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#8 – Backbone Angels, Impact affiliates, and investing in recurring revenues

by | Mar 15, 2021 | Recent Newsletters

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And now, onto the 8th edition of Shopifreaks newsletter….

Stock News

Mon, Mar 8th – Open: $1,126.04 – Close: $1,072.43

Fri, Mar 12th – Open: $1,121.98 – Close: $1,140.63

Today (Mar 15th) – Open: $1,121.98

1) The Royal Bank of Canada replaced Shopify last week as the country's most valuable company after SHOP's stock fell (along with the rest of tech). Shopify's market cap fell to around $153 billion while Royal Bank increased to $163 billion to regain the top spot.

2) Shopify's stock rose 5.47% to $1,131.07 last Tuesday after 5 consecutive sessions in a row of losses. SHOP opened today about 25% lower than their 52 week high of $1,499.75.

3) Jayson MacLean of Cantech Letter asks investors, “Would you wait 420 years for Shopify earnings? ..even [if it could grow earnings] at 20 per cent a year, it would still take 25 years for that sum to to come to fruition.”

Even though I'm personally bullish on SHOP, I feel that MacLean does bring up a valid concern about its current valuation. Churn is a particular worry of mine as an investor. Will all those new entrepreneurs who opened stores in 2020 continue their Shopify subscription after 1 year? 2 years? And if not, can Shopify's growth into new markets keep up? What are your thoughts?

Shopify News

1) Pipe, a new platform that lets investors trade recurring revenues, raised $50 million in strategic equity funding, bringing their total equity raised to $66 million. Shopify was part of this investment round — which makes sense given that Shopify is a recurring revenue giant, both with its own income model and that of many of its e-commerce stores. I'll be following Pipe's future with interest. 

2) The affiliate marketing network Impact was selected by Shopify Plus to be a Certified App Partner for influencer and affiliate marketing. Shopify merchants can now take advantage of Impact’s Partnership Cloud directly through Shopify’s App Store. This might come as a big blow to self-managed affiliate apps like Refersion and LeadDyno to have such a big network in their app-based affiliate space. 

3) Atlee Clark (Director of Marketing), Konval Matin (Director of Merchant Storytelling), and eight other current and former Shopify colleagues launched Backbone Angels, a new early-stage fund aimed at startups helmed by women and non-binary founders. Women-led businesses brought in just 2.3% of all global VC funding in 2020 — and Backbone Angels plans to make a dent in that figure. They will announce their first investment shortly. 

4) Last year Shopify App Developers earned over $230 million, with Shopify taking 20%. Here are a few Shopify vs competitors statistics of interest. 

  • Merchants: Shopify (1,700,000), BigCommerce (60,000), Magento (250,000)
  • Apps: Shopify (6,000), Magento (3,819), BigCommerce (900)
  • Average Shopify merchant uses 6 apps to run their business

5) Brex has expanded its instant payouts feature to sellers on Shopify (previously only for Amazon sellers). The feature lets sellers access sales revenue immediately after the payment clears, as opposed to the normal payout process which can take several days. Each instant payout transfer carries a 1% fee for Shopify sellers. It wouldn't be worth the fee for companies that have ample cash flow or access to credit, but might be a lifesaver for businesses with cash flow problems. 

6) Shopify has become the first customer to buy contract carbon removal units from Canada-based direct air capture company Carbon Engineering. Shopify claims it has now purchased more Direct Air Capture (DAC) carbon removal than any other company and is urging other firms to follow suit. As we've reported in previous Shopifreaks newsletters, Shopy is very pro carbon removal

7) TikTok's integration with Shopify is expanding to Canada. Last week we reported that the partnership expanded to parts of Europe, so it seems that they are quickly releasing integration worldwide. 

8) Shopify's Shuang Esther Shan interviewed India's SUGAR Cosmetic's owner, Vineeta Singh, to learn how she disrupted the market by focusing on underserved customers — particularly customers with deeper Indian skin tones. It's a fascinating case study about bootstrapping a physical product company leveraging sales technology like Shopify. 

Shopify Apps

Last week Shopify added 40 new apps to the Shopify App store. Here are a few that look promising. 

1) ShopQR – Generate scannable QR codes for product and checkout URLs that leads customers directly to checkout. Free

2) eCommerce Returns Management – Create an exceptional and automated returns experience for your customers through a customizable portal. Turn refunds into exchange and repurchase opportunities. Free – $49/month.

3) Shopy Pre-Order – Convert the cart button into the Pre-order button when your store's product/variants are out of stock. Apply discounts to pre-orders and max quantities. Free – $15.99/month.

4) Shabbat Shalom – Automatically close your store on Shabbat and Jewish holidays and inform your customers when you will reopen. Free

5) BTA Tab Reminder – Animate your store's browser tab with scrolling or blinking text to draw attention and bring your customers back to purchase. $2.50/month. 

6) Quotify – Allow your customers to submit quotes for any product and bargain for the best price. Shoppers can add one or multiple products (including quantity) to their quote request. $9.95/month

7) GVariant: Image + Color Swatch – Easily show product variants such as colors or images without having to code anything. Includes sort options, button order, hover, and more customizations. Free

8) iCollect – Let your customers order their products on your website and then pay in cash or other means when they pick-up the items at your store. Supports multiple pick-up locations. $9.00/month

9) Spin360: 3D Product Rotations – Transform still product image displays to interactive 3D / 360° product imaginary. Free – $29.99/month.

10) Customer Support with WhatsApp – Support your customers and answer their questions over Whatsapp with integrated order history, customer info, notes, and privacy features. $9.99/month

? Shop of the Week

Every week in the Shopifreaks newsletter, I feature a Shopify store with a positive mission. If you'd like to nominate a store, e-mail [email protected] or hit Reply to any of my newsletters and share their website and story. 

This week's Shop of the Week award goes to– a children's apparel company that features messages of positivity in their designs. 

Leila Mehra, the company's founder, wanted to create a better t-shirt that had the desired message of positivity and kindness, was high quality in terms of comfort and durability, and was environmentally-friendly. She and her son developed The Kinder Voice to bring the best of those three worlds together. 

The Kinder Voice wants you and your kids to feel proud to wear one of their shirts. Check out their shop and show them some love on Instagram & Facebook

Thanks for being a Shopifreak!

If you have any Shopify related news that's worthy of sharing in our next newsletter, e-mail [email protected] or hit ‘Reply' to this e-mail.

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See you next Monday!


Paul E. Drecksler
[email protected]

PS: What did the pillow say when it fell of the bed? … Oh sheet!