What happened 

Online selling platform Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) outpaced the market last month by gaining 11% compared to a 1.8% boost in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally added to a good year for Shopify investors. The volatile stock is up close to 50% with just a few weeks left in 2018.

A woman holding a credit card with her right hand as she's shopping online using a tablet.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Shopify's November jump wasn't tied to any company-specific news. Instead, the stock got caught up in the volatility in the wider tech world last month. The rapidly shifting investor sentiment produced a few sharp sell-offs during the month, but Shopify ultimately recovered along with the broader tech segment.

Now what

Shopify's most recent earnings report, in late October, showed that its platform has plenty of room for growth as more retailing spending moves online. Sales jumped 58% and the company moved $10 billion worth of products through its platform. 

The fourth quarter represents a seasonally strong period for the company, and CEO Tobias Lutke and his team are predicting sales to range between $315 million and $325 million compared to the prior quarter's $270 million. Given its focus on growth today, that result would still translate into an operating loss for the year, but Shopify is happy to book red ink today in exchange for firming up its market position in this massive industry.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.