Tictail, once an online marketplace for shoppers and designers, has been closed after it was acquired by Shopify in November 2018. Neither Shopify nor Tictail openly told about the acquisition until the users of Shopify started receiving an email talking about it.
A Swedish outlet Breakit first broke the news about the acquisition of Tictail by Shopify after an email sent to Tictail users. The email included the news along with the next step procedure to follow in order to move the store from Tictail to Shopify. They stated that the users may switch to Shopify till April 1, 2019.
The Tech.eu’s editor-in-chief thinks that the acquisition is not loved by the founders and investors of Tictail as they didn’t disclose any information publicly, not even about the financial deal information. He said, ‘It certainly looks like a fire sale to me’. And that might be true.
Anyway, Tictail has been completely closed now. If you go to its home page, its title reads something like, ‘We are now a part of Shopify’. The page directs you to go to Shopify’s homepage. Below this, they have a ‘Thank you’ note for trusting in Tictail ecosystem for the last 7 years.
According to a Shopify spokesperson, they do not comment on individual acquisitions but they do acquire companies to enhance Shopify users’ experience. Others of Shopify’s notable acquisitions include Boltmade, Kit and Return Magic. But the Tictail acquisition is probably the biggest among all.
For those of you who do not know about Tictail, it was a wonderful startup, dubbed ‘the Tumblr of e-commerce’ by Wired magazine in 2012. It was also listed as one of ‘Europe’s 100 Hottest Startups’. After its launch in 2012, it gained success immediately. It managed to get a whopping 32M USD investment in 2014-15. It was much loved by artists as well as shoppers. The artists used to build their brand through their designs. While shoppers enjoyed the freshest designed clothing, home décor items, and other such stuff.
Tictail also had a variety of payment options. Its payment system was integrated with PayPal, VISA, Mastercard, American Express, iDeal, Apple Pay, etc. There was no room left which Tictail management did not make things better. And this is the reason why Shopify purchased the Tictail. They were pretty sure of what Tictail is capable of. The sellers of Tictail came from across 140 countries worldwide, especially from Sweden, Germany, France, and the UK.
Let’s have a look at the history of this Swedish startup. Tictail was founded by Carl Waldekranz, Siavash Ghorbani, Birk Nilsson and Kaj Drobin in 2011 in Stockholm, Sweden. It was built as a Do-It-Yourself e-commerce ecosystem to empower designers to cash their talent by putting the art onto clothing and home décor items. And they earned by selling them. The shoppers loved the idea of having the designers’ clothing, home décor, etc.
In 2013, they allowed third-party individuals to create Tictail apps. Those apps were for sale to add extra functionality. In 2014, Tictail also launched its first iPhone app to attract more of its users. In 2015, Tictail became the first marketplace to allow brands to start an online store directly on their mobile phones. Maybe this is why; the founders of Tictail were awarded the ‘Masters of Mobile’ award by Decoded Fashion. In 2016, Tictail opened its first brick and mortar store in New York City. Many brands were featured in the physical store of Tictail.
Here the Shopify enters and purchases the Tictail in 2018 so that they enhance their ecosystem.
After the news about the acquisition, the users of Tictail were pretty much disappointed and started looking for alternatives like Etsy, Storenvy, BigCartel, etc. An ex-seller from Tictail complained that now they have to pay almost 27 USD for a shop that was once totally free. Actually, users of Tictail needed to pay 10% commission fees for sales but the shop was totally free.
For the smooth switch, Tictail offered it’s premium users ‘Shopify theme customization help’ for up to an hour if they switch to Shopify. Additionally, Shopify also offered its basic plan for free for 6 months to the users of Tictail. Some users complained that they did not get any 6-month free basic plan on Shopify. Maybe it’s because the offer was presented to the old users of Tictail only. The offer is now expired though.
One thing is for sure, Shopify has emerged as one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms on the internet. With the acquisition of Tictail, this has been further confirmed. This could help Shopify delve into the world of digital commerce deeper than ever. On the other hand, the loyal users of Tictail are pretty much frustrated at the acquisition. Let’s see what the users of Tictail choose; switch to Shopify or look for alternatives like Etsy etc.