Salesforce (credit image/Pixabay/ElisaRiva)Salesforce has released data based on its global shopping data from more than 1.5 billion consumers powered by Commerce Cloud. Salesforce estimated that Black Friday online sales increased by 9% to $16.4 billion in the US. The company estimated $70.9 billion around the world. Salesforce said the figures beat what the company was expecting.

The data suggests shoppers are buying on the move, with consumers increasingly using their mobile phones for online shopping on Black Friday. After a lull during the pandemic (when people at home swapped the convenience of mobile for the visual experience of computers), mobile traffic reached an all-time high on Black Friday 2023. 79% of all digital traffic came from mobile phones. This was up from 76% of Black Friday digital traffic in 2022 and 75% in 2021.

Salesforce reported online sales increase of 7% YoY globally with average order value rising by 2.9% from last year. Growth was driven primarily by order volume, rather than inflation, signalling increased consumer demand. Consumers, who waited patiently for great deals, are seeing the highest discount rates of the holiday season on Black Friday. This is around 30%.

Interestingly the percentage of online orders picked up in-store continues to rise.

Key highlights

  • Top discounting categories are: Health & beauty, general footwear, and active apparel.
  • Many shoppers have been enjoying discounts, Salesforce notes they should click the buy button to avoid out of stocks. This is due to decreased inventory levels designed to preserve capital and increase margins.
  • Payments breakdown friction in the checkout funnel. Finance and credit card payment options have picked up indicating consumers are buying heavily using credit and finance. Klarna and Afterpay appear to be dominating the buy now pay later market share.
(Image credit/LinkedIn/Rob Garf)
Rob Garf, VP and GM, Retail at Salesforce

Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail said, “The mobile phone has been the remote control for holiday shopping. Connecting consumers to brands as they navigate across online and offline channels.

“According to our data from Salesforce Commerce Cloud, early online sales performance is exceeding any retail executive’s expectations. Retailers stepped up their discounting game and shoppers, in turn, are clicking the buy button.”

In the US, the National Retail Federation, the country’s largest retail trade group, expects shoppers will spend more this year than last year. However, the agency expects the pace will slow given all the economic uncertainty.

The group has forecast that US holiday sales will rise 3% to 4% for November through December. This compares with a 5.4% growth of a year ago. The pace is consistent with the average annual holiday increase of 3.6% from 2010 to pre-pandemic 2019.

Adobe Analytics has estimated consumers spent between $12.0 billion and $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday. This would make it the biggest online shopping day of all time.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

Consumers continue to hunt for online deals and save their spending energy for Black Friday through to Cyber Monday. While diligent shoppers have been winning the game of discount chicken, Salesforce unsurprisingly suggests they should click the buy button to avoid out of stocks. This is due to decreased stock levels designed to preserve capital and increase margins.

Salesforce’s data is pretty comprehensive and provides insight into the latest in email and mobile marketing trends and performance. It highlights the eCommerce site traffic retailers are experiencing from different channels and devices. And documents the kind of discounts shoppers are scoring, based on data from billions of page views.

As a result, it is a goldmine for any enterprise looking to use digital channels to sell directly to consumers. However, analysing and aligning data is still a challenge for most retailers and brands. Enterprises must consider a range of strategies to incorporate the learnings from the data into their business practices.


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