The Shopify effect: Shopify merchants created more than 112,000 UK jobs in 2020


Global ecommerce firm Shopify has today released new figures from its international Economic Impact Report showing that Shopify merchants and partners generated 112,780 new jobs in the UK in 2020, the equivalent to the population of the City of Lincoln. This is set against the backdrop of a tumultuous year for the British High Street where nearly 118,000 retail jobs were lost, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). 

Last year, Shopify saw a 106% increase in new store creation growth year-on-year in the UK with over 135,000 businesses across the country now powered by the platform. 

Shopify merchants in the UK also made a global economic impact of £17.3 billion. In terms of revenue, collectively Shopify’s merchants make the equivalent to the likes of Diageo, Reckitt Benckiser and Rolls-Royce.

Shopify’s Economic Impact Report, produced by Deloitte, reveals that Shopify businesses created 3.6 million jobs around the world. The figures show what the business refers to as ‘the Shopify Effect’: a ripple impact of entrepreneurship that extends far beyond the borders of individual businesses. 

Tobi Lütke, Shopify’s CEO commented: “We’ve been conducting an experiment since Shopify was born. Our hypothesis is that all economies depend on entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive. Over the years, we’ve found this to be true.”

Shopify remains focused on empowering merchants instead of chasing revenue—and this shows up in the numbers, too. For every $1 of Shopify’s revenue, our merchants generate $40.82.

Commenting on the report, Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, Shopify EMEA, said: “Last year we saw a decade’s worth of retail change take place in just 12 months, with important implications for the retail jobs market. While parts of retail have been badly hit by job losses, it’s very encouraging to see the job opportunities boom which e-commerce has created. Our report also clearly shows that the potential for e-commerce as an engine for economic growth is huge. 

At Shopify, we strive to enable entrepreneurialism and over the past year we’ve witnessed the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit thrive as businesses have found new and innovative ways to reach their customers. Our merchants’ success has brought with it economic growth and job opportunities and we’re hopeful that this will continue in the future.”  

Shopify merchants who have creating UK jobs to support growth

Dan Marsden, co-founder and CEO, Lounge, said: “Lounge has seen insane growth over the last year with our revenues up nearly 300%! The pandemic means that everyone has spent a lot of time at home, scrolling through their phones, shopping for comfort. We started 2020 with 28 team members but we now have 120 people working for us to support the business as we continue to grow. We’ve built our business model around the buying preferences of our customers and have been committed to building an online community. This model seems to be working – now it’s just about scaling it up and making sure we have the people in place to support that growth”. 

Rob Bridgman, founder and CEO, Snug said: “Over the last year Snug has seen a big increase in customers recognising the need for a stylish and comfortable sofa that’s also easy to buy and get delivered. In 2020 Snug experienced 10x growth, we hired almost 50 people and are forecasting to double our headcount in 2021. The new roles created have been across the business, ranging from Social Media Managers to Supply Chain Execs, with a particular focus on customer experience and remote roles.”

The full report features analysis from 17 countries, key highlights below:

  • United States: $166 billion in economic activity, 714,523 jobs. Collectively, this makes Shopify businesses the fourth-largest US-based private employer, supporting more employees than Starbucks, Home Depot, or FedEx.
  • Canada: $18 billion in economic activity, 123,574 jobs. This is the equivalent of one in every 146 full-time employees in Canada.
  • Australia: $18 billion in economic activity, 98,158 jobs. That’s one in every 91 employed adults in Australia.
  • Germany: $7.3 billion in economic activity, 42,177 jobs.
  • France: $4.7 billion in economic activity, 23,743 jobs.
  • Japan: $3.8 billion in economic activity, 40,084 jobs.
  • India: $1.9 billion in economic activity, 149,298 jobs.