Leaked Shopify Employee Survey Asks About Amazon Rivalry

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


A leaked Shopify internal survey is raising eyebrows about how employees feel about recent layoffs and leadership changes as well as an interesting question about Amazon, according to Business Insider (paywall).

In leaked survey, Shopify probes employees on their coworkers’ productivity and whether they view Amazon as a rival
Shopify’s survey asked employees to weigh in on their work and their teammates. It also asked them about Amazon and video games.

In a company-wide survey sent out last week, Shopify asked employees a series of 60 questions focused on its workplace culture, worker productivity, and competition in the-ecommerce world.

The survey, which was viewed by Insider, points to some of the top concerns the company is facing.

This kind of company-wide survey is not new for Shopify. Called "Pulse" internally, the survey is sent out twice a year, a Shopify spokesperson said. The specific questions asked can vary.

Many of the questions reportedly centered around company culture, leadership, and performance standards, which makes sense given this year has seen a bit of a shake up at the company.

First in July, Shopify announced layoffs of about 10% of their workforce just one day before delivering a brutal Q2 2022 financial report.

Shopify Announces Layoffs, 10% Reduction In Workforce
Shopify announces layoffs with planned 10% reduction in workforce just one day before Q2 2022 earnings.

Then a new COO and CFO were brought onboard in September.

Shopify Undergoes Leadership Changes
Shopify announced a leadership shakeup today with an internal promotion for COO & a new hire for CFO.

The survey also included more "getting to know you" type questions that were listed as "experimental" and optional to answer, asking employees about what video games they liked to play, if they owned any NFTs or crypto-currency, what sports they enjoy, and what energy sourced they consider "green."

But perhaps the most interesting experimental question was about Amazon, as Business Insider reports.

In one question, employees were asked to rate on a scale from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree" with the statement "When Amazon grows, it leaves less for Shopify." In another, they were given the same scale for the statement "When a Shopify merchant wins, at least one other Shopify merchant loses."

One employee told Insider they felt the Amazon question was an attempt to gauge their loyalty to the company and its mission. Another employee said this type of question was typical for Shopify.

"The questions are designed to understand how people think about the landscape," this person said. "I don't think they're trying to gauge whether or not Amazon is a threat."

While it's impossible to know exactly what they had in mind with that question, there's no doubt Shopify is keenly aware of the fine line they must walk in a world where Amazon is both a competitor and also in many cases an important additional sales channel for many Shopify merchants.

In fact, just last month we saw what many considered "shots fired" in the ongoing rivalry as Shopify took step to deter merchants from using Amazon Buy With Prime on their sites - saying it poses a security threat and violates the Shopify terms of service.

Shopify Warns Sellers Away From Amazon Buy With Prime
Shopify tries to deter merchants from using Amazon Buy With Prime with security warning about script.

Shopify has also recently introduced Shop Promise for fast, free 2 day delivery to help sellers leverage the Shopify Fulfillment Network and compete with Amazon Prime and FBA services.

Shopify Shop Promise Is Here
Shop Promise lets sellers leverage Shopify Fulfillment Network & Shipping for fast shipping shipping guarantee.

What do you think of Shopify asking employees their opinions about competing companies? Let us know in the comments below!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!