Cooler temperatures are settling in across many parts of the country right now, but there are two tech stocks that didn't get the autumn memo. Amazon (AMZN -8.43%) and Shopify (SHOP -1.30%) are hotter than ever, with their share prices up 81% and 228%, respectively, over the past 12 months.
Both companies have experienced tremendous growth as people have spent more time shopping online during this past year, and investors would be wise to consider how each company could continue growing over the next few years. Read on to find out why.
Don't think Amazon is finished tapping the e-commerce market
Most investors don't need an introduction to Amazon, but if you've been passing over the company because you think it has already fully tapped the e-commerce market, you need to revisit this stock. As the pandemic forced people to spend more time at home over the past few months, Amazon's e-commerce business has skyrocketed.
In the second quarter (reported on July 30), Amazon's sales jumped 40% to $88.9 billion, and its earnings of $10.30 per share completely decimated Wall Street's consensus estimate of $1.50 per share. And there's likely more growth where that came from. Amazon's annual Prime Day event is about to kick off on Oct. 12, which will create one of the company's biggest online shopping days. Amazon has 150 million Prime members, an increase of 50 million from just two years ago, which could help make its Prime Day (which is actually spread out over 48 hours) one of its most successful yet.
This year's Prime Day event could help kick off the online holiday shopping season, but there's no indication that Amazon will slow down beyond 2020. Just 16% of U.S. retail sales happen online, and e-commerce will grow to an estimated $476 billion by 2024, leaving Amazon wide open to continue dominating e-commerce for years to come.
Another great e-commerce play
Shopify has benefited in the same way that Amazon has this year and enjoys the same long-term opportunities as well. The company's e-commerce platform helps businesses of all sizes set up online shops to sell their goods and services; in the most recent quarter, Shopify's sales spiked 97%.
The company's revenue jumped thanks to increasing sales from both its Subscription Solutions segment, which popped by 28%, and its Merchant Solutions segment, which grew 128%. Additionally, the company's gross-merchandise volume (GMV), the dollar amount spent on Shopify's platform, soared 119%.
Shopify was clear about why it grew so quickly in the second quarter, with the company's Chief Operating Officer, Harley Finkelstein, saying in an investor earnings call:
Over the past few months, we've seen the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally shift the way businesses and consumers interact. It has catalyzed e-commerce, introducing major changes in buyer behavior and pulling forward what retail would look like in 2030 into 2020.
Even when the pandemic is behind us, it's likely that businesses will continue to put more emphasis on e-commerce sales than ever before. COVID-19 has accelerated the need for companies to reach their customers online, and as they continue to do that, many of them will look to Shopify's platform to help them achieve that goal.
Expect some volatility
This year has brought a lot of uncertainty, and the stock market hasn't escaped the effects of the pandemic. There will likely be a lot more instability in the coming months that could cause temporary price swings in the market, but it's important for investors to remember they should be buying and holding stocks for years, not just for a few quarters. Snatching up shares of Amazon and Shopify right now and holding onto them for several years (or longer) could prove to be a wise wealth-building strategy.