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20 Things You Didn't Know About Shopify

If you haven't heard about Shopify then you might be missing out on some excellent opportunities in e-commerce. It's a Canadian business that provides a proprietary e-commerce platform for users who want to set up their own online retail stores. Shopify is becoming a huge company that is currently enjoying success in their growth as well as assisting thousands of merchants in increasing their online sales. We had heard of the company and wanted to learn more about them. It didn't take long to discover many interesting facts about them that we thought everyone should hear about, so here are 20 things about Shopify that you probably didn't know but will be glad to learn.

1. They offer a complete package for entrepreneurs

We were impressed by the comprehensive packages that Shopify offers for entrepreneurs who desire to set up their own online e-commerce web stores. The number of tools and services that they provide is exciting for a new business owner and they're geared towards making a new business easier to get going and much smoother to operate. Shopify assists with payments, customer engagement tools, shipping as well as marketing. They cover the majority of the bases for new, intermediate, and advanced users.

2. Shopify is 600,000 strong

The most recent reports for the 2017 year ending showed that Shopify has achieved a base of registered merchants using their platform at 600,000. While this is an impressive figure in itself, anyone who is considering using their services to set up their own online store will be happy to hear that they're helping to move a lot of merchandise. The total gross volume of merchandise that has been moved through their system by a mere 600,000 merchants has exceeded $82 billion. We thought that this was a remarkable figure and it tells us that they must be doing something terribly right.

3. Shopify started selling snowboards

Before Shopify became the multi-channel e-commerce hosting giant that is is today, it was a simple little online store that sold snowboard equipment. The co-founder of the company was running into issues with his new venture because he couldn't find any e-commerce software that would meet his business needs as a brand new entrepreneur. The tools he found to be more suitable were so expensive that they were out of reach in addition to being inflexible and overly complicated to use. It was at this time that Tobi Lutke made the decision to create his own software. This is how Shopify all began.

4. The Shopify we all know and love was launched in 2006

Shopify has only been around for a little over a dozen years, but in the short time that it's been around, it's created a stable income for thousands of entrepreneurs with good ideas and a little initiative. Lutke soon realized after the software he created boosted his snowboard business that he could use it in a more productive way that would help thousands if not millions of people who found themselves in his exact situation. He used his new software to offer easier merchant services at a more affordable price to everyone else in the world and made a fortune doing so.

5. Shopify's CEO was an unlikely candidate

The same guy who co-founded Shopify and developed the first software to enhance his small e-commerce store is the CEO of the company, but he's not your average executive business type. When Lutke was just 16 years old, he dropped out of high school to accept an apprenticeship in computer programming. He was a natural who absorbed the information and quickly gained skills and experience through the venture. This is why he was so easily able to develop the much-needed e-commerce software that led to the creation of Shopify. He's received a 92% approval rating as CEO through the review site along with a high score of 85% of surveyed consumers who would recommend the company that he developed to a friend.

6. Shopify has developed a powerful ecosystem

One of the secrets to the huge success that Shopify has achieved is because of the strong ecosystem that it has built. They offer over 1,400 apps through their app store that provide additional sales and marketing tools which are actually effective and useful for their clientele. With such a diverse offering it gives their merchants a lot of apps to choose from that most closely meet their needs, instead of settling for marginally useful tools. Whether you're looking for shipping tools, accounting, inventory control, customer service, social media management or a host of other categories of useful tools, they have it ready and available for you to start using immediately. The cool thing about it is that all of this is offered within one single platform which makes it convenient and easier to keep track of.

7. They formed an impressive deal with Amazon

Everyone knows that is the giant that rules the cosmos as it relates to online retail sales. Shopify took them on as a competitor which we see as a bold move, and they actually won. Amazon couldn't hold their own against Shopify's services and they actually shut down their website service in early 2015. They even threw Shopify a bone and suggested to their merchants that they may be interested in making the migration to the platform that Shopify had to offer.

8. Shopify integrated with Amazon in December 2016

Another monumental decision that Shopify made was to integrate services with Amazon and make the services available to all of its merchants. They formed a connection that gave Shopify merchants access to Amazon customers who were searching for similar products but not finding what they wanted on Amazon. You've probably seen the lists of recommended retailers when shopping on at the bottom of the page. This was another huge boost for Shopify along with every merchant associated with them.

8. Shopify is happy to stay in the background

When it comes to the customers of the merchants who are registered through Shopify, they may not even be familiar with the grand e-commerce host. Shopify doesn't require overt advertising of their company by their merchants. They're happy to stay in the background and focus all of the attention on their merchants. Their ultimate goal is to make the merchants look as good as possible and reap the benefits of working with a vast army of successful businesses. It's a part of their overall business plan and it's quite apparent that the strategy is paying off. Even if you've bought products through Shopify merchants, you probably haven't seen the brand name mentioned even once because that's not what they're all about.

