The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
The e-commerce platform provider also says it will add 10,000 new clients this year.
Online retailers that use the Shopify e-commerce platform are on track to double their combined sales in 2012 compared with the previous year.
The gross merchandise volume, or GMV, for all its merchants is projected to grow from approximately $275 million in 2011 to more than $500 million this year, says Mark Hayes of Shopify.
“We’re adding about 1,000 online stores every month so we’re sure to celebrate our 35,000th store before the end of the year,” Hayes says. “Those 35,000 stores will likely sell double the GMV that our stores did last year—amounting to over half a billion dollars.”
As of the beginning of 2012, the company was hosting an estimated 25,000 online stores, including around 4,000 in Europe. The company is based in Ottawa, Canada.
Shopify aims its service mainly at small retailers and other companies just getting started online. It offers templates that retailers can fill in with their own colors and logos and add their products. Then Shopify hosts the store, which means the e-retailer does not have to invest in I.T. infrastructure and personnel. Clients include travel memorabilia e-retailer Pilot and Captain and Christina Elaine handbags.
Pricing begins at $29 per month plus 2% of sales volume for retailers that offer up to 100 SKUs. That goes up to $179 with no cut of revenue and no limit on the number of SKUs the retailer can offer.
In the past few months, Shopify has been adding mobile commerce features, including offering a range of newly developed m-commerce templates that can be used to set up a mobile store.
Shopify recently paid a reported $50,000 to acquire the domain name mcommerce.com. It also recently acquired Select Start Studios—which builds iOS and Android apps for companies—for an undisclosed sum.
Shopify also offers its own mobile app, Shopify Mobile, that lets client retailers check orders and inventory and fulfill purchases. Hayes says about 30% of its retail clients use Shopify Mobile.
Shopify recently raised $22 million in new funding. Founder and CEO Tobias Lütke says the company is turning its attention increasingly to m-commerce. “It’s long been said that the future of e-commerce is both social and mobile,” Lütke says. “After seeing a massive increase in mobile transactions at Shopify, we believe the future is now and the m-commerce revolution is well under way.”