Shopify is jumping into the Mobile POS market with a device for merchants that integrates with the company’s e-commerce platform. According to the following article, Shopify is going after Square and the market it has built as a payment processing aggregator for primarily small merchants.
As if Jack Dorsey didn’t have enough to worry about trying to fix Twitter, now he has to worry about a powerful competitor trying to eat Square’s lunch.
On Thursday, Shopify announced the launch of a point-of-sale device that will integrate fully with the company’s flagship e-commerce platform. “This new piece of hardware demonstrates our commitment to in-person selling,” a Shopify PR person said via email. There was no mincing of words about what this means; according to the company, this bold move “should make Square a little scared.” That statement was followed by a winking emoticon.
Jack, consider yourself put on notice. Adorably!
Shopify is one of the few ascendent non-Amazon e-commerce companies, in an industry where “non-Amazon” is almost an afterthought. The SaaS company is able to play in the big leagues, along with competitors like BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, and even Etsy, because aggregating tons and tons of small-scale independent merchants can add up to significant volume. Shopify and BigCommerce do both offer native Amazon integrations.
“Our product philosophy has always been to provide what most merchants need most of the time, and really rely on our partners and our ecosystem for everything else,” VP of product Satish Kanwar explained to Inc. “Over the years of POS growing [since 2013], it became obvious that the credit-card reader was something that everyone needed, all of the time, to get started in retail.” The new device will have no up-front cost, and is available exclusively to users who process transactions through Shopify Payments.
It’s doubtful that Square has anything to worry about as this report implies. While any new competition has to be taken seriously, Square’s platform is more than just about payments, and really about the software and services it provides to merchants to help them run their businesses. Shopify is certainly on the right path by positioning their new device to be part of the omnichannel retail way of doing business that integrates nicely with their strong position in e-commerce. Let’s see how Shopify will use this new product as a launching pad for future solutions that save merchants time and money.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group
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