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Shopify expansion fast-forwards 10 years as NZ retailers rush to go digital

By Shannon Williams, Fri 12 Mar 2021

Shopify merchants in New Zealand grew by 56% in 2020, while GMV grew by 97% in the same period, the commerce company announced.

Shopify's rapid growth in the New Zealand market was further accelerated by the pandemic, which saw an ecommerce boom as consumers flocked to online shopping.

The milestone and rapid growth locally reflect a fast-growing and strengthening spirit of entrepreneurship Shopify is seeing globally, the company says. Particularly, women are running the majority of businesses on Shopify locally and globally, with 61% of Australia and New Zealand Shopify merchants identifying as women, and 53% of Shopify merchants globally identifying as women.

"While digital transformation plans for 2030 have been brought forward by a decade due to the economic and social changes accelerated by the pandemic, were also seeing a growing community of entrepreneurs, who are looking for more independence and flexibility, while generating extra income and exploring their creative passions," says Shaun Broughton, APAC director for Shopify.

"Shopify's own Future of Commerce report also highlighted that the pandemic not only transformed the way Kiwis made purchases online, but skyrocketed their expectations of customer experiences when interacting with retailers online, in-store and at the product delivery stages," he says.

In New Zealand, the number of shops with local delivery orders more than doubled since the start of the pandemic.

"We have known for a while that the era of retailers paying millions of dollars and spending months at a time to purchase, customise, and deploy new software and systems is over, but the pandemic brought this realisation into our day-to-day operations as many retailers simply no longer had that choice," says Broughton.

"We saw savvy retailers like JB Hi-Fi, Aje, Peter Sheppard, Thermomix Australia and New Zealand, and more instead spend those resources on listening to their customers and analysing their needs, and then doubling down on the best channels to engage with customers as their circumstances changed throughout the year."

In Australia, Shopify has now exceeded 100,000 merchants. New store creations on the Shopify platform increased by 76% and GMV* in Australia also grew by 118% in 2020 in comparison to 2019.

"We've spent the last 12 months being dedicated to helping merchants build resilience throughout the pandemic through our Retail OS, whether they were starting a business on their own for the first time, or whether they were the industry leader and had to transition thousands of products from being accessible in-store to being seamlessly purchasable online," says Broughton.

"We are addressing this year with that same level of dedication and with the goal of making commerce better for everyone, as every business, consumer, and entrepreneur will be tackling the challenges of the next months in unique ways."

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