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   Technology StocksShopify Inc (SHOP: NASDAQ) SHOP.TO

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From: Glenn Petersen5/11/2020 12:09:53 PM
   of 68
Shopify is cutting into Amazon's market share:

Amazon's Empire Is Vulnerable to 'Rebel' Incursions

Business turmoil sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic is creating opportunities for rivals from upstart Shopify to retailers such as Target and Costco.

By Tae Kim
May 8, 2020, 8:00 AM CDT

Last October, Shopify Inc. CEO Tobi Lutke said his company’s goal was to “arm the rebels” against the Inc. empire. Since then, the mantra has become a rallying cry for Shopify’s employees and the merchant customers that use its e-commerce store software. And now, the business turmoil sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic is creating an opportunity for the online seller rivals to gain some valuable ground over their giant competitor.

Amazon is widely considered one of the biggest beneficiaries of the e-commerce boom, as self-isolating consumers shift their shopping behavior to purchase more online. The numbers are bearing out the trend: While most companies are suffering from dramatic business slowdowns, Amazon last week posted first-quarter revenue of $75.5 billion, up 26% from a year earlier, and projected continued momentum by giving a sales growth forecast range of 18% to 28% for the June quarter. 1 Amazon’s growth hasn’t come without issues, though. The company has faced severe logistical challenges to meet demand – including the rapid hiring of 175,000 additional workers. And the stress put on its supply chain and delivery networks, along with the prioritization of certain essential items, has led to shipping delays and many shortages for its customers. Questions revolving around workplace safety have also dogged Amazon.

With Amazon so much in the spotlight, it may be surprising to know that consumers are increasingly going elsewhere for their online shopping needs. In fact, several e-commerce sellers are showing dramatically faster growth rates than the tech giant. On Wednesday, Shopify revealed the aggregated online sales of its merchant customer base grew 46% in the first quarter and accelerated further in April. That news came after online furniture retailer Wayfair Inc. said it had revenue growth of roughly 90% so far in its second quarter, a significant increase versus the 20% growth it generated for the three months ended in March.

Traditional retailers are flourishing as well. On April 23, Target Corp. said its online business had risen more than 275% month-to-date to that point, while electronics retailer Best Buy Co. also pointed last month to recent triple-digit growth trends for its website. Costco Wholesale Corp., meanwhile, reported April e-commerce sales growth of 86%.

For all the antitrust scrutiny Amazon has gotten for crushing the competition in e-commerce with its leading 37% share in the U.S. last year, according to eMarketer, these recent numbers point to share losses for the tech giant. Rivals now have an opening to show they, too, can delight customers with good service and build consumer loyalty. And if they can take advantage, perhaps the e-commerce race isn’t over yet.

What is the clearest signal investors, at least, are noticing the progress? On Wednesday, Shopify briefly surpassed Royal Bank of Canada as the most valuable company in Canada for the first time. Yes, the rebels may have a fighting chance.

Amazon first-quarter revenueincludes its sales at its online and physical stores, third-party seller services, subscription services, AWS cloud-computing sales and other businesses.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Tae Kim at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Beth Williams at

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From: Glenn Petersen6/15/2020 11:31:07 AM
   of 68
Shopify Advances After Deal With Walmart Expands Its Reach

By Matthew Boyle
June 15, 2020, 5:00 AM CDT
Updated on June 15, 2020, 9:40 AM CDT

-- Move is retailer’s latest attempt to grow online sales, profit

-- Walmart will bring 1,200 Shopify sellers to its site this year

Founded in 2006, Shopify has become the platform of choice for businesses large and small that are looking to get online cheaply and quickly.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Walmart Inc. has partnered with e-commerce giant Shopify Inc. to expand its third-party marketplace site and grab more of the pandemic-fueled surge in online shopping. Shares of the Canadian technology company rose on Monday.

The world’s largest retailer aims to add 1,200 Shopify sellers this year, Walmart executive Jeff Clementz said in an interview. The company’s marketplace site, which already offers more than 75 million products, grew at a faster pace than Walmart’s overall web business in the first quarter, and third-party sales are typically more profitable as the sellers pay a fee when a sale is made and often shoulder the delivery costs.

The collaboration is Walmart’s latest attempt to expand the scale and profitability of its $21.5 billion U.S. e-commerce business, which is gaining ground on market leader Inc. but continues to lose money. In recent years, Walmart has rolled out a fulfillment service for third-party sellers, allowed customers to return marketplace items in its physical stores and jettisoned millions of third-party items that didn’t meet quality standards.

On the Rise

Walmart now has about 45,000 different merchants on its marketplace site

“There are many Shopify sellers who were already on, but we have not penetrated their base to the extent possible,” said Clementz, who is vice president of Walmart Marketplace. “There’s a tremendous opportunity.”

Shopify’s U.S. shares rose as much as 7.6% to $799.02 on Monday in New York trading. Walmart stock was little changed.

For Shopify, the deal -- expected to be announced as early as Monday -- provides its network of millions of merchants access to Walmart’s customers, and follows a May linkup with Facebook Inc. that allowed retailers to import Shopify product catalogs to the social-media giant’s new Shops service.

