Empowering Entrepreneurs: Shopify’s Role in a Post-Pandemic World

9 Min Read

Clark Rabbior, Head of Government Relations at Shopify, provides a firsthand account from the front lines of COVID-19. Shopify, the leading platform for retail businesses, is working for empowering entrepreneurs and to provide entrepreneurs with the tools to start, expand, promote, and manage retail enterprises of any size. By streamlined procedures, Shopify enables global competition, foreign market entry, and international sales. The platform helps merchants succeed by handling payments, taxes, shipping, and fulfillment, boosting economic resilience.

By the end of 2019, Shopify had over a million retailers across 175 nations. The COVID-19 pandemic had significant consequences on Shopify, with many businesses facing financial risks and requiring immediate online shifts. Shopify shifted its focus from its initial 2020 objectives to develop solutions that would help merchants survive the pandemic and future-proof their operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way governments view entrepreneurship. Many governments prioritize large corporations, which create jobs, over small and medium-sized enterprises. Shopify’s goal is to understand the viewpoints of the one million entrepreneurs that use its platform to ensure their needs are met.

In conclusion, Shopify’s efforts to provide entrepreneurs with the tools to start, expand, promote, and manage retail enterprises have been instrumental in addressing the challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic.

How do you engage with company owners? What is Shopify?

The great equalizer that technology was meant to be, not everyone has access to it. By providing more entrepreneurs with the tools to start, expand, promote, and manage retail enterprises of any size, Shopify is working to address this problem. We have streamlined a procedure that was previously quite complicated so that all business owners may compete on a worldwide scale, enter foreign markets, and undertake international sales. We help our merchants succeed by handling details like payments, taxes, shipping, and fulfillment, which boost economic resiliency. And we will keep providing everyone with access to the tools that were previously exclusively available to the biggest firms.

What consequences did the COVID-19 epidemic have on Shopify?

By the end of 2019, more than a million retailers across 175 nations were using Shopify. We focused on important growth sectors and new markets as the year came to a conclusion. Like the majority of businesses, we were unable to anticipate what 2020 might bring. Who could have foreseen this pandemonium 12 months ago? All enterprises in the globe have been impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic; some positively, but for many it has been terrible. So many company owners felt their livelihoods at danger as the economy shrank. We knew right away that Shopify would be working closely with the small companies and entrepreneurs who would be most negatively impacted by the lockout. Numerous businesses were required to shift online immediately under COVID-19. At Shopify, we made the decision to change course from our initial 2020 objectives and started working on solutions that would assist merchants not only survive the epidemic but also future-proof their operations to grow over the long term.

Has the epidemic changed how you see the ways that regulations affect entrepreneurship?

Many governments gave policies and choices that protected huge corporations—which they view as the ones that create jobs—priority in the immediate wake of the economic crises. Despite the fact that small enterprises need respect and attention, policymakers cannot ignore their significance to the strength and health of local economies. 98% of the economy in Canada, where Shopify’s headquarters reside, is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises. In order to guarantee that these demands are satisfied, our objective is to pay attention to the viewpoints of the one million entrepreneurs that use our platform.

The worries of business owners are understood and taken care of. More voices, not fewer, will influence the world of tomorrow. Because of the epidemic, we are already residing in the future. Policies that make economic wealth more equal than ever before must rule this new society.

What challenges will the COVID-19 epidemic provide to policymakers?

The epidemic is still engulfing us. It will be challenging for policymakers, like everyone else, including company owners, to foresee which of the many changes we have seen in recent months will endure and which will return to the status quo.

In this new digital era, we must all work together to become more change-resistant, adaptive, flexible, and able to pivot more swiftly. This includes policymakers. The modern world has made digital a privilege, though, and that much is evident. The globe transitioned to a digital-only economy during the pandemic, allowing many enterprises to not only survive but also thrive. Everybody must have access to high-speed Internet everywhere, according to policymakers. Today, connectivity is a crucial part of any country’s infrastructure.

What long-term implications do you anticipate the epidemic will have?

Despite lockdowns, social exclusion, self-isolation programs, and quarantines, having this illness as a shared enemy drew people closer together.

Collaboration between remote coworkers was made easier, and many businesses welcomed a new digital workforce. People contacted old friends they hadn’t spoken to in a long time all around the world. Families from all across the world digitally connected with one another via technology, often for the first time. The business’ decision-makers came to the conclusion that enabling workers to work from home, cut back on hours, do away with commuting, and have more time for quality lives was not necessarily bad for the bottom line. Accelerated digitization will drastically change the look and pace of cities and communities by the time this crisis is finished, which we really hope will be soon.

What do you want for aspiring entrepreneurs in the future?

The good news is that entrepreneurs may take advantage of possibilities in all types of transition circumstances, and many did so during the epidemic. Aside from that, the lockdowns brought customers’ attention back to the significance of small local businesses for thriving communities and healthy lives, prompting them to resume local shopping. I fervently hope that this trend will continue because of the significant benefits it has for businesses and the economy. And I hope that before deciding on a future course of action, policymakers will consult with their stakeholders and take into account objective, verifiable data, such as that generated yearly by organizations like the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, so as not to expose entrepreneurs to the law of unintended consequences. Our clear message to decision-makers is to foster an environment where more voices may be heard.

More information

Contact me on LinkedIn

We gather unique stories where people could build a community or something amazing from their passion. We collect stories from all over the internet, to awake your muse and use your creative power. This case study was supervised by our team and it definitely caught our interest. You can find other creative stories here.

Share This Article