Briefing

Microsoft considers creating a Shopify competitor

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The U.S. tech giant may launch online sales management software for larger firms, said Shelley Bransten, vice-president of retail and consumer goods. She declined to comment on whether Microsoft could seek to acquire Shopify instead. Shopify did not respond to The Logic’s request for comment. (The Information)

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Talking point: The new Microsoft e-commerce platform could eat into Shopify’s Plus business, which is designed for larger clients. Microsoft’s e-commerce tools seem designed as an incentive for the company’s Azure cloud platform—some traditional retailers are looking for alternatives to Amazon Web Services, which feeds the bottom line of the company that’s helped drive so many of them out of business. But some of Shopify Plus’s biggest success stories—like Kylie Cosmetics and the shoe line Allbirds—are direct-to-consumer brands that have been using Shopify from their very early days. So, while multinationals like Nestlé or Unilever might see value in consolidating their online presence with a tech giant like Microsoft, Shopify may be able to make up some of the loss with new Plus clients from within its existing user base.