Looking for an Amazon alternative? A free mobile app from Shopify wants to help consumers buy online from local businesses.
The app is simply called Shop, and it promises to help you discover new products from small businesses across the US. You can then place orders directly within the app, which can also update you on the delivery status.
“And because small businesses need us now more than ever, Shop also includes a local shopping feature to easily find and buy from neighborhood favorites,” the company said in today’s announcement.
The interface for Shop.
For years now, Shopify has been a back-end player in the e-commerce space. The Canadian company primarily offers a suite of software tools to help businesses sell goods online and process the orders. Now Shopify is trying to better connect consumers with the company’s 1 million merchants.
According to Shopify, the need is especially salient as the COVID-19 pandemic is shifting retail shopping online. “In a world of increasing physical separation, we want to help businesses deepen their connection with their customers and, over time, understand what they want to continue to build trust and loyalty,” the company said.
However, the app itself still needs some work. One of the big selling points to Shop is how it’ll presumably let you discover local businesses that are selling goods online. However, when PCMag tried the app, we weren’t offered any recommendations at all. Instead, the app only showed us a search bar, which we could use to find merchants by name. But there was no option to search via product category or through ZIP code.
We suspect Shopify is still rolling out features to the app, which is a rebrand of an existing delivery-tracking product called Arrive. We’ve reached out to the company, and we’ll update the story if we hear back. Shop is available for both Android and iOS.