The app is actually an update and rebrand of Arrive, an app for tracking packages from Shopify merchants and other retailers, which the company says has been used by 16 million consumers already.
Shop includes those same package tracking capabilities, but it also allows consumers to browse a feed of recommended products, learn more about each brand and make purchases using the one-click Shop Pay checkout process.
Carl Rivera, the general manager of Shop, told me that the app is a response to a broader shift — not just from desktop to mobile commerce, but also from mobile web to native mobile apps. The challenge, he suggested, is that most of us only download and shop from a handful of native apps, so it can be hard for an independent brand to launch an app of their own.
“What we want to do with Shop is give them a place to call their own,” Rivera said.
Shop provides customized product recommendations to each shopper, but Rivera noted that these recommendations all come from brands that you’ve already shown an interested in, either by purchasing a product from their Shopify store or by following their profiles in the app.
He contrasted this with product recommendations on other online stores, which he said offer “a feed of products from brands you don’t know, brands you don’t care about — most these platforms are driven by advertising.” Shop, Rivera said, will not include any ads, and it will be available for free to both shoppers and brands.
He added that he’s been working on Shop “basically since I came on-board” in late 2018. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis prompted his team (and Shopify at large) to ask “What are the things we can today to best support merchants?”
One of their answers: a feature that allows shoppers to browse local merchants, see which ones currently support delivery and in-store purchase, then make purchases to support them.