Shopify’s App Challenge Battles COVID-19 With Entrepreneurship

Developers can win up to $20,000 for innovative apps that support businesses during the pandemic.

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Need to Know

  • Shopify has launched the Shopify App Challenge, a new initiative to support merchants struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The challenge calls for app developers to find innovative solutions to support businesses during this time.
  • This program is the latest of many measures the tech giant has taken to support the challenges faced by merchants right now.

Analysis

In an effort to support businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Shopify has introduced the Shopify App Challenge—with the chance to win up to $20,000. 

As the current retail climate continues to create new challenges for business owners, Shopify wants to support merchants by building or improving apps that will help them adjust to doing business amid the “new normal.”

Skilled developers are invited to lend their skills to find new and innovative solutions to the problems Shopify merchants are facing right now. A panel of judges will select the winners, who will share a pool of $100,000 and can earn up to $20,000 per app. 

“The onset of COVID-19 has changed the way local businesses must run,” Shopify wrote on the challenge’s webpage. “Over four weeks, this challenge aims to empower the Shopify developer community, and to focus your creative and technical efforts on critical problem areas.”

Some of the app ideas Shopify is looking for include tools that will help shift in-person businesses to the online world, that will create ways for merchants to sell more online, or that can provide improved delivery or pick-up options. 

The Ottawa-based tech giant has launched several initiatives to support retailers’ battle against COVID-19. They recently “added $200 million to Shopify Capital, its fund which supports its merchants with small loans, to support impacted businesses.” 

Shopify has also released its latest email marketing feature early, in order to provide even more support to businesses that may be struggling. Shopify Email allows merchants to control the creation and tracking of email marketing campaigns. Shopify has made the feature free to all merchants until October 1, 2020.

The company’s CEO and his wife have also pivoted their philanthropic organization’s efforts from climate change to finding tech solutions to help fight the pandemic, donating over $5 million to the cause.

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