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20 Oct 2022

How to win with Shopify in the new era of commerce: Connect to Consumer

How to win with Shopify in the new era of commerce: Connect to Consumer
Shopify is changing the face of commerce and supporting merchants in the new era: Connect to Consumer (C2C).

Shopify pioneered the D2C movement by giving entrepreneurs a direct line to consumers. Today, we’re paving endless pathways for merchants to build their businesses through C2C.

The world of commerce is changing and it’s time to change with it. Learn more about Shopify and what it can do for your business to ensure you never outgrow your platform again. 

Paths to success as a retail entrepreneur were once few and far between. The options were as obvious as they were limited: open a physical store or sell through a marketplace. The process was costly and attainable only to the few. But Shopify was born to break down barriers for merchants and make the seemingly impossible possible. With our first product—the Online Store—we made entrepreneurship accessible to all. This internet-native approach gave rise to the global D2C phenomenon and disrupted online shopping as we know it. And we’re about to change the face of commerce—again with the new era of commerce: Connect to Consumer (C2C). 
Shopify pioneered the D2C movement by giving entrepreneurs a direct line to consumers. Today, we’re paving endless pathways for merchants to build their businesses through C2C. 

If you attended Shopify’s keynote at eCommerce Expo then you will have heard about how C2C can help you embrace new ways to reach your customers; below are some of the key takeaways. 

Structural shifts are affecting the retail landscape

Today, we are on the cusp of structural change, with the end of the pandemic and a radically different economic landscape looming. The changes we are experiencing come in the form of shifts in the economy, privacy and the internet:

●    Economy: An impending recession and an energy crisis are changing consumption. Individuals today are forced to re-evaluate their spending. 70% of British consumers have changed their buying habits in the last three months (source: McKinsey).

●    Internet: Commerce is exploding on social platforms like TikTok and YouTube. Web3 is starting to disrupt the way we buy and sell online. Additionally, established brands have caught up and embraced Direct to Consumer (D2C) innovation, so it is no longer enough for merchants to rely on this model.

●    Privacy: Merchants bear the cost of changes in privacy, such as the GDPR law or Apple's decision to allow users to opt out of tracking services. Acquiring new customers is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive. In fact, $17.8 billion in revenue was lost in 2022 among the various social networks following privacy changes (source: Lotame).

Consumers are more discerning with their spend and their loyalty. They’re harder to reach and are spread across so many more surfaces. You now have to work overtime to cultivate audiences and loyalty. 

We are evolving from a one dimensional, transactional relationship with shoppers, and embracing new ways to “Connect to Consumers”

The Connect to Consumer (C2C) model is key because e-commerce is not just about the transaction; it's about the connection. C2C is multiple pathways to consumers, not just one, that put authenticity, loyalty and trust at the heart of every merchant-consumer interaction. The brand can tell its story online, offline, on social media and through Web3 - to cultivate communities and buyers:

●    As we emerge from the pandemic and consumers return to the high-street, our merchants are re-imagining the role of the brick and mortar store. They’re creating meaningful and unique experiences in store. Gymshark’s “de-load” pop-up barbershop, staffed by mental health professionals, offers a glimpse into the possibilities of connecting to consumers on a deeper level. Shopping local is also an increasingly important preference for eco-conscious consumers keen to support local businesses. In the UK, 79% of surveyed consumers stated they prefer shopping in-person and supporting local businesses over larger online retailers. (Source: Make It British)

●    Another trend is growing in e-commerce: selling on social networks. For example, orders placed with Shopify merchants through key partners like TikTok and Instagram grew 5x over Q2 last year. And 64% of social media users report making a purchase through commerce social in 2021 (Accenture). 

●    Web3 creates new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers. Imagine that a token or NFT in your digital wallet could unlock an exclusive online offer or a VIP experience in store. This is what we call Tokengated Commerce. It's already making its way into the mainstream, with Starbucks launching a web3-based rewards program to offer customers exclusive perks. And Dutch streetwear retailer Daily Paper has rolled out NFTs for their community to unlock exclusive brand drops and VIP access to events. With NFTs, buyers don’t need a customer account. Connecting a wallet means that the store logs into the buyer, rather than the buyer having to login to the store. This is a new way to accelerate “community commerce” - inviting other communities into discovering new brands, do endorsements, etc. 

While web3 may sound like tomorrow’s opportunity, C2C is already here. Retailers must act now before it’s too late, they must take the lead to ensure their business is ready to C2C.

Click here to learn more about Shopify & C2C.

About Shopify Plus

Shopify is your commerce partner for life. 

Shopify Plus is the only multi-channel enterprise platform where you can start, grow, and scale your business - backed by an ethical pricing model. 

Keen to know more? Get in touch and a Shopify Plus representative will contact you. 

Read their customer success stories to hear to find why the world’s best brands choose Shopify

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