Shopify shares surge after it teams up with Amazon to help online merchants

Shares of e-commerce startup Shopify Inc. surged Thursday after the Ottawa-based company announced it was teaming with Amazon to help online merchants grow.

In early afternoon trading, Shopify's (TSX:SH) stock was up $8.91 or 23.39 per cent at $47. After its debut as a public company in May, the company's shares peaked at $53.50.

Under the deal, Shopify said it had been selected as preferred migration provider for Amazon Webstore merchants.

Seattle-based Amazon announced earlier this year it was shutting its Webstore, which started in 2006, after losing ground to startups such as Shopify and Texas-based Bigcommerce Inc.

"Both Amazon and Shopify are leaders in e-commerce so it's a natural fit that we would enable our retailers to seamlessly run their businesses across either platform," said Harley Finkelstein, Shopify's chief platform officer.

He said many of Shopify's more than 175,000 merchants already use Amazon as a sales channel, so this change will "bridge the gap" between the two companies.

Webstore sellers can now migrate their businesses to a Shopify account, starting at $29 a month and receive a 30-day free trial.

Shopify said it will also give its own customers tools to grow their online business and integrate with various Amazon offerings.

Shopify merchants can access Amazon's Login and Pay gateway in the United States. Consumer shipping and payment information is stored with Amazon, providing quick and secure checkout on computers of mobile devices.

They can also ship products sold on their websites using inventory stored at Amazon warehouses.