Like so many companies that provide online and digital solutions for businesses, Shopify saw sharp growth this past year in the number of merchants on its platform. And as the company’s merchant base grew, so did its payments revenue.
Shopify reported on Wednesday that its total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $977.7 million, up 94% year over year. Much of this came from increased recurring subscription revenue, which was up 53% and driven by more merchants joining Shopify’s platform, it said.
At the same time, the business segment that includes payment processing fees accounts for a growing piece of the company’s revenue pie. In a financial filing, Shopify explained that its Merchant Solutions revenue accounted for 69% of its total revenue for 2020, up from 59.3% in 2019. That segment’s revenue includes fees and other revenue from several services that the company offers its merchants, but it comes primarily from its payment processing fees for Shopify Payments, the company’s integrated payment processing service, it said.
Shopify’s Merchant Solutions revenue shot up 117% for the fourth quarter year over year to $698.3 million, driven mostly by growth in gross merchandise volume (GMV) – the total dollar value of sales processed through its platform, it said. The company saw GMV during the fourth quarter of $41.1 billion, an increase of $20.5 billion, or 99%, over the same quarter in 2019.
The company separately reports gross payments volume (GPV), the amount of GMV that is processed through Shopify Payments. The GPV grew to $19.1 billion, or 46% of GMV processed during the quarter, up from $8.9 billion, or 43%, for the fourth quarter of 2019.
For the full year, Shopify reported total revenue of $2,929.5 million, up 86% over the full year 2019. Its Subscription Solutions revenue grew 41% to $908.8 million, and Merchant Solutions revenue grew 116% to $2,020.7 million, it said.
The GMV on Shopify’s platform for 2020 was $119.6 billion, up 96% over 2019. And GPV grew to $53.9 billion, accounting for 45% of GMV processed versus $25.7 billion, or 42%, during 2019.
“Our fourth-quarter results capped off an outstanding 2020, thanks to the success of our merchants in a year that truly tested their mettle and triggered more entrepreneurs around the world to start their journey toward economic independence,” said Amy Shapero, Shopify’s CFO.
“Shopify was prepared to ship the features that our merchants needed during the pandemic because we had invested for several years in a future that arrived early with the acceleration of online commerce. We’re amplifying our efforts in 2021, as we focus on executing on a portfolio of initiatives that will fuel further growth for our merchants and for Shopify.”
Shopify’s gross profit grew 78% to $1,541.5 million in 2020, up from $865.6 million for 2019. The company expects to continue rapid growth during 2021, but at a pace that is slower than this year. The company is planning to invest its profits “aggressively” back into the business, it said, including through an “ambitious hiring campaign” and expanded sales and marketing efforts.
“The spirit of entrepreneurship was strong in 2020, as our merchants’ resilience and ability to adapt helped many of them thrive in a difficult year,” said Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s president.
“Shopify is at the heart of our merchants’ businesses with entrepreneurs around the world trusting us with their livelihoods. This year, we are doubling down on creating a frictionless path to successful entrepreneurship, as we continue to build a future-proof commerce solution to serve generations to come.”