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Monday August 17, 2020 |Notes

Shopify is more than an ecommerce platform

Shopify is much more than an ecommerce platform. After starting as SAAS-product that made it easy to launch an online store, it's grown to include payment services, a robust app store, marketplace integrations, and more for hundreds of thousands of online businesses.

Startups are now branding themselves as the "Shopify for X" by offering a SAAS-product catered to a specific industry. Myles Udland wrote about Shopify's rise to becoming a 'template' company recently:

Shopify is officially a template business. A key factor for template companies is that they can only enter this category if the business model can be simply explained.

In a world where eCommerce sales as a percent of total retail sales rose from 10% in 2014 to 20% in April — and 17% in July after the initial pandemic boom wore off — every business needs to have an online presence. If every industry needed to have demand aggregated to operate more efficiently in the 2010s, then every business needs to be getting a slice of the growing eCommerce pie in the 2020s. Shopify is a template business because it allows companies to solve a formerly difficult problem to meet an obvious opportunity.

Startups offering a SAAS platform for specific industries will need to do more than build software. Shopify is leaps and bounds ahead of competitors in most regards because they have such an incredibly large userbase. Great apps already exist for nearly every integration, and the company continues to offer improvements well beyond software.