Shopify rises as a worthy equal to Amazon amid the pandemic

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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With the coronavirus emergence, businesses around the globe were forced to make a shift to eCommerce to survive and many opted for Shopify which is a Canadian multinational company that has emerged as an alternative to US-based Amazon.

The eCommerce platform, headquartered in Ottawa, has been serving customers for over a decade. It already supports more than 1 million businesses worldwide to create an eCommerce site in just a few clicks.

“The retail world that would have existed in 2030 has really been pulled back into 2020, it feels like the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has permanently accelerated the growth of online commerce,” president of Shopify Harley Finkelstein said.

The lockdown and other restrictions that was caused due to the pandemic has forced most of the bricks and mortar stores to temporarily suspend their business while online commerce experienced a boom in their business this year. Consumers have gotten used to buying over the internet and industry giants, led by Amazon, have seen sales rocket.

However, many businesses that did not have an online presence or direct eCommerce channel saw a decline in sales as the pandemic took hold.

Compared to last year Shopify saw a 71 percent increase in the second quarter in terms of the number of new stores that joined the platform.

“For retail to thrive, it has to be in the hands of the many, not the few. We need to have as many retailers, like many brands, as many entrepreneurs and small businesses selling, so that we don’t all look the exact same, (and) so we don’t buy the exact same stuff,” Finkelstein said.

Last year Shopify co-founder Tobias Lutke quoted on Twitter “Amazon is trying to build an empire. Shopify is trying to arm the rebels.”

Shopify is currently experiencing success with established brands looking for sideline intermediaries who sell their wares and to build direct relationships with customers through an online space.


Shopify was co-founded in 2006 by Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake who initially developed the software to sell snowboards over the internet.

The platform gathered great popularity over the years and has seen the number of stores on its platform grow from 150,000 in 2014 to over 1 million in 175 countries in 2019, placing it as a strong alternative to Amazon.