Shopify is "The Force"

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

"Your six-digit Shopify activation code, please send"

Dow Jones
27,783 (-0.96%)
S&P 500
3,114 (-0.86%)
8,568 (-1.12%)
$7,367 (-0.36%)
10-Yr US Treasury

Hey Snackers,

If you survived the rosé shortage of 2015 or the Four Loko famine that preceded it, this is a warning: a french fry-pocalypse could be comingPotato output is expected to fall 6.1% in the US (blame early frost and Hurricane Dorian).

Markets dipped to start the week, despite Cyber Monday's completely unsurprising record haul of online sales.

1. Shopify is the Force behind the record Cyber Monday

"BFCM"... That's what Shopify calls the hazy credit card memories of the past 4 days. Now that Black Friday/Cyber Monday is over, we want to highlight another winner (besides omnichannel commerce and shopping on your phone, which we covered yesterday): Shopify.

  • $900M of online shopping went through its ecommerce pipes on Friday. Since $7.4B total was spent online on Black Friday, that means Shopify handled 12% of all US online shopping.

The Force... 'An energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.' It's almost like Obi-Wan knew Shopify would empower brands to manage their own ecommerce. Companies that want to sell online have 2 key options:

  • Use a middleman, aka a platform like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, or Dick's Sporting Goods. They'll take a cut of the transaction.
  • Do it yourself. For Allbirds, Kylie Cosmetics, and — even Tesla until recently — Shopify invisibly handled their website, managing the behind-the-scenes of ecommerce from payments to order management.
  • FYI, Adobe and Salesforce do this back-end work too (also without you even noticing), snagging monthly software subscription fees for it.

Wall Street sees what Shopify is doing, and likes it... Shopify isn't profitable — never has been. But when you own a growing share of a growing market, investors are usually happy. That's why the stock price has grown 8x bigger the past 3 years. The hope is that soon Shopify won't have to spend so much on marketing to grow — then it'll be able to sit back, charge companies monthly ecommerce fees, and get profitable.


McLate... A full 3 months after Popeye's faced a crispy chicken sandwich shortage (good problem to have), McDonald's wants in. Yesterday, the fast food chain started testing its own caloric version in its Houston and Knoxville restaurants. We know what you're thinking: Didn't fry-master McDonald's already do fried chicken?

  • McNuggets and the McChicken Sandwich don't count — they're not "Southern" style.
  • McD's has tried multiple other chicken sandwich options, but none came close to Big Mac fame.
  • Solution: Steal Chick-Fil-A and Popeye's Southern-style crispy chicken concept, with butter and pickles.

The other other white meat... is worshipped nationwide right now. Southern-style fried chicken sandwiches became profit puppies for a pair of McD's rivals during last summer's Chicken Sandwich Wars:

  • Popeye’s: Feasted on its best quarterly sales growth in nearly 20 years as its brioche bun-nestled fried chicken sandwich grew sales by 10%.
  • Chick-Fil-A: Now America's 3rd largest restaurant chain by sales — Chick-Fil-A has about double the sales per restaurant as other fast food joints.

McDonald’s franchisees are its secret sauce... 9 of 10 McD's restaurants worldwide aren't owned by Ronald, they're actually owned by a franchisee — an entrepreneur who McDonald's licenses its logo/recipes/supplies to in exchange for fees and a portion of their location's sales. Back in July, franchisees wrote a joint letter to McD's asking for a chicken sandwich ASAP... before the Chicken Sandwich Wars. They were right. McDonald's finally admitted it.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • HollyWork: WeWork's getting a movie — the screenwriter of The Big Short is doing one on co-founder Adam Neumann's rise/fall
  • Econ: Brazil and Argentina face fresh steel and aluminum tariffs — President Trump unexpectedly announced the protectionist policies after both countries' currencies have weakened (that gave Brazil and Argentina an advantage in international trade)
  • Worn: J.Crew's sales fell (again) and it was upstaged by its Madewell brand (again), whose jumped 13% last quarter
  • Unplugged: Roku plummets 15% after an analyst claims there's too much "streaming exuberance" and cord-cut media companies are overvalued
  • Chew: Twinkie's-owner Hostess splurges $320M to treat itself to sugar-free wafer-maker Voortman
  • Played: Nintendo's hybrid-ish Switch gaming console was one of Black Friday's biggest winners because the competition simply hasn't whipped up new Switch alternatives lately
Snacks Daily Podcast

Jack Dorsey is a simple man who enjoys long beards, 1 meal a day, and being CEO of 2 companies. Simultaneously.

The co-founder of Twitter and Square tweeted that he's moving to Africa for 6 months because "Africa will define the future".

So we're looking at how Africa is the post-China growth market (and how execs can write their own WFH policies).

  • The Motor Vehicle Sales report tells us how many cars are driving off lots
  • Earnings from Salesforce and Lands End

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Amazon

ID: 1026146

Subscribe to Robinhood Snacks

Our Editorial Principles
Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Crypto, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. Equities and options are offered to self-directed customers by Robinhood Financial. Robinhood Financial is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at Cryptocurrency trading is offered through an account with Robinhood Crypto. Robinhood Crypto is not a member of FINRA or SIPC. Cryptocurrencies are not stocks and your cryptocurrency investments are not protected by either FDIC or SIPC insurance.

Getting “early access” to options or Web is defined as signing up with a valid email address for a spot in Robinhood Financial’s respective waitlist queues for Web or for options. Getting “early access” to Robinhood Crypto is defined as signing up with a valid email address for a spot in Robinhood Crypto’s waitlist queue. Early access to the waitlist for Web, options, or Robinhood Crypto should in no way be construed as confirmation that a brokerage account with Robinhood Financial has been opened or will even be approved for opening. Priority may be given to Robinhood Gold subscribers and existing customers of Robinhood Financial.

