Shopify is the billion dollar business behind some of your favorite online stores.
When YouTube stars and fashion influencers Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson announced a limited-edition makeup collaboration in fall 2019, the potential for the sale to set records wasn’t hyperbole. Helmed by internet personalities with a combined 40 million-plus subscribers on the video platform and roughly 50 million more followers on other social media networks, then breathlessly promoted with nearly five hours of videos that drew more than 90 million viewers, the flash sale planned for the afternoon of November 1 was inevitably going to be massive.
Organizers recognized that it would be an event, and that it was going to need Shopify.
The Canadian-born e-commerce platform has become one of the most influential players in online retail. Currently more than 1 million merchants around the globe use the company’s technology to open their own digital storefronts and sell goods on the internet, creating a constellation of independent, and decentralized, stores (unlike marketplaces like eBay or Etsy). Even its massive infrastructure strained and temporarily broke under the weight of such a sale, however. Loren Padelford, head of Shopify Plus, the division that deals with larger merchants, called it “a perfect storm of pressure.”