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RBC
Harley Finkelstein, COO of Shopify.

Q: What is the one thing Canadian business need to think about when it relates to e-commerce and tapping into the global supply chain?

Harley: Canadian retail businesses that want to compete globally need to realize that customers are now in control. The customer decides where, when and what they want to buy, but most importantly, they decide how they make that purchase. The companies that will win in the future are the ones that build a truly channel agnostic strategy, allowing consumers to buy in whatever way is most convenient to them, and not how their retailer thinks they want to buy. At Shopify, we enable our merchants to reach any potential customers anywhere and everywhere.

Q: How do we continue to build more world-class businesses in Canada?

Harley: At Shopify, we focus on building for the long term. We are driven by our values, motivated by our teams, and are determined to take the path that leads to more entrepreneurs. By lowering the barrier to entry to start a business, we are making the making entrepreneurship more accessible and enabling people to more easily pursue their life’s work. To build more world-class businesses in Canada, we need to raise the level of ambition we all have, and continue to support each other along the way.

Q: What’s one success story that sticks out to you of a Shopify user?

Harley: One Shopify success story that I really love is Nora — a snoring solution intended for both those who snore and their sleep-deprived partners. The Toronto founders created the product to help their father stop snoring and to give their mother a peaceful night’s sleep. That’s the amazing thing about entrepreneurs — they see the gap in the market that no one else can. Whether it’s through personal experience or outside of their purview, they strive to fill the gap. They won our Build A Business competition in 2016 and are one of #OprahsFavoriteThings for 2017. These guys are just getting started and I can’t wait to see where they go.

Want to hear more from Harley Finkelstein? Join us for the next #RBCDisruptors: The future of e-commerce on Nov. 8 from 9 – 10 a.m. EDT. Tune in via Facebook Live and follow the conversation on Twitter using #RBCDisruptors.