Omnichannel platform Shopify on Thursday announced the opening of its first physical location, providing support to merchants and entrepreneurs.
The permanent location in Los Angeles features opportunities for support from staff and networking with fellow entrepreneurs, according to a company press release. Plans for the location were first announced in May.
Shopify's main support system is run via telephone and live chat twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the company also said. In-person support for merchants and entrepreneurs has also been given through events like Shop Class, Pursuit and Retail Tour.
Shopify has chosen LA for its first brick-and-mortar effort because of the large entrepreneurial force there, including its own customer base, which includes 10,000 Shopify merchants in that city alone, and 80,000 in California. The opening of a permanent location demonstrates the enduring power of human interaction, even among e-commerce players.
"LA is the ideal place for this initial in-person location because the area plays host to over 400 top-performing merchants who have each individually earned over $1 million in GMV," the company said in its release. More than 100 entrepreneurs registered for sessions in the first day of opening Thursday, the company said.
Shopify continues to expand its tools for merchants. Just this month, the company finished rolling out its Fraud Protect for Shopify Payments product. Shopify has also made several updates to its mobile offerings, including adding augmented reality features and naming ShopGate as an m-commerce platform. Over the summer, Shopify also launched a free mobile app to streamline conversations between merchants, connecting messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Rep.ai and Chatkit, as well as integrating Google Pay into its payment system.
The first photos of the brick-and-mortar concept depict an Apple-like community space with sparse merchandising and lots of open space. The aim of the location seems to be to foster creativity in a hangout space for entrepreneurs, as well as market its products and services.