Shopify Plus’s Rhys Furner On Ecommerce, Standing Out And This Year’s B&T Awards

Shopify Plus’s Rhys Furner On Ecommerce, Standing Out And This Year’s B&T Awards

With 2020 bringing with it social distancing and global lockdowns, businesses around the world are embracing ecommerce like never before.

But creating effective and scalable ecommerce solutions can be challenging, particularly when there is an urgent need.

“COVID has pushed a lot of brands to quickly make ecommerce options available for their customers,” said Shopify Plus Head of Partnerships & Sales Development Rhys Furner. 

Shopify Plus is a product which essentially allows merchants, retailers and brands to really quickly launch an ecommerce offering. 

“They can connect with their customers directly through it, they can manage the complexity quite easily, instead of focusing on the technology itself.”

As an ecommerce platform, Shopify Plus is all about helping brands launch their ecommerce offering without a heavy reliance on IT and with less of the ‘heavy lifting’ that is associated with implementing such products.

At a global level, Shopify has over a million merchants on the platform, and here in Australia, Shopify Plus powers brands such as JB Hi-Fi, Aje, Culture Kings and M.J. Bale.

Getting your strategy right

With online sales continuing to grow by the day, now is the time for brands to ensure they are getting their ecommerce strategy right, explained Furner.

“Most brands have adopted ecommerce as a defensive play rather than an offensive play, which we think is a huge mistake,” he said.

“If you think on the offensive, you can focus on innovation, you can eliminate problems before they have a chance to appear. You can actively seek out these potential problems and squash them before they become an issue, instead of wasting valuable time and resources handling them.”

Furner also urged brands to create an ecommerce strategy that is inclusive of the entire business. 

“Customers see you as one brand,” he said. “They don’t see you as silos. They don’t care if they’re buying from you in-store, online or through Instagram. 

“They want and demand that same consistent experience. So brands really need to ask themselves: ‘from the moment a customer experiences your brand and they go through your checkout, are you being consistent in delivering that experience that they want?’”

B&T Awards

Speaking about Shopify Plus as a business, Furner provided a simple summation.

“We provide the technology that lets creative people remove the barriers and really do their best work,” he said.

It is this commitment to supporting creativity in the industry that has seen Shopify Plus come on board as the Headline Sponsor for this year’s B&T Awards.

With the theme of this year’s awards being ‘Stand Out’, Furner explained how this message aligns with the way Shopify Plus operates.

“We love working with creative agencies and intelligent people who really challenge the status quo and look to do things a bit differently. I think that edge space is where we all grow and really change the game. 

“The fact that B&T is all about rewarding those agencies who are standing out and changing the game is where we see a lot of alignment for us as a product.”

Taking risks

Given the rapid pace of change that the industry has experienced throughout 2020, Furner said this year’s new category, the B&T Award For Bravery, is a perfect fit.

“There’s decades where not much progress happens, but there’s weeks where decades of progress happens – and 2020 was that year where we literally saw decades of progress and a completely changing consumer mindset,” Furner said.

“It required a lot of innovative thinking around how we engage with the customer in that digital mindset.

“I think that the ability to take risks was amplified this year, and those that did it in a calculated way, around the changing mindset of the customer, would have done really well.” 


About Shopify Plus: We simplify the complex with commerce technology that’s both powerful and easy to use. We make the tools you need to evolve, scale and thrive – fast. We give you the freedom to experiment and expand your brand in game-changing ways. 

You know retail, we know tech. We’re Shopify Plus

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