Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) attempts to make engaging in e-commerce as easy as possible for its small and mid-sized business customers. It does that in part by taking the work out of adding services to the websites which use its platform.

Now, the company has made a deal to bring UPS (NYSE: UPS) to its platform. Shopify's customers will now have easy access to pre-negotiated shipping rates both domestically and abroad that are lower than UPS's standard offer. Shopify customers will also get access to a streamlined shipping and fulfillment solution.

"By embedding UPS natively into Shopify's platform, merchants will get the breadth and reliability of UPS's services to more than 220 countries and territories, while easily managing all aspects of shipping and fulfillment in one place," said UPS Vice President Jerome Roberts in a press release. "Shopify merchants now have access to UPS's industry-leading tools and can provide the same high-quality services as large e-commerce companies."

What does this mean?

Shopify's platform is designed to take the development work out of building an e-commerce site. In theory, it gives small and mid-size companies the tools they need to compete with bigger players.

A fast, convenient shipping solution is one more of those vital tools. "Working with UPS helps level the playing field for small businesses to compete against larger brands with guaranteed delivery times and competitive rates previously unavailable to many small- and medium-sized merchants," said Shopify Head of Global Fulfillment Maia Benson.

Will it work?

Having easy access to lower-priced UPS services won't allow Shopify's smaller e-commerce clients to compete with the big boys that offer free two-day shipping. It will, however, make it easier for them to sell specialized merchandise for niches not well-served by bigger sites.

Shopify can't remove the cost of shipping for its customers. It can make it as easy as possible to fulfill orders, and this deal does exactly that.

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The author(s) may have a position in any stocks mentioned.


Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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