Salesforce reveals 2020 holiday shopping insights

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Salesforce released its Cyber Week insights, analyzing the global shopping behavior of more than one billion global shoppers on the Salesforce Customer 360 platform.

Overall, global online sales hit a new record with USD 270 billion, up 36 percent compared to 2019. With new online shopping behaviors driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and reduced store holiday hours and traffic, consumers flocked online over Cyber Week and pushed digital sales to new heights.

Top Salesforce 2020 Holiday Shopping Insights

  • Digital commerce sets new records: Total digital sales reached USD 270 billion globally and $60 billion in the U.S. Overall digital commerce was up 36 percent globally and 29 percent in the U.S. year-over-year with a 22 percent increase in consumers who participated in Cyber Week this holiday season compared to 2019, as the pandemic pushed more consumers online.

With Commerce Cloud already operating at holiday 2019 levels since April, the platform supported even greater scale throughout Cyber Week, seeing 50 percent digital sales growth compared to last year.

  • urbside pickup delivers increased sales: Global retailers that offered curbside, drive-through and in-store pickup options saw 32 percent higher online sales growth compared to retailers that didn’t offer these pickup options compared to last Cyber Week.

With earlier shipping cutoff dates and 700 million packages expected to face shipping delays, retailers that combine the confidence of ordering online with the convenience of local and safe pickup options will continue to see strong digital revenue growth throughout the remainder of the season. Salesforce customers around the globe leveraged curbside pickup this year, resulting in 95% percent digital revenue growth compared to 2019.

  • Despite large reach, social selling delivers limited growth: As consumers increased their digital footprint, they engaged with brands beyond the traditional four walls of stores and on commerce platforms like social, messaging, live streaming and more. Social media platforms drove 9 percent of global traffic and 10 percent of U.S. traffic to commerce websites over Cyber Week. These platforms accounted for 3 percent of global digital orders and 4 percent of U.S. digital orders that were placed over these seven days.
  • Discounts deepen as we near the holidays: Driven by new incentives from retailers encouraging safety and early holiday shopping from home, the average discount rate started at 28 percent on November 26th in the U.S. and grew modestly throughout the week, ending with an average discount rate of 29 percent on Cyber Monday. Globally, the average discount rate started at 27 percent on November 26th and grew to 28 percent on Cyber Monday.

Salesforce Powers the Holiday Season

This year, Salesforce helped retailers around the world double down on digital as the pandemic moved shoppers out of stores and into the world of ecommerce. Powering its customers through a record Cyber Week, Salesforce customers drove more than 31 million orders, including by growing digital orders by 62 percent, and marketing emails by 9 percent, year-over-year during Cyber Week

With more consumers shopping online, delivering fast, easy, and personalized digital experiences is more important than ever and was made possible by:

  • Einstein: The role of artificial intelligence continues to increase, as personalized product recommendation views grew 69 percent over Cyber Week.
  • Commerce Cloud: Global digital sales powered by Commerce Cloud grew 41 percent year-over-year on Thanksgiving, 42 percent on Black Friday and 31 percent on Cyber Monday.
  • Marketing Cloud: Global marketing communications surged over Cyber Week with push notifications growing 131 percent, SMS growing 171 percent and email growing 9 percent year-over-year to 26.6 Billion total emails sent, as marketers engaged early and consistently throughout Cyber Week.
  • Service Cloud: With holiday shopping going virtual, agents interacted with 128 percent more cases on Black Friday compared to 2019.

“We are blown away by the record growth driven by our customers this holiday season,” said Adam Blitzer, EVP & GM, Salesforce Digital. “The Salesforce Customer 360 delivers a scalable platform that enables our global customers to deliver personalized digital experiences. This powerful combination resulted in millions of orders placed and billions of dollars transacted for our customers around the world.”


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