Enhanced by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, e-commerce sales have grown steadily and significantly. An indicator of that growth is the number of new online stores on platforms like Shopify, the Canadian well-known provider of infrastructure for retailers to set up their stores online, that emerged as one of the pandemic winners.

Research by Genus AI reveals that between March 2020 and January 2022, the number of online stores on Shopify went up of 201.53%, recording a triple growth to 3,882,345: the platform has added 2,594,798 new online stores in less than 2 years

The growth can be tied to Shopify’s user-friendly status that enables businesses to create e-commerce websites without the need for technical knowledge or coding skills. For example, users can change the website’s front end, do stock counts, pull analytics, check what’s selling with just a click of the button.

Most of Shopify’s customers are based in the US. In fact, as of January 2022, the platform has 2.666.627 online stores coming from the US (a growth of 178.53% compared to March 2020).

The number of European online stores on Shopify has also witnessed a significant growth: currently there are 156.466 online stores on Shopify from the UK, followed by France, with 59.590 stores. However, the number of customers in Germany recorded the highest growth rate between March 2020 and January 2021 with 480.18%. As of today, the platform runs 78.638 online stores from Germany, compared to the 13.554 stores in March 2020.

Most of the newly added Shopify websites are smaller players that are not properly equipped to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon but focus on customer satisfaction, set up credible, secure, and user-friendly websites, and provide unique products or services to get higher ratings instead.

If from one hand the rise of more online stores has given retailers access to a wider audience, it also has increased competition among retailers. Consequently, they’re compelled stand out from the competition and attract new customers. What are the main strategies to reach those goals?

  1. Exploring ways to enhance consumer choice and facilitate innovation in product distribution through cross-border e-commerce.
  2. Leveraging AI to launch visually appealing campaigns on social media platforms, generate high performance ads, make predictions. For instance, through social media platforms like Facebook, owners of Shopify stores are almost guaranteed their websites and products will be displayed to the target audience.