The company has warned growth has its limits, and key metrics like gross merchant volume are beginning to show that.

(Staff and Bloomberg)—Canada-based Shopify Inc., which helps small businesses set up and manage their online stores, said growth in overall sales on its platform slowed in the second quarter.

While the company beat analyst’s average estimates for revenue and profit and gave an outlook for the rest of the year that was in line with projections, growth in gross merchant volume, the total amount of sales made by all the vendors on Shopify’s platform, slowed for the third consecutive quarter.

Revenue was $245 million in the period ended June 30, the Ottawa-based company said in a statement Tuesday. That compares with the average analyst estimate of $234.9 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shopify said full-year revenue would be $1.015 billion to $1.025 billion, in line with estimates. Shopify reports in U.S. dollars.

32 retailers in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000 use Shopify as their e-commerce platform. By comparison, 167 retailers use Shopify competitor Magento and 15 use BigCommerce.


Adobe Systems Inc. recently agreed to buy Magento for $1.68 billion in a bid to capture a bigger slice of the e-commerce industry from Inc. and Oracle Corp.

“With Shopify putting up guidance quarter over quarter ever since they went public, the bar is probably higher than it has been in the past, which might explain how the stock has reacted,”’ said Nikhil Thadani, an analyst at Mackie Research Capital Corp.

Analysts have been taking a harder look at what’s driving Shopify’s expansion and how much of its revenue is being generated from larger, more stable merchants rather than lower-paying and more precarious ones. Shortseller Andrew Left of Citron Research has said that once Shopify churns through enough people, there won’t be many left to keep up the pace.

The company itself has warned growth has its limits, and key metrics like gross merchant volume are beginning to show that. GMV was $9.1 billion in the second quarter, or 56% more than the same time last year. Still, that growth rate is significantly lower than the 64% the company reported in the first quarter of this year.

Chief financial officer Amy Shapero, who joined the company in April, pushed back against analysts’ questions about growth during a conference call.


“We’re confident in our overall business model to continue to produce growth,” she said “That’s what allowed us to increase our revenue forecast for the entire year.”