Shopify announces plan to expand to Wellington

by Jul 12, 20180 comments

Shopify expands in Wellington, New Zealand

Today Shopify announced plans to expand their presence in Wellington – and the APAC region – by creating 100 jobs in the city for Shopify “gurus”. What does this mean for business owners in Wellington? And how will this impact the region?

Aside from the huge economic impact of creating 100 jobs, this decision speaks volumes about the confidence businesses have in Wellington’s creative and technology sectors to deliver on an international scale.

It is likely Shopify’s decision has been influenced, at least in part, by the phenomenal growth in the number of New Zealand businesses who choose to use Shopify. Between 2016 to 2017 Shopify experienced growth of nearly 50% in New Zealand, mirroring similar anecdotal evidence we have seen in the industry.


Technology is a catalyst for growth

Before discussing the huge opportunities Shopify’s announcement present us, it is important to set the scene. The value of technology and the impact it can have on your business (and our economy) cannot be overstated. Technology allows for possibilities that were previously unthinkable and brings them to the forefront of our reality. Never before in history has there been such drastic innovation in a short period of time, allowing for enormous improvements in productivity and customer experience. The exciting part of this trend is that while the power of technology is rapidly increasing, it’s availability is also increasing.  The barriers to entry are being broken down one-by-one, and now almost anyone can start a business and sell products online with a few clicks of a mouse.

In New Zealand, 97% of all enterprises are classified as a small, and nearly a third of everyone employed works for a small enterprise. These stats are staggering, but the important connection here is that when a company like Shopify concentrates heavily on breaking down the barriers to entry and empowers these small enterprises to grow, we as a country stand to benefit.


What does this mean for the region?

Shopify could have easily chosen to expand their presence in Australia, but instead, they have picked Wellington, opening up a multitude of benefits for the region and the country.

The first benefit is one of the most obvious. Adding 100 new jobs in Wellington creates economic activity on its own and Shopify will be a welcome addition to the number of businesses that choose to operate in Wellington.

However, some of the other benefits are just as important. This decision shows confidence in the creative, technical, and entrepreneurial skillset of our community and is an endorsement of the culture that we embrace in the capital city. Shopify will also join an active throng of technology businesses based in the region, further enhancing Wellington’s start-up and technology industries.


What does this mean for E-commerce businesses?

Adding 100 more gurus to the Shopify team isn’t an insignificant amount. Shopify gurus are an integral part of the merchant experience and cover a wide range of technical and non-technical queries for businesses. Marcie Murray, director of global support at Shopify says that “our gurus are multi-talented and will handle anything, including helping people work out whether Shopify is the right for them, sorting out technical problems and helping them figure out how to make more sales. It is not just sales or support, or technical.”

The decision to base a large number of gurus in Wellington sounds great from a regional perspective, but it also represents sound strategic decisionmaking. New Zealand businesses are fast embracing new technology and boosting Shopify’s support presence with local and knowledgeable gurus will allow more businesses to join with the added confidence of being only a click or call away from help.

Choosing New Zealand to train more gurus may also have a positive impact on Australian merchants. Given we are usually at least two hours ahead of Australia (and up to four hours ahead of WA) Shopify will have access to more capacity in the region, being able to help Australian merchants before the business day even starts without uncomfortable shiftwork for the gurus in New Zealand.


What do you think?

This news is very exciting for merchants, agencies, technology companies, retail stores, and the public in general. We are very excited to see where these developments go and look forward to working closely with the new gurus in town.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments down below or by emailing [email protected] for feedback and questions

Further reading:

Disclaimer: This article is strictly the views and opinion of Hello Digital. It does not necessarily represent the views, opinions, or plans of Shopify or any of their partners.

About the author:

Angus Allan

Managing Director of Hello Digital

Angus is an experienced and passionate digital entrepreneur who has worked with clients around the world on a wide range of E-commerce and retail projects. Angus is excited about technology, change, and transformation, and has spoken about these topics, and more, at various events, workshops, and classes in New Zealand. As Hello Digital's Managing Director he oversees the day-to-day operations of the company and is the primary point of contact for our consulting clients and international partners.

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