Insights reveal U.S. Thanksgiving Day e-commerce revenue up 16 percent, Black Friday up 14 percent and Cyber Monday up 11 percent
AI drove up to 9 percent of global digital orders on Thanksgiving
Mobile devices globally drove 73 percent of all digital traffic and 55 percent of all orders across Cyber Week
SAN FRANCISCO, December 3, 2019—Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today released its Cyber Week insights, unveiling a record $31 billion in U.S. Cyber Week digital commerce revenue, up 15 percent from 2018. Despite a shorter holiday shopping season, retailers leveraged advances in artificial intelligence (AI), mobile and social to get shoppers to start early.
Top Salesforce 2019 Holiday Shopping Insights
- Brands push consumers to start holiday shopping early: With a later Thanksgiving and shortened holiday selling season, retailers made every day count, pushing out discounts and promotions earlier than ever. The average discount rate started at 23 percent on November 25th and grew steadily throughout the week, ending with a 30 percent average discount rate on Cyber Monday. Marketers kept the steady drumbeat of engagement to promote their best deals leading into the weekend with the number of emails sent on Black Friday up 17 percent from Thanksgiving Day. Text messaging also grew on Black Friday, up 22 percent from Thanksgiving.
- AI eliminates guesswork for shoppers: AI-powered search and product recommendations gave shoppers exactly what they were looking for—when and where they were looking for it. In fact, up to 9 percent of digital orders during Cyber Week were a result of AI-powered product recommendations. Shoppers that purchased products from AI-powered recommendations bought 12 percent more units per transaction across Thanksgiving and Black Friday compared to peers who did not purchase from AI-powered recommendations.
- Mobile is the MVP of Cyber Week: A whopping 73 percent of global digital traffic came from mobile devices (up from 66 percent in 2018), marking for yet another groundbreaking year for mobile. However, global mobile orders were the real breakout star, as buying reached 55 percent (up from 50 percent in 2018), driving the most digital traffic and orders of any device. In addition to spikes in mobile usage, social buying through mobile also hit an all-time high—growing 41 percent since 2018 and making up 7 percent of mobile orders on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, a peak day.
- Consumers come out early to research, but save purchases for Cyber Week: Early marketing activity was successful in generating buzz ahead of Cyber Week. During Pre-Cyber Week (November 19 - November 25), digital traffic was up 13 percent from 2018. Shoppers filled their online baskets, but held out for bigger deals in the week ahead. The strategy paid off, with digital orders growing to 18 percent during Cyber Week this year.
- Retailers with click and collect will win later in the season: Ecommerce sites offering in-store order pickup will see big gains late in the season, as shoppers scramble to complete their last minute holiday purchases. Retailers offering this capability on their e-commerce sites will see 48 percent more active digital shoppers and collect 28 percent more digital revenue share in the last five days leading up to Christmas.
Salesforce Powers the Holiday Season
Salesforce delivers massive scale in business to consumer (B2C) CRM throughout the year, but especially during the peak holiday season. This year, Salesforce helped retailers globally power personalized commerce, marketing and customer service experiences throughout Cyber Week:
- Commerce Cloud global customers saw 15 percent digital revenue growth on Cyber Monday and 16 percent digital revenue growth on Black Friday. From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, Commerce Cloud powered digital sales were up 13 percent year-over-year.
- Marketing Cloud emails sends grew 20 percent on Black Friday and 13 percent on Thanksgiving as marketers engaged early and consistently throughout Cyber Week. SMS was again the breakout star as SMS sends grew 133 percent across Thanksgiving and Black Friday over the same period in 2018.
- Service Cloud agents interacted with 3 percent more cases on Black Friday compared to Thanksgiving as shopping activity picked up before Cyber Weekend. Shoppers were more likely to ring up service centers on Black Friday too, with calls to service centers growing 19 percent between Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Comments on the News
- “With a shorter holiday season, the pressure was on brands and retailers this Cyber Week,” said Rob Garf, VP of Strategy and Insights for Retail and Consumer Goods, Salesforce. “Driven by savvy shoppers looking for convenience, personalization and speed before the holiday shopping window closes—winners broke down the friction between inspiration and purchase with artificial intelligence, click and collect and improved mobile usability.”
2019 Salesforce Holiday Insights and Predictions Methodology
To help retailers and brands benchmark holiday performance, Salesforce combined data and holiday insights on the activity of more than half a billion global shoppers across more than 30 countries powered by Commerce Cloud, billions of consumer engagements and millions of public social media conversations through Marketing Cloud, and customer service data powered by Service Cloud. Several factors are subsequently applied to extrapolate projections and actuals for the broader retail industry. These holiday flash reports are a derivative of the quarterly Shopping Index.