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Shopify Offers Its Merchants Additional Resources During Coronavirus Crisis
From:
Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Boston , MA
Thursday, April 02, 2020

 

Virtually every business in America has been impacted insome way by the coronavirus crisis. Small businesses are among those hardesthit. Shopify, a popular platform for online merchants, wants to support its customersthrough the pandemic. The company has dedicated a COVID-19 web page with a list of ideas,options and resources that can help businesses through this difficult time,including the following:

  • Shopify is making physicaland digital gift cards available to all new and existing Shopify merchants.This gives customers an opportunity to support their favorite businesses, whileimproving cash flow for Shopify merchants.
  • Shopify is providing $200 million in smallbusiness funding through its ShopifyCapital program, currently available in the United States and the UnitedKingdom, as of March 30. Shopify is working with governments in other countriesto expand the program. Merchants apply for the program online and usually havean answer within two to five business days. If approved, they will receivetheir funding within two business days.
  • Shopify is providing an onlineCOVID-19 discussion forum for small business owners to talk to each otherabout challenges and solutions.
  • Previously, Shopify offered merchants a 14-dayfree trial. The company has extended the free trial period to 90 days, somerchants have more time to set up their online stores. This will beparticularly helpful for brick-and-mortar stores who are shifting to onlinesales during the COVID-19 crisis. Depending on the subscription plan a new merchantselects, this free trial extension could save them $87 (Basic Shopify), $237Shopify) or $897 (Advanced Shopify) over the course of 90 days.  
  • The company is hosting virtual Shopify Meetups in citiesaround the world to “meet” other merchants, offer ideas and discuss challenges.
  • Shopify has also written a number of blog posts aboutdifferent revenue strategies, government relief programs, ideas how to sellgift cards and more, all accessible from their COVID-19 page.
Shopify hosts virtual Shopify Meetups around the world to connect merchants.

In related news, amid speculation by TheMotley Fool that Shopify is not going to weather the coronavirus crisissuccessfully, Shopify shared data insights and its current business outlookwith investors yesterday.

“Shopify is analyzing the data across its platform forinsights into how COVID-19 is affecting merchants’ operations in order toprovide the most effective support, as well as to inform our own planning anddecision-making during this period,” said Shopify in the April1, 2020  news release.

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Notable highlights include:

  • Brick-and-mortar stores impacted by the lack ofshoppers are moving toward online stores.
  • Merchants are offering deep discounts to boostsales.
  • Shopify terminated thousands of merchants inMarch who were either price gouging or making false claims about COVID-19related products like hand sanitizer and face masks.

In terms of its business outlook, Shopify is planning toshare its first quarter 2020 financial results on May 6. The company finished2019 strong and that trend carried over into the new year. However, due to thecurrent situation surrounding the coronavirus, Shopify said it cannot predictwhat will happen next.

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the duration andmagnitude of COVID-19, Shopify is suspending the financial expectationsprovided for full year 2020,” thecompany said.

Insider Take:

Given the circumstances, Shopify seems to be doing what itcan to support its merchants during this unprecedented time. None of us knowwhat the next few months hold, how it will impact our families or our companieseconomically. Shopify is smart to suspend offering an outlook because any predictionhas as much change of being accurate as a crystal ball. We just don’t know. Weapplaud Shopify for supporting its merchants, terminating merchants who triedto take advantage of the situation, and being honest about what investors canexpect.

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