Shopify inks deal with Walmart in bid to expand reach in U.S.

Shopify sign

One of Canada’s most valuable companies is partnering with the world’s largest retailer in a bid to expand its e-commerce reach south of the border.

Ottawa-based Shopify (TSX:SHOP) said Monday it has inked a deal with Walmart to allow its merchants across the United States to sell their wares on the big-box department store giant’s website. 

Shopify says more than 120 million Americans visit Walmart.com every month and its new deal with the company will enable merchants to get their products in front of these buyers to expand their sales.

“By partnering with Walmart, we will be able to connect merchants with consumers across America within a trusted marketplace, helping merchants drive new sales while consumers discover new products they’ll love,” Satish Kanwar, Shopify’s vice-president of product, said in a statement on the company’s website. 

“Our expertise in multi-channel commerce, combined with Walmart’s reach, will allow us to create better online shopping experiences for merchants and consumers alike.”

Shopify expects 1,200 merchants to be selling products through Walmart's marketplace by the end of the year. The Walmart partnership comes a month after Shopify teamed up with Facebook to allow merchants to create a customized online storefront for Facebook and Instagram.

The deals are just the latest announcements in what’s been a busy few months for Shopify as the company steps up its efforts to broaden its service lines and compete head-to-head with e-commerce behemoth Amazon.

Last month, the Ottawa-based firm ​– which recently made headlines when it announced it was permanently moving to a remote-first work strategy for most of its employees ​– said it was planning to unveil a new line of financial services products that will include physical or virtual cards merchants can use to deposit and withdraw money from ATMs or pay for merchandise online. 

Shopify has also introduced a spate of new product offerings this spring designed to make it easier for traditional brick-and-mortar stores to use its technology. 

Last month it debuted a tap- and chip-card reader that will allow Canadian retailers using its new point-of-sale technology to accept “tap” payments from consumers using debit and credit cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

Earlier this spring, Shopify unveiled a revamped point-of-sale system that allows merchants to create specific instructions for curbside pickup and released a new app designed to allow customers to search for local businesses, buy merchandise and track their orders all in one place.

Meanwhile, Shopify has also been working on developing a network of fulfilment centres to help U.S. merchants lower shipping costs and ensure timely deliveries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a boon for Shopify as more consumers turn to its merchants to shop online during widespread lockdowns. Last month, the firm briefly passed RBC to become the most valuable publicly traded company in Canada.

Shopify shares were up more than five per cent to $1,061.09 in late morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

​– With files from the Canadian Press