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Study: This holiday is growing as a shopping event

Retailers may have a reason not to be too sad when the end-of-year holiday rush ends.

According to the annual State of Commerce report from e-commerce platform Shopify, January is the shopping month with the largest year-over-year growth outside of the holiday season. And the biggest shopping growth year-over-year was in the third week of January 2019, which Shopify analysis indicates as a possible sign that more people are shopping on Martin Luther King Day weekend than the prior year.

November is the most popular shopping time worldwide, which Shopify says is likely due to big retail events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day, and pre-holiday shopping. February is predominantly the least active shopping month, although the fourth-overall-biggest year-over-year growth by week is Valentine’s Day week.

Examining U.S. and Canadian online consumer behavior, the study finds U.S. consumers make an online shopping decision in an average or 23.47 minutes and spend $81.26 per transaction. In Canada, the average consumer takes 26.9 minutes to make an online shopping decision, spending $100.66 per transaction.

In both the U.S. and Canada, 5 p.m. is the peak time for online transactions. However, U.S. consumers prefer to browse online at midnight ET, while Canadian consumers do their browsing earlier, peaking at 8 p.m. ET.

Online consumers in the U.S. and Canada shop using mobile, desktop and tablet devices roughly equally. Significantly more North American buyers prefer researching online than in-store, but significantly more buyers prefer buying in-store than online.

Furthermore, 73% of North American respondents agree that "once they find a product or brand they like, they stick with it.” Across all buyer segments, 36% of North American respondents agree that “they often buy things to cheer themselves up.”

The report is based on a subsection of global sales data on Shopify from April 2018 to April 2019, an online global survey of 3,832 Shopify merchants in March 2019, and quantitative and qualitative research on consumers in Canada and the U.S. in December 2018.
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