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03/17/2021

Shopify: Young consumers lead the way in online retail shift

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce, especially among consumers under 35.

According to the “Future of Commerce 2021” study from e-commerce platform Shopify, 84% of global consumer respondents have shopped online since the start of COVID-19, compared to 65% who have shopped in-store during that time. Of those who have shopped in-store, 38% are doing less often than earlier in 2020. 

In addition, over half of respondents have avoided busy shopping times or crowds in the past six months, and 46% said they feel uncomfortable shopping in-person. Eight in 10 (79%) respondents will shop online regularly in the next six months, compared to 57% who will shop in-store regularly.

Fifty-four percent of all respondents shifted more of their spending to online shopping since the pandemic was declared. Young consumers 18-35 led the trend, with 67% shifting more of their spending to online shopping compared to before the pandemic, ahead of older age groups (57% for consumers 35-54, and 41% for 55 and up). The study also found that 28% of respondents younger than 35 said they purchased via social media, compared to 20% of respondents age 35-54 and 8% of respondents age 55 and up.

Other interesting findings include:

•    62% of respondents are more comfortable making in-store purchases with digital or contactless payments
•    50% of respondents would like to be able to schedule a time for in-store shopping.
•    23% of respondents picked up online orders in-store or curbside. Of these, 30% did so for the first time since the pandemic was declared and 64% are doing so more often post-pandemic.
•    21% of respondents picked up online orders at a pickup point. Of these, 21% did so for the first time since the pandemic was declared and 57% are doing so more often post-pandemic.

Shopify surveyed a total of 10,055 consumers aged 18-plus in eleven countries in three markets: APAC (Japan, India, New Zealand, Australia), Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.), and North America (U.S., Canada).