t overstate how huge Shopify Pay is for the platform and its merchants.
Shopify Pay is as Big as Other Digital Wallets
The only two things I can draw a comparison to is the series of digital wallets announced by Apple, Google, and others in the last few years, and Amazon’s one click (1-click) checkout that they are so known for. In my eyes, Shopify Pay is as big of a move forward as these were.
Taking the checkout from 16 fields down to 2 sounds ridiculous if taken out of the context of Shopify Pay. Sure, tokenization and digital wallets allowed customers returning to their favourite merchants to quickly checkout. But what about everywhere else?
Yes, in the very short term future you can make the argument that Shopify isn’t a consumer facing brand, and that they don’t have THAT much of the eCommerce market transacting on their platform.
But that’s a very short sighted argument.
Shopify Moves Quickly
Remember, this is the first release of Shopify Pay by a company that iterates on product at an alarmingly quick rate.
It’s also no secret that commerce is going through one of the biggest landscape shifts in decades if not the last century. News headlines are dominated by long-standing brands shuttering their doors because they simply can’t compete in the new commerce world.
Amazon takes most of the headline blame for this given its status as the 800 pound gorilla of eCommerce. I think Amazon deserves some credit, but definitely NOT all of the credit.
I think the real culprit for older, bricks-born retailers and brands going away is best described as death by a thousand cuts. Brands aren’t competing against just Amazon, they are competing against millions of niche brands that are taking tiny little bites out of their older, much bigger cousins (or maybe grandparents?).
It’s this army of new, digital born merchants that are doing the real damage to retailers of old.
The Next Generation of Merchants
So for a second imagine that we’re only getting started. Imagine that this new generation of merchants is still small in number and growing exponentially over the next 5 to 10 years. Imagine there to be 1M of these merchants on Shopify transacting 100’s of billions in commerce GMV (gross merchandise volume).
And if you can get your imagination to this place, tell me that Shopify Pay isn’t a game changer.