Support for Black Owned Business by Shopify But How to Get Involved?

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Excursionist
12 0 8

As a black business owner here on Shopify, how can we get involved and benefit?  Shopify has sent an email showing their initiative to support black business and their contributions to organizations such as NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, etc., but there is no information on how we as black business owners can benefit. 

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Tourist
7 0 5

I agree with you 100%. Shopify also needs to start integrating some more Apps, suppliers and products that are created, supplied and for black people.  The only one I see is the Beauty Shop App that is selling Weaves and Hair products I think. Unfortunately that App is not available in Canada for some reason. (I guess Shopify doesn't think were Black here), Ive tried looking for spices, skin care, African Print fashion... and find nothing... ontop  Most mockup apps also only have White Models displaying the items; which sucks when you're trying to promote the Black Economy. Thats my current struggle as a Black business owner myself, half the apps I've tried only have white models for mock ups which is going against my purpose.

I want to contribute but I want Shopify to outline exactly what their initiative is, how the funds are being dispersed and how much; if any Shopify will be keeping as profit.
How as Black Shopify Business Owners, what support is going to be coming to us, as we are trying to contribute to building up our Black Economy, 

 

sorry for the long winded response lol its just passion I support you Queen

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Excursionist
12 0 8
Hi Jpinn17,

I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my post. I totally agree
with you also and what I hope Shopify is not doing, is giving the
appearance they are doing something significant to help black business
owners, when in fact it's just for show. When I received the email, I was
excited about the news so I tried to see where can I sign up, but much to
my disappointment there is no information provided on how to get involved
or even whom to contact. That made me raise one eyebrow to question the
true intentions here. Maybe it's too soon as this initiative has
recently started, but despite that I think they could do better. I will
reserve judgement and wait to see how it develops, if there will truly be a
pathway for us to be able to take advantage of this opportunity, so I will
follow up with customer service to ask seeing as there is no other way to
get information.

Best regards and I support you too, King!
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Shopify Partner
2472 129 406

 

The only one I see is the Beauty Shop App that is selling Weaves and Hair products I think. Unfortunately that App is not available in Canada for some reason. (I guess Shopify doesn't think were Black here),

Apps are not owned by shopify ,the are developed by independent developers to provide specific features that expand the platforms capabilities.

They are SMB's just like you and have their own regional concerns and limitations( such as not dropshipping internationally).

If there is a need for a  specific nice service in a specific country that is a business opportunity not a slight.

 Ive tried looking for spices, skin care, African Print fashion... and find nothing... onto

Ontop of developer limitations, making things even more complicated is that products even slightly tangential to health,food,beauty,etc can have restrictions for platforms like shopify, payment gateways or third party services and that's before dealing with border laws.

Most dropshipping services only have premade items typically with licensing for redistribution(read generic mass appeal) from the artists or brands.

Some have partnership programs where you become the artist so they can then offer a different style.

More niche items should be pursued with items that are fully printable or personalizable with you providing the art.

These examples have full print products where you can cover the bulk of the item (aka 'all over print' ) with whatever art you provide

https://www.contrado.com/drop-shipping, https://artofwhere.com/https://printify.com/all-over-print-shirts-and-other-products/

If you need actual garment cuts gonna have to alibaba|oberlo that or move into wholesale.

Most mockup apps also only have White Models displaying the items

Definitely reach out those apps if money is on the table let them know.

After all photoshopping every image to appeal to a demographic isn't cheap.

Keep in mind however that having a custom photoshoot while painful is one of the key differences between brands and failed dropship experiments.

 

 

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Excursionist
12 0 8

It seems as though Shopify doesn't really practice what they preach.  I was doing some audits of my website and accidentally came across what really surprised and upset me.  This affects everyone who owns a shopify store.   Shopify suppresses the pages of all Shopify store owners by adding by default, the word "disallow" into the robot.txt in the coding to many pages of our stores? This cannot be changed!  What this does is block Google's search engine from finding our pages, which brings the site down in rankings as well, but traffic to the site will be greatly affected. If Shopify really advocates for supporting independent business, which includes black business, what is the purpose of doing the very thing that helps our business succeed?  Looks like they are another billion dollar company that only speaks but does not practice what it preaches. One thing is for sure and that's that Shopify does not want business to succeed.  If you want to check your site then just add /robots.txt to the end of your website address to see the file.  

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Shopify Partner
2472 129 406

@IndieEast 

Shopify suppresses the pages of all Shopify store owners by adding by default, the word "disallow" into the robot.txt in the coding to many pages of our stores?

robots.txt on shopify disallows several endpoints that aren't meant to be indexed such as customer account pages, tag filtering,etc.

