Shopify’s latest Shop app experiment ratchets up potential competition with Amazon.
Shopify is testing a rewards program called Shop Cash.
The company has quietly rolled out a beta version of the rewards program, and in its ‘Help Center’ describes it as available to some users for purchases made in the Shop app.
Shopify noted that Shop Cash is in early access for some Shop app users with billing addresses in the United States. Shop Cash is automatically added as a payment method for orders placed in the Shop app, according to Shopify, which notes there is no additional cost to merchants to accept Shop Cash (merchants also cannot opt-out of accepting Shop Cash). Shop Cash has no monetary value outside of the Shop app.
Shop Cash appears to be a way to entice consumers into using its mobile shopping app, Shop, first launched in 2020. Shop was initially launched as a shopping assistant, but over the years, Shopify has been adding features to make it more of a marketplace, which would put it in direct competition with Amazon. The app already features a curated list of Shopify merchants, and now, with a rewards program, is incentivizing commerce within the app.
Shopify did not respond to BetaKit’s queries regarding Shop Cash by time of publication.
Shopify appears to be keeping promotion of Shop Cash low while it works out the kinks. In the Shopify discussion community, merchants noted receiving orders paid via Shop Cash without being aware of the payment type or that it had been turned on for their store.
Shopify continues to move closer in competition with Amazon as the two e-commerce giants fight for customers.
In addition to creating the Shop app, Shopify’s parallels to Amazon includes its fulfillment network, which first began actively accepting merchant applications for, in 2020.
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The Canadian company also reached an agreement to acquire San Francisco fulfillment startup Deliverr for $2.1 billion USD in cash and stock in early May, a deal that will allow Shopify to tap into Deliverr’s nationwide, United States fulfillment network.
Earlier this year, Amazon introduced a Buy with Prime feature, which extended the Prime delivery and shopping experience beyond Amazon.com. This move put the company into more direct competition with both Shopify as well as dedicated delivery services like FedEx and UPS.
In recent weeks, Shopify’s stock has been pummeled on the market as its earnings reports showed the company’s growth was slowing. The company also faces the broader tech stock sell-off that has hurt other publicly-traded tech companies.
This comes at a time when Shopify moved to protect its founder and CEO Tobi Lütke’s position in the e-commerce company with a proposed change to its share structure.
Shop Cash isn’t the only feature Shopify has been rolling out in recent weeks: the Ottawa-based e-commerce giant has been quietly adding crypto-related features on its platform, including integrations with Crypto.com and Strike, which is built on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. The company also recently launched general availability of its Shopify Audiences product, an audience-building tool that connects Shopify Plus merchants with high-intent buyers from social networks like Facebook and Instagram.