Today, over 200 million people are subscribed to Netflix. It seems like just yesterday consumers anxiously awaited the movies they ordered to arrive in the mail for temporary enjoyment. It’s probably hard for Gen Z kids to even grasp having to wait 48 hours to watch a movie they picked, but we’re alive and well to tell the tale today.
Netflix is leveraging its vast subscriber base by announcing a new online store, as well as plans for a comedy festival next year. The company is preparing a clothing line and live events tied to “Bridgerton,” as well as events and consumer products for new seasons of “La Casa de Papel,” “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things.”
The company will be selling caps, necklaces, charms and hoodies, all of it for sale at Netflix.shop. This is a move that marks the world’s biggest streaming company’s first major foray into eCommerce.
The shopping site gives Netflix a new way to bring in cash after a quarter in which its explosive growth showed signs of slowing in the increasingly crowded field of streamed entertainment. The company has also been cracking down on shared passwords. They’re no longer fond of your old college roommate, grandma, and Uncle Sal’s new wife all sharing a Netflix account.
One of the most exciting draws of the new store will be “Lupin,” the buzzy French crime show about an expert thief. This show will be the main feature on the site towards the end of the month. In addition to baseball caps, T-shirts, hoodies and sweaters, the “Lupin”-related merchandise will include throw pillows ($60 apiece) and a side table ($150), all of it designed and produced in collaboration with the Louvre museum.
Bloomberg points out that as Netflix tries to compete with Disney on a global scale, it is trying to create franchises that can have the same impact on culture as "Star Wars" or "Toy Story." Will shows like Bridgerton and Lupin fill that spot? Only time will tell.
Shopify has taken an important step in becoming the preferred checkout for all merchants. Starting with Facebook and Instagram later this summer and followed by Google in late 2021, Shop Pay will be available to over one million merchants on both platforms, and the kicker is that they don’t even have to be using Shopify’s store.
This marks the first product that Shopify has made available to merchants who don’t use Shopify to manage their store.
The move comes after Shop Pay became available to Shopify merchants selling on Facebook back in February 2021, and available to Shopify merchants selling on Google in May 2021. So accessibility has surely been on the horizon for the platform for quite some time.
Per Shopify’s press release the merchant benefits of Shop Pay include:
By bringing Shop Pay to all merchants regardless of the commerce platform they use, Shopify is making checkout more accessible to independent brands at a time when finding and converting customers has never been more important.
As eCommerce continues to heat up, and Amazon continues on its upward trajectory, ease of payment and accessibility are keys to increasing market share. The expansion also comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that, to date, Shopify has invested $350 million in Stripe (see next story), meaning that Shopify has quite a few moves up its sleeve to make it the most profitable and trusted platform for sellers.
It’s been a wild few weeks for Shopify. But one of the most important moves the company has made is their reported investment into San Francisco-based FinTech startup Stripe, which processes payments for eCommerce businesses.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Shopify, Capital Group, Sequoia Capital, Silver Lake, and others invested about $1 billion USD in Stripe. This follows the firm’s recent move giving investors the opportunity to acquire huge stakes in the company from existing shareholders, including current and former Stripe employees. These bids reached over a staggering $4 billion (with a B), but only $1 billion was filled through the tender offer that closed last month.
This isn’t the first time Shopify has pumped a substantial sum into an important partner: Shopify has also recently backed San Francisco-based ‘buy now-pay later’ FinTech company Affirm, which it partners with to offer more accessible installment financing capabilities to Shopify merchants. Affirm went public earlier this year in a $1.2 billion initial public offering (IPO), giving Shopify a nearly $2 billion windfall.
Shopify also recently acquired the team behind Primer, an Oakland-based augmented reality home design app. While the exact terms of the deal haven’t been made public, Primer’s app and service will shut down on July 10 as part of the deal, and its team is set to join Shopify.
What does this mean for the future of Shopify? It’s too early to tell, but the constant acquisition of accessible, far-reaching companies hints at even more expansion for the future of the company. A future that could potentially position the company at an advantage over its competitors, specifically ones that were started by a dude named Jeff.
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