Shopify opens a storefront to support its online merchants
Shopify, the e-commerce platform provider, has become the latest online specialist to open a physical location.
The “Entrepreneur Space” in downtown Los Angeles, which TechCrunch described as similar to an Apple store, will feature 20 trained Shopify “gurus” providing free in-person support to “merchants and aspiring entrepreneurs” ranging from start-ups to established, multi-location retailers.
The space will host workshops and talks from industry experts at least weekly to accommodate around 50 people covering a range of topics from product photography to paid search advertising and the ups and downs of independent business ownership. Smaller classes supporting around 10 people will be held each day and merchants can set up one-on-one appointments online. More than 100 registered for sessions last Thursday on the first day of the location’s opening.
Shopify chose Downtown Los Angeles because the area has over 400 top-performing of its merchants who have each individually earned over $1 million in GMV (gross merchandise volume). There are 10,000 Shopify merchants in Los Angeles alone, and the state of California hosts about 80,000 of the vendor’s 600,000 merchants.
The location builds on the assistance Shopify’s network of gurus have provided to merchants online, via telephone, through live chat as well as at some in-person events over the years.
Said Satish Kanwar, VP of product at Shopify, in a statement, “We know that making more resources available to entrepreneurs, especially early on, makes them far more likely to succeed, and we’re happy to now be offering that through a brick-and-mortar experience in LA.”
The location is also expected to serve as a networking spot for online merchants.
“The path to being your own boss doesn’t need to be lonely or isolating,” said Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein. “With Shopify LA we wanted to create a hub where business owners can find support, inspiration and community. Most importantly, entrepreneurs at all stages and of all sizes can learn together, have first access to our newest products and propel their entrepreneurial dreams.”
- Shopify Opens Its First Brick-and-Mortar Entrepreneur Space – Shopify
- We’ve moved in to help you move up – Shopify
- Need e‑commerce help? The Shopify platform opens a shop in Los Angeles – Internet Retailer
- Shopify opens its first brick-and-mortar space in Los Angeles – TechCrunch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the greatest appeal of a physical Shopify location to the online merchants that use its platform? Would other tech vendors benefit from a similar selling, learning and networking space?