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In September, we predicted that Black Friday would be the busiest digital shopping day of the holiday season, exceeding Cyber Monday as the busiest digital shopping day for the second year in a row. Not only were we right, but according to our data, digital commerce, mobile and personalization single-handedly defined Cyber Week (11/21 - 11/27).

 

Here’s a closer look at this year’s holiday shopping trends:

 

Digital shopping surges on Black Friday: While Cyber Monday e-commerce revenue was up 15 percent, Black Friday saw the largest increase at 32 percent. Thanksgiving Day came in as the second most popular shopping day this holiday season with revenue up 30 percent YoY. The combined 26 percent revenue growth of the three days is nearly double the 15 percent growth rate in Q3 of this year.

Consumers opt for mobile commerce this year: Consumers turned to their mobile phones in unprecedented numbers this year. In fact, phones accounted for 60 percent of traffic to retail sites and 41 percent of orders during Cyber Week. What’s more is that for the first time ever, computers accounted for less than half of all orders, proving that mobile is not just the first screen for browsing, but also now the first screen for checkout.

AI delivers outsized results: One of the brightest stars this Cyber Week has been AI. Retailers have been talking about personalization for quite some time, but now we are directly seeing the impressive impact of personalized content, products and information during Cyber Week. On Black Friday, only six percent of consumers engaged with product recommendations, but those shoppers accounted for 30 percent of all digital revenue -- a 5x return on each shopper. On Cyber Monday, five percent engaged with product recommendations, which accounted for 24 percent of digital revenue that day.

Social media drives retail impact: Social traffic to retail sites increased to five percent overall, and seven percent from mobile, underpinning the importance of mobile marketing in driving commerce traffic. In looking at social media conversations during Cyber Week, Black Friday mentions were down YoY with 3.4 million mentions (compared to four million in 2016). Sentiment also saw a slight decline YoY, but remained positive at 75 percent. PlayStation, Xbox and Apple were the most frequently talked about products. And, in order, the top hashtags were #givingtuesday, #blackfriday and #cybermonday.  

Cyber Week Holiday Shopping Flash Report from Salesforce

 

Cyber Week Success with Salesforce

 

 

Salesforce is the global leader in CRM, and our Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud products power B2C companies year-long and throughout the holiday shopping season. Here’s how Salesforce helped retailers power this year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Cyber Week:

  • Commerce Cloud data this year showed us that activity from retailers spiked on Black Friday, eclipsing Cyber Monday for the second year in a row as largest digital shopping day of the season. Customers delivered nearly 94 million AI-powered product recommendations on Black Friday and just over 73 million on Cyber Monday. Commerce Cloud also powered more than 850 million clicks on Black Friday, more than 700 million on Cyber Monday and 3.8 billion throughout Cyber Week. 
  • Marketing Cloud sent over three billion emails, mobile SMS and push notifications on behalf of customers on Black Friday--up 20 percent from 2016. More than three billion emails, mobile SMS and push notifications were sent on Cyber Monday and 17.5 billion were sent on Cyber Week. Nearly 3.3 billion emails, mobile SMS and push notifications were sent on Cyber Monday and 17.5 billion were sent during Cyber Week. On Black Friday, the Salesforce DMP powered more than 8.8 billion data collection events, which is anytime the Salesforce DMP gathers consumer data in the form of a click or page view. Almost 10 billion data collection events took place on Cyber Monday and nearly 62 billion during Cyber Week. Marketing Cloud also powered more than 311 million Salesforce Einstein engagement scores on Black Friday, 472 million on Cyber Monday and nearly three billion during Cyber Week. Einstein engagement scores is artificial intelligence at work with Einstein, determining how likely a retailer’s subscriber is to open an email, click links and stay subscribed.
  • Service Cloud customers viewed more than 55 million customer service cases and received more than 17 million customer service calls on Black Friday. These figures nearly doubled to 98.6 million customer service cases viewed and more than 44 million customer service calls received on Cyber Monday, topping out with more than 400 million service cases viewed and 162 million calls received during Cyber Week. It’s safe to say consumers opted to get in touch with retailers and resolve any inquires following the holiday weekend.

For more information on how to run your retail business on Salesforce, please click here.

2017 Salesforce Holiday Insights and Predictions Methodology

Salesforce combined data-based insights on the activity of hundreds of millions of global shoppers across more than 30 countries powered by Commerce Cloud, and millions of public social media conversations through Marketing Cloud Social Studio. This is in addition to data from Salesforce’s 2017 Connected Shoppers Report, which is based on responses from 2,011 adults 18+ in the US, among whom 529 are Millennials (ages 18-36), 530 are Gen Xers (ages 37-52), and 737 are baby boomers (ages 53-71). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.