Maybe one of the most exciting stocks in the market right now is Shopify Inc (US) (NYSE:SHOP). A statement like this is usually followed by a bunch of questions, so lets address those questions and get more familiar with Shopify stock.
Never heard of the company? Not surprised. That’s by design. But make no mistake, Shopify is used by a whole bunch of small to medium sized retailers across the globe.
So what exactly is Shopify? It’s an omni-channel commerce solution for brands seeking increased exposure, higher traffic and more sales. Essentially, Shopify provides software solutions for businesses of all sizes that face the modern retail challenges of selling through multiple channels.
And why exactly has Shopify stock risen nearly 200% so far this year? The company’s enterprise solutions have grown increasingly necessary as retail becomes more omni-channel than ever. The shift in retail is much more complex than just a flow-through of dollars from brick-and-mortar to digital. One, brick-and-mortar locations still sell a lot of product. Two, the influx of digital dollars is spread across multiple channels (online stores, social platforms, online marketplaces and so on).
With so many distinct points of sale, retailing has become quite complex. Enter Shopify, whose job is to tie together all these points of sale into one, easy-to-manage and easy-to-understand platform.
But SHOP stock is already up a whopping 200%, so isn’t this run done? Not so fast. Shopify stock is a pure play on two secular growth markets: e-commerce and enterprise cloud solutions. The digital sales shift is showing no signs of slowing up (increasing market share by a consistent 1% per year), while the enterprise cloud adoption growth narrative is still in the early innings.
Does that mean buy SHOP stock? I think so.
Shopify Is Attacking a Huge Market
Shopify stock is richly valued. After all, Shopify stock does trade at 570-times next year’s consensus earnings estimate.
Some of you just stopped reading.
But the growth numbers, both trailing and projected, are huge. Last year, revenues grew 90%. So far this year, revenues are up 75%. Looking forward, revenue growth is expected to be somewhere around 65% this year and about 40% next year.
The growth rates are big for two reasons. One, as mentioned earlier, Shopify touches secular growth markets which aren’t slowing anytime soon (e-commerce and cloud adoption). Two, the market Shopify is attacking is huge.
Shopify is still pretty small. The platform only has about 500,000 merchants.
But in Shopify’s target geographies (the US, the UK, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand), there are 10 million merchants with less than 500 employees. There are 46 million such merchants worldwide.
Shopify’s addressable market, then, is something like 46 million merchants. That means Shopify is tapping into about a percent of its addressable market.
And that addressable market doesn’t even consider the bigger players. Yes, Shopify is useful even for big corporations because the challenges of retail aren’t easily fixed with scale. In fact, they may even get more complex. That is why multinational giants like Fossil Group Inc (NSYE:FOSL), Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) and Nestle SA (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSRGY) count themselves as SHOP customers.
Bottom Line on Shopify Stock
Many investors liken Shopify stock to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).
I like this comparison. Both have scary valuations that many investors don’t understand. But both are also pure-plays on e-commerce and cloud adoption, both are addressing huge markets, and both have huge trailing and projected growth rates.
AMZN is growing nicely into its valuation. As profits ramp, the earnings multiple is coming down into more realistic territory. Consequently, the stock continues to head higher.
I think the same will play out with SHOP stock. This growth story is just getting started, and the profit ramp hasn’t even begun. Once it does, the earnings multiple will come down dramatically, and investors will start buying up the stock in even greater frequency.
As of this writing, Luke Lango was long SHOP and AMZN.