In case you didn’t know it, the good folks at Shopify are into innovation in a BIG way. They even have a separate business unit called “Garage” where product developers work on new apps and innovations. And even in the middle of the current holiday shopping crunch, the Garage team is tinkering away madly on some new stuff for our eCommerce Christmas stockings. They’re sort of like Santa’s elves, but instead of toy trains and dolls they wrote code for all the good little merchants on the Shopify platform “nice list.”
We’ve been keeping a sharp eye out for news on what they are working on, and a string of announcements coming out of the Garage unit got us excited, so we called in and got a little info on three new developments that we want to share with you. This is the first one of those.
The Arrive App by Shopify – What Is It?
As the name “Arrive” might imply, this app is designed to track and inform you about your online shipments and deliveries. Importantly, not “just” the online shipments coming from Shopify stores, but ALL online shipments. So, if you're a Shopify merchant, you might be asking yourself why you should care, right? After all … this is an app for online shoppers to use – not an app that you can install in your Shopify store.
Why Store Owners Should Care About the Arrive App
If you’re Amazon.com, you have advanced package tracking capabilities. And if your eCommerce customers have installed the Amazon app on their tablet or smartphone, then you can send them push notifications telling them the status of their orders and when packages have been delivered. If you're Dominos Pizza, your app can do the same thing. But these apps can cost tens of thousands – or in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars – to make. In short, these kinds of specialized apps are for the top tier of eCommerce businesses.
If you have a Shopify online store, your site is already mobile responsive – allowing your customers to order online. But the vast majority of us in the Shopify Community can’t afford to have a custom integrated delivery app. That’s where I see the Shopify Arrive App coming in to deliver BIG value to the small business. When it’s fully developed, it will bring the power of enterprise-class tracking and delivery tracking apps within reach of the small to medium-sized retailer.
How the Shopify Arrive App Works
All eCommerce businesses send confirmation emails for each purchase -- it's standard practice. The Shopify Arrive App connects with an email account and monitors it for all order, shipping, and delivery confirmation emails – including tracking numbers. It processes this information and displays it in the Arrive App and creates alerts (if you want them) – just like the big-boy retail giants.
What Are the Limitations of the Shopify Arrive App?
Let’s be clear … this thing is brand-spanking new. I am personally testing this initial release right now and there is a way to go. For example, it is currently only available on iOS – Apple devices – through the Apple App Store. And this first version is only compatible with Gmail email accounts. I have no insider info, but they are obviously working to broaden to other email systems and to work on a version for Android devices as well.
So I am NOT saying that you should be out there promoting this tool to your customer base just yet. But that day is coming soon. If you are a store owner, have an iPhone and a Gmail account, and want to take a glimpse into the future, you can go here and install it for yourself.
The Best Part(s) of the Arrive App
Let me put on my economist hat for a second and summarize all the coolness.
- The Arrive App by Shopify has the potential to level the playing field a bit more by taking away a core advantage of the eCommerce behemoths.
- Customers of Shopify stores – and all online stores, really – will get an improved, more satisfying shopping experience.
- There is no additional charge to the store owners. If you send confirmation emails and your customer has the app, you get to play in this sandbox for free.
- Shopify is making no statements to this effect, but they have a real opportunity here as well. I am just speculating, but even though the Arrive App terms of service promise not to sell of share shopping and shipping data with outsiders, they should be able to glean some serious eCommerce Big Data analytics info for the habits of online shopper that will be, quite frankly, worth a truck-load of money and competitive advantage.
It feels like democratic eCommerce capitalism. I just do not see any downside here. Everyone will win EXCEPT the big online retail giants.
The Arrive App by Shopify Is Important for eCommerce
If this extra dose of coolness convinced you to open up your own Shopify eCommerce store, use this link and it will take you right where you need to go.That’s it for now. Remember that we’ve got two more cool Shopify platform developments to share, so subscribe to our mailing list so that you don’t miss anything. And as always, thanks for reading! Let us know if you need help with anything … heck, that’s what we do here.