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Salesforce Data Reveals Record-Breaking Cyber Week: $298B in Global Digital Sales, $51B in AI-Influenced Purchases

Global online Cyber Week sales rose 6% YoY while U.S. online sales grew 5%

Black Friday remained the largest U.S. online shopping day of the year, bringing in $16.4 billion in sales in the U.S and $70.9 billion globally

AI drove $51 billion of online sales over the seven-day Cyber Week period


San Francisco — November 28, 2023 — Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the #1 AI CRM, today unveiled its 2023 Cyber Week figures, analyzing shopping data from over 1.5 billion shoppers across its Salesforce Customer 360 platform (including 29 of the top 30 U.S. online retailers). Overall global sales were up 6% year over year (YoY), hitting $298 billion, with U.S. sales reaching $70.8 billion and increasing 5% YoY.

Growth was driven primarily by order volume, rather than inflation, signaling increased consumer demand for the first time in more than five quarters. While there was a steady drumbeat of promotions early in the season, diligent and patient shoppers held out for – and got – attractive Cyber Week deals. This delivered a solid Cyber Week performance as consumers sought value and convenience. 

Top Cyber Week 2023 Salesforce shopping insights (Tuesday, Nov. 21 through Monday, Nov. 27, 2023):

  • Online sales and traffic spiked on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Digital sales across Cyber Week reached $298 billion globally (a 6% increase YoY) with traffic seeing a 5% increase YoY. Attractive discount rates led to surprisingly strong sales growth on the two biggest online shopping days of the year:
    • Black Friday: Online sales increased 8% globally, 9% in the U.S., and 8% in Europe YoY. 
    • Cyber Monday: Online sales increased 5% globally, 3% the U.S., and 10% in Europe YoY.  
  • AI wins over shoppers: Seamless and personalized shopping, enabled by AI, helped fuel online growth and customer profitability. $51 billion of global online sales were influenced by AI in areas such as targeted offers, product recommendations, and generative AI-powered chat services.
  • Consumers shopped mostly on mobile: A record-breaking 79% of Cyber Week ecommerce traffic was on mobile phones, up from 76% in 2022. Given this, social traffic on mobile was a critical acquisition channel – representing 10% of all referrals to retailer websites. 
  • Marketing campaigns capitalized on mobile shoppers: Marketers continued to embrace alternative communication channels to engage on-the-go consumers. The number of messages sent via push notifications, SMS, and streaming services (OTT) combined grew 37% this Cyber Week – compared to a modest 9% growth for traditional email.
  • Discounts rose to meet pent-up demand: After lackluster deals earlier in the season, heavier discounts enticed price-conscious consumers to buy throughout Cyber Week.
  • Discount rates rose to 27% globally and 29% in the U.S. on average throughout the week – representing the best deals of the holiday season.
    • Verticals with the highest global discount rates:
      • Makeup (38%)
      • General Apparel (33%)
      • Skincare (33%)
      • Active Apparel (32%)
    • Highest U.S. discount rates:
      • General Apparel (38%)
      • Health and Beauty (combined) (34%)
      • Home Combined (24%)
      • Active Apparel & Footwear (24%)
  • More transparent discounts led to fewer returns: Retailers listened to shoppers’ feedback from past years and were more transparent regarding their discounts and return policies. After an unprecedented high rate of returns during last Cyber Week – where consumers exchanged gifts to price adjust for better deals – return rates fell back to normal levels (5%) for the week. 
  • Single-brand retailers captured market share: With enhanced experiences and attractive discounts, single-brand retailers (retailers that exclusively sell only one brand’s products) saw about double the online growth compared to retailers carrying multiple brands.
    • Globally:
      • Online sales growth: single-brand = +8% vs. multi-brand = +5% 
      • Discount rate: single-brand = 29% vs. multi-brand = 17%
    • U.S.:
      • Online sales growth: single-brand = 7% vs. multi-brand = 3%
      • Discount rate: single-brand = 31% vs. multi-brand = 19%
  • Alternative payment methods break down friction at checkout: Amid inflationary pressure and shrinking budgets, U.S. shoppers used alternative payment options like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) to finance purchases – with an 8% increase in orders YoY. U.S. consumers also used mobile wallets to conveniently complete transactions on their phones – usage increased 54% in the U.S. YoY, with Apple Pay driving the majority of the growth (54%). 
  • Automation gave time back to retailers and consumers: Retailers leaned into automation on some of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Chatbot messages across Cyber weekend increased by 79% YoY globally. 

Salesforce powers Cyber Week shopping with trust, scale, and AI

This year, Salesforce helped retailers around the world drive profitable growth and scale, with 100% uptime, to reach shoppers across all buying channels. With consumers continuing to shop online, delivering fast, easy, and personalized digital experiences is more important than ever and was made possible by:

  • Commerce Cloud: Commerce Cloud powered nearly 50 million orders on digital storefronts across Cyber Week with 100% uptime (zero downtime), resulting in a 16% compound annual order growth rate (CAGR) over the last five years. 
  • Marketing Cloud: Over 53 billion marketing messages were sent via Marketing Cloud this Cyber Week, accounting for a 7% increase YoY. 
  • Service Cloud: During the busiest shopping week of the year, Service Cloud helped customers field and resolve over 3.7 billion case interactions, and observed a 10% YoY increase in AI-powered chatbot sessions. 
  • AI: Salesforce powered more than 49 billion AI-powered product recommendations across Cyber Week. 

Soundbites:

  • “Executives are realizing that you can’t spell holidays without AI. Retailers are embracing this innovative technology to personalize shopping experiences and increase customer profitability during the holiday season and beyond,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail. 

Executives are realizing that you can’t spell holidays without AI. Retailers are embracing this innovative technology to personalize shopping experiences and increase customer profitability during the holiday season and beyond

Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail
  • “The mobile phone has been the remote control for holiday shopping. Consumers are embracing mobile wallets to break down friction between discovering on social and purchasing on mobile,” Garf continued. 

Explore further:

  • Check out Salesforce’s 2023 holiday season predictions and visit the Holiday Shopping HQ for real-time Cyber Week results
  • Hear Michael Affronti’s thoughts on the influence of AI on the holiday shopping season

2023 Salesforce holiday insights and predictions methodology

Powered by Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud, Salesforce analyzed aggregated data to produce holiday insights from the activity of more than 1.5 billion global shoppers across more than 64 countries, with a focus on 12 key markets: the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia/New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan, Australia, and New Zealand), and the Nordics. This battery of benchmarks provides a deep look into the last nine quarters and the current state of digital commerce. Several factors are applied to extrapolate macroeconomic figures for the broader retail industry.

The prediction data that we present are from proprietary Salesforce research. The calculations we use blend first-party and third-party data, as well as several market assumptions, to generate the data points presented. 

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 is the #1 AI CRM, empowering companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way through the power of CRM + AI + Data + Trust on one unified platform: Einstein 1. For more information 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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