Owning shares of entrepreneur-enabler Shopify (SHOP 2.95%) has been one of the wildest rides I have ever been on as an investor. After watching its shares rise over 100 times in value from its initial public offering (IPO) price in 2015, Shopify has since seen its shares drop over 80% from their peak.

Between growth stocks falling under intense scrutiny, the company lapping pandemic-boosted results, and significant investments in its operations weighing heavily on profitability, the market's overall outlook on Shopify has soured.

However, thanks to the three reasons below, Shopify looks more appealing than ever, making it my next purchase in November.

Shopify's most important metric is at all-time highs

Reporting revenue in two segments -- merchant solutions and subscription solutions -- Shopify generated 72% and 28% of its sales from these units, respectively, in the third quarter. Merchant solutions revenue is usage-based, allowing Shopify to grow alongside the success of its customers.

Generating fees from payment processing, transaction fees, advertising, cross-border solutions, shipping support, and many other services, the more offerings a business uses, the more revenue Shopify earns. Thanks to this burgeoning suite of omnichannel solutions, Shopify's moat continues to expand as its customers become increasingly reliant on the company, creating high switching costs.

Shopify's rising merchant solutions take rate highlights this expanding moat.

Shopify's merchant solutions take rate has steadily grown from 1.38% in Q3 of 2017 to 2.14% in Q3 of 2022.

Image Source: Shopify Q3 2022 earnings presentation. Merchant Solutions attach rate defined as merchant solutions revenue divided by gross merchandise value.

Calculated as merchant solutions revenue divided by gross merchandise volume (GMV), this attach rate has grown from 1.38% to 2.14% over the last five years, now sitting at all-time highs. 

Merchant solutions grew sales 26% year over year last quarter, outpacing companywide revenue growth of 22%, as the attach rate continued its rise. This outsized growth stemmed from Shopify Payments now processing 54% of GMV, while Shopify Markets and Shopify Capital also continued their rapid adoption among customers.

Crossing the $4 billion threshold in money lent to entrepreneurs, Shopify Capital continues helping clients scale their businesses. At the same time, Shopify Markets opens companies up to the global markets overnight with Markets Pro allowing for sales in over 150 countries while offering a localized buying experience.

With this merchant solutions take rate acting as a signal for how entwined customers are becoming with Shopify's ecosystem, continued growth in this metric is paramount to the company's success.

Shopify's cross-border ambitions

Of Shopify's multiple growth options, the development of its Shopify Markets solution could have the farthest-reaching implications for investors. Through its partnership with cross-border sales enabler Global-e Online, Shopify is quickly building out its capabilities to allow entrepreneurs to sell internationally.

Giving an update on their global ambitions during the third-quarter earnings call, President Harley Finkelstein explained: "In May, we introduced localized subscription plans in over 200 countries. International retailers outside of North America continued to grow our overall merchant mix, comprising 45% of all merchants in Q3 and demonstrating the continued success of our investments."

This 45% of retailers coming from outside of North America is a massive figure for investors to note as it points to the company planting the seeds of growth abroad. While it may take years (if not decades) for these seeds to bear fruit, this growth on the global level brings undeniable long-term potential.

With 175,000 merchants already using Shopify Markets (despite only being launched in late 2021), these merchants leverage the solution to sell to an average of 14 additional countries.

Making up a portion of the fees that help merchant solutions take rate to grow, look for international growth to drive Shopify's results going forward.

Not wildly cheap but discounted

While Shopify cannot be classified as cheap by traditional valuation methods, its price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of 8.5 represents a vast discount to the sky-high peak it reached during the pandemic. 

SHOP PS Ratio Chart

Data by YCharts.

To put this valuation into context, if Shopify can mature into a company generating a net profit margin of 10%, it would be trading at about 82 times earnings. This thought experiment highlights that even after its shares have dropped 77% year to date, the company still commands a premium valuation thanks to its immense growth potential.

However, Shopify's rising merchant solutions take rate and its global expansion plans make Shopify the top stock I'll be adding to my portfolio at current prices.