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Global Online Sales Top $1.14T During 2022 Holiday Season, Salesforce Data Reveals

retail report

Retailers offering Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) December 15-24 sold 7X more than those who didn’t during this period

Shoppers rethink their purchases with 63% spike in returns year over year

Retailers leaned into demand and increased discounts to 21% between Thanksgiving and Christmas

SAN FRANCISCO — Jan. 9, 2023 — Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today released its 2022 holiday shopping recap, analyzing November and December shopping data from over 1.5 billion shoppers on retail sites using Salesforce Customer 360 (including 24 of the top 30 U.S. online retailers). 

While November’s online sales were lower than in 2021 and 2020, Cyber Week deals and Buy Online and Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) offerings helped retailers drive success in 2022. Across the 2022 holiday season, consumers spent a total of $1.14 trillion online globally and $270 billion in the U.S.

Top Salesforce 2022 holiday shopping insights

Salesforce data highlights trends that shaped the holiday season, including:

  • Holiday returns spike to record highs: Salesforce predicted over 1.4 billion orders purchased this holiday season would be returned. Today’s data shows that the number reached 1.39 billion, accounting for 13% of total holiday orders and a 63% increase in returns YoY. These numbers spiked in the six days after Christmas, with 16% of orders returned over that week — a 5% increase over last year. 
  • Retailers got shoppers’ attention with discounts in the runup to Christmas: After lackluster deals early in the season, retailers increased discounts. In the end, shoppers saw better deals than the 2021 holiday season — a 21% average discount compared to 19% the year prior. 
    • Top discount categories included beauty, skincare, and makeup with an average discount of 29%. 
    • General apparel and handbags were the next most discounted categories at 27%.
  • BOPIS brings hope to last minute shoppers — and growth to retailers: Nearly one out of every five online orders placed globally this holiday season were via BOPIS. BOPIS adoption by consumers peaked at 35% of all orders on the Friday before the Christmas holiday as shoppers retrieved last minute gifts. 
    • When the ground shipping window closed on Dec. 15, U.S. companies that offered BOPIS grew their revenue nearly 7X faster than those without this fulfillment option.
  • Social media referrals hit an all-time high: Shoppers are adept at finding the products they want through all forms of commerce, but social media proved to be a growing favorite in 2022. Traffic referrals from social media hit an all-time high this holiday, driving 12% of all mobile traffic (+23% YoY). Belgium, Italy, and the U.S. represented the countries with the most social media-minded shoppers. 

“Retailers closed out the 2022 holiday season with stronger online sales growth than expected – driven in large part by U.S. demand, steeper discounts on peak days, and BOPIS options,” said Rob Garf, VP & GM of Retail, Salesforce. “Staggering return numbers show that consumers are still cautious amid economic uncertainty, however.” 

In 2023, retailers must double down on efforts to put the customer at the center of their business with data-driven personalization and efficient operations in areas such as fulfillment, service, and returns.

Rob Garf, VP & GM of Retail, Salesforce

Salesforce powered the 2022 holiday season

Despite economic uncertainty and changing consumer spending habits, brands and retailers around the world found success with Salesforce this holiday season:

  • Commerce Cloud powered more than 220 million online orders while delivering fast, easy, and personalized digital experiences to shoppers. Digital sales powered by Commerce Cloud grew more than 6% YoY across the holiday season.
  • Einstein served over 10 billion personalized recommendations in November and December and 9% of all revenue was influenced by shoppers that engaged with these recommendations.  
  • With Service Cloud, agents viewed or worked on more than 30 billion cases (a 20% YoY increase).

Explore further:

2022 Salesforce Holiday Insights and Predictions Methodology

Salesforce delivers retail success now with data and insights from the shopping behavior of consumers around the world. To help retailers and brands benchmark holiday performance, Salesforce analyzes aggregated data to produce holiday insights from the activity of over 1.5 billion global shoppers across more than 64 countries powered by Commerce Cloud, in addition to Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud data from retailers. Salesforce’s holiday data set includes 24 of the top 30 U.S. online retailers on the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 list and utilizes publicly available third-party data sources.

To qualify for inclusion in the analysis set, a digital commerce site must have transacted throughout the analysis period, in this case Nov. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022, and meet a monthly minimum visit threshold. Additional data hygiene factors are applied to ensure consistent metric calculation.

The Salesforce holiday predictions are not indicative of the operational performance of Salesforce or its reported financial metrics including GMV growth and comparable customer GMV growth.


About Salesforce

Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

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