#21: E-Commerce Insights with Harley Finkelstein, CPO of Shopify

Where is the E-commerce market at right now? This week I got Shopify’s Chief Platform Officer Harley Finkelstein to discuss the origins of Shopify, industry trends, and what makes a business successful from overseeing 30,000+ E-Commerce stores. You can follow Harley on Twitter at @hfizzle and his personal website at www.harleyf.com.

Topics Discussed:

  • 03:10 – Origins of the Shopify platform
  • 03:40 – Market positioning of Shopify
  • 04:50 – Giving up a legal career to join a startup
  • 05:20 – How easy is it to start on Shopify?
  • 06:30 – Where is Shopify at now?
  • 06:50 – Retail sales vs eCommerce sales in North America
  • 07:30 – How eCommerce will impact physical retail in the future
  • 08:30 – E-Commerce and the technology adoption curve
  • 10:30 – Democratization of online retail
  • 11:50 – Common themes in successful stores on Shopify
  • 12:45 – The two biggest categories of stores on Shopify
  • 14:20 – Kickstarter and Shopify
  • 15:00 – Being the authority in your market
  • 16:20 – The boutique shopping experience offline and online
  • 17:10 – General background of Shopify users
  • 18:00 – Biggest pain points with new store owners
  • 19:45 – Creating loops in your marketing to grow sales
  • 20:05 – Shopify’s view of mobile commerce
  • 20:30 – “Snacking” on your mobile during downtime
  • 21:15 – Shopify’s mobile platform for store owners
  • 22:20 – The uncertain future of big box retail
  • 24:00 – Six months is the new six years
  • 24:20 – Will same day shipping be disruptive?
  • 25:10 – Is free shipping a standard now?
  • 25:30 – What makes Shopify stand out from the competition?
  • 27:35 – Open source vs hosted E-Commerce platforms
  • 28:25 – Shopify businesses that you should check out



Mentions in the Episode:


Episode Length: 32:17


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  1. Really interesting thanks! I’ve posted a comment on LinkedIn as well as my blog recommending people listen to this episode which I found really interesting and informative. But I would also like to know what is Harley’s trick to breath control? – is he like an Australian Aboriginee playng the didgeree do and can breathe in through the nose and out throught the mouth without breaking the sound … I stand in awe of someone that could talk so much without appearing to pause to breathe in! http://whowouldbelieveit888.blogspot.com.au

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