The History of Shopify

The history of Shopify may surprise you. With how many companies use Shopify today, you might never guess it started off as a snowboarding site.

Shopify’s history is surprising

Most of us are familiar with Shopify. For us at Radiant, it’s our bread and butter. But Shopify didn’t begin as the e-commerce giant that it is now. Where did they begin? Well, first we have to ask…

When was Shopify founded?

Shopify was created and launched in 2006, making it a 16-year-old platform in 2022. But though Shopify the ecommerce platform started in 2006, its origins stretch back further.

The Shopify founder story

In 2004, friends Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake took to the internet to begin selling snowboarding equipment by opening a store called Snowdevil. Existing e-commerce platforms for the online store weren’t satisfactory, and Lütke, a computer programmer, took it upon himself to build an e-commerce platform of his own. After two months of development, Snowdevil was launched. Two years later in 2006, the platform hosting Snowdevil was launched as Shopify, ultimately filling the niche for the type of platform its founders once sought.

Who owns Shopify now?

While Tobias Lütke is still with Shopify as the CEO, the company has been publicly traded since April 2015, when they filed for an initial public offering on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. This means the company is owned by shareholders and managed by a board of directors.

About Shopify’s rocky history

Shopify's involvement in e-commerce blossomed quickly. In 2009, they created their application programming interface (API), which allowed for applications specific to Shopify to be sold on their App Store. In 2010, they went even further by bringing Shopify to mobile, adding a Shopify app to the Apple App Store. From there, business owners were able to view and manage their Shopify stores on their favourite devices.

Shopify’s success story with POS

One of the biggest impacts Shopify has made was redefining the point of sale (POS) for ecommerce. In 2013, they implemented Shopify payments. This addition totally removed the necessity of third party payment gateways, allowing merchants to bypass them. In 2017, they went brick and mortar, producing iPads with a point of sale system that directly accepts debit and credit card payments. This iPad POS is still used daily by physical business establishments every day, especially those on the smaller side without large-scale POS systems.

Similarly, Shopify’s presence in the ecommerce space allowed the power of running a business to be put in the hands of many, revamping merchant processes. When Amazon's Webstore, which hosted merchant services, was closed in 2015, they recommended Shopify as the "preferred migration provider," causing Shopify's shares to jump. More recently, Shopify announced direct Amazon integration capabilities in 2017.

How many companies use Shopify?

There are over 1,7 million companies on Shopify, according to their latest press release. How many merchants Shopify has really reflects that it’s possible to be successful on the platform across the globe, as they serve 175 countries.

The number of Shopify stores in 2022

How many Shopify stores will there be in 2022? Some experts predict it may surpass 2 million as interest continues to grow in ecommerce during the pandemic. Right now, over one 1,7 million businesses are hosted on Shopify, and it’s clear that they’ve made a remarkable economic impact on a global scale. Looking forward, Radiant is excited to see all the ways Shopify and similar e-commerce providers will alter the online commercial space.

How to be successful on Shopify

With so much power in a singular platform, moving your business to Shopify is simple, but standing out can be hard. You need specialists to help you differentiate from over one million other merchants, and Radiant’s expert team knows the in’s and out’s of Shopify’s platform. We specialise in creating custom sites that fully venture out from Shopify’s preset storefronts, as well as offer high-quality, customised advice. Take your e-commerce business to the next level with Radiant’s custom Shopify themes, branding, and priority support services.

Who knows? Maybe your company will be the next big success on Shopify.