Shopify teams up with Google to help UK consumers shop local in major platform update

The ecommerce giant has unveiled over 100 updates to its online sales platform in what it describes as a brand-new commerce model: Connect to Consumer (C2C).

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As the world of online shopping booms, ecommerce giant Shopify has unveiled a string of new updates designed to help local sellers.

The software platform says the upgrade will help its business users connect more closely with their customers, an idea which featured as one of our top trends for 2022 earlier this year.

Amongst the new updates is a partnership with Google to help people find and buy what they need more conveniently from local businesses.

Shopify unveiled the plans as part of the company’s new twice-yearly global product updates, Shopify Editions.

What is C2C?

Unlike the direct-to-consumer (D2C) phenomenon, Shopify describes the Connect to Consumer (C2C) model as an entirely new phase of commerce. Users will have full control of every potential touchpoint with consumers, encouraging greater business loyalty.

Our predictions for the top business ideas in 2022 listed connecting with customers as one of the most popular emerging trends for this year.

As the UK moved into – and then out of – lockdown, SMEs have proven their ingenuity by coming up with some creative solutions to interact with, and attract, audiences.

We highlighted tools like chatbots and AI-powered insights that are empowering small businesses to provide a specialist service to their customers. Now, Shopify is also tapping into the trend.

Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, Shopify EMEA says: “Shopify is betting on C2C as the next era of commerce, one that moves beyond the traditional e-commerce and high street divide. It’s a new era in which any British business that gets to grips with cultivating a community around their brand will thrive.”

Shopify gives greater support to local businesses

Data from marketing company SEMRush shows that online users search for local businesses an average of 299,000 times per month.

In collaboration with Google, Shopify has announced a new inventory sync feature to help SMEs take advantage of consumer interest in local firms.

Merchants will be able to automatically let nearby customers know when a product is available in store by listing its availability on the search engine. Shopify claims this will make it easier than ever to shop and support local brands.

What else is included in the update?

As well as its new inventory tool, created in partnership with Google, Shopify has launched ‘Tokengated Commerce’ to enable buyers to connect their crypto wallets to UK retailers.

The platform is also expanding a suite of B2B (business-to-business) management tools to Shopify Plus merchants. Sellers will be able to access Shopify’s powerful customisation features and manage all aspects of their commerce business in one place.

Excitingly, merchants will be able to customise their online store in a way that Shopify previously didn’t allow. ‘Shopify Functions’ is a new tool that lets developers extend or replace Shopify’s backend logic with custom code.

How good is Shopify for selling online?

First launched in 2006, Shopify comes out on top in half of the performance categories we’ve looked at in our research, and is never far behind in others.

Because of this, it’s our second-favourite ecommerce website builder for SMEs, and scored 4.6 out of 5 overall in our top six categories including sales features, help and support tools, ease of use, and design functionality.

Shopify’s superb features and extensive app market give ambitious ecommerce businesses everything they need to scale rapidly.
  • FREE TRIAL 14-day free trial
  • PRICE FROM Approx £21 per month
  • Preempts and predicts what a merchant might need next in all aspects of creating a website
  • Best range of apps and extensions
  • Perfect for dropshipping
Summary Shopify is perfect for users looking for that all in one online store solution. Its ability to predict what a merchant will need next when creating a website is a brilliant feature, and its countless apps give you complete control over your business, enabling you to grow through diverse multi channel integration options and automated SMS and email marketing. It is definitely better suited to store owners with complex, larger inventories and because there are fewer built in features, using the platform can get expensive compared to other feature-filled competitors like Squarespace and Wix.
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We think Shopify is an excellent choice for small businesses, whether you’re building an online store, or just looking to market your brand.

New users can test out the platform with the 14-day free Shopify trial or, get started on Basic Shopify, the platform’s lowest-priced tier, for around £21 per month.

To learn more, read our full review of the Shopify platform. is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free advice and reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Helena Young
Helena Young Senior Writer

Helena "Len" Young is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has also previously written for a popular fintech startup.

Included in her topics of interest and expertise are tax legislation, the levelling up agenda, and organisational software including CRM and project management systems. As well as this, she is a big fan of the films of Peter Jackson.

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