(Bloomberg) — Shopify Inc. posted much higher-than-expected revenue and adjusted earnings and reiterated that it expects continued strong sales growth in 2021 but at a slower pace. Its shares were up 4% in premarket trading in New York.“Shopify’s momentum continued into 2021 as digital commerce tailwinds remained strong and merchants took advantage of the range of capabilities offered by our platform,” Amy Shapero, Shopify’s CFO, said in a written statement.Key Insights:Revenue was $988.6 million in the quarter, compared with $470 million a year earlier. Analysts had expected sales of $863 million. Shopify had previously said the first quarter would contribute the smallest share of full-year sales for 2021.Gross merchandise volume — the broadest measure of product sales flowing through Shopify’s platform — was $37.3 billion in the first quarter, higher than analyst estimates of $33.44 billion.Shopify declined to provide full-year guidance but said it expects strong but slower revenue growth.While Shopify still expects the first quarter to contribute the smallest share of full-year revenue and the fourth quarter the largest, the revenue spread “may be more evenly distributed across the four quarters than it has been historically if the rollout of a vaccine shifts more consumer spending to services and offline shopping towards the back half of the year.”In Canada, vaccine delays, a third coronavirus wave and further lockdowns could prolong the e-commerce boom while the U.S. recovery is further under way. U.S. retail sales soared 9.8% in March, and retail foot traffic is up as Americans, helped by federal stimulus checks and vaccinations, have begun returning to bricks-and-mortar stores.Adjusted earnings per share were $2.01, compared with analysts estimates of 77 cents.Shopify Turns to ‘Harry Potter’ to Show Heft Ahead of EarningsShopify’s shares gained 178% in 2020 as global lockdowns pushed droves of consumers to online shopping. They’re flat so far this year, having lost ground since February, when the company warned that growth could slow in 2021 as competitors’ physical stores reopen.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.