In a press release Tuesday, Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) said that merchants on its e-commerce platform broke records, generating $5.1 billion in holiday sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This represented an increase of 76% year over year. Shopify said it surpassed the $2.9 billion record it set in 2019 by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. 

That wasn't the only record to fall so far this holiday season. Shopify said the shopping season started earlier than in previous years, with sales accelerating over the 19 days leading up to Cyber Monday. Additionally, during the week from Nov. 23 to Nov. 30, sales jumped an impressive 84% compared to the prior-year period.

Man wearing Christmas sweater typing a credit card number into a laptop, with a Christmas tree in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

Numerous other metrics illustrate the higher-than-usual demand during the unofficial start to the holiday season. More than 44 million consumers around the globe made purchases from Shopify merchants between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, an increase of 50% year over year. Sales over the weekend peaked at 12:00 noon on Black Friday, with sales topping $102 million during the one hour period.

The average order total came in at $89.20, with shoppers in Japan and Australia spending the most, averaging $106.40 and $105.50, respectively. This was ahead of buyers in Canada and the U.S., whose average ticket clocked in at $103 and $92.80, respectively.

Several countries generated triple-digit sales increases compared to last year, including Japan (347%), Italy (211%), Germany (189%), and the UK (122%). This helps illustrate the growing opportunity as Shopify expands its international footprint.

The apparel and accessories was the most purchased category across merchants underpinned by Shopify's platform, with health and beauty, and home and garden rounding out the top three.

Shopify has experienced a huge increase in sales as the result of the pandemic. Revenue soared 82% year over year during the first nine months of 2020. To give that context, Shopify's revenue grew 47% during the same period in 2019. 

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