Recent data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that in the third quarter of 2020, even as total retail sales increased just 7% year over year, online purchases increased 37%, accounting for roughly 13% of total sales. That helps to illustrate that while e-commerce has grown tremendously in recent years, a long runway remains.

On this episode of Fool Live that aired on Nov. 30, 2020, Fool.com contributor Danny Vena discusses how Shopify's (NYSE:SHOP) consistent growth helps highlight its future potential.

Danny Vena: Well, thanks. Let me say that, I think Shopify is a great opportunity for folks who don't necessarily have the wherewithal to be able to set up their own online store, as well as being a channel for some of the bigger players.

I am going to start off with, we talked about the very first question here for Shopify being the fact that it's a consistent grower [chart showing consistent revenue growth] The first thing I want to point out here is so far this year, Shopify's revenue is up 56 percent year-over-year during the trailing 12-month period. That's not an anomaly, you can go back one-year period, three-year period, five-year period, and I mean, look at that over five years; its revenue was up over 1,000%.

When Shopify went public just over five years, about five and a half years ago in May of 2015. Now we're going to switch for just a moment here because whenever you have revenue growth like that, particularly if there is the potential to be profitable and you don't even have to be profitable yet. Just to have the potential to be profitable, then what happens is you end up growing your stock price.

If you look at year-to-date, I've also thrown in the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq here for comparison, so far this year, Shopify stock is up a 175%. Now a lot of that has to do with the acceleration of the adoption of e-commerce resulting from the pandemic.

There were a lot of merchants who had not yet adopted e-commerce. When retail shut down in March, people made that hard and fast pivot to e-commerce so that they could be able to continue to sell their wares and services when they might not necessarily have their physical brick-and-mortar stores open.

I just wanted to show you that it was actually growing really well before that. If you go to the three-year period, the stocks up 1,000%, five-year period, 4,000%, maximum over 4,100% stock growth.

This just goes to show you that that consistent revenue growth over the last five years has helped push that stock price up over 4,000%, which is one of the reasons that I love Shopify stock.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.