Executive Briefing

Shopify’s uninspired vision of the future of shopping

And: The real challenge for Sweetgreen’s new Plates.

One of the iPhone apps I’ve been newly using every day during the Covid-19 quarantine has been Arrive, a clever app from Shopify, the fast-growing e-commerce storefront platform, which aggregates all of your e-commerce shipments so you can track deliveries.

It’s a bit of a ridiculous luxury — the heated toilet seat of online shopping — but also a nice, simple utility. The combination of ordering from all sorts of independent e-commerce stores over the past couple of months, plus less-than-usual reliability from package carriers, has made it a useful dashboard for keeping tabs on what’s coming any given day. Have the natural deodorant samples arrived? What about the chicken chips?

This week, Shopify renamed the app to Shop and gave it an expanded mission: “Your new shopping assistant.” It will still track your packages, but is also trying to be a shopping and discovery app, aggregating the places you’ve previously shopped and highlighting nearby stores.

It’s easy to see why Shopify thought this was a good idea:

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my twice-weekly, member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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