Canadian technology company Shopify has announced on Tuesday that it is expanding an existing collaboration with Google and Facebook as it opens up its e-commerce checkout system to all retailers selling on the two tech giant platforms, marking the first time it has offered a product to merchants that don’t use its platform.
Starting in July for Facebook and later in 2021 for Alphabet Inc.’s Google, shoppers who connect with retailers through Facebook or Google properties such as Instagram, YouTube, or Google Maps will be able to pay for their purchase using Shop Pay.
Retailers now have access to ‘Shop Pay’ a checkout product that stores users’ information, speeding up online transactions through those social media platforms, but they must be Shopify merchants to use it.
“Our hope is that this momentum moment for Shop Pay is a step forward to becoming the internet’s preferred checkout, full stop,” Shopify President Harley Finkelstein said.
Shopify sees little risk that opening up Shop Pay will cause some retailers to cut their ties to the company in favor of doing all business through Google or Facebook — “just the opposite, in fact,” Finkelstein said. Shopify is convinced that e-commerce merchants will want to maintain bespoke websites at the core of their businesses. But many of them will opt to sell across multiple platforms, including social media, and that increased complexity should make Shopify’s system even more valuable, he said.
Global e-commerce has surged during the pandemic; market research firm eMarketer estimates online retail sales will be worth $4.89 trillion in 2021. In the U.S., almost 10% of e-commerce is done through Shopify merchants, Finkelstein said.