What happened

Shares of Shopify (SHOP 4.90%) slumped Monday morning, falling as much as 6.5%. As of 11:47 a.m. ET, the stock was still down 3.7%.

The catalyst that sent the e-commerce purveyor lower was bearish commentary by a Wall Street analyst.

So what

KeyBanc analyst Josh Beck lowered his price target on Shopify from $50 to $45 while simultaneously maintaining his overweight (buy) rating on the stock, according to The Fly. The revised price target still represents potential gains for investors of more than 51% compared to Friday's closing price. 

The analyst has been reading the digital tea leaves and studying various proxies for Shopify's gross merchandise volume (GMV) and gross payment volume (GPV) -- the most widely followed measures of the company's success. The data points he surveyed suggest that business directionally slowed, from 11% year-over-year revenue growth in the second quarter to 10% in Q3.

The news wasn't all bad, as merchant-related data skewed positive. Merchant-related proxies increased 30% sequentially, and the company also saw a 3% increase in downloads.

Now what

While Shopify's growth is certainly worth watching, it's best if we wait to hear the actual number from the company rather than relying on estimates. Additionally, decelerating growth wouldn't be surprising, particularly given the current macroeconomic headwinds.

However, analysts -- out of necessity -- tend to focus on a much shorter time frame than long-term investors, looking out just three to six months, rather than three to five years.

Shopify is forecasting GMV that continues to outperform the broader retail market for the remainder of 2022 and for the foreseeable future, while guiding for more merchants joining in the back half of the year. Furthermore, estimates suggest that e-commerce sales will grow from $5.7 trillion in 2022 to $8.1 trillion by 2026.

Shopify is the very definition of a long-term growth story, and the company is well positioned to capture a large percentage of future e-commerce growth, rewarding patient investors along the way.