Shopify, the technology platform that provides e-commerce infrastructure for brands of all sizes, is sometimes referred to as the anti-Amazon for its approach to working with merchants, but that’s not a nickname the company appreciate.
“I don’t see us as the anti-Amazon,” says Loren Padelford, vice president and general manager of Shopify Plus. “I think it’s a media story.”
But, Padelford allows, “we want traders to be front and center. … It is a difference of vision of the world.
Those merchant relationships are more critical than ever this month, during a holiday season that has tested retailers in new ways. More and more consumers – 1 million of them through Shopify – are relying on online shopping to purchase gifts for their friends and loved ones.
Padelford joined Fortune Brainstorm, a podcast on how technology is changing our lives, where he spoke FortuneMichal Lev-Ram and Brian O’Keefe on these changes in consumption patterns. Shopify’s technology supports everything from Fortune 500 limited-edition retailers are launching the Rob Kardashian sock brand, putting the company at the center of all types of shopping during this busy quarter.
As Shopify works to support sales, tech startup Ohi is developing a new solution to get those purchases to consumers – also, of course, measured against Amazon. CEO Ben Jones founded the company that opens micro-warehouses to help small brands compete with the kind of fast shipping that, thanks to Amazon, has become standard in the retail industry.
Jones predicts that within two years, consumers will demand products they order online “within hours.” In a holiday season that follows months of headlines about downturns in the US Postal ServiceOhi’s strategy is just as crucial to this year’s holiday season as e-commerce itself.
Fortune retail reporter Phil Wahba also joined the Fortune Brainstorm web hosts to provide a perspective on how major retailers are doing in this unusual fourth quarter.For more on retail and tech, tune in to the episode.
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