- David Silverberg
- Business Reporter, BBC
When the pandemic forced Pizza Pilgrims to close its 13 stores in London and Oxford, UK, in March, the company went from making 30,000 pizzas a week to zero.
Of the 276 employees, 270 . had to laid off†
While they opened a shop for home delivery in April, founder Thom Elliot had to find another way to make up for lost revenue.
“I tried to think of something that would help our customers who kept calling us and also keep us informed during these times,” he says in an interview.
Elliot and his team decided to create pizza packets with all the raw materials needed to make one at home, but to make it I needed update your website.
there it came in Shopify†
The Canadian company offers the technology to that anyone can create an online store and sell their productswith tools such as inventory management and software to track sales trends.
When Elliot launched the new pizza kits website and promoted the company’s new product on Instagram, they sold the pizza kits. 50 packs in 25 seconds.
Since the beginning of April, the new store “Pizza in the Post” has been more than sold 25,000 of those sets.
“We’ve noticed that a lot of families like these kits so that everyone can make pizza together during quarantine,” he says.
The easing of restrictions has allowed the company to reopen 10 of its 13 stores.
the most valuable
Quarantines in several countries have been a boon to Shopify as businesses sell their products online.
According to company figures, new stores created on Shopify grew by 62% between March 13 and April 24 of this year, compared to the previous six weeks.
is now Canada’s Most Valuable Public Companywith revenue of $1.58 billion in 2019, 47% more than the previous year.
“The interesting thing about this company is that not many people know about it, but exists since 2004says Dan Wang, an associate professor of management at Columbia University in New York.
“They saw the trend to sell directly to small businesses earlier than most, at a time when Amazon and other big players were at the center of attention.”
Wang points to major steps Shopify has made recently that will further strengthen its position in online commerce.
In particular, an agreement with the American giant walmart that allows small Shopify businesses to appear on the retail chain’s online store page.
The goal is to 1†200 Shopify merchants this year on the site.
“If you just look at our stores in the United States and think for a moment that these stores are a single retailer, we’re… the largest online retailer after Amazonsays Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s COO.
“Technology has leveled the playing field, so you don’t need a lot of money to build a brand that hegemonic corporate giants envy. And the good news is that consumers are voting with their wallets and prefer to buy from local merchants.” “, continue.
†The pandemic acted as an accelerator where people started preferring to buy a mug or a pen or whatever directly from the person who made it,” says Finkelstein.
A deep competition
The trend to buy locally doesn’t mean people have turned their backs on Amazon, which also experienced a surge in sales this year.
In the first quarter, the company’s turnover amounted to Jeff Bezos increased by 26% to achieve $75,400 million.
Shopify is taking on Amazon by creating its own warehouse and delivery network that helps store owners get their products to customers quickly.
To bolster that move, Shopify last year purchased 6 River Systems, a company that offers software and robotics for warehousing and delivery systems.
The storage strategy no surprise to some analysts.
“This move is definitely a direct opportunity to compete with Amazon,” said Pinar Ozcan, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Oxford, UK.
“Amazon’s competitive advantages are its broad supplier portfolio, which Shopify can already compete with, as well as its seamless distribution network. Shopify has fallen short in this second aspect. By focusing on distribution, their business model is closer to that of Amazon, which is known for its good work,” he adds.
However, there will always be a difference between the two companies.
Shopify will probably never compete in everyday unbranded products, especially since Amazon has its own range such as batteries, light bulbs, pots and pans.
The most important thing for retailers like Ian Warren, director of Philip Warren Butchers in the UK, is that his company a new point of sale for your products†
A supplier of meat to more than 150 British restaurants, Warren was dealt a blow when the lockdown kicked in, prompting him to start a dedicated Shopify store that sells his wares directly to consumers.
He estimates that his shop is approx 1,000 new customers those are conventional buildings not visited.
“I really haven’t thought about building a website like this before,” he says.
“But we needed something that fit a different demographic to that of our regular meat buyers in restaurants.
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