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Shopify Idea Proposal (SHOP)

Shopify Idea Proposal (SHOP)

Will Shopify Plus become the go-to ecommerce platform for Global 2000 companies?

Report Available: March 13, 2019


Blueshift’s initial research found SHOP posting a strong Q4 and hitting $1 billion in revenue. Still, SHOP has posted 12 consecutive quarters of declining growth. SHOP’s Shopify Plus platform designed for high volume merchants and enterprise solutions continues to make steady progress in moving the company upmarket. Now the company needs to show that Shopify Plus is robust enough to become the ecommerce solution for Global 2000 companies with highly complex and diverse needs.



  1. SHOP beat Q4 expectations with revenue up 54% due to impressive holiday sales and the continued addition of new merchants. Merchant subscriptions were up 42% and merchant services, which include a cut of merchants’ sales, and offerings like shipping, payments and financing, was up 63%. Despite the strong results, SHOP’s growth is slowing and has been for the past 12 quarters, it is still not profitable, and 2019 guidance suggests more declines.
  2. Shopify Plus was a key focus for SHOP in 2018. The company expanded Plus’ sales, support, and development teams, and added to its partner network. SHOP also continued to develop new features critical for meeting the needs of large enterprises. The effort seems to be paying dividends as Plus has become a strong contributor for SHOP and is demonstrating some traction. Shopify Plus now has 5,300 merchants and accounts for 25% of SHOP’s total revenues, up from 21% in 2017.
  3. In Q4, SHOP launched Shopify Plus platforms for some iconic brands including Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and General Mills. Well-known fashion houses Steve Madden, Nicole Miller, and Jones New York jumped on board with Shopify Plus as did retailers like Wet Seal, sporting goods companies like Spyder Ski Wear, Craft Sports, Helinox, and Specialized Bicycle. The Merch Store for the popular videogame Fortnite launched on Shopify Plus. Celebrity brands are also choosing Shopify Plus including Tom Brady’s TB12, Cindy Crawford, Lindsey Vonn, and LeBron James.
  4. In Blueshift’s March 14, 2018, report, 16 of 18 sources expected SHOP to experience significant growth, and 15 expected SHOP customers’ ecommerce businesses to increase. Shopify Plus was also noted as gaining some upmarket traction. Blueshift’s April 18, 2018, report update revealed that SHOP would face some short-term challenges due to FB’s data breach, but once data use adjustments were made, growth would continue.


Is Shopify Plus robust enough to compete for enterprises’ business? Can Plus handle complex, high volume, international, multi-brand companies with legacy systems in place? What does Plus offer? What is it lacking? How does Plus compare to the competition? Can Plus be the go-to ecommerce platform for enterprises in five to 10 years? Why? Why not?  To answer these and other questions, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Shopify merchants, Merchants using competitors, Shopify partners, and Industry specialists.


Companies: Shopify Inc. (SHOP), Apple (AAPL), (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), Etsy (ETSY), Oracle (ORCL), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL), Inc. (CRM), SAP SE (SAP)


Research Begins: February 25, 2019


To see other ideas Blueshift Research is currently working on, please click here.


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