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Shopify aims to make ecommerce about connections while rethinking how NFTs are used

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Just as retailers settle into leveraging the direct to consumer (D2C) model, the world of ecommerce is getting ready to move to a new way to sell: C2C.

This week, Shopify is raising the curtain on connect to consumers (C2C) commerce, which it says is an entirely new phase of commerce where opportunities to connect exist everywhere. If D2C gave merchants a direct line to consumers, C2C gives merchants endless pathways. 

According to the company, the C2C era puts authenticity, loyalty and trust at the heart of every interaction between merchants and consumers. It’s an era where personalisation matters and where independent businesses have full control to create novel experiences across every potential touchpoint with consumers in ways that keep them coming back. It’s no longer about just the transaction; it’s about the connection. 

“At Shopify, we believe in the infinite game. That means we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for entrepreneurs,” says Tobi Lütke, Founder & CEO of Shopify. “We work hard to solve the complex challenges merchants face today while imagining entirely new ways for them to grow their businesses. With Shopify Editions, we’re sharing our big bets and latest innovations in commerce so that those ambitious enough to try their hand at entrepreneurship can start and scale faster than ever before.”

Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, Shopify EMEA  adds: “Shopify is betting on C2C as the next era of commerce, one that moves beyond the traditional e-commerce and high street divide. It’s a new era in which any British business that gets to grips with cultivating a community around their brand will thrive.”

Connecting crypto wallets to UK retailers

Building on this, shopify is also looking to change how retailers use NFTs. According to the company, in this new era of C2C commerce, the most exciting experience isn’t selling NFTs, but activating them. Enter Tokengated Commerce. 

Tokengated Commerce offers a fundamentally new way to deepen connections and reward true fans and VIPs, says the company, by giving NFT holders exclusive access to products, perks and experiences. For these consumers-turned-fans, all they need to do is connect their crypto wallets to a Shopify online store and they can use their NFTs to unlock exciting experiences. Merchants can activate Shopify Tokengated Commerce experiences everywhere—from online to mobile to physical retail through POS. 

Mehta says: “We’re investing in blockchain technology to make Shopify wallet-aware. In the new era of C2C commerce, this makes it easier for NFT holders to unlock personalized experiences with their favorite brands based on the NFTs in their wallets.”

Tokengated commerce can also be multiplayer and collaborative. One brand’s NFT can unlock another brand’s store, making it easier than ever for brands to partner and collaborate. 

Shopify expands into B2B 

For independent merchants, connecting to consumers isn’t just something that happens one-to-one. There is a whole world of opportunity that exists in merchants connecting with other businesses—billions of untapped revenue, to be exact—which is why we’re introducing B2B on Shopify. 

B2B is available to Shopify Plus merchants directly in the Shopify admin—the same back office they use to manage their DTC store. This makes it easy for merchants to access Shopify’s powerful customisation features and manage all aspects of their commerce business in one place. Shopify is also partnering with ERP providers such as NetSuite and Acumatica to bring a merchant’s essential business data into Shopify automatically

Now for the buyer experience. B2B on Shopify offers a similar online store experience merchants use to sell to consumers, but customised with tools that make it easier to purchase wholesale or in bulk directly from Shopify merchants. 

Mehta comments: “With B2B, Shopify is expanding into an entirely new market category. We’re doubling the market opportunity for independent merchants.”

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