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Who Are 6 River Systems?

6 River Systems are a warehouse automation and management tech developer who are based in Boston, USA. The team at 6 River Systems are using mobile robotics in order to improve order fulfilment. They use an AI called “Chuck” which is designed to help warehouse employees work more efficiently, you can read more about “Chuck” here. Shopify have finalised a deal that is said to be valued around $450 Million USD (60% in cash 40% in shares) to purchase the tech company.

Why Have Shopify Purchased 6 River Systems?

It’s thought that Shopify will be hoping the introduction of 6 River Systems “Chuck” AI and their cloud based fulfilment software will help to improve the recently released Shopify Fulfilment Network. The Shopify Fulfilment Network has began rolling out across parts of the US. (No word on if this feature will become available to UK users yet.) Shopify claim their new fulfilment network will ensure timely delivery and lower shipping costs. At the present time the Shopify Fulfilment Network is built for users who ship between 10 – 10,000 orders per day but will soon be ideal for users with Shopify stores of any size.

How Will The Purchase Of 6 River Systems Affect Me?

Shopify are planning on adding a team with a wealth of experience in fulfilment software and robotics, including former members from Kiva Systems (which is now known as Amazon Robotics). Adding 6 River Systems’ cloud-based software and collaborative mobile robots called “Chuck” to the Shopify Fulfilment Network will potentially see an increase to the speed of day to day warehouse operations. Due to the Shopify Fulfilment Network only being available in the US for now the changes will only affect merchants in the US. However, if Shopify find their fulfilment network to be successful then it could eventually make its way to the European market.

What Could The Purchase Of 6 River Systems Mean For The Future Of Ecommerce?

With Shopify now joining Amazon in the fulfilment business does this mean we can expect other platforms to follow suit? Possibly. Other online shopping cart providers such as EKM & BigCommerce could potentially look to take steps to meet users needs for fulfilment, although nothing has been mentioned regarding this type of thing from either platform so far. Ebay already offer an international shipping programme to sellers in the UK. Allowing sellers to send their items to an Ebay warehouse & they’ll take care of the international delivery. Fulfilment centres could be seen as the next logical step for Ebay. At the current time the main option for Ebay fulfilment seems to be through third party companies. Other companies such as OnBuy and Etsy could potentially consider their own fulfilment services in the future but that could be a while away, especially given the nature of the products on Etsy (often made to order.) While its too early to tell if every Ecommerce platform will need to provide their users with a fulfilment option it is clear that Ecommerce is changing rapidly and we’re excited to see whats next.

Ross

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