Tech meme wars: Shopify takes a shot at Amazon over alleged copycat products

GeekWire illustration.

The battle between Amazon and Shopify is a little juicier now.

Shopify’s cheeky social media team – or, if you will, SaaSy – fired up some pointy tweets this week asking Amazon in subtle and not-so-subtle ways to supposedly make copycat products.

The tweets appear to be in response to a video posted Wednesday by travel and camera bag maker Peak Design that mocked Amazon Basics about a bag suspiciously like a bag that Peak Design sells called the Everyday Sling. It’s not the first time a company that sells on Amazon has surveyed Amazon because they made a cheaper discount.

amazon: I will not counterfeit your product

– Shopify (@Shopify) March 5, 2021

alexa, define “amazon basic”

– Shopify (@Shopify) March 3, 2021

“Corporate meme warfare has begun,” noted Bloomberg columnist Tae Kim.

Amazon has long said it doesn’t take advantage of its huge marketplace operator to compete with third-party vendors on the platform. However, an April 2020 research by the Wall Street Journal found that Amazon employees used seller data when considering new private label products.

We asked Amazon for a comment and will update the story if we hear something.

Amazon vs. Shopify: What the tech giant’s latest deal says about its bigger retail ambitions

The growing rivalry between Amazon and Shopify adds another layer to Shopify’s zing this week.

Shopify is a leader in a growing industry of online services, providing technologies that enable small businesses to operate ecommerce websites and process payments. The Canada-based company saw sales jump 86% to $ 2.9 billion last year. This has been accelerated by the acceleration of e-commerce and the creation of online businesses by more people in the pandemic.

Shopify and Amazon are different – customers don’t buy products on, for example – but they are competitors in many ways as they serve both small businesses and online retailers.

The recent acquisition of Selz by Amazon, a 7-year-old startup helping entrepreneurs sell products online, signals its ambitions to go beyond its own e-commerce platform to power stand-alone third-party websites and integrate them into one Jump into the new realm of online commerce and go head to head with the likes of Shopify and BigCommerce

Amazon’s third-party service revenue rose 57% to $ 27.3 billion in the vacation quarter, and represented 21% of the company’s total revenue.

When asked in 2019 about the possible rivalry between the two companies, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke rejected the thought, but noted that “Amazon is trying to build an empire and Shopify is trying to arm the rebels.”

Side note: The subject of the meme that Shopify tweeted is actress Kathryn Hahn, who previously starred in “I Love Dick” and “Transparent” … on Amazon.

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