E-commerce SaaS provider Shopify is launching a dedicated fulfillment network for its merchants as the company works to differentiate its product portfolio from industry rivals. The fulfillment network, announced alongside a bevy of platform and product updates at Shopify’s annual partner conference, uses smart inventory-allocation technology, powered by machine learning, to match orders, route inventory and negotiate rates. Featured SIM swap horror story: I’ve lost decades of data and Google won’t lift a finger Your guide to prescriptive analytics This ‘most dangerous’ hacking group is now probing power grids Dear Apple, here’s how I solved my MacBook keyboard problem The cost of shipping is considered a barrier to growth for many merchants. With its own fulfillment network, Shopify said it will be able to offer merchants lower-cost shopping that’s totally managed through Shopify’s system. Shopify CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux said the fulfillment network — which will include a mix of Shopify-owned and shared distribution centers — is a first for Shopify, as its merchants historically have had to work with third party logistics providers to ship inventory. Lemieux pointed out that items shipped via Shopify’s fulfillment network will arrive in branded boxes for each merchant. “In some ways we are repeating our vision, in which merchants want to own their brand, and that drives our roadmap,” Lemieux said. At launch, Shopify’s fulfillment services will primarily target small and medium sized businesses, and access to the program will depend on a merchant’s product type and fulfillment needs. Over time, Lemieux said the… [Read full story]
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