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Breakpoint 2023: Shopify, Powered by Solana

A dive into how Solana-based payments are impacting e-commerce on platforms like Shopify, featuring insights from industry insiders.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!


At Breakpoint 2023, a panel discussed the burgeoning integration between Shopify and the Solana blockchain, outlining the potential benefits and challenges for e-commerce. The conversation featured insights from Gonzalo Gutierrez of Mad Lads & Backpack and Anthony Tori, founder of Motivo Media. They delved into their personal experiences of integrating Solana Pay with their online stores and discussed the future of blockchain technology in commerce. The panel highlighted the efficiencies created by blockchain payments, such as near-zero transaction fees and instant settlements, and advocated for deeper Web3 integrations that provide unique value over traditional Web2 applications.

Key Points:

The Integration of Solana Pay with Shopify

Gonzalo Gutierrez and Anthony Tori shared their experiences integrating Solana Pay with their e-commerce operations. Solana Pay is touted as a convenient option for Web3 savvy customers, offering immediate settlement and lower costs compared to traditional payment methods. The presenters highlighted how adopting Solana Pay has boosted their sales and simplified operations due to its efficiency and reduced fraud incidence.

The Evolving E-commerce Experience

The speakers discussed how their brands are leveraging Shopify and envision the future of e-commerce with blockchain. They expressed a desire for innovative features that properly utilize blockchain technology, beyond replicating existing Web2 features. Anthony Tori voiced his concerns about high transaction fees in traditional systems and called for a full embrace of blockchain potential to transform e-commerce, as well as a Shopify alternative that takes full advantage of blockchain benefits.

Development of New Commerce Features

The panel underscored the role developers can play in advancing blockchain in e-commerce. They suggested ideas such as advanced vending machine software, new commerce platforms, and loyalty programs that genuinely leverage blockchain capabilities. The speakers cited examples where developers can contribute, such as improving customer experience through NFT-based access to products or integrating loyalty programs with blockchain payment systems.

Recommendations for Merchants Considering Web3

The panelists encouraged merchants to learn about blockchain and consider integrating it into their business models. They suggested that starting small, such as setting up a cryptocurrency wallet and familiarizing oneself with Solana Pay, could lead to greater opportunities, emphasizing the importance of not getting left behind as technology evolves.

Facts + Figures

  • Solana Pay integrates with Shopify to enable cryptocurrency transactions directly on the e-commerce platform.
  • The integration offers immediate settlements, almost zero transaction fees, and eliminates issues like chargebacks.
  • For brands involved in blockchain and NFTs, like Mad Lads, this integration was heavily requested by their consumer base.
  • The adoption of Solana Pay led to a noticeable spike in sales for Mad Lads due to the benefits of paying in cryptocurrency.
  • Anthony Tori suggested rethinking vending machines' technology and business models to benefit more from blockchain integration.
  • He also proposed the creation of a Shopify alternative that fully capitalizes on blockchain capabilities while Solana Pay's adoption has been more impactful in physical retail settings like pop-up shops.
  • The panel noted that blockchain technology would improve once widely recognized figures or entities, such as Taylor Swift, utilize it in high-profile, public-facing applications like ticket sales.
  • Both companies have ambitious plans for 2024 that include new product launches, innovative digital experiences, and potential NFT collaborations.

Top quotes

  • "Solana Pay on Shopify was a very heavily requested feature because it's so convenient to just be able to do everything through crypto for our Web3 native audience."
  • "When I do pop-up shops or at the store, I'll give people like 10, 20% discounts if they use USDC."
  • "If you're going to adopt something like fully adopt it, don't just copy Shopify apps... and slap a blockchain badge on it."
  • "There is a very active side of the internet that has a relatively high income and relatively high brand loyalty that would absolutely embrace a Solana Pay integration."

Questions Answered

What is Solana Pay and how does it benefit merchants on Shopify?

Solana Pay is a payment integration for the Shopify platform, enabling merchants to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. It benefits merchants by providing instant access to funds, substantially lower transaction fees, and a reduced risk of fraud. This integration is particularly appealing to brands with a consumer base that's knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies and eager to utilize them for transactions.

Why are some merchants calling for a Shopify alternative?

Some merchants, such as Anthony Tori, believe that while Shopify has made strides in e-commerce, there's a need for a platform that embraces blockchain technology more fully. A Shopify alternative built with blockchain at its core could offer significant advantages, like lower fees, immediate settlement, and innovative features not possible in traditional e-commerce systems.

How do branded merchants view blockchain technology's future in commerce?

Merchants with brands closely tied to technology and innovation, like those represented at Breakpoint 2023, see blockchain as a transformative element for commerce. They anticipate that once blockchain payments become mainstream, possibly through endorsement by major public figures, customer awareness and acceptance will accelerate, leading to a surge in its use for various transactional purposes.

What is the suggestion for merchants regarding the adoption of Web3 technologies?

The speakers suggested that merchants should start getting familiar with Web3 technologies by taking simple steps like setting up a cryptocurrency wallet and understanding how transactions work. Even dedicating a small amount of time each day to learning about these technologies can prepare businesses for future opportunities and avoid being left behind as the technology becomes more prevalent.

Are there any specific improvements developers are asked to make on the existing Shopify and blockchain integrations?

Developers are encouraged to think beyond replicating Web2 features on blockchain and to innovate with new concepts unique to Web3. Improvements could include enhancing customer experiences through NFT-based gated access or creating entirely new commerce platforms optimized for blockchain transactions. These improvements should emphasize the unique benefits of blockchain to add more value than traditional platforms.