Black Friday on Shopify

Shopify Merchants Hauled In A Record $2.4 Billion Total Sales On Black Friday

Earlier today we shared some initial metrics from Shopify about how its merchants were performing on Black Friday, which hinted at a big day for many.

Now the final numbers are in for Shopify and its merchants had a record day, totaling $2.4 billion in sales, a 75% increase from last year’s Black Friday.

The top-selling countries were the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada with the top-selling cities being New York, London, and Los Angeles.

The average cart price stayed at $90.70 for the day globally, with the US being slightly higher at $93.80. Actually, over the mid-day data, that is a minor decrease in the US number as in the afternoon it averaged $95.60.

The split between mobile and desktop sales continues on the path from Thursday, about 2:1 globally and in the U.S. Globally 67% percent of shoppers used mobile devices while in the US it was 68% percent.

Again, there were some minor ups and downs between the data points, but the overall ratio of about 2 to 1 seems to stick, indicating a trend that will probably continue even past this holiday season.

The final data for cross-border sales on Black Friday came in at 14% globally which over the mid-day average dropped slightly when it stood at 15%.

Apparel & Accessories, Health & Beauty, and Home & Garden continued to be the top 3 categories, which matches Shopify’s Thanksgiving Day metrics.

Black Friday Started Early For Shopify Merchants In The US

For US merchants, the top peak sales hour was Noon EST on Black Friday, while on Thanksgiving Day it was at 9pm EST.

The 9pm metric made a lot of sense due to people being busy all day with Thanksgiving meals and activities and would likely end up shopping toward the end of the day.

But for Black Friday, there was a significant shift in the top sales hour. Looking at the multiple data points Shopify provided for Black Friday, the morning report put the US peak sales hour at midnight EST (West Coast Thanksgiving Day shoppers?), the afternoon report at 9am EST, and the final metric coming in at Noon EST.

This is interesting for US sellers because it seems that Black Friday sales tend to lean toward early day sales.

Was this COVID related due to many shoppers staying home or is this a trend for the future to consider when to highlight Black Friday promotions>

Local Pick & Delivery

The idea of omnichannel selling, offering shipping, delivery, in-store pickup, or curb-side pickup may be new to small retailers.

After March, many small retailers probably looked at online sales as a way to survive, but now may find it as a way forward as there is a likelihood shoppers will stick with online shopping even after COVID is over, especially if they had a good experience.

With that in mind, Shopify provided some basic geographic data on curbside and local delivery, but the company did not break down any sales numbers.

Therefore, it is very difficult to tell how much small business retailers may have benefited from shifting some of their sales this year to include online sales that relied on local pickup or delivery.

On Black Friday, St. Joseph, Michigan (pop. 8,355) stayed the top curbside pick-up city for the day, followed by Chicago and Los Angeles, suggesting this metric is driven by a very tiny number of merchants.

On the local delivery front, in the afternoon report, Shopify identified Longwood, Florida (Orlando metro area) as the top city, but in the final data, Seattle, Baltimore and Minneapolis were the top three local delivery cities in the US.

Without data insights Shopify didn’t provide, it appears the delivery metric is based on a larger grouping of merchants. But since medium sized cities dominated this group, it still suggests this metric is based on a relatively small number of merchants.

Black Friday Huge Success For Shopify Merchants

The bottom line is that Shopify merchants as a group did extremely well on Black Friday, confirming what many analysts had predicted that online shopping would be the big winner this year due to the COVID pandemic.

The next big question will be what will happen over the weekend and on Monday? Today is Small Business Saturday in the US and Monday is Cyber Monday, usually the day shoppers buy gifts online they couldn’t find in the stores over the weekend.

Will this huge gain in online shopping continue over the weekend or are shoppers “done” and the rest of the first big holiday shopping weekend is effectively over?

We will have to wait a few more days to find out.

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*Shopify reflects November 27th 00:00 UTC to November 27th 24:00 UTC. A live data feed from Shopify is available here.

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