Free trading of stocks and options refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood Financial self-directed individual cash or margin brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities via mobile devices or Web. Relevant SEC & FINRA fees may apply. Please see the Fee Schedule.

Robinhood Financial is currently registered in the following jurisdictions. This is not an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities, or open a brokerage account in any jurisdiction where Robinhood Financial is not registered. Additional information about your broker can be found by clicking here.

Margin trading involves interest charges and risks, including the potential to lose more than deposited or the need to deposit additional collateral in a falling market. Before using margin, customers must determine whether this type of trading strategy is right for them given their specific investment objectives, experience, risk tolerance, and financial situation. For more information please see Robinhood Financial’s Margin Disclosure Statement, Margin Agreement and FINRA Investor Information. These disclosures contain information on Robinhood Financial’s lending policies, interest charges, and the risks associated with margin accounts.

Investors should consider the investment objectives and unique risk profile of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) carefully before investing. ETFs are subject to risks similar to those of other diversified portfolios. Leveraged and Inverse ETFs may not be suitable for all investors and may increase exposure to volatility through the use of leverage, short sales of securities, derivatives and other complex investment strategies.

Although ETFs are designed to provide investment results that generally correspond to the performance of their respective underlying indices, they may not be able to exactly replicate the performance of the indices because of expenses and other factors. A prospectus contains this and other information about the ETF and should be read carefully before investing. Customers should obtain prospectuses from issuers and/or their third party agents who distribute and make prospectuses available for review. ETFs are required to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders at year end. These gains may be generated by portfolio rebalancing or the need to meet diversification requirements. ETF trading will also generate tax consequences. Additional regulatory guidance on Exchange Traded Products can be found by clicking here.

Options transactions may involve a high degree of risk. Please review the options disclosure document entitled the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options available through or to learn more about the risks associated with options trading.

The cash management program is expected to be offered by Robinhood Financial LLC. The cash management program, when operational, will be an added program to Robinhood brokerage accounts and will not be a separate account or a bank account. Robinhood Financial will provide additional information on the cash management program once it is operational to help customers, including those with “early access,” to determine if they want to add the program to their brokerage account.

Robinhood Snacks newsletters and podcasts reflect the opinions of only the authors who are associated persons of Robinhood Financial LLC and do not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. They are meant for informational purposes only, are not intended to serve as a recommendation to buy or sell any security in a self-directed Robinhood account or any other account, and are not an offer or sale of a security. They are also not research reports and are not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision. Any third-party information provided therein does not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets, Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk, it does not assure a profit or protect against loss. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing. The price of a given security may increase or decrease based on market conditions and customers may lose money, including their original investment. Robinhood Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of other customers and are not guarantees of future performance or success. Robinhood Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Third party information provided for product features, communications, and communications emanating from social media communities, market prices, data and other information available through Robinhood Markets, Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC or Robinhood Crypto, LLC are meant for informational purposes only and are not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument or cryptocurrency or as an official confirmation of any transaction. The information provided is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and is subject to change without notice. Any information about Robinhood Crypto on any Robinhood website (including and, the Robinhood platform, e-mails, or any other communications, are meant for informational purposes only and are not intended as an offer, solicitation, or advertisement for Robinhood Crypto or any goods or services offered by Robinhood Crypto. The Robinhood website provides its users links to social media sites and email. The linked social media and email messages are pre-populated. However, these messages can be deleted or edited by users, who are under no obligation to send any pre-populated messages. Any comments or statements made herein do not reflect the views of Robinhood Markets Inc., Robinhood Financial LLC, Robinhood Crypto, LLC, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates.

Investors should be aware that system response, execution price, speed, liquidity, market data, and account access times are affected by many factors, including market volatility, size and type of order, market conditions, system performance, and other factors.

All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk it does not assure a profit, or protect against loss, in a down market. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities, or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing.

Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Cryptocurrencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not currently backed nor supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional currencies. Trading in cryptocurrencies comes with significant risks, including volatile market price swings or flash crashes, market manipulation, and cybersecurity risks. In addition, cryptocurrency markets and exchanges are not regulated with the same controls or customer protections available in equity, option, futures, or foreign exchange investing. Cryptocurrency trading requires knowledge of cryptocurrency markets. In attempting to profit through cryptocurrency trading, you must compete with traders worldwide. You should have appropriate knowledge and experience before engaging in substantial cryptocurrency trading. Cryptocurrency trading may not generally be appropriate, particularly with funds drawn from retirement savings, student loans, mortgages, emergency funds, or funds set aside for other purposes. Cryptocurrency trading can lead to large and immediate financial losses. Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position quickly at a reasonable price. This can occur, for example, when the market for a particular cryptocurrency suddenly drops, or if trading is halted due to recent news events, unusual trading activity, or changes in the underlying cryptocurrency system. Several federal agencies have also published advisory documents surrounding the risks of virtual currency. For more information see, the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory, the CFTC’s Customer Advisory, the SEC’s Investor Alert, and FINRA’s Investor Alert.

Robinhood Crypto, LLC has a seller of payment instruments license in Georgia, with reference number 61417.

Robinhood Crypto, LLC has a money transmitter license in New Jersey, with reference number 1803456-C22.

Please note that an Alaska money transmission license does not cover the transmission of virtual currency.

Check the background of Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Securities, LLC on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Robinhood Terms & Conditions    Disclosure Library    Contact Us    FAQ

© 2020 Robinhood. All rights reserved.