Shopify’s (NYSE:SHOP) U.S.-based fulfillment network handled a record volume during the holiday season, the Canadian e-commerce company said on Wednesday as it reported record fourth-quarter financial results.
The company offered no details about how many shipments the Shopify Fulfillment Network handled or the impact on its financial performance. The network, launched in 2019, uses automated warehousing technology to allow merchants to manage inventory off-site and ship orders in direct competition with Amazon.
Shopify also revealed that it shipped its first kit to allow merchants to onboard themselves onto the fulfillment network. The self-onboarding may allow Shopify to eventually rapidly scale the platform.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the growth of Shopify’s underlying business: providing e-commerce platforms for retailers. Revenue for the fourth quarter increased by 94% to $977.7 million compared to a year earlier, while net income hit nearly $198.8 million, or $1.58 per share, versus $50 million a year ago.
The rollout of the e-commerce company’s fulfillment operation has been slow by design, according to executives. That strategy appears to remain in place in 2021.
Chief Operating Officer Amy Shapero told financial analysts on Wednesday that the company is continuing “to focus first on quality and merchant delight before we scale our fulfillment capabilities.”
Key to Shopify’s fulfillment strategy: technology 6 River Systems, which it acquired in 2019. 6 River’s robot-enabled warehouse automation platform will allow Shopify to add third-party warehouses to its network.
Click for more FreightWaves articles by Nate Tabak
TFI to take aim at UPS Freight’s unprofitable business
TFI to acquire UPS Freight for $800M
XTL makes its first acquisition as Canada trucking M&A heats up