Shopify announced it is changing its conference schedule because of concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak.
The company has postponed two Pursuit conferences scheduled for Mexico City and Melbourne with no replacement date yet.
The in-person element of Shopify’s annual developer conference Unite, scheduled for May 6-8 in Toronto, Canada, has been canceled too.
“Due to the evolving public health concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made a hard but necessary decision to cancel the in-person element of Shopify Unite this year.”
However, the company appears to still plan product announcements for around the time Shopify Unite was to take place.
On the official Shopify Unite page, it stated, “More details about how we will communicate our product announcements will be shared on this site in the coming weeks.”
For the Pursuit conferences, Shopify is asking attendees to hold their tickets until they announce new dates. But the company will process refunds on request. Attendees that no longer can participate may send refund requests to [email protected]
Because the Shopify Unite conference has been canceled, the company is refunding all attendees.
Shopify said it would take about 3-5 days to receive refunds, and attendees for all conferences are being notified by email. Refunds will only be possible to the original payment method.
Unite attendees that have not received their refund by May 10 or have other questions about the cancellation, should contact Shopify at [email protected]
Shopify Response to Coronavirus Concerns Not Unique
Shopify’s cancellation or postponement of its conferences is not unique as more companies are taking precautions because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Over 84,000 cases of the Coronavirus have been reported in at least 48 countries since the virus was discovered in December. Currently, at least 2859 people have died from the virus since then.
As health officials all over the globe are trying to figure out how to contain the outbreak, companies are cutting back on nonessential travel.
Google, Uber, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft are just a few are restricting nonessential travel for its employees and some have canceled participation in and hosting of conferences.
These cancellations and postponements are another example how the Coronavirus outbreak is disrupting the ecommerce industry.
Globally, investors started to fear the economic impact will be greater than originally assumed and markets this week crashed.
Until health officials can reassure companies and the public that the outbreak is contained, more disruption to global commerce should be expected.
Do you agree with Shopify’s decision to cancel Unite and postpone other conferences?
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