Shopify’s sales growth has evaporated over the past year as the boom in online spending sparked by the pandemic has dissipated. But the e-commerce software giant has focused on squeezing more money out of its existing merchants from the sale of other services.
One notable way it’s doing that is by fronting money to cash-strapped online sellers. Its six-year-old lending business topped half a billion dollars in new loans for the first time in the third quarter—a nearly 30% jump from the prior year. More importantly, that growth has outstripped growth in merchants’ sales volume in five of the past six quarters.
Shopify executives expect the souring economy to continue boosting the company’s money-lending business—especially heading into Black Friday and Cyber Monday—as merchants’ working capital is stretched thin due to surging inventory and other costs and as traditional lenders dial back on handing out money to small businesses.