Shopify wants to #killthecheckout; why stop there? #killthewebsite


The next time you are at an airport, or any densely populated area for that matter — look around. You will notice a lot of things; the smell of the air, wind perhaps, what the person next to you is wearing, or in my case the fact that 6 of 10 people under the age of 17 only use a tablet or mobile device. An even more staggering realization is that “Generation Z” is leading the way for the complete abandonment of millennial-ages’ most prized possession, the personal computer. Lending one to believe, could the website be next?

I recently sampled a cohort; 17 year old males and females. They were asked to answer the following series of questions:

  1. Do you only use your tablet or mobile?
  2. Why don’t you use a laptop or desktop computer?
  3. Do you shop and/or engage in all of your social channels on your tablet or phone?
  4. Do you care if you shop on a computer or in a mall?
  5. Do you know Alexa, and what she does?

The answers were profound! For each of the questions, 70–80% of the answers remained consistent and were the following:

  1. Yes.
  2. I don’t care to.
  3. Yes.
  4. I don’t care.
  5. Split decision: a. You can talk to it and it talks back, like Siri. b. We use it all the time for Amazon.

My favorite part of the cohort was the following answer, “I don’t care.” In fact, Koski Research recently conducted a study, asking Gen Z’s similar questions. They asked them, “What do you prefer your generation to be called?” 26% answered, “I don’t care”. The second leading answer? “Digitals.” Reinforcing that they don’t really care what they are called, how they are perceived, or what they should abide by. When you try to debate them on it, they reminded you of how they really feel:

Additionally, in recent weeks, Shopify’s Head of Payments, Andre Lyver, has stated, “We want to kill the checkout … they have overstayed their welcome.” I couldn’t agree more! In fact, I strongly believe that we should #killthewebsite altogether. Rob LoCascio at Crunchbase, also agrees.

Here is why:

  1. Seamless and secure mobile checkout.
  2. Content is absorbed in micro-bursts via social media.
  3. Commerce is becoming and will be conversational.
  4. The future, they literally do not care where they shop.

Seamless and secure mobile checkout

For starters, get outside, not outside your home but outside the country. Specifically in emerging markets or mobile first countries like China. True fact, some countries missed the personal computing boat altogether. In the Middle East, Mastercard is literally creating an entirely cashless way of living. Which leads me to Crypto! I will not get into what I believe the payments will be in 20 years, but it could potentially lead to a modern day Star Wars. I use the following to describe:

Content is absorbed in micro-bursts via social media

Let’s face it, who can really pay attention for more than 30 seconds? Jack Dorsey does not get enough credit in how Twitter revolutionized how mico-content is better absorbed. Moreover, Instagram, Snapchat, and should send Dorsey a residual check for validating that humans need their content in snippets. The reality is that most under 21 year olds rely on these applications, and networks, as a source of truth and news updates. Whether that is for fashion, music, politics, or sports; these channels are the mediums in which people connect with the latest content/news.

Commerce is becoming and will be conversational

If you do not already use Alexa or Siri, you are probably one of the people that will be in awe once you see voice-controlled devices become a leading influence and channel for shopping. Amazon is not only paving the way, they are actually incentivizing its Prime users with discounts at Whole Foods for leveraging their voice-controlled devices for ordering. Simply put, do not be like Sonos and lose out on not getting with the “voice program”.

The future, they literally do not care where they shop

As mentioned at the start, the future generations do not care how, where, or from who they shop from. This includes not just online versus offline, yesterday’s legacy brand or a new digitally native one; this is a fundamental shift in how things get done. What they do care about is how easy it is for them to get what they want, when they want it, and the manner in which it was received. Which better be cool too! #consumerdemandisreal


In summary, these things shouldn’t scare you; you should already be scared. Moreover, as the title says, Shopify can #killthecheckout but the reality is, the world is going to #killthewebsite. Brands need to realize that laggers and slow movers just won’t cut it, look at how the market is eating up once acclaimed retail titans. Breakfast. Lunch. and Dinner. Moral of the story? Be innovative; more importantly, think about customer attrition, your competition, and how you will remain relevant in a world where you may not even need a #checkout or #website next year.

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