Investors can now boost their capital and support small businesses in one fell swoop by following a new, growing theme in retail: using technology to empower small businesses, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday.
The idea struck Cramer when he interviewed Shopify Chief Operating Officer Harley Finkelstein on Tuesday. Not only does the company help celebrities like Drake and Kylie Jenner sell their products online, the COO explained, but it also makes it easy for individuals without millions of social media followers to set up their own e-commerce operations.
“Shopify isn’t just a software company that enables e-commerce, it’s become the way for anyone to sell their own merchandise online,” Cramer said on “Mad Money.” “For every Kylie Jenner who builds a billion-dollar brand powered by Shopify and clever social media campaigns, I think there are thousands of people who are working to fulfill their own dreams — dreams that never would’ve gotten anywhere before Shopify launched its platform.”
In fact, Shopify actually negotiates lower costs for its customers, offering services like Shopify Payments and Shopify Shipping that cut out third-party charges and hidden fees. It also recently launched a cash-advance program, using the data it collects from its customers to offer loans that they might not have been able to secure themselves.
Tech-forward payments company Square has a similar mission. Its various properties — which include food delivery app Caviar, loan engine Square Capital, and its ubiquitous credit card readers — are all meant to make small business simpler. Or take website development platform Wix.com, which helps people create websites that rival professionally built pages.
“Obviously, using Adobe tools, you can design pretty much anything,” Cramer continued. “Salesforce.com … has empowered thousands of people to learn how to code and develop fabulous businesses through its Trailhead program.”
And the “Mad Money” host couldn’t talk small business empowerment without mentioning Etsy, the online marketplace for crafted and handmade goods that connects small-scale sellers with massive global audiences. Its products, he said, “show you care more than if you just, say, went to the mall.”
“Put it all together and these technology companies are doing incredible things to empower small businesses,” Cramer said. “I want to keep coming back to this theme because I’m betting the stocks I just mentioned may be worth more than we think, especially Shopify. And, hey, if you run a small business, tell me about the companies that are helping to empower you — go to Twitter, @JimCramer, and let me know. Let’s do this one together.”
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Salesforce.com.
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