Shopify Predicts Three Major Retail Shifts in 2014

  By Natalia Angulo Growing Your Business Published December 13, 2013 FOXBusiness SHOPIFY A revolution is playing out in the retail industry and small businesses have the upper hand, according to one industry insider. According to Shopify Chief Platform Officer Harley Finkelstein, the future of retail belongs to the entrepreneur and the creator, rather than the big-box stores. Finkelstein calls this shift the “democratization of retail.” Shopify is a commerce platform used by more than 80,000 businesses — digital and brick-and-mortar — in over 100 countries. Some of the companies Shopify helps power range from Tesla Motors (TSLA), Gatorade and CrossFit, to StartupThreads, DODOCase and Tattly. The Ottawa, Canada-based startup received $100 million in Series C funding this week, which it plans to put toward offline-selling platforms. “Consumers want to buy from the makers,” Finklestein says. “[The] people that are passionate about their product and the brand and the great community behind it.” Buying from the little guy online And he may be onto something. While Amazon (AMZN) topped the Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic charts with 2.6 million visitors, according to a DeepField Blog report, Shopify wasn’t far behind. The commerce site came in third (behind eBay, and ahead of big retailers Walmart (WMT), Best Buy and Target) with nearly 1.5 million visitors. In 2012, Shopify stores sold $23 million during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, compared to $63 million during the same period in 2013. Finklestein predicts all this marks the shift toward small business preference that will dominate 2014. Shopify markets itself as an easy way for merchants to sell products online, or at retail and pop-up locations. Some of...