Breaking News

E-commerce giant Shopify just launched a way for retailers to transform stores into fulfillment centers by quickly adding curbside pickups

shopify.JPG
  • Commerce-enabling giant Shopify is launching a new point-of-sale (PoS) system catered to retailers' newfound needs to connect online and in-store commerce.
  • Shopify powers online and in-store brands like Allbirds, Bombas, and Rebecca Minkoff.
  • Even as stay-at-home orders lift and non-essential businesses reopen, consumers will still look for ways to buy online, pick up in-store.
  • Shopify's new PoS is designed to link multiple sales channels as retailers look to drive sales at their physical locations and online.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.
As retailers look toward recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, commerce-enabling tech giant Shopify is rolling out new technology to help retailers connect their businesses online and in-store.
Shopify has long been known for powering the online stores for brands like Allbirds, Bombas, and Rebecca Minkoff.
It's now launching a new point-of-sale (PoS), or sales terminal, that offers the ability to link physical retail and e-commerce, as merchants enter an increasingly omnichannel market where shoppers expect a seamless link between the in-store and online experience.
When it was founded in 2004, Shopify primarily targeted e-commerce businesses. It launched its first in-store product about six years ago.
And while in-person shopping is largely on hold amid stay-at-home orders and the closure of non-essential businesses, retailers will still look to use their real-estate footprints.
"As our merchants have grown and as commerce has become increasingly omnichannel, Shopify has been very committed to enabling our merchants to sell across all channels," said Ian Black, head of retail at Shopify. "Clearly in-person is one of those most important channels," Black said.
Shopify has over 1 million merchants on its platform and reported $1.6 billion in revenue in 2019. It also recently launched a new app called Shop which allows users to browse and purchase products from any of its merchants.

Powering the shift to online sales

The closure of non-essential businesses has strained physical, or "offline," retailers, many of whom have switched to online sales.
"With retail stores shutting down, there's been a huge shift of formerly offline merchants looking for ways to shift their sales online and shift their businesses online," said Black.
Almost all of the conversations Shopify is having right now with prospective clients are with retailers who had plans to open an online store one day, or had decided it wasn't for them at all, but now see it as the only way to adapt and survive, Black said.
Heinz UK, a 150-year-old brand known for its ketchup and baked beans, just launched its first direct-to-consumer online store with Shopify in seven days, Black said.
With it's new PoS system, Shopify is offering merchants the ability to quickly onboard online, but ensure that their e-commerce businesses can be integrated with retailers' physical stores.

Consumers will seek out the ability to buy online, pick up in-store

While shifting online is a way for many retailers to stay afloat during the shutdown, e-commerce will still be a key way that consumers shop after stay-at-home orders are lifted.
It's unlikely that consumers will rush back to stores and malls immediately. Many in the industry instead expect a slow transition back to in-person shopping, with a proliferation of the buy online, pick up in-store model.
Buy online, pick up in-store (or 'BOPIS' in industry lingo) isn't new. Large retailers like Walmart and Whole Foods, who have the physical and tech infrastructure to manage online and in-store sales and inventories, have already rolled out the service.
But for many retailers, onboarding the necessary tech to manage a click and collect service is a massive undertaking. Trader Joe's, for one, said it would rather focus its investments on employees rather than online grocery services, Business Insider has reported.
To be sure, many non-essential retailers will still be looking for ways to connect e-commerce with an in-store experience, and make best use of their real estate footprints.
The new Shopify PoS aims to enable brick-and-mortar retailers to continue to use their stores, as BOPIS fulfillment centers and as shopping destinations.
"That's a big part of why we're launching now, because we know that retailers need the tools and the technology to reach customers outside of their stores while still keeping their retail stores as an important part of their business," said Black.
In addition to BOPIS tech, Shopify's new PoS also features inventory and staff management functions, as well as customer data and insights tracking, all of which will be more important when stores reopen.
The new PoS will have what Shopify calls a smart grid, where retailers can customize what's on the sale terminal front screen. Customer loyalty programs, for example, can be integrated.
"As they meet a customer and enter the customer's information, their loyalty information, their shopping history, all those things are dynamically surfaced so that in a retail store environment, the store staff can also give a personalized shopping experience," said Black.
"Those are nice-to-have features right now," said Black. "Today what's important for the retailer is that ability to run a unified business and be able to shift their sales online."

Physical retail could become more of a marketing investment 

The trend from in-store to online has also been at play in the opposite direction, where direct-to-consumer retailers that start online ultimately open storefronts as another way to drive sales.
"One of the trends that we saw, even before COVID, was this idea of retailers using their store locations more as a marketing tool rather than necessarily a stand-alone enterprise," said Black.
For direct-to-consumer brands, acquiring new customers online is notoriously costly given the amount of advertising required.
"We see brands like Allbirds and many direct-to-consumer brands, who are finding it increasingly expensive to acquire new customers and grow online, have turned to opening stores," said Black.
In addition to Allbirds, direct-to-consumer brands like Everlane, Glossier, and Warby Parker have all opened brick-and-mortar stores well after they built a customer base online.
"We see this continuing in the future world, as likely real estate prices will come down and the retailers that survive the current challenges will be those who are innovative and have been finding ways to shift sales between channels," said Black.
SEE ALSO: Retail will need to be reinvented after the pandemic. PayPal cofounder Max Levchin lays out the future of brick-and-mortar, and the 'software fight' that will go on behind the scenes
SEE ALSO: Buy now, pay later startups are surging. But Affirm CEO Max Levin says the industry will see a shakeout as the pandemic hits borrowers.
SEE ALSO: 4 top VCs explain why Stripe, Square, and Finix are going to be big winners in a post-COVID-19 world
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship


* This article was originally published here

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider/~3/JcU-xoUJbBw/shopify-pos-online-in-store-ecommerce-retail-curbside-pick-up-2020-5

Press Release Distribution

No comments