Shopify Unveils AI-Powered Fulfillment Network

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Shopify, an eCommerce company, has announced a number of products and services meant to enhance merchant experience with the company, according to a report by VentureBeat.

Along with its new Shopify Plus for enterprise, a new POS software and new tools for developers, the company introduced an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered fulfillment network.

The Shopify Fulfillment Network offers two-day shipping, and is available today (June 19). Qualifying merchants can apply to use the service.

“We assess merchants on a case by case basis depending on their product types and fulfillment needs,” Shopify Chief Product Officer Craig Miller said about what type of merchants will qualify. “The goal is to offer Shopify Fulfillment Network to Shopify merchants of all sizes. At launch, we’ll be offering our services primarily to small and medium sized businesses who are currently using a third-party logistics provider that are unable to fully meet their needs, in addition to merchants who have outgrown their existing fulfillment processes.”

The network is aimed toward merchants who ship from 10 to 10,000 packages a day with the hopes of supporting 3 to 30,000 a day merchants eventually.

The fulfillment network uses machine learning to make sure deliveries are on time and to also lower costs associated with shipping.

“Our machine learning capabilities predict demand, inventory allocation, and route orders to the closest fulfillment center,” Miller said. “Inputs include the locations of our merchants, product details, consumer locations, and shopping behavior.”

The company also introduced a new version of Shopify Plus, which is the “white glove” service for large and high-volume merchants. It will allow for a single view of the entire business and tools aimed to “facilitate a consistent experience” throughout all stores and a way to make it easier to create new ones.

Shopify’s next generation POS software is a handheld “Tap & Chip Case” that allows customers to make a payment anywhere in the store. The new version is going to be “faster, more intuitive, and more scalable.” The company also is introducing cross-border selling, and it has support for 11 languages. Merchants who use Shopify Payments can sell in multiple currencies while getting paid in their own, with prices automatically converted and tied to daily exchange rates.

“We saw significant growth with our merchants looking to expand internationally and in Q1 2019, international growth was our fastest-growing customer segment, with total merchant sales (GMV) from international nearly doubling,” Miller said. “Our initial launch includes AUD, EUR, JPY, SGD, USD, CAD, HKD, NZD, and GBP. These are the currencies that we are seeing the most traction from a cross-border selling perspective. We look to expand this list in the future.”

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