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Salesforce: US Online Vacation Sales Surpass $ 250 Billion in 2021

Data from Salesforce shows further acceleration in digital shopping adoption for the 2021 holiday season.

In 2021, online vacation sales between November and December increased 5% year-on-year globally to $ 1.14 trillion and 9% in the United States to $ 257 billion, according to Salesforce. Global Advance Shopping drove a 16% year-over-year increase in online sales in the first week of November.

Although shoppers started their holiday shopping early, U.S. retailers made 23% of their holiday sales in the last two weeks of the year, up 11% from the previous year, although the shipping deadline had passed.

In fact, purchases increased 18% globally in the two weeks leading up to Christmas and 16% during Boxing Week (December 26-31), the strongest digital growth recorded by Salesforce across all. the season. Marketers have stepped up personalized messaging to buyers by 39% in the United States and 43% globally in the past two weeks.

Data from Salesforce shows that retailers had a relatively smooth Cyberweek (Tuesday before Thanksgiving to Cyber ​​Monday), with online sales growth of 2% globally. Although Cyber ​​Week accounted for 23% of global online sales in November and December, it continued to lose its share of online spending for the second year in a row.

[Read more: Cyber Week will never be the same]

Supply chain issues
Salesforce has seen limited inventory and rising prices across the industry. This had the following impact throughout the holiday season:

  • Less articles: The average number of SKUs available declined 2% in the US and globally, compared to a 16% increase in the US and a 30% increase globally over the same period in 2020.
  • Higher prices: World prices increased 9% year over year. For American buyers, the sticker shock was even more striking, with a 25% price increase.
  • Fewer orders: Although online sales have increased overall, the number of online orders is down 4% globally and has remained stable year over year in the United States. Consumers also bought fewer items at the checkout. This behavior is not surprising, as our recent survey data shows that the majority of shoppers have ranked inflation as their number one concern as the holiday season approaches.
  • Less discounts: The update was also weak in the face of unprecedented challenges. The global average discount rate during Cyber ​​Week fell from 26% in 2020 to 24% in 2021. The entire season has seen discount rates lower than the 2020 average by two percentage points. This is the first time that retailers and brands have pulled out of discounts during peak season.

Salesforce expects supply chain and inflation issues to continue through 2022.

[Read more: Study: 98% of retailers having supply chain issues; will last beyond 2022]

Other findings:

  • The top three product categories in terms of online sales growth in November and December wereluxury handbags (+ 45%), household furniture (+ 34%) and general shoes (+ 32%)
  • For the first time, the use of credit cards for online shopping declined as consumers switched to mobile wallets and fundraising tools.
  • Purchases made through a Buy It Now Option (BNPL) were up 29% from 2020 and represent 8% of all purchases made online, up from 6% the year before. Apple Pay grew 68% year-over-year in overall usage, doubling its share of sales from 2% to 4%.
  • US retailers that offered BOPIS grew almost twice as fast as their non-BOPIS counterparts in the last two weeks of the season.

“Digital has redefined the way consumers shop in the physical world and online,” said Caila Schwartz, senior director, consumer strategy and information, