Shopify vs. Amazon: just tickle for the giant?

Raise your hand if you have bought anything on Amazon at least once in life!
Online sales increased in the last year. That’s because with physical shops closed during the pandemic, businesses had to reinvent themselves not to die and have been forced to move on the Internet and to experiment e-commerce. In the commercial landscape it has been created a watershed: those who embraced digital transformation survived, the other ones were forgotten or bankrupted.

Amazon is a digital landmark, but what about a service online that can help users, retailers and shops to sell their own products creating their own digital stores?
Now there is a solution called “Shopify”. Born in Canada and created in 2006 by Tobias Lutke, the software at the beginning was a platform loved only by snowboarders. But recently, Shopify reported an increase of 71% of new e-stores created in the second quarter compared to the previous one.
The same thing happened once in 1994 with Jeff Bezoz, who founded Amazon, who initially constituted a bookworm’s space: a virtual library store. The boom happened in 2003 with 1.3 million copies of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” sold in one day.
From a marketing perspective, we can say that the key factor of success in the digital world seems to be creating a delighting customer experience and a huge community of “passionate about something” who can provide accurate feedbacks useful for precisely targeting the consumers and then diversifying the offer. Today, you don’t have to be a geek, an IT programmer or a website designer to do this. Just choosing a subscription for your needs, you will have a digital store with a system of traceability for the purchases and sometimes also a website in multiple languages.
If you choose Amazon, you will pay a fee as the company will manage most of the sales activities, including traffic generation and business analytics; on the other hand, the basic plan of Shopify is free, you have more control on contents and sales but you should manage them on your own. That could be an advantage as well as a disadvantage.
The CEO of Shopify has cleared lot of doubts on Twitter through videos on the topic, going viral with the hashtag #askTobi. In one of these exchanges of Q&A he said: “Amazon is trying to build an empire. Shopify is trying to arm the rebels.” He just wanted to explain that business had changed and there are now new tools needed by brands to thrive in the new economy, starting from the Social Networks.
Recently, Shopify can boast collaborations with Facebook and Instagram to create a personalized showcase online. Should Amazon worry?

By Alessandra Busacca