Shopify moves into fulfilment

In another sign that fulfilment is the big battleground in ecommerce, Shopify – the ecommerce platform used by over 800,000 online businesses worldwide - has announced plans to launch its own network of US fulfilment centres.

The new service aims to help online sellers compete with Amazon’s ever-expanding distribution capabilities. The hope it that Shopify’s new network will speed up delivery and reduce transport costs by placing inventory in locations within easy reach of major population centres and by using machine learning to predict closest centres and optimal inventory quantities.

Shopify’s Chief Product Officer, Craig Miller says the objective in introducing the service is ‘to make fast and inexpensive shipping the new standard of the internet.’

The new service will go head to head with Amazon’s 'Fulfilment by Amazon' offering that ties its online marketplace for third party sellers to its growing network of distribution centres.

It’s going to be fascinating to watch the impact that the further democratisation of fulfilment has on the ecommerce market and to see whether it enables the Davids of the ecommerce world to start to meaningfully taking on the Goliaths…