Shopify Inc., one of the few publicly traded niche e-commerce platform providers, announced a slew of updates and added new tools to its offerings Thursday at its annual Unite developer conference in San Francisco.
One of the biggest announcements is Shopify Pay, an online and in-person payment method for Shopify merchants. The mobile and desktop commerce version of Shopify Pay enables shoppers to store their card information with any Shopify merchant and then pay without re-entering their payment data at any retailer that uses Shopify as its e-commerce platform, says Satish Kanwar, vice president of product for Shopify.
When a shopper who has signed up for Shopify Pay checks out at another Shopify merchant, Shopify will recognize via her email address that the consumer has registered for Shopify Pay. It then notifies the shopper that she can check out using her saved payment data and sends a verification code to her mobile phone, which she can enter to check out using Shopify Pay and check out in two steps.
Kanwar says consumers check out 40% faster, on average, when using Shopify Pay. Merchants that have tested Shopify Pay for the web and mobile web are reporting an 18% increase in conversions on average, he says.
Shopify also on Thursday launched a mobile wireless payment card reader that is free for Shopify merchants and accepts both swipe and chip-based card payments by attaching to Google Android and Apple iOS devices. Merchants using the reader can benefit from managing their web and store sales in one spot, Shopify says. The reader battery can last a week on one charge. The device is available for pre-order for U.S. merchants now and will ship in June.
Payment processing fees for the mobile terminal start at 2.4% of the transaction and top out at 2.7%. Fees for the online version of Shopify Pay range from 2.4% of a sale plus 30 cents to 2.9% plus 30 cents. Shopify offers payment processing services via its Shopify Payments unit, and there is no additional processing fee for Shopify Pay for merchants using Shopify as its payment processor. If a merchant uses another payment gateway, Shopify charges an additional 0.5% to 2.0%, depending on the merchant’s plan with Shopify.
Men’s apparel retailer Chubbies Shorts is using the card reader and web version of Shopify Pay, says Preston Rutherford, co-founder of Chubbies.
“It’s all about removing friction, and this experience allows our customers to get rewarded for the time they took to enter their payment information on their first purchase by making their saved information available for subsequent purchases,” Rutherford says of Shopify Pay online. “If we can increase the conversion rate of people who start checkout to finish checkout, that’s huge. It’s amazing how many people start checkout and don’t complete it. When customers start checkout, it’s relatively clear that they want the product. It’s our job to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for customers by removing any friction between them and the Chubbies they want showing up on their doorstep a few days later.”
Chubbies also says the wireless card reader has made in-person transactions faster and simpler for the customer and for Chubbies. “It ensures the transaction information gets categorized in the correct place in our back end,” Rutherford says.
Other products announced at Shopify Unite this week include new offerings for Shopify Plus merchants. Shopify launched Shopify Plus in November 2014 as a cloud-based e-commerce platform for larger merchants that sell more than $1 million online annually.
New offerings include:
- LaunchPad: An app for Shopify Plus merchants that enables retailers to schedule and launch flash sales. LaunchPad provides immediate analytics of flash-sale events as they are going on, including total sales, orders placed, average order value and inventory levels.
- Wholesale: Wholesale is Shopify’s first B2B platform that allows Shopify customers to run wholesale operations. Clients can set prices, bulk discounts and shipping rules for each wholesale customer, says Loren Padelford vice president and general manager for Shopify Plus. “Wholesale is a huge world and our customers have been asking for this from the beginning,” Padelford says.
- Flow: Flow enables merchants to automate their back-end systems. For example, with Flow, retailers can automatically change shipping rates for high-volume customers or provide rule-based discounts, such as offering $20 off to shoppers who have purchased more than three times in the past six months.
- Mobile store builder: More than 69% of Shopify online store visits come from mobile devices, Shopify says. Mobile store builder helps merchants create mobile commerce apps that integrate with Shopify Plus stores without requiring coding.
Shopify works with more than 400,000 global online merchants. Last year, more than 100 million consumers bought from Shopify stores worldwide, the vendor says.