Liquify are official Shopify Experts & Partners since 2014. If you follow a link to Shopify from our website and make a subsequent purchase this may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Our opinions remain our own.

This year, Shopify has released its first ever Shopify eCommerce 2020 report based on Shopify’s global survey of 3,832 merchants globally, as well as research on 2,653 North American (US and Canada) consumers. 

According to the Shopify eCommerce 2020 report, North American consumers can be divided into four distinct types of buyers based on how much they spend on online shopping, how they engage with marketing, and reasons they buy online: 

Trend Trackers

  • Trend trackers make 28% of the buyer population. 
  • They are IMPULSIVE buyers: they buy products because they WANT them. 
  • They will do all the research online, but will inevitably spend money on in-store purchases. Their decision is made right there, on the spot.  
  • They rarely reveal personal information and are least likely to spend money.
  • Quite indifferent to marketing engagement and personalisation 

Engaged Explorers 

  • Buyers who like exploring new products make 13% of buyer population.
  • They love buying new products – they want to experience them. They see buying as a feel-good activity. 
  • They rely on reviews and share their buying decisions with their networks, but they will always choose familiar brands. 
  • They want to engage in marketing and love personalisation. 

Savvy Researchers 

  • Research savvy buyers make 28% of the population.
  • They are familiar with digital tools and research in-depth before they decide to buy anything. 
  • They buy products because THEY FOUND them. 
  • Their expectations on purchase quality are very high. 
  • Because they conduct research on their own, they want to discover things on their own. 

Pragmatic Planners 

  • Buyers who plan their purchases make up 31% of the population.
  • They do not really enjoy buying anything and tend to stick with brands they know. 
  • They buy products because they NEED them. 
  • They will conduct their research online but will have a pre-planned trip to buy in the store. 
  • They are not interested and don’t engage in marketing. 

For Shopify eCommerce 2020, Brand Remains Crucial

The survey found that engaged explorers and pragmatic planners have the highest brand loyalty. These two buyer groups make up 44% of the buyer population. 

Almost three quarters (73%) of North American buyers tend to stick with a brand or product they found and liked. Plus, over 50% of shop owners have seen the same buyer make purchases at their store two or more times, and on average, buyers purchased from the same store 3.8 times in 2018. This really hits home the importance of nurturing consumers and giving them incentives to return. 

Seasonal Shopping Continues to Rise

While industry data showed that holiday sales are declining, the Shopify eCommerce 2020 report says otherwise: seasonal sales are still growing. The most important findings for holiday season state that November, December, and January are the busiest months.  

November is the most popular month because of retail holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Singles Day, and because pre-holiday shopping begins then too. December is busy because of pre-holiday shopping and then in January, there is lots of carryover sales and overstock. January also has the largest growth year-over-year (YOY) and most store launches happen in January, probably the result of new year resolutions. February is the least active month but has the fourth biggest YOY growth because of Valentine’s Day week. 

Shopify eCommerce 2020 Purchasing Time and Spending Vary Across Regions

Shopify eCommerce 2020 predictions say that the number of people buying online will continue to rise, judging by the last couple of years. 

In 2017, there were 163 million people buying from Shopify merchants, and in 2018, the number jumped to 218 million buyers.

US consumers buy twice as much, with six purchased items on average compared to 2 to 3 items in other countries, but the fastest purchases belong to: 

    • Germany, with the average purchase taking only 17.68 minutes, 
    • France with 18.97 minutes, and 
    • UK with 19.32 minutes.

On the other hand, the longest purchases belong to: 

    • US with 23.47 minutes,
    • Canada with 26.90 minutes, 
    • Japan with 27.60 minutes, and
    • Singapore with 28.23 minutes. 

Japan is the biggest spender at $141.72 per transaction. The US average is $81.26 and the UK buyers only spend $67.13 on the average purchase. 

Device Preferences and Most Popular Products by Country

Device preference varies widely globally. Between mobile, desktop, and tablet options, US, Canada, Australia, China, and the UK prefer to browse Shopify stores on all devices, but many other countries favour tablets. 

Top-selling items per country include:

  • Mobile phone cases and books are top-selling in all countries.
  • Shoes are popular everywhere except Germany and Japan. 
  • Vitamins are very popular globally, but top-selling in New Zealand. 
  • US, Canada, Germany, and France: Bracelets
  • Germany: Dance dresses and costumes 
  • France: Perfume, cologne, lingerie
  • Japan: Tea, knives, and infusion sets

Shopping Preferences and Peak Hours Reflect the Work Culture

All consumer types tend to research products online before they buy. When they do decide, they will most often choose to buy in-store instead of making an online purchase.  

Because of this, Shopify merchants should focus on an omnichannel experience. Those merchants who use the Shopify POS for example have seen an increase in in-store selling. 

The usage of the Shopify POS system has increased by 14% from 2018 to 2019 as more are using it. 

Findings indicate that North American buyers unwind after work by shopping, and 36% of them say they often buy to cheer themselves up. But, their browsing times differ, with Canadian buyers browsing the most at 8 PM and the US buyers browsing around 12 AM. Online orders also bring more revenue than in-person spending: $75 online versus $62 in-person. 

Joe Dempsey

Joe Dempsey

Joe Dempsey is a Shopify Expert. With over 8 years of experience in eCommerce & Shopify he leads one of the most experienced Shopify Expert teams in the world. Founder of Liquify, he tends to work with large brands and Shopify Plus merchants who want to scale aggressively. He is a well known Shopify SEO expert & one of the most experienced Shopify developers in the world.