Shopify’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping survey reveals 2021 season trends

Shopify’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping survey reveals 2021 season trends

Insights show a boost in shoppers’ interest, desire for hybrid shopping amidst online-driven season, and shoppers voting with their wallets to support independent businesses

Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM), the year's biggest commerce moment, is a time when Shopify celebrates the power of entrepreneurship on a global scale. This year, we’re helping more than 1.7 million independent businesses navigate a longer and earlier holiday shopping season, and sharing early insights we’ve gathered from BFCM shoppers around the globe.

BFCM participation is on the rise

Shopping interest in BFCM remains high, and intention to participate has climbed in many countries since 2020. According to Shopify’s BFCM Shopping Predictions Survey*, 67% of U.S. consumers say they’re planning to shop during BFCM this year (similar to last year), while higher interest was shown among shoppers in Italy (up from 84% to 86%), Germany (up from 61% to 65%) and Canada (up from 50% to 61%) when compared to 2020. Across many countries, the amount that BFCM shoppers plan to spend has risen in 2021 versus the year prior, including the U.S. ($787 vs. $686), Canada ($542 vs. $481), and Germany (€406 vs. €389). The average spend in Italy (372€) and the UK (£363) remains similar to last year**. 

BFCM is a season, not just a weekend

With brands looking to get ahead of shipping and supply chain delays, many holiday deals will start earlier this year and consumers plan on getting a head start on their shopping, similar to last year. As of early October, over a quarter of U.S. BFCM shoppers (27%) we surveyed said they had already started looking for deals, with similar results in Canada (25%), Germany (23%), UK (22%), and New Zealand (22%). 

Consumers want options 

Due to continued impacts from Covid, shoppers purchased online almost exclusively last year. And while plans for e-commerce continue to outpace in-store shopping this year, independent businesses need to be ready to reach their customers wherever they’re shopping. Plans to shop both online and in-store are up 11% from 2020 in the U.S., with 59% of shoppers saying they intend to take a hybrid approach this year. In Italy, 59% of shoppers said they plan to shop both ways (up 10% from 2020), along with 50% of shoppers in Canada (up 5% from 2020), 47% in Germany (up 9% from 2020), and 43% of shoppers in Australia (up 6% from 2020). 

BFCM social commerce led by younger shoppers 

The rise of social commerce will influence holiday shopping this year across popular platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and others. Discovery plays a key role as consumers look for product recommendations and seamless experiences. Our survey showed that younger BFCM shoppers (ages 18-34) are more likely to purchase an item directly from social media this year when compared to those ages 35+. We see this trend in the U.S. (with 21% of younger shoppers more likely to purchase through social commerce), and also the Netherlands (20%), UK (22%), Australia (27%), and New Zealand (25%). As consumers increasingly turn to social commerce, we’ve partnered with platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to help our merchants meet their consumers wherever they are. 

Support for independent businesses holds strong 

There’s a continued desire among BFCM shoppers this year to support independent and locally owned businesses, and Shopify provides these businesses with the tools they need to compete against big box retailers. Over half of BFCM shoppers surveyed in the U.S. plan to spend about the same as last year (59%) on independently owned businesses, similar to shoppers in Spain (57%), Netherlands (55%), Canada (53%), and Japan (53%). Around a quarter of shoppers in Australia (25%) and New Zealand (29%) reported plans to spend more than last year.  

Shop independent with these Shop lists

To make it easy for shoppers to discover and purchase directly from independent brands this BFCM season, we launched six new collections in our Shop app, including: 

Shopify is eliminating the climate impact of BFCM deliveries

We love the BFCM season because of how important it is for our merchants, but we’re mindful that it leads to a lot of shipping emissions. For our second year, Shopify is funding enough frontier carbon removal to completely eliminate the carbon emissions from shipping every single order placed throughout BFCM weekend for all of our 1.7 million merchants. This means that BFCM deliveries won’t get in the way of Shopify’s mission to reverse climate change. 

And of course… Shopify’s BFCM live map is back!

Check out Shopify’s annual Black Friday / Cyber Monday Live Globe launching on Friday, November 26. We’re capturing global commerce in real time and demonstrating the impact independent businesses have around the world. 🌎

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* Insights are representative of respondents that plan to make a purchase this Black Friday / Cyber Monday, unless otherwise noted. ^Online survey conducted among representative samples of consumers living in USA (n=1,008), Canada (n=1,045), UK (n=2,084), France (n=1,133), Germany (n=1,037), Italy (n=1,027), Spain (n=1,057), Netherlands (n=1,018), Australia (n=1,014), New Zealand (n=1,011), and Japan (n=1,037) between September 30October 6, 2021. 

**All financial figures are in local currency

 

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