It's possible you've used the Shopify platform without even realizing it. The company offers consumer-facing companies a variety of tools to help them manage and promote a direct-to-consumer e-commerce business.
Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic boosted its business. With the world scrambling to do more shopping online and less in stores, Shopify's revenue through the first three quarters of 2020 is 82% ahead of where it was at the same point a year earlier. The company even swung to a profit during the three-month stretch ending in September.
Shopify's growth, however, was solid before the pandemic took shape, and is likely to remain robust even after the crisis ends. That's because consumers and companies alike have grown weary of the control Amazon has on North America's e-commerce market. Digital Commerce 360 estimates that Amazon alone accounts for around one-fourth of all dollars spent online in the U.S. Office supply store chain Staples, consumer staples company Kraft Heinz, and apparel retailer Dressbarn are just some of the brands that have tapped Shopify to help them build an online presence.
This shift still has plenty of runway ahead of it, too. Market research company eMarketer estimates that direct-to-consumer sales in the U.S. will reach $17.8 billion this year, which is only a fraction of the more than $200 billion worth of product sales Amazon is apt to report for fiscal 2020. It's another 10-year project, but one that's worth the wait.
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