eCommerce platform Shopify have done the unexpected by launching an offline, physical store in downtown Los Angeles.
Shopify LA sells various Shopify products such as card readers, but it’s more than just a store. It’s a hands-on support center for Shopify retailers.
On-staff consultants are referred to as “gurus”, while Shopify “mentors” present “experiences” around everything from Influencer Marketing to Branding 101. Shopify merchants can spend their downtime between these (free) sessions utilising the facilities in the store’s “Creation Zone”.
Shopify’s new space may seem like something pulled straight out of the satirical comedy Silicon Valley. But look beyond the quintessentially-LA buzzwords and you’ll find something a lot more meaningful: the real future of eCommerce.
More than a coworking space
Despite seeming like a parody of itself, Shopify’s new offering has taken the biggest pain points in the eCommerce space and provided simple, accessible solutions.
“The community aspect alone simply cannot be replicated online.”
Building and running a successful online business requires great website design, a solid marketing strategy and continuous optimisation to guarantee profit over time.
Lacking strength in just one of these areas can mean certain failure.
Shopify LA addresses this disjoint by providing support to online brands at every level, and it’s far from performative.
Some of the support services include:
- A podcast studio
- 1:1 Guru appointments
- Mentor sessions
- A creation zone
- Exclusive product previews
- Local meetups
What Shopify LA is essentially providing is outreach and support where online retailers actually live: The real world.
Bringing local Shopify merchants together also builds the same kind of community you’d find with physical stores— an aspect that’s desperately lacking in the online retail space.
As Shopify LA like to say: “You’ve got this. We’ve got you.”
The future of eCommerce is offline
More and more businesses are either launching or expanding online. It’s more important than ever to provide these retailers with the right support, resources and education to make them as eCommerce-savvy as possible.
While retail may be moving online, Shopify’s physical store proves that in-person support is still a priceless commodity. The community aspect alone simply cannot be replicated online.
“What Shopify LA is essentially providing is outreach and support where online retailers actually live: The real world.”
Providing this level of support may also encourage physical stores to expand to eCommerce. Or, more specifically, to expand into Shopify.
If there’s one message that competing eCommerce platforms can take away from Shopify LA, it’s this: how are you going to catch up?