CE 100 Index Gains 4.2% as Shopping Platforms Surge

All pillars of the CE 100 Index were in positive territory as August ended and opened the door to September trading.

The overall index was 4.2% higher on the week, notching strong gains into the long holiday weekend.

The Shopping pillar posted an impressive 11.9% bounce.

Pinduoduo’s parent company, PDD, surged 29.2%, leading that segment’s performance.

The company posted earnings this week that showed revenues leaping by 66%, and the consolidated top line was 52.3 billion yuan, equivalent to about $7.2 billion. The company’s earnings release noted that, in the words of co-CEO Zhao Jiazhen, “over the recent quarter, we saw a positive shift in consumer sentiment, leading to a rise in demand across various product sectors.”

In terms of top-line performance, revenues from online marketing services and others were 37.9 billion yuan, or about $5.2 billion, up 50% year on year. Revenues from transaction services were 14.3 billion yuan, soaring 131% year on year and equivalent to just under $2 billion.

Shopify Leaps on Amazon Partnership 

Shopify notched a 20% rally. As we reported here, Amazon and Shopify announced a new partnership that will allow merchants who pay for Shopify’s eCommerce tools to use Amazon’s logistics network. The joint efforts mean that Shopify merchants in the U.S. will soon have access to Amazon’s “Buy with Prime” option, which, as a hallmark, includes fast delivery to Prime members. The integration will allow Shopify merchants to offer Prime benefits to their customers.

In separate coverage, we observed that the pact expands payments optionality for consumers. And for Amazon, the added benefit is bringing more merchants into the Buy with Prime umbrella. Amazon has long noted that the Buy with Prime option helps boost merchant conversions by 25% with what is essentially one-click functionality. That single click at the point of checkout also embeds a series of logistics and fulfillment-related ancillary revenue streams, which have been growing by double digits in recent quarters.

In the Pay and Be Paid segment, which gained 4.8%, Affirm was up 22.9%, continuing its post-earnings streak. PYMNTS Intelligence data germane to the buy now, pay later segment this past week shows a growing interest in, and use of, BNPL options to pay for travel.

The latest report on “The Credit Economy” detailed that, beyond credit cards, younger consumers were more likely to opt for other credit products, such as buy now, pay later (BNPL), than other generations.

As many as 30% of millennials and 29% of Generation Z used or anticipated using BNPL to pay for their summer travel, compared to just 5% of baby boomers and seniors — in an environment where travel spending continues to be strong. Overall, 62% of consumers planned to travel this summer, and 30% planned to travel more this summer than last. Affirm’s latest quarterly results showed that BNPL volumes related to travel and ticketing surged 90% year on year and were 12% of gross merchandise value.

WeWork’s 12.6% decline tempered the Work segment’s 2.2% gains. As The Wall Street Journal reported, several of the company’s Wall Street lenders are exploring a bankruptcy filing for WeWork, which would help the company exit from at least some of its office leases and restructure debt. The Journal reported that WeWork’s interim chief, David Tolley, said in an interview that WeWork is seeking to avoid filing for Chapter 11 by negotiating with landlords.