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BFCM 2021 by the Numbers: Shopify’s Record-Breaking Data and Trends Analyzed

PostedDecember 07, 2021

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 After the past few years we’ve had, is anything really certain? We’re not sure.

 

What we know to be certain, at least for as a long as we can remember, is that two things happen this time of year:

 

  1. “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey rises from it’s wintery grave and rattles through every grocery store, big box mall, and boutique from Miami to Los Angeles. 

 

  1. We begin deep-diving into the statistics and aftermath from Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) to analyze online shopping trends on your behalf.

 

Cue the music, and let’s dig into the data.

The biggest trends from BFCM 2021

BFCM by the numbers

Graphic by Shopify.com


As online shops geared up for a tumultuous BFCM, Shopify’s team closely followed the data in real time to determine how the pandemic, a global shipping and fulfillment crisis, and other factors affected and shaped online shopping trends.


Despite ongoing challenges that impacted nearly all business owners, Shopify merchants pulled off the impossible, bringing in a combined $6.3 billion in sales, the most profitable BFCM to date and a 23% surge from last year’s numbers.


Which factors paved the way for success on a road littered with seemingly endless obstacles?

Supporting small biz is still cool

Often, when one factor is minimized, another is maximized. This is true in the case of small businesses.


Left to fend for themselves from forced closures brought forth by the pandemic, most small business owners experienced hardships of varying severity. But these hardships also fueled a consumer movement to actively support the little guys instead of favoring big box brands, most of which were able to remain open during the throes of the pandemic.


Woman working on her cell phone

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash.com


Over 47 million global consumers bought from Shopify-powered independent and direct-to-consumer brands. 


There remains a strong appeal in supporting passionate small business owners with big dreams and a dedication to their online shop. Beyond the sheer desire to support small, consumers tend to enjoy uniqueness and exclusivity attained only through shopping with smaller vendors. 


Anyone can order a Yankee candle for their loved one, but hunting down a hand-poured, small-batch candle from a boutique chandler in Detroit, achieves a deeper level of thought and care.


And shoppers didn’t just discover local or regional merchants in the US. 15% of orders were conducted cross-border this year.

15% of orders were cross-border.

Graphic by Shopify.com

Online shopping is easier than ever

For several decades, the world has been taking gradual shifts online. The isolating effects of the pandemic expedited these shifts, forcing nearly all shoppers to go digital in 2020.


Even if you’re willing to drive from your house to the nearest sprawling outlet mall, you may only have access to 20-30 brands. And the idea of setting foot in 20 stores to hunt down the hottest deals sounds exhausting. You’d find us plopped down in the food court after the fourth store.


Today you can set foot in millions of digital shops from the comfort of your couch in a pair of sweats, comparing products and deals just by clicking through tabs. 

Big box retail

Photo by Alexander Kovacs on Unsplash.com


And while online shopping is quickly surpassing in-store shopping, consumers may still miss the tradition, experience, and tangibility of shopping in a store.


In fact, consumer plans to exercise both online and in-store shopping options are up 11% from last year.

Anticipating and delivering

On average, Shopify merchants launched deals 28 days before Cyber Monday this year, as compared to only 19 days prior in 2020. This extended shopping window provided merchants ample time to manage orders and navigate inevitable shipping and supply chain delays.

Holiday shopping by the tree

Photo by Joshua Mayo on Unsplash.com


Merchants worked hard to make shopping online as seamless as possible by designing chic mobile versions of their site that were easy to use and appealing to consumers. 71% of BFCM sales were purchased on mobile devices this year, while only 29% were purchased via desktop.


Another popular trend was the increased implementation of social integrations that allowed shoppers a seamless checkout without leaving the social app they started on. These integrations resulted in 3x as many purchases as 2020.

Wrapping it all up

As more consumers anticipate and take part in BFCM each year, entrepreneurs and small business owners are finding new ways to generate huge profits and serve customers around the globe.


Maintaining a strong website, both for desktop and mobile, implementing social integrations, and starting deals early, helped merchants capture the attention of consumers and resulted in the biggest BFCM to date. What lies in store for next year?


Want to grow as a merchant and learn how to build the most effective online shop possible? That’s what we do! 


Build Yours Here

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