Shopify, Benevity set records for Black Friday-Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday

Shopify logo bag beside a green plant.
Shopify merchants rack up $7.5 billion in sales over the weekend.

Recession? What recession?

When it came to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday this year, Shopify, Benevity and other companies reported particularly strong numbers with consumers seemingly disregarding any warnings of a potential recession.

A Square report found that nearly 80 percent of consumers intend to spend the same if not more compared to last year.

Shopify declared a record-setting year with combined Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales on its platform adding up to $7.5 billion USD from merchants globally. The figure represented a 19 percent increase from 2021 when Shopify merchants declared $6.3 billion in sales.

The e-commerce company noted that the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend is the highest volume shopping event of the year for Shopify merchants. More than 52 million consumers around the world purchased from Shopify-powered brands this years, a 12 percent increase from 2021, according to the company.

“This year, Black Friday Cyber Monday showed us once again that consumers are voting with their wallets to support the independent brands they love,” said Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify. “We saw record level shopping happening across all channels this weekend.”

The highest shopping volume moment during the weekend took place on Black Friday at 12:01 p.m. EST on November 25 with peak sales of more than $3.5 million per minute.

Worldwide, the top-selling countries were the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. In Canada, the top selling cities were Toronto, Calgary, Montréal, Ottawa, and Vancouver, with an average checkout price of $157.09 CAD.

What did Canadians spend their money on? The top five categories by orders were apparel and accessories; health and beauty; home and garden; food and beverages; and electronics.

Shopify wasn’t the only online retailer pleased with its Black Friday. Emerge Commerce said it also set a new record for sales for the day. The company declared it achieved gross merchandise sales of $846,000 for the day compared to $723,000 in 2021. Emerge acquires and operates niche e-commerce brands.

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Ghassan Halazon, Emerge’s CEO and founder, said that Black Friday exceeded the company’s expectations. “We believe these positive early results bode well for the remainder of the Black Friday – Cyber Monday period, as well as the peak holiday shopping season to follow,” Halazon said.

Halazon may well be right about Black Friday’s results foreshadowing a strong holiday shopping season.

The e-commerce startup Square said that over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, Square and Afterpay sellers saw more than 61 million transactions. According to Square and Afterpay’s Festive Forecast report, it is expected that nearly 80 percent of consumers intend to spend the same if not more compared to last year. The companies said that sellers should continue to prepare for buyer demand during the holidays.

“The Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend kicks off the biggest shopping season for businesses – but it’s only the beginning,” said Alyssa Henry, head of Square. “We’re entering a pivotal month for businesses to end the year with strong momentum, especially given recent headwinds.”

But as shoppers continue to conduct more of their commerce online, warnings of scams also prevail. Ahead of the weekend, NordVPN warned 27.3 percent of Canadians have been scammed while shopping online, equivalent to 10.5 million people. Ahead of what the VPN service provider has dubbed Hack Friday, NordVPN noted that its study showed that 19.2 percent of Canadians admitted the security of websites is their lowest priority when shopping online while price is the biggest driver.”

After all the buying was done, it was time to give back. People showed they weren’t just prepared to shop, but were also ready to donate. Benevity said on the 10th anniversary of the annual day of giving known as Giving Tuesday, a record $122.2 million was donated through its platform.

Giving through Benevity increased nine percent year over year, setting a record for the highest amount of single day donations on its platform. In 2021, people donated $112.6 million through Benevity’s platform.

The increase in donations on Benevity’s platforms actually bucked a prediction in The Giving Report 2022, from registered charity, Canada Helps. The publication reported a decline of 12 percent in total giving from 2019 to 2021 as a result of pandemic impacts and inflationary concerns. It went on to say that it expected one in four Canadians to give less in 2022 than they did in 2021.

That said, The Giving Report examines Canadian trends in charitable giving, while Benevity accepts donations from around the world on its platform.

Five hundred and sixty-four companies took part in Giving Tuesday campaigns through Benevity’s platform this year, an increase of 13 percent year over year. And even though the average donation per user dropped by 10 percent compared to last year—likely a result of the looming recession—there was a 22 percent increase in the number of people participating, with 139,000 individuals supporting over 50,000 nonprofits in 107 countries.

Benevity, a certified B Corporation, claims it is the leader in global corporate purpose software, providing the only integrated suite of community investment and employee, customer and nonprofit engagement solutions.

“We saw double the number of Giving Tuesday campaigns run by our clients on Benevity’s platform this year compared with last year, showing that companies continue to embrace their role as catalysts of social impact and engagement, despite the current economic landscape,” said Kelly Schmitt, Benevity’s CEO.

Feature image courtesy of Shopify.

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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