Published on December 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm By Florian Pauly
What is the future of commerce? How can we help companies go digital? We take stock with Joachim Antonsen, Business Dev Manager for Shopify in France.
At a time when digital and online commerce are experiencing strong growth, specialized e-commerce players like Shopify are a great help, especially in this period when the Covid crisis is hitting companies hard. The leader in France granted us an interview to come back on the evolutions of the commerce, the role of Shopify and the stakes of the years to come.
The current context has accelerated the digitalization of businesses in France
Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, companies of all sizes have had to accelerate their digital transformation. According to Joachim Antonsen, Business Dev Manager for Shopify in France, the process of digitalizing companies was already underway, but the context of the health crisis has accelerated this transformation considerably. He sums it up very well by saying that “it’s 2030 that has arrived in 2020”.
If many merchants were not ready, others have been able to cope by making a place for themselves on the Internet in order to limit financial losses. This is the case of Mathilde Bignon, co-founder of Désirée Fleurs in Paris, who created her online store with Shopify during the first containment and all in less than three weeks. Other success stories of this type, there is no shortage since Shopify has experienced an increase of 82% of online store creation in April compared to March 2020.
The transition to e-commerce: psychological barriers that persist
A few years ago, merchants were not ready to move to e-commerce mainly because of two obstacles: price and technology. Indeed, it was often necessary to call upon an external provider specialized in data processing and this step had a cost.
Today, we can say that these obstacles no longer exist because Shopify has designed a tool for everyone very easy to use and offers very affordable rates. As a reminder, the entry-level monthly subscription is priced at $29/month. Finally, the barriers are only psychological according to Joachim Antonsen.
Shopify differentiates itself and focuses on support
To overcome these unfounded fears, Shopify has set up the Shopify Campus program. These are free e-commerce trainings in the form of webinars that aim to help companies develop their e-commerce business. The Shopify Campus workshops have been so successful that a second edition was recently launched. The objective is to inform, reassure and support future e-traders.
In the same line, Shopify organized the Goldup program in Paris last year to encourage female entrepreneurship.
If you thought that once you signed up for Shopify, you were on your own, you are far from it. In addition to the training provided via Shopify Campus, the brand provides technical support that is more like real advisors as the system and monitoring are personalized. In fact, 1/4 of Shopify employees are dedicated to customer support. Beyond that, merchants can rely on other online resources such as the help center, the brand’s blog and forums.
How much does a merchant site cost?
In this article, we wanted to provide concrete information to merchants who want to differentiate their sales channels and start an online business. It is estimated that it is possible to set up a merchant site with Shopify for 500€ with the following fees
- 1 year subscription at $29 / month, or 305€ per year
- the acquisition of a domain name at 20€ / year
- 175€ remaining for marketing (ads on social networks, Google Ads…)
This is enough to reassure more than one person about the costs of creating an e-shop (which we tend to overestimate). To learn more, please read our full review on Shopify.
The 2020 challenge for businesses: what to remember
Commerce and consumer patterns are undergoing profound changes. The challenge in 2020 for physical retail businesses was to adapt quickly and find effective digital solutions to keep interacting with the customer. With its accessible service and Shopify POS (point of sale) application, the Canadian service provider has made a significant contribution to the rescue and success of several French companies. The key for physical outlets is to understand the importance and potential of an online presence through an e-shop.
What are the challenges for Shopify in 2021?
Finally, Joachim Antonsen tells us what the challenges are for Shopify in 2021 and beyond. The brand has set itself the task of continuing to build on its success by providing more support and information to merchants. This includes training programmes. Also, access to Shopify should be simplified with better integration, new features and a platform that adapts to the needs of each merchant. In short, there are some nice surprises in store.