One of the world's largest companies just keeps getting bigger. Not content to rest on its market cap of more than $400 billion -- or its 2016 net revenue of roughly $136 billion -- or the fact that it has already revolutionized the entire retail industry, Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) keeps expanding its empire.
On March 28, the company announced that it would purchase Dubai-based e-commerce company Souq.com from its shareholders for an undisclosed sum. Souq.com is one of the leaders of online shopping in the Middle East, where e-commerce is gaining popularity and growing quickly.
In particular, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are among the world's countries with the most mobile devices per capita, and in these nations, a largely affluent and tech-savvy millennial generation is spending its money online. Analysts estimated that the e-commerce market in the Middle East was worth $20 billion last year.
Without a doubt, Amazon is the leader worldwide when it comes to shopping online. And by tapping into the Middle Eastern market with the purchase of Souq.com, the company stands to grow even bigger.
Amazon, however, might simply be too big for some investors. The stock just might top $1,000 per share this year -- a price out of reach for many individuals looking to cash in on e-commerce trends.
Luckily, there's another stock that's a great play on the rise of online shopping -- and it's priced a lot lower than Jeff Bezos' behemoth.
Shopify (SHOP - Get Report) is an e-commerce platform that assists businesses of all sizes in selling their goods online and maintaining an online presence. The Ottawa company counts Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) , as well as many small- and midsize businesses, among its clients.
Shopify uses proprietary cloud-based software to help its clients sell merchandise through a variety of channels, from their own websites to Facebook (FB - Get Report) to mobile apps to even Amazon. And as more retailers of all sizes start selling merchandise online, Shopify is primed for growth.
Last month, the company impressed investors with Wall Street-beating fourth-quarter results. Revenue grew by 86% year over year, and Shopify hit breakeven on earnings per share (analysts had been expecting a 2-cent loss, and Shopify had recorded a 1-cent loss in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015).
But Shopify also raised its revenue guidance for fiscal 2017 -- from $120 million to $122 million. That should have investors keeping an eye on this plucky e-commerce player. Year to date, Shopify's stock is up nearly 60%. But there's still plenty of room for growth as e-commerce continues to gain steam across the globe.
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