Shopify to step up fulfilment with acquisition of warehouse automation player

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A Canadian multi-channel commerce firm, Shopify are set to beef up their fulfilment network with a scheduled acquisition of a warehouse automation solution, 6 River Systems, Inc.

In June, the platfrom introduced the Shopify Fulfillment Network, a powerful and trusted fulfilment network that will ensure timely deliveries, lower shipping costs, and provide superb customer experience for merchants and their customers. The acquisition is a key step to accelerate its growth, while 6 River Systems will also continue to build and sell their solution for warehouses.

“Shopify is taking on fulfilment the same way we’ve approached other commerce challenges, by bringing together the best technology to help everyone compete.”

“With 6 River Systems, we will bring technology and operational efficiencies to companies of all sizes around the world.”
– Tobi Lütke, chief executive officer, Shopify.

With the acquisition of 6 River Systems, Shopify will add a team with decades of experience in fulfilment software and robotics, including experienced leaders from Kiva Systems, now Amazon Robotics. Adding 6 River Systems’ cloud-based software and collaborative mobile robots called “Chuck” to the Shopify Fulfillment Network will increase the speed and reliability of warehouse operations, by empowering on-site associates with daily tasks, including inventory replenishment, picking, sorting and packing.

“By joining Shopify, we’re changing the game of fulfilment. Together, we will help thousands of businesses improve their fulfilment operations, with an easy-to-learn solution that can more than double productivity and improves accuracy.”
– Jerome Dubois, co-chief executive officer and co-founder, 6 River Systems.

2 Responses

  1. This is a *true* game changer for Shopify.

    Shopify has:

    1) Surpassed eBay’s market cap and is expected to surpass eBay’s GMV(!)

    2) The 6 River System’s leadership are prior Kiva (now Amazon Robotics). These are true experts, not some random 3PL or robotics outfit.

    3) Shopify is bringing in significant warehouse & robotics automation and domain expertise in-house (a-la Amazon), whereas in eBay’s asset-free model, eBay simply operates as another intermediary middleman outsourcing operations to 3rd parties with eBay’s managed delivery fulfillment solution.

  2. Shopify has surely upped their game and now directly competing with Amazon. Along with intuitive platform which also has integrations with many shipping carriers like UPS, DHL, Canada Post, Shopify has zoomed ahead of WooCommerce or Magento. However, we have to see how Amazon reacts to it and if there is a change in behaviour from direct competitors.

    There may be a few things which Shopify has to take care when it is competing with the likes of Amazon :
    – Cost of fulfilment. It has to match with what Amazon is offering
    – How seamlessly Shopify warehouses are integrated to the existing Shopify platform. If the usage is intuitive, then Amazon is in deep trouble
    – They would have to come up with a new deal with carrier companies.


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