Shopify acquires 6 River Systems’ robotic army to strengthen their Fulfillment Network

Amazon may have more competition soon after Shopify’s acquisition of 6 River Systems, maker of cloud-based fulfillment software and mobile robots

6 River Systems
6 River Systems gets acquired by Shopify

In June 2019, Shopify announced the launch of its Shopify Fulfillment Network at its Unite partner conference and they positioned it as a direct competitor to Fulfillment by Amazon. To compete with Amazon, Shopify knows that they will need to become as efficient, automated, and scalable as possible. Those needs led them to their acquisition of 6 River Systems, a company with decades of experience in fulfillment software and robotics.

Shopify will be incorporating 6 River Systems’ cloud-based fulfillment software and mobile robots to help increase the speed and reliability of warehouse operations, by empowering on-site associates with daily tasks, including inventory replenishment, picking, sorting and packing. Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify, said his goal is to bring together the best technology to help everyone compete.

Chuck Robot
6 River Systems’ mobile robot “Chuck”

The timing may be good for Shopify because it’s widely reported that the FTC is conducting an anti-trust investigation into Amazon’s business practices. As Ben Fox Rubin reported in CNET, smaller merchants have complained that Amazon tends to copy their products by making private-label versions of them, making it harder for them to compete on Amazon's marketplace. Unlike Amazon, Shopify doesn’t compete against its customers. That distinction, along with strategic acquisitions like 6 River Systems, may end up making the Shopify Fulfillment Network a better option for sellers.

Editor’s Note: The Coywolf online store runs on Shopify at coywolf.shop. However, I do not have a relationship with Shopify. This story is being reported because it’s newsworthy.

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Jon is the founder and Managing Editor of Coywolf. He has over 25 years of experience in web development, SaaS, internet strategy, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. Follow @henshaw