With Shopify's (NYSE: SHOP) fourth-quarter report now out, the e-commerce platform company has clearly had a great year. In the past 12 months, the stock has soared an incredible 207%. With Shopify's 2016 results finally behind it, it's a great time for investors to look back at the metrics driving the stock higher.
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Soaring customers, revenue, referrals, and more show how entrepreneurs are flocking to sell products and services on Shopify's e-commerce platform. Here are the most notable metrics from Shopify's staggering growth in 2016.
90%: Total revenue climbed 90% in 2016 to $389.3 million, up from $205.2 million in 2015. This was driven by 68% and 115% growth in the company's subscription and merchant solutions segments, respectively. Subscription and merchant solutions revenue was $188.6 million and $200.7 million, respectively.
99%: Gross merchandise volume (GMV), or the total dollar value of orders processed on the Shopify platform, jumped 99% to $15.4 billion. That amounts to over half of Shopify's total GMV in company history.
Chart source: Shopify.
133,000: Over 133,000 new merchants started selling on Shopify in 2016, up 54% year over year. This brought Spotify's total merchant count to 377,500.
25%: Shopify isn't just growing its business, but it's improving its customers' businesses while it's at it. "Merchants on average became more successful onShopify," the company noted in its fourth-quarter earnings release, citing 25% year-over-year growth in GMV per merchant in 2016.
15%: With average revenue per user rising 15% in 2016 to $1,243, Shopify customers are becoming more entrenched in Shopify's platform. Management said the increase during the year was "driven by higher GMV per merchant, increased penetration of Shopify Payments, higher [monthly recurring revenue] per merchant, and the introduction of new merchant services."
85%: In geographies where Shopify Payments is available, 85% or merchants are now using the payments processing solution. This is up from 76% in the fourth quarter of 2015.
11,000: Shopify merchants are referring more new customers than ever. The number of merchants referring at least one new customer to the platform in 2016 was 11,000, up from 8,500 in 2015.
$30 million: Between its April 2016 launch and the end of 2016, Shopify Capital provided merchants with $30 million in aggregate cash advances, pointing to a promising start for the new financial product.
57%: Shopify is benefiting from operating leverage as operating expenses, when excluding the effect of stock-based compensation, decline as a percentage of revenue. These adjusted expenses represented 57% of revenue in 2016, compared to 59%, 74%, and 79% in 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.
85%: Gross profit increased 85% to $209.5 million. That growth importantly represents an acceleration from 81% year-over-year growth in 2015 and 70% growth in 2014.
Combining Shopify's declining adjusted expenses as a percentage of revenue and the company's accelerating growth in its gross profit, Shopify looks like it's squarely on a path toward profitability in the coming years.
Shopify platform. Image source: Shopify.
Shopify can't sustain levels of growth this high. Indeed, management is guiding for about 52% year-over-year revenue growth in 2017 -- a meaningful deceleration from Shopify's 90% growth in 2016. But the company's steep growth across its business clearly suggests Shopify is still early in its growth story. And this bodes well for the company's future. As Shopify CFO Russ Jones said in the company's fourth-quarter earnings release, "That we grew revenue by 90% and GMV by 99% for the full year 2016 speaks to the enormous opportunity in retail right now and our strategic position within it."
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