“Few companies in the world match the sheer size and scale of Walmart,” said Satish Kanwar, Shopify’s vice president of product. The deal opens the door for small and medium-sized businesses “to access the 120 million customers who visit every month.”

The deal is “a win-win for both companies,” said Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of Marketplace Pulse, an e-commerce researcher. Still, the partnership diverges from Shopify’s typical strategy of acting as a platform for brands competing with large retailers, he said.

Founded in 2006, Shopify has become the platform of choice for businesses large and small that are looking to get online cheaply and quickly. Monthly fees start at just $29, which buys a virtual shop and everything that’s needed to run it, including tools to manage payments, inventory and shipping.

The Ottawa-based company claimed the second-largest share of online retail sales in the U.S. last year, and its meteoric growth has made a billionaire out of German-born founder and Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke.

Slow Start

Walmart introduced its marketplace site in August 2009, but progress was glacial at first as the retailer was focused more on its massive brick-and-mortar business and slow to recognize Amazon’s growing clout. That started to change when Doug McMillon became CEO in 2014, and accelerated when he put Marc Lore in charge of the retailer’s U.S. e-commerce division after acquiring his online startup,, in 2016.

Lore quickly added millions of new third-party items from small vendors who were happy to have an alternative to Amazon’s dominant site. Later, he took a page out of Amazon’s playbook by offering shipping services for third-party vendors through Walmart’s massive logistics network.

“We need to start playing offense,” Lore said at a February investor conference.

McMillon wants to get even more out of the business, especially after shuttering Jet last month. “We don’t think that we’ve done everything we must do, and should do, to support marketplace sellers in terms of the tools and services that we have available,” he said at the conference, just weeks before virus-related stockpiling sent traffic to Walmart’s website soaring. First-quarter U.S online sales rose 74%, more than twice the growth rate that Walmart had previously forecast for the entire year. Walmart has since withdrawn its financial guidance due to the pandemic.

To bring more direction to the marketplace business, Walmart named Jeff Shotts to run it last summer as part of a broader restructuring that sought to better integrate the online business with its physical stores, which often act as e-commerce distribution hubs.

On and OffClementz said the two companies had been in talks on and off for years, but discussions heated up over the past six months. A recent pilot test with several Shopify sellers went well, and he foresees eventually having thousands of sellers on Walmart’s marketplace.

The Shopify partnership shows that “competition in this important segment of online retail is heating up,” Moody’s vice president Charlie O’Shea said. While Amazon remains the “unquestioned leader,” Walmart’s ability to offer space in its massive network of stores is an important advantage and could attract vendors, he said.

There are risks to opening the doors to more and more sellers. Walmart’s marketplace, along with Amazon’s, has faced criticism over the years for carrying offensive items like Confederate flags. In recent years, Walmart has pulled about 20 million items off the site that didn’t meet its quality standards.

Though Amazon’s marketplace is open to virtually anyone who goes through an online registration process, Walmart’s is invite-only so it can vet sellers. It also uses machine learning and keyword recognition technology to spot suspect sellers.

(Updates share trading and adds Moody’s comment in third-to-last paragraph. A previous version corrected details of fees paid by Walmart marketplace sellers)

Published on June 15, 2020, 5:00 AM CDT
Updated on June 15, 2020, 9:40 AM CDT

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From: LONGshan6/20/2020 3:56:37 PM
   of 68
Kim Kardashian reached a deal with Spotify for a criminal-justice podcast. SPOT near all time high.

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From: SI Ron (Crazy Soup Man)7/9/2020 12:03:58 PM
   of 68

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (24)7/23/2020 7:33:15 PM
From: Ron
1 Recommendation   of 68
The biggest tech company that many have never heard of: Shopify

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To: Ron who wrote (27)7/26/2020 1:32:46 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 68
Only Amazon takes in more money online, dollar-wise, than Shopify’s sites, which in aggregate brought in more than $60 billion in 2019, $20 billion more than the year before.

An amazing company. Thanks for posting that piece.

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From: Glenn Petersen7/26/2020 2:02:06 PM
   of 68
Is a Beat in Store for Shopify (SHOP) This Earnings Season?
Zacks Equity Research
July 24, 2020

Shopify Inc. SHOP is slated to report second-quarter 2020 results on Jul 29.

The company refrained from providing second-quarter guidance citing COVID-19 induced uncertainties prevailing in the market.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is currently pegged at $502.97 million, suggesting growth of 38.95% from the year-ago quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for bottom line is pegged at break-even, which narrowed from a los
s of one cent in the past seven days. The company reported earnings of 14 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Notably, the company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 169.34%.

Factors to Note

Momentum in online sales triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is expected to have driven Shopify’s second-quarter performance. Moreover, the company launched Shop — a shopping assistant app — with an aim to aid merchants enhance customer experience and sales on the platform.
Shopify Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

View photos
The company is also anticipated to have gained from introduction of contactless payment hardware for Canadian retailers using new point of sale (POS) system, Shopify POS. This includes the Shopify Tap & Chip Card Reader, Shopify Tap & Chip Case and Shopify Retail Kit.

