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Shopify's first annual Future of Commerce report reveals five trends for 2021

Businesses and consumers adapt as retail axis shifts online

It’s no secret that 2020 has pulled commerce forward by 10 years. In 2021, we can expect a new normal - especially when it comes to the way we shop.

Introducing the Future of Commerce 2021, Shopify’s first annual report* that marries global merchant and consumer data to predict how the commerce landscape will shift in the coming year and how small and independent businesses are creating a new retail reality. By examining perspectives of both seller and buyer, Shopify aims to capture the full picture of the industry to make predictions that span commerce in its entirety - from shopping habits of consumers around the world to the evolution of running, marketing, and funding an omnichannel business today.

“At Shopify, we believe commerce is more than a transaction; it’s a relationship between a business and its customers. It’s only possible to report on the future by examining both audiences together,” said Harley Finkelstein, President, Shopify. “The importance of this relationship has never been clearer. On the heels of a record-breaking Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, and as we close out one of the most disruptive years for commerce and the world, we’re excited to look forward. Looking ahead, we see independent retailers and the next generation of consumers driving shifts that will pave the way for an even brighter future of commerce.”

Analyzing Shopify data from more than one million merchants around the world and insights from their customers, Shopify's first annual Future of Commerce report reveals five key predictions for businesses in 2021 and beyond.

They include:

Young consumers will change the business landscape as ecommerce charges ahead.
Physical retail as we know it will transform, giving local businesses new advantages.
Consumers want to shop independent. Businesses will adapt to make that easier.
More consumers will vote with their wallets.
Modern financial solutions will disrupt business and consumer banking, financing, and lending.

*This report is based on an online survey of over 10,000 consumers in 11 countries conducted in September 2020, as well as extensive global Shopify sales data from January 2018 to September 2020. Certain sections of the report pertaining to business and consumer banking are based on two sources: an online survey of 950 Shopify merchants in the US conducted in September 2020, and an online survey of 1,000 consumers in the US conducted in December 2019.

Download the full report

Press release