I may have already posted this link a few months ago. Not sure if on this board however.

It talks about Shopify and its competitors.

Since Shopify is my other great stock interest at the moment, I thought I would start discussion of it.

Shopify is not the leading vendor in this product category in regards to number of sites using its platform. It is in the top 3 however, if memory serves. Nevertheless, Shopify does seem to be the company with fastest growth and most momentum, as one can see by Google searches.

I was pondering if I should do a new law firm site on Shopify and see how it works out. But I’ll never have the time to do so. So, I will not be able to directly experience it myself I don’t think.

But perhaps others here have experience, or can address the issue of Shopify’s market dominance.

Certainly, my lack of time is one very large reason that there are high switching costs once one selects their platform and gets everything up and working.

As an example, on my website, I just recently installed a “Pay Now” button. Works fabulously! My usual ticket is in the thousands of dollars, so I was able to get excellent rates. However, getting all the paperwork and details done took multiple months of work, and then the code had to be placed on the site. I simply do not have the time to do this again. Thus, I won’t be rolling my site over to a newly created Shopify site.

This is probably what successful Shopify vendors are like. Once you become successful, you simply don’t have time to dink around. So you will not be switching away from what works. So, it really is a game of grabbing customers upfront, because the successful ones will very seldom leave you. Thus, I would be bugged if SHOP gave up legitimate growth just to show profit. If profit comes nonetheless, hallelujah! But given the switching cost issue, too much wealth to invest in to give up now to turn on the profit machine.

But that in the end will the kicker also, are they investing in the future, or just using that as an excuse as to why they cannot turn a profit? Right now, it is rather certain it is the former, not the latter reason. But I have seen this excuse often used by other companies who are not capoot. Thus I like to look at how legitimately dominant a company is, and as to the why they do things they do.



But …is Shopify investing in the future, or just using that as an excuse as to why they cannot turn a profit?

Hi Tinker, You must have meant this as a rhetorical question. As I posted earlier about Shopify:

A long time ago they gave guidance that they would become profitable in the fourth quarter of 2017, and until then they would spend all their profits on seizing market share. This is exactly what they are doing.

Thus they carefully spend just over revenue each quarter to have a tiny loss of 1% or 2%. This allows them to keep grabbing market share at maximum rate. They know that if they ever report a profit, even a penny, everyone will expect two pennies the next quarter, and four the next. This will make them have to limit expenses to make more and more profit each quarter, while what they want is to keep grabbing market share for now. They say they are comfortable with their profitability target for the fourth quarter of 2017. Of course they are. They can turn on profit whenever they want by just limiting expenses a tiny bit (about 2%).



The Shopify strategy sounds very similar to Amazon strategy of not long ago. If so, and if the market believes in the underlying potential the P/E will stay high. Because almost every merchant is going to need a www site, and not just those in the US.

Tinker and Saul both good posts on this strategy.