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).

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young is reader supported – we may earn a commission from our recommendations, at no extra cost to you and without impacting our editorial impartiality.

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.

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.

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 their Google business profile. 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 3-day free trial
  • PRICE FROM £19 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.
Show moreless

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 3-day free Shopify trial or, get started on Basic Shopify, the platform’s lowest-priced tier, for £19 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 reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top