Shopify’s BFCM globe brings commerce to life like never before – here's how our engineers built it

November 24, 2023

For entrepreneurs, this weekend is their Super Bowl. Thanks to our engineers, you can watch all of the action in real time.

Shopify's Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) Live Globe is an interactive, real-time visualization of purchases made through Shopify-powered merchants worldwide. For this year, our engineering team rebuilt the foundation to free up more CPU and GPU. This allowed them to create richer visualizations, like fireworks that go off when a merchant makes their first sale.

One of the biggest upgrades from last year is how it uses AI to show city-level sales insights.

"The light bulb for the team this year was, 'How do we take AI and use it to unlock this data stream to produce these kinds of insights that we're all curious to see, like what's happening in Atlanta?'" said Russ Maschmeyer, Product Lead, Spatial Commerce & AI.

But the answer was far from simple. "You can't just plug our stream of real-time, live data into GPT and expect highly accurate, great results to come out the other end," he said.

In this video, Russ goes deeper on the challenges our engineers faced, how they overcame them, and why this project is so important to Shopify.

Some of the other details you can see in this year’s Live Globe:

  • ⏰ Sales and orders per minute 
  • 📈 Trending products
  • 🌍 Total carbon removal Shopify has purchased to counteract emissions from shipping 

Happy Black Friday to all!

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