Moreover, launch of new POS system to help integrate online and in-person sales in a bid to aid merchants in staying abreast of evolving commerce practices in the wake of tough retail environment is noteworthy.

Incremental adoption of these aforementioned new services is likely to have aided merchants in expanding business with engaging experience. This is expected to have contributed to top-line growth in the second-quarter performance and helped the company expand merchant base.

Further, robust adoption of Shopify’s easy-to-use upgrades and new merchant-friendly applications is anticipated to have bolstered adoption of Shopify Payments, Shopify Capital and Shopify Shipping solutions in the second quarter. This, in turn, may get reflected in the to-be-reported quarter’s results.

Markedly, an expanding merchant base has been instilling confidence in the stock. Shares of Shopify have surged 127% year to date, outperforming the industry’s rally of 15.2%.

Besides, roll out of new solutions like Shopify Balance and Shop Pay Installments, which are aimed at enabling merchants to offer seamless payment options to customers, is expected to get reflected in the second-quarter results.

Particularly, Shopify’s partnership with CoinPayments to bring the latter’s crypto payments processing platform to all its merchants and boost adoption of digital currency payments, deserves a special mention.

Notably, Shopify has been working on extending language capabilities beyond English. The focus on local languages might have helped the company in strengthening international foothold. These initiatives to reinforce presence in the international market may have contributed to the second-quarter performance.

However, Shopify’s increasing investments on product development, fulfillment network, infrastructure and international expansion to maintain competitive position in the e-commerce market are likely to have weighed on the second-quarter profitability.

View photos
Strategic Partnerships in Q2

During the second quarter, Shopify partnered with Chipotle to launch the Chipotle Virtual Farmers' Market. Markedly, Shopify’s platform will be utilized by farmers in the Chipotle supply chain to deliver enhanced versions of their e-commerce portals.

Moreover, the company collaborated with Walmart WMT in a bid to enable merchants to sell products on The move is a testament to the company’s increasing efforts to bolster merchant base, pertaining to small and medium-sized businesses, with multiple channel options. (Read More)

The company also announced partnership with Facebook to help businesses create Facebook Shops — a new and free tool that aids merchants create customized online storefront for Facebook and Instagram.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (28)7/26/2020 2:23:37 PM
From: Ron
   of 68
Nice to see some innovation in the sector-- give the Amazon behemoth some competition and
apparently help more small business firms as well.

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To: Ron who wrote (30)7/26/2020 2:46:22 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 68
I agree. I almost always use Amazon when I order online, although over the last year it has felt less user friendly. They have been so focused on growth that it sometimes seems that they have lost their concern for their merchants, customers and employees. I do appreciate the fact that the pandemic disrupted and strained their systems and personnel, particularly in logistics. Hopefully, they'll take a step back and reassess their business practices, particularly as they relate to their third party merchants, and the handling and treatment of their logistics personnel.

I was no aware of Shopify's full back story. I suspect that they have a lot of growth ahead of them.

If I had to bet, and I may do so tomorrow, I suspect that they will beat the estimates of Wednesday.

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From: Glenn Petersen7/29/2020 8:27:18 AM
1 Recommendation   of 68
Shopify shares jump 7% after hot e-commerce company says second-quarter revenue increased 97%

Thomas Franck @TOMWFRANCK

Employees at Shopify’s headquarters in Ottawa.
Chris Wattie | Reuters

Popular stock Shopify jumped on Wednesday after the Canadian e-commerce company beat estimates for second-quarter revenue as more brick-and-mortar retailers used its online platform during coronavirus-led lockdowns.

Shopify shares, which investors have bought en masse amid the Covid-19 pandemic, have rallied more than 100% over the last six months as consumer and business owners shift commerce online to slow the spread of the disease.

Shares rose 7.2% in premarket trading following the results, further extending Shopify’s lead over Royal Bank of Canada as the country’s largest company by market value.

That uptick in demand for e-commerce platforms accrued to Shopify in the second quarter. The company reported Wednesday morning that second-quarter revenue rose 97% to $714.3 million from a year earlier, beating the average analyst expectation of $513.83 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

“The strength of Shopify’s value proposition was on full display in our second quarter,” Shopify Chief Financial Officer Amy Shapero said in a release on Wednesday. “We are committed to transferring the benefits of scale to our merchants, helping them sell more and sell more efficiently, which is especially critical in this rapidly changing environment.”

Shopify said in its earnings release that the ongoing effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift of consumer purchasing habits to e-commerce. New stores created on Shopify grew 71% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter while gross merchandise volume popped 119% year over year.

The company had already turned heads on Wall Street prior to its blockbuster earnings report.

Goldman Sachs, which up until Tuesday had rated the Ottawa-based stock at “neutral,” penned a mea culpa earlier this week and upgraded the equity to “buy.” The bank reiterated its recently increased price target of $1,127, which represents more than 14% upside from Tuesday’s close.

“With a unique customer acquisition funnel that has not only found unmatched success in SMB but increasingly the enterprise segment as well, we believe SHOP should be able to sustain hyper-growth for longer than the market expects,” Goldman’s Christopher Merwin wrote on Tuesday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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