Shopify Revenue Soars Amid Rapid Shift to E-Commerce

Shares of Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) jumped on Wednesday, rising to a new all-time high. The stock's big gain was fueled by second-quarter results that blew past analyst estimates. "The ongoing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to accelerate the shift of purchase habits to e-commerce," Shopify said in its second-quarter update.

Highlighting how incredible the quarter was, Shopify's $714.3 million in revenue was more than $200 million ahead of analysts' average forecast for the period. "The strength of Shopify's value proposition was on full display in our second quarter," said Shopify CFO Amy Shapero in the company's second-quarter earnings release.

Here's a closer look at the e-commerce platform provider's stellar quarter -- and why the growth stock is soaring.

Shopify e-commerce platform on a smartphone, laptop, and tablet

Image source: Shopify.

Accelerating growth

The big takeaway from Shopify's second quarter was a sharp acceleration in growth, fueled by a bump to e-commerce as online sales suddenly became critical for many businesses.

Second-quarter revenue rose 97% year over year, driven by a 119% year-over-year increase in gross merchandise volume (GMV). This impressively put total revenue for the period $200.5 million ahead of analysts' consensus estimate.

Shopify benefited in Q2 from a surge in demand for e-commerce solutions amid lockdowns and social distancing measures. New online stores created on the Shopify platform during the period, for instance, increased 71% year over year. Capturing the acceleration in Shopify's business, its 97% second-quarter revenue growth compared to a 47% year-over-year jump in first-quarter revenue.

Looking ahead

Despite the strong quarter, management admitted that uncertainty still looms.

A shopping cart icon on a smartphone

Image source: Getty Images.

"While COVID-19 has significantly influenced online store creation and consumer spending behavior, the magnitude and duration of its future impact remain uncertain in view of the greater likelihood of an extended global recession," management said in Shopify's second-quarter update. "As a result, Shopify is not providing a financial outlook for Q3 2020 or for the full year 2020."

But the tech company remains largely optimistic about its growth opportunity, noting that it expects the accelerated shift to e-commerce that has been brought on by COVID-19 to persist.

Further, Shopify provided a look at some recent trends in its business. Its total GMV growth, for instance, has decelerated since peaking in May. However, in-person GMV through the company's point-of-sale (POS) channel has started to recover in June as lockdowns eased. Indeed, by the end of June, POS GMV approached February levels -- and POS GMV has continued to grow into July. "Whether this trend will continue is unknown given the reintroduction of lockdown measures in certain geographies as well as the uncertain macroeconomic environment," management said.

While uncertainty is certainly still taking center stage, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: lockdowns have led to a significant acceleration in organizations' digital transformations.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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