We're huge fans of Shopfiy and recommend the platform widely to almost anyone who will listen. We've invested heavily in our Shopify store, using some of the best (and most expensive) developer talent in the UK to build our store and at the start of 2015 we also took the step of rolling out Shopfiy POS in our physical store in Kinsale. We're really happy with the POS system (despite one or two holes that need to be plugged).
We've also blogged in the past about why Shopify should seriously consider Ireland as the European base and we were delighted to see that they've taken some possible early steps in this direction by coming to Galway and hiring some Gurus to be based there. When I heard the news, I believed (and still do) that the Gurus hiring will be the opening steps to a full European HQ.
However, recent developments at Shopify do make me question whether they are really serious about expanding in Europe. It appears they are concentrating heavily on rolling out key strategic updates that are US only. Moreover, these latest developments aren't even open to all merchants in the US. The two big updates recently announced are the Pinterest Buy Button and just this week, the Facebook Buy Button. Having announced them to their entire Merchant base with great fanfare, Shopify then go on to tell us that both updates are not available outside the US. In both cases, Shopfiy have put this decision back on their partners - ie Pinterest and Facebook respectively. I find that difficult to understand or accept. Where's the logic in rolling out big updates to only a portion of your installed user-base? And how many times will loyal, non-US Shopify merchants put up with being told they are effectively second class citizens on Shopfiy? After all, we're all paying the same amount for our plans, right?
It will be interesting to see how this one develops. We have yet to hear from Shopify about any plans to roll out the updates to Europe - or even a confirmation that they *want* to bring these updates to all their merchants. Europe is a huge opportunity for Shopify and I'm convinced that Ireland will be an attractive location for their eventual European HQ - just like Twitter, Facebook, Airbnb and many more. But if they are serious about growing in Europe, they need to make sure their existing European merchants, who have the potential to be their most effective sales tool, are not ignored.