Shopify on Wednesday introduced several new and updated products to its platform. The product launch announcements took place at Reunite, the company's first virtual event.
Shopify Balance, which will launch later this year, will give merchants an account where they can manage their cash flow, pay bills and track expenses. It will also include a Shopify Balance Card — a virtual and physical card that businesses can use to access their money, and earn rewards for their business expenses.
Shopify is also launching "Shop Pay Installments," a buy now, pay later option at checkout that will give customers the option to split purchases into four equal payments over time. The payments are interest free and come with no additional fees, according to the company.
Add Shopify to the list of businesses facilitating installment payments for consumers. Over the past few years, platforms like Afterpay and Klarna have also allowed customers to pay in increments. It's a service that can potentially help land sales in a time of economic uncertainty.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many retailers to temporarily close their physical stores, leading to a 16% decline in overall sales in the month of April. Shopify said in its announcement that its new features are aimed at helping its over one million merchants adapt their businesses during the outbreak.
"These are unprecedented times. This is going to be one of the most challenging chapters in all of our lives. But entrepreneurs are the kind of people who make the most out of what they've got. They're the people who can see opportunity when everyone else sees despair," Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke said in a statement.
In addition to Shopify Balance and Shop Pay Installments, the company also announced the rollout of a new local delivery product for merchants. The service will help sellers define a local delivery area, set local delivery fees and minimum order prices, and send customers notifications when deliveries are en route. The company also pointed to its recent partnership with Facebook, which introduced Facebook Shops this week so merchants could build branded versions of their online store via Instagram and Facebook.
The rollout of these new features is the latest move Shopify has made to improve services for merchants. In late April, the company introduced Shop, a mobile shopping assistant app, and last year the business rolled out a new series of point-of-sale devices.
Other tech platforms have unveiled new tools and resources to help companies transition to e-commerce during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond. In mid-April, Builder.ai debuted pre-packaged apps for small and mid-sized businesses that quickly transition their companies to digital. In early April, eBay pledged $100 million to support small businesses and debuted an accelerator program for merchants moving into e-commerce.