Consumers came out in droves between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, with multiple sales reports suggesting that Americans spent a record amount of money during the long holiday weekend.
Data from Adobe Analytics is projecting that Cyber Monday was the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, with $9.4 billion in sales, an increase of 19% year over year. This was on top of the $7.4 billion spent on Black Friday and the $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day, each up 20% year over year, according to Adobe.
Saleforce.com's figure was slightly lower at $8 billion in spending on Monday, up 15%. Sales were also up worldwide, topping $30 billion, up 12% compared with 2018.
If you think those increases are impressive, you should see the gains Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) made.
At Shopify's headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. Image source: Shopify.
In a press release Tuesday, Shopify said its merchants sold more than $2.9 billion in goods and services between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a massive increase of more than 61% versus the same period last year. Shopify hosts more than 1 million merchants across 175 countries on its e-commerce platform.
More than 25.5 million consumers made purchases from a Shopify merchant over the four-day holiday shopping weekend. The company, which provides tools that help merchants establish a presence and succeed online, said that the sales holiday was spreading around the world, becoming a "global phenomenon." The average shopper spent just over $83 on Shopify, with Canadians spending more ($96) and those in France and the United Kingdom spending a little less ($67).
Mobile continues to be the dominant sales channel, with 69% of purchases made on a phone or tablet, while just 31% were transacted on a desktop computer. Apparel and accessories were the hottest categories over the weekend, with makeup, mobile phone accessories, and coats and jackets among the top sellers.
New reasons for merchants to climb aboard
In recent months, Shopify has introduced a number of programs and initiatives that benefit its online sales community. At the Shopify Unite Conference in June, the company announced the Shopify Fulfillment Network, a system of warehouses and fulfillment centers powered by smart inventory technology to help merchants get orders to customers more quickly and easily.
The company also overhauled its Shopify Plus platform, adding features aimed at businesses with multiple locations, while providing a centralized view that aggregates data. Furthermore, Shopify revealed next-generation point-of-sale software, customer engagement tools, and 11 new languages on its platform.
Just a few months later, Shopify announced the $450 million acquisition of warehouse automation specialist 6 River Systems. The deal jump-started the company's fulfillment ambitions almost overnight.
Image source: Getty Images.
Joy to investors
2019 has already been a banner year for Shopify investors. Over the past year, the company has grown from 600,000 merchants to more than 1 million, helping fuel its meteoric rise. Through the first nine months of this year, revenue increased 47% compared with the same period last year, to $1.07 billion. The company's net loss more than doubled to $125 million, as Shopify continues to forgo profits in favor of expansion of its business.
Shopify investors are clearly on board, bidding up shares by more than 177% in 2019 alone. That's on top of its more maudlin gains of 37% last year. Over the longer term, an investment in Shopify has been even more lucrative, gaining 1,350% since its market debut in 2015.
E-commerce is still in its early days, accounting for about 11% of total sales in the U.S. As more consumers make online purchasing the rule rather than the exception, that number is sure to grow. By providing merchants the tools they need to establish and maintain an online business, Shopify benefits from the tailwind of a powerful and ongoing trend -- so it could just be getting started.