 

What this does is block Google's search engine from finding our pages, which brings the site down in rank

What this does is prevent having search engines crawl meaningless endpoints and bringing a sites ranking down.

Looks like they are another billion dollar company t....

Shopify's billions is made by giving merchants the tools they need to be successful and putting things in place that prevent self destructive behavior thus increasing shopify long term subscriptions and the amount of transactions they process.

 

If you do not understand how a technical feature such as robots.txt you will get much further in business either asking questions or doing research in the forums and reading the answers by informed experts instead of leaping to conclusions and contributing to misinformation.

SEO & Marketing https://community.shopify.com/c/Ecommerce-Marketing/bd-p/ecommerce-marketing

example discussion https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Discussion/Robots-txt-is-blocking-many-URLs/td-p/

https://developers.google.com/search/reference/robots_txt

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Excursionist
12 0 8

Talk about jumping to conclusions and misinformation.  Keep me out of your assumptions as you clearly don't know what I've researched or which expert that I've been in touch with prior to my post.    Some of what you say has value, but that doesn't apply to me in this instance.  What am I talking about?  I'll break it down.  My blog is disallowed so why don't you explain why a blog page would be disallowed, hmm?  This is NOT misinformation as I can clearly see it says "disallow".  But does that make sense to you?  If it does then you clearly don't understand the importance of blogs.  Either that or are you just talking out of your rear end to give yourself importance here?  Maybe you should do research on blogging or consult an expert on blogging so that next time you can come correct in your response and don't make assumptions on others whom you don't know.   Your comment has zero value to me so unless you can explain why a blog would be disallowed then I'm not interested.  Shopify has a duty to help their customers as much as possible and that does not include disallowing blogs.

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Tourist
7 0 5

Hi I appreciate your response, however all you have highlighted is the fact that Shopify relies on these loopholes; to not have to actually take action to ensure inclusiveness,  By Shopify stating it has no control over what the apps do and don't do is a cop out ,considering Apps need to be reviewed and approved in order to be on the Shopify app list; if Im not mistaken, which means that Shopify has the ability to set out certain criteria and stipulations that each app must comply with in order to be approved and be on the Shopify apps list. 

 

Furthermore I reached out to one of your suggestions above " Contrado" to see what they would say when asked if there standard mockups( that we must use unless we order each item that is sold on the store and personally model them) could include black models aswell and this was there ever so kind and supportive response below: 

MY EMAIL to Contrado:

" Can you get some black models? I am a back business owner and some of my items will be pro civil rights and support of black lives matter movement and I would prefer that a black model be wearing my mockups, I think that this should already b an option and not have to be by special request.

CONTRADOS RESPONSE:

"Hi Justin, 

Thanks for your email.

I am really sorry we cannot make any changes on our website. As you can see we are a printing company you can place an order with us once you receive the product you can utilise it the way you want it. 

Please let me know if you have any other query we will be happy to assist you.

Kind Regards, 
Nitin

 

This does not seem like a company that is at all interested in making any changes or revising their options in order to show inclusiveness, diversity and equality.
So if Shopify is unable to enforce these things with their app developers; we depend on the apps to run our Shopify stores, Then I couldn't imagine in what way Shopify intends to support the us Black Entrepreneurs as claimed.

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Excursionist
12 0 8

Shopify is trying to be woke before they go broke, it seems, which is disappointing to say the least.  They don't really mean to be inclusive or even care, but only jumping on the bandwagon of the BLM movement to prevent any backlash from customers.  I wish I could transfer my business off of this platform because they don't deserve it.

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Shopify Partner
2472 129 406

@IndieEast 

If Shopify has any duties to merchants then one of them is to keep merchants from making destructive decisions about technology they do not understand.

 

  My blog is disallowed so why don't you explain why a blog page would be disallowed, hmm?  This is NOT misinformation as I can clearly see it says "disallow".

Present the entry in the sites robots.txt that disallows blogs or link to the sites robot.txt

Are you talking about entries such as:

Disallow: /blogs/*+*
Disallow: /blogs/*%2B*
Disallow: /blogs/*%2b*
Disallow: /*/blogs/*+*
Disallow: /*/blogs/*%2B*
Disallow: /*/blogs/*%2b*

Those entries disallow urls that have tag filters in them to prevent duplicate content and other problems like infinite crawling.

https://developers.google.com/search/reference/robots_txt 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percent-encoding

 

Reading a word and understanding it's context are very different especially in a technological context.

While it's only limiting in software development to assume how technology work, it's outright crippling in business to apply the same method to a platform feature.

 

 

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