Sales through Shopify sites nearly doubled during Q4

Canadian ecommerce firm Shopify Inc. said it will take advantage of “unprecedented opportunities” in 2021 to speed up innovation and expand into new markets, but warned that its growth rate will slow, according to its year-end earnings report.

Gross merchandise value—the measure of product sales flowing through Shopify’s platform—was $41.1 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up 99.5% from $20.6 billion The same quarter a year earlier. Soaring demand for online shopping during the global pandemic boosted these sales. Full-year GMV was up 96.0% to $119.6 billion from $61.0 billion the prior year.

Revenue will grow “rapidly” this year but not as quickly as in 2020, when it increased 85.6% to $2.9 billion from $1.6 billion the prior year, the company said Wednesday. It didn’t give specific guidance on earnings for the current year. Once consumers are vaccinated, they may return to physical stores and rely less on ecommerce, Ottawa-based Shopify said.

Shopify is investing in product marketing and in-country sales teams in countries, such as Austria, France and Belgium, where it already has a good foothold, president Harley Finkelstein said on a conference call. But Shopify intends to take a “meticulous and very strategic approach” to international expansion.

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