We've made the short hop across town to more temporary, temporary offices and I'm honoured to be sharing the same room with Wayne who is one of the original crew from Boo.com.
For those too young to remember Boo.com was the original dot com success story until it ran out of money and became a symbol of the excess that was associated with the dot-com boom of 1999. It spent fast and died young burning through over $135 million of venture capital in just 18 months.
Wayne is a systems tester, and he's been regaling me with stories of how they would have platters of finest M&S sandwiches shipped in daily and lavish spreads and parties. He even has one of only three pairs of Boo.com trainers ever made. I'm so jealous!
Boo.com was a modern day example of how not to let simple things like customer experience get in your way. Trying to navigate an eCommerce website developed totally in Flash on a 56k modem line was never going to work, was it?
There are some companies that continually stumble and fall at every hurdle and fail to make the most of their opportunity. In today's eCommerce marketplace Volusion would be one of the those, flattering to deceive, a great product with the business sense of a blind mole. Scurrying backwards and forwards never making any real progress, hamstrung by poor pricing policies and trying to eke out every dollar from the wallet of every potential customer.
Then there are those who can't seem to put a foot wrong. Shopify is one of those. Their inexorable rise to the top of the eCommerce provider pile continues with another well-executed partnership, this time making their shopping feeds available in the Amazon Marketplace.
Over the past seven months the Shopify share price has almost doubled from $25.97 to $47.68, and if you wanted to take advantage of the boom in eCommerce without actually selling anything, then this would be a good home for your money. There is plenty more upside to come.
Shopify does things right. It's like SKY with its attention to detail and unrelenting wish to be number one. So far we've had Facebook integration, Virtual Assistant, artificial intelligence, a vast array of integrations with third party “best of breed” software and now Amazon Marketplace integration. Shopify is making itself available through every possible marketing channel. Don't be surprised if Google comes to call.
This platform integration connects Shopify Merchants to the Amazon Marketplace and gives them access to millions of potential Amazon customers. By making their product catalogue available as a live feed in the product marketplace, Shopify store owners gain access to a whole new potential revenue stream, and Amazon solidifies its market position as a one-stop shopping solution.
I expect Shopify to continue this theme with feeds or integration for social shopping networks like Etsy, and when they've figured out how to make money, Pinterest as well. They already have the Facebook market cornered and permeated every nook and cranny of online retailing is clearly the ultimate goal.
This is quickly becoming a snowball that can't be stopped. Moving to cloud-based eCommerce solutions is picking up speed, and with every passing month and new announcement, Magento is being put in the shade. It doesn't matter if you have the best feature set or the most customisable platform. The point of Shopify is that it works and gets your product viewed where it matters – in front of the customer.
What would you rather have? A clunky server based application that can be configured for your customer profile exactly or a cloud-based solution that immediately gives you access to the customer?
The first makes for a smooth customer journey, assuming you have a regular supply of customers beating down the path to your door.
The second isn't the greatest customer experience, but it's far from the worst, and you get your products placed in feeds all over the web where it matters.
This is our first integration with an online marketplace. Our work with Amazon is an important step in strengthening our robust multichannel commerce strategy and the ability of our merchants to sell anywhere their customers buy said “With an estimated 40% of Shopify merchants already selling in online marketplaces, Shopify has further simplified the processes to gain entry into Amazon.”
Brandon Chu, Director of Product at Shopify.
Magento is having the nails hammered in its coffin right in front of your eyes folks. A server resource hog that eats up website maintenance budgets for breakfast, it's had its day.