Breaking down ‘Shop’ by Shopify

A BIG headline that broke this week in the world of commerce was that Shopify had released a mobile app called “Shop” which was “designed to create a more intuitive digital shopping experience from product discovery to delivery” (via Chain Store Age). Other important things to note:

  • Customers have access to streamlined checkout across all brands on the app and all order and tracking information is stored in one place. (Chain Store Age)
  • Other features include customized recommendations, as well as local filters that identify area businesses currently offering shipping, pick-up and return policies. (Chain Store Age)
  • The app is actually an update and rebrand of Arrive, an app for tracking packages from Shopify merchants and other retailers, which the company says has been used by 16 million consumers already. (via TechCrunch)

I immediately downloaded the Shop app because many of my favorite brands use Shopify for checkout and I have always loved that Shopify could just send me a text could that when entered could pull up all of my checkout information. Unfortunately this app has not lived up to everything that I thought it was going to be going into the download, however there are some really cool features within the app with tons of potential.

What I thought I the app was going to be: In my mind, a streamlined checkout meant that I would be able to put products from all different brands into one cart on the Shop app and checkout all in one go, similar to how one can add items from any Etsy seller on the app or website into one cart and then do one big checkout when ready. I also assumed that I would be able to search for products as one does on Google or Amazon. Lastly, I figured that the app would keep track of all of my purchases from brands using Shopify going forward.

What it actually is, broken down into the good and the bad:

Good: In the “shopping” section of the app, a variety of products from all of the shops that you follow are shown in a feed that you can scroll through if you are just browsing for fun. As someone who does this for hours a day just to see what’s out there in terms of products, it’s almost like scrolling through social media combined with a department store’s website but in a user-friendly, minimalistic app.

Bad: You cannot actually search for a product, therefore the claim that the app helps with product search and discovery is pretty misleading. There is no search bar for products and the only things you can search for are the different brands who use Shopify, a.k.a the “Shops.” For example, if you want to see what’s out there in the world of white sneakers, you still have to do what you normally do for product searches (Amazon, Google, Instagram, etc.).

Great: I was absolutely amazed with the shipping and tracking features of the app. On my home page, which is where all of your recent and past Shopify orders sit, I can see my purchase history and status of those packages (such as when they were shipped and delivered) from any time that I’ve made a purchase from a brand that uses Shopify. I didn’t realize that the app would be able to pull past purchase info in that way, and I was delightfully surprised. Where I was even more surprised was that the app pulls in order placement/shipping and tracking info from any online purchase that you’ve made once you download the app as well. For me, this meant that I could see when my last Chewy order was delivered and I could track my package from The RealReal to see when it was going to be delivered.

When you connect your information to the app via your Google account, this gives the app access to your inbox which means that it can pull online orders from anywhere to put on your home page to give you updates on shipping and delivery status. Ever so slightly creepy at first, but beyond useful in terms of a bigger picture because searching for tracking emails in my inbox that I never clear out absolutely sucks.

Good: Following the above, I was pleasantly surprised that the Shop app automatically followed all of the “shops” that I had made previous purchases from, which filled my shopping feed with products from relevant brands to me.

Bad and beyond disappointing: As I mentioned above, I thought that “streamlined checkout” truly meant that I could put any products that are shown on my shopping feed in the app into one cart within the app that could then all be purchased with one click. This is not the case. You can only checkout from one shop at a time, and when you do, you get redirected to that shop’s individual website, which was beyond disappointing and frustrating for me. You can still checkout with Shopify’s “one-click” system, but this checkout process is essentially no different from just ordering directly from the brand’s website. What I thought was going to be so cool about this app was the ability to put products from any retailer that uses Shopify into one cart for one checkout, but this was apparently big dreaming. There is, in my opinion, immense potential for Shopify to make this happen, and if they do, I don’t see myself shopping anywhere else.

Featured image from TechCrunch

Published by Emma Irwin

Emma Irwin is a passionate student of the retail industry. Freshly graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Retail Merchandising, she will be pursuing an M.S. in Apparel Studies with a concentration in Retail and Consumer Studies in fall 2020. Career ambitions include writing a formal research paper, becoming a retail writer and reporter, and maybe being a CEO someday.

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