SME's play a crucial role in the economy, by creating job opportunities, driving innovation, and increasing competition, which makes businesses strive for the best results1. In many countries, increased SME activities are directly proportional to economic growth, while in periods of recession SMEs can easily adapt to changes1. However, SMEs are easier to bankrupt in the first five years of operation1, mainly because they often struggle to acquire clients2. E-commerce platforms provide various opportunities for SMEs, by enabling them to sell their products worldwide, reducing their costs and improving cash flow, and providing online sales information to increase the effectiveness of the business3.
As of 2020, US and Canadian small businesses accounted for 99.8-99.9% of the total and were responsible for the employment of 10 Mn people in Canada and 60.6 Mn in the US4,5;p1. Also, small businesses contributed 37.5% (2018) to Canada's GDP4 and 43.5% (2019) to the US GDP7.
Shopify is a Canadian commerce company providing its services mostly to SMBs6;p51, with USD2.92 Bn in 2020 revenues6;p6[part II]. In 2020, the company had ≈1.75 Mn merchants from ≈175 countries, 56% of which were in the US and Canada6;p11, while the company's buyers reached 457 Mn8. In 2020, Shopify facilitated a Gross Merchandise Volume of $119.6 billion, increased by 95.6% compared to 20196;p8[part II].
Shopify's software enables businesses to create a customized online shop easily9 and sell their products in more than 12 different channels6;p9. The basic plan starts at USD29/month and offers all the essentials for businesses to sell online, including a website and a blog, unlimited products, and 24/7 support9.
During the pandemic, Shopify launched initiatives such as free trials and local in-store/curbside pickup and delivery, to support its merchants6;p24.
Shopify empowers and supports SMEs by providing them with an easy and affordable way to sell their products online.
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