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Shopify Doubles Down on 'Buy' Buttons Despite Sluggish Start

Shopify announces new integrations to sell on Houzz, Wanelo and Ebates.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Last year certainly wasn’t the year of the “Buy” button that some envisioned, but Shopify is betting that 2016 could be.

The e-commerce company, which makes software that small businesses use to sell products online, is expanding the number of online sales channels its customers can sell through as shopping on mobile devices booms. The new channels include product discovery app Wanelo, home design site Houzz and coupon app Ebates; Shopify said that more are on the way.

“This is a continued bet on distributed commerce,” said Satish Kanwar, Shopify’s director of product.

The expansion follows Shopify’s previous work to let its merchants start selling directly on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, in addition to their own sites. But shopping on Pinterest got off to a slow start last year, and e-commerce efforts on Twitter and Facebook are still in early stages.

Still, Kanwar said Shopify believes that while some businesses will choose to sell mainly through their own sites, others will look to new mobile platforms on which consumers are increasingly spending their time. A quarter of Shopify’s customer base — about 60,000 small businesses — have so far integrated their product catalog with either Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, he said.

“A lot of this is hedging on what mobile commerce will look like at scale in the future,” Kanwar said. “The strategy here is really enablement.”

Shopify competitor Bigcommerce has also launched similar capabilities for selling on Twitter and Pinterest; payments firm Stripe wants to play in this space, too.

With the expansion, Shopify merchants will be able to choose products to sell on Wanelo, Houzz and Ebates from the same software dashboard they previously used. Shopify merchants have already had the ability to sell on Wanelo, but the previous integration took many more steps and did not allow them to choose which of their products to sell on the app, Kanwar said.

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