Shopify’s High Opponents Embrace Amazon, BigCommerce, and Magento

  • Shopify is continually launching new companies with an eye fixed towards its retailers’ wants. 
  • Its new companies have put it in competitors with extra firms than earlier than. 
  • Others are additionally leaning into e-commerce extra, because the enterprise alternative stays giant.

A yr after Shopify reported explosive development amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the e-commerce big is plotting its subsequent strikes — and taking over new competitors within the course of. 

Shopify’s core storefront-builder product benefited from lockdowns that pressured many small and medium-size companies to promote on-line for the primary time. The e-commerce platform is now rising at a extra normalized fee after it grew revenues 86% in 2020 and practically doubled the gross sales transacted on its platform.

In latest earnings calls, Shopify has emphasised the energy of its companies that assist its retailers mix their on-line and offline choices, together with its revamped point-of-sale system, as many patrons have grown extra snug returning to shops.

Final yr, Shopify additionally rolled out a social-commerce integration with TikTok, made key updates to its Store app, and launched Shopify Markets, a companies hub that makes it simpler for its retailers to promote their merchandise internationally.

These product updates and the shift in technique to advertise its omnichannel companies put Shopify in additional direct competitors with funds firms like Sq. and Lightspeed, in addition to headless commerce gamers like BigCommerce. 

Different firms which have beforehand targeted solely on web site constructing, like Squarespace and Wix, are leaning extra into creating transactional instruments as the chance for e-commerce continues to develop.  

However analysts advised Insider they had been nonetheless largely optimistic that Shopify would proceed to dominate the sphere. 

“Our view is that Shopify’s laser focus is what’s actually differentiating for them,” Samad Samana, a Jefferies analyst, advised Insider. “They’re methodically the entire ache factors {that a} service provider has, they usually’re making an attempt to unravel for them.”

Listed below are the businesses that analysts say may very well be Shopify’s greatest challengers throughout e-commerce, funds, and web site constructing, from legacy tech firms to upstarts:


BigCommerce gives e-commerce software program for small and medium-size companies. Like Shopify, it gives clients quite a lot of companies from online-storefront constructing to omnichannel promoting. 

BigCommerce’s greatest differentiator is its emphasis on an open platform that permits retailers to mix companies utilizing utility programming interfaces.

Whereas Shopify’s ambitions are to enchantment to retailers of all sizes, BigCommerce’s purchasers are usually midsize or enterprise companies, like Ben & Jerry’s and Skullcandy, whose companies usually tend to be complicated sufficient to learn from a extra versatile tech method. 

BigCommerce raised $216 billion in its August 2020 preliminary public providing. 

“Now they’ve sources to put money into a go-to-market, put money into their product,” Ken Wong, a Guggenheim Securities analyst, advised Insider. 


Adobe acquired Magento, an open-source commerce platform, for $1.68 billion in 2018. Wong stated Adobe was one in all a handful of legacy gamers that remained vital Shopify rivals.

Like Shopify, Magento has instruments for manufacturers to construct web sites, handle stock, and promote by way of business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and direct-to-consumer channels.

Whereas Shopify is understood for being standard with fledgling companies, Magento caters extra to bigger, established manufacturers like TiVo and Rossignol.

In one other similarity to Shopify, Magento has a strong app retailer with hundreds of extensions that sellers can set up. 


Salesforce acquired the cloud-based e-commerce-software supplier Demandware for $2.8 billion in 2016, which marked its entrance into on-line commerce. The acquisition led to the creation of a enterprise unit the corporate calls Commerce Cloud.

Like Shopify, Commerce Cloud gives companies for on-line retailers, together with instruments for business-to-business and business-to-consumer promoting, in addition to for order administration and headless commerce.

Commerce Cloud additionally has a market for integrations that sellers can use, although it is not as strong as Shopify’s app retailer. 


Lightspeed serves retail shops, eating places, and golf programs with a set of commerce instruments. Its cloud-based point-of-sale system is the centerpiece of its choices. 

Along with funds, Lightspeed gives native loyalty, accounting, and analytics merchandise. Shopify does give its retailers entry to analytics and plenty of different companies, nevertheless it additionally outsources some capabilities like loyalty applications to third-party apps in its retailer. 

Relative to Shopify, Lightspeed is a smaller participant — it has about 156,000 clients in 100 international locations, whereas Shopify has about 1.7 million retailers in 175 international locations on its platform.


Like Lightspeed, Sq. initially targeted on funds however has since branched out into extra facets of e-commerce. In 2018, it acquired Weebly, a website-building firm, for $365 million after which built-in these instruments into its personal platform. 

“What they wished was for his or her current clients to have the ability to use it. But in addition as potential new clients signed up, they’d then additionally use Sq. as their cost processor,” Samana of Jefferies stated.

Sq. now gives sellers merchandise for constructing a web based retailer, monitoring their enterprise financial institution accounts, and managing payroll and worker advantages. 

Sq.’s instruments are geared towards sellers each huge and small, from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to native meals vehicles. 


Screenshot of Squarespace social selling tools


Beforehand recognized primarily as a web site builder, Squarespace has been leaning into e-commerce extra over the previous yr. 

In September, it launched a model imaginative and prescient known as “All the things to Promote Something,” emphasizing the launch of a product-video app — which permits sellers to point out off merchandise — plus instruments for social promoting and marketplaces and refreshed design options.

In its final reported quarter, which ended September 30, commerce accounted for $59.8 million of Squarespace’s complete $210 million in income.


Just like Squarespace, Wix was recognized for its website-building instruments however has been shifting into e-commerce extra considerably.

Its enterprise companies embody on-line shops, appointment reserving, and restaurant-ordering merchandise. 

“They’re beginning to appear like what Shopify was 5, six years in the past,” Wong stated, referring to each Squarespace and Wix. “You may most likely see them sort out the type of micromerchant that was the beginning place for Shopify.” 


Whereas extra of an adjoining competitor, in that it sells by way of a market, Amazon’s dominance of the e-commerce world means it is continually high of thoughts for Shopify.

In February, Amazon acquired Selz, an Australian startup that builds e-commerce websites and funds instruments. This acquisition got here just some years after Amazon offered its personal website-building service, Webstore, to Shopify for a reported $1 million.

The 2 firms will doubtless proceed to compete for sellers’ consideration with companies like achievement, delivery, and funds. 

“Shopify is arguably the largest menace to Amazon, and I might argue it is type of the identical approach on the receiving finish,” Wong stated.

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