Shopify announced this week that the gross merchandise volume (GMV) of goods trafficked on its website reached $30bn in the second quarter. That figure has doubled in a year and now exceeds eBay.
Online shopping still only represents around 12 per cent of total retail spending in the US, according to data from the Census Bureau. Unlike Netflix, which essentially is a single product at a single price, Shopify can sell a whole suite of services to merchants such as payments, shipping and data analytics. Growing all these offerings is not cheap. Even after all that gross merchandise volume and hitting quarterly revenue of $714m, Shopify managed to only hit an operating profit of less than $300,000 because of spending on R&D and marketing.