9. As merchants prosper so does Shopify

It's in the best interest of Shopify to help merchants grow their businesses. They actually scale their business alongside of them. In case you were wondering why they're pleased to remain in obscurity, this is the reason. It's far more important for their merchants to deliver seamless and successful interactions with their customers as it increases their traffic and their overall success.

10. They made some impressive returns in 2015

We were looking through the statistics of Shopify to find out how its investors fared. As of May 2015, the shares for the publicly traded company were going for around $70 apiece. The stock in Shopify had delivered some pretty amazing returns to their investors to the tune of 300 percent. Of course, this was for their early investors who had gotten in on the ground floor of the operation.

10. Shopify has strong growth projections

The company is doing very well currently and it rose quickly in the e-commerce help industry, but the indicators tell us that we've just begun to see what the company is capable of. The company is still well within the very early stage of its growth cycle. With the expansion that it has planned and the fact that it currently only occupies a four percent penetration into its core markets, and a measly one percent of its total addressable market there is room for exponential growth for Shopify. The possibilities are mind-boggling, but only time will tell if they will reach their full potential. Still, it's exciting to think about and even consider as a long-term investment for those who are able.

11. The first name of the company wasn't Shopify

The original name of the company that would evolve into Shopify was actually Snowdevil. In a related fun fact that few people know about Shopify, the owner and co-founded had no plans to run anything but a snowboarding shop. It wasn't until after he created software to make it easier to operate his snowboarding shop that he realized the potential for using the new software to power a different kind of business. It's amazing how one simple little innovation can lead to a brilliant idea that snowballs, no pun intended, into a multi-billion dollar business within just a few short years.

12. The co-founder is from Germany

Although Shopify is a Canadian based company, Lutke's home country is actually Germany. He was visiting a place in Canada on a snowboarding adventure where he met the woman who would become his wife. She moved to Germany to be with him, but the couple eventually relocated to Ottowa, Canada, the place of her birth and they set up their online snowboarding business and the rest, as they say, is history.

13. Lutke was born to be a coder

From the time that he was just a small child, Tobias Lutke was gifted at coding. Her received his first console at the age of 6 and by the time he was just 11 years old, he was busy at work creating his own games by rewriting codes. This is nothing short of phenomenal. As a child, he was also able to modify computer hardware. His parents, fearing that this was abnormal behavior for a small child took him to a mental health professional for psychoanalysis. They discovered that he was perfectly normal, but he was passionate, very smart and extremely gifted.

14. Shopify went mobile in April of 2010

Shopify has done a great job of keeping up with the times and ensuring that they offer state of the art technology for their merchants. They launched their mobile app in the Apple App Store in April of 2010. The app was offered for free to allow Shopify's store owners to manage and view their stores from any iOS mobile device wherever they happened to be. This was a great service that made Shopify even more appealing to merchants. They held true to their objective for making things as easy and convenient as possible for their clientele.

15. Shopify started its Build-A-Business Competition in 2010

This is one of the incentives that Shopify offers for participants to use their commerce platform to build a new business and compete against others to win prizes. The awards for winning are powerful incentives because they include cash prizes as well as mentorship from some of the richest entrepreneurs in the world including Eric Ries and Richard Branson, just to name a few.

16. Shopify bought Select Start Studios

In February of 2012, Shopify made the acquisition of Select Start Studios Inc. The company is a mobile software development enterprise and it brought along with it, 20 designers and engineers in the mobile software industry. This increased the power of Shopify to provide their customers with in-house options for mobile access. The following year, Shopify purchased a 25 employee company based in Toronto called Jet Cooper, which was a design studio, adding to their already impressive portfolio of design enhancement options.

17. Shopify improved their payment system in August of 2013

The launch of Shopify Payments allowed their merchants to start taking credit cards and dispense with the previously required third-party payment gateway. This was a big improvement in the services that they were able to offer for their merchants. They moved forward with another point of sale system that was designed for iPad payment processing for credit and debit cards.

18. Shopify made it to the position of third biggest business in Canada

In 2014, Shopify was the proud host of around 120,000 online merchants and it was named by Deloitte's Fast50 as number three. They placed an impressive seventh from the organizations listings of the Fast 500 in North America.

19. Shopify went public in 2015

This was an ecellent year of Shopify. They filed for their IPO on the NYSE a.s well as the Toronto Stock Exchage and they were approved inMay of 2015. Their stock began trading at $28 per share. They had made it to the big time.

20. Shopify will provide software for online cannabis sales

Cannabis sales are set to become legalized in 2019. Shopify has already made plans to assist merchants in making in-person sales of cannabis products in Ontario. They've already provided software for this activity since October of 2018. This is when online sales became legal in Ontario and they're still waiting for the in-person legalization.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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