E-commerce platform specialist Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) made some important product announcements on Wednesday morning. The game-changing new features sent shares nearly 8% higher, putting the stock at an all-time high.
The event included a number of key announcements, from a redesigned online store to an updated Shopify Plus platform. But the biggest announcement is one that puts Shopify in direct competition with Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN). No wonder investors were upbeat.
Here's some of what Shopify unveiled.
Image source: Shopify.
A new Shopify Plus
Building on its success with enterprise customers, the company overhauled its Shopify Plus platform, its e-commerce platform for enterprise clients. The new platform is focused on empowering merchants to manage their businesses from a 10,000-foot view, giving them more control and visibility across multiple stores.
"The new Shopify Plus gives decision makers key information across all of their stores, providing greater control of users and permissions, store additions, settings, cross-shop navigation, and more," Shopify said in a press release.
Another key area of emphasis in the latest updates are features that make selling internationally easier than ever. Besides introducing 11 new language capabilities, it debuted a new Translations API, an application programming interface for translating buyer-facing content. "These enhancements allow business owners to sell with a consistent shopping experience in multiple languages," Shopify said.
An updated online store
It also redesigned its online store experience. The new online store focuses on making it "even easier for merchants to customize the look and feel of their store to meet the evolving expectations of shoppers, without editing the code," Shopify said. Updates include videos and 3D models of products and the ability to offer subscriptions directly within Shopify's checkout.
Going head-to-head with Amazon
The biggest news Wednesday was undoubtedly the company's decision to launch a fulfillment network. Initially only available to early access customers, the U.S.-based network will give merchants access to a network of fulfillment centers across the country where Shopify will pack and ship goods.
Powering its fulfillment centers is machine learning that will help predict the closest fulfillment centers to orders and optimize inventory quantities, ultimately minimizing delivery costs. In addition, the fulfillment network will put its merchants' brand and customer experience "front and center," Shopify said.
Interestingly, Shopify has a good value proposition to stand on its own against Amazon. Unlike Amazon, the e-commerce platform isn't competing with its own merchants by bringing to market private-label brands. Shopify merchants get access to an objective fulfillment network whose interests are directly aligned with theirs.
The news comes on the heels of the company's better-than-expected first quarter, adding more momentum to its strong run.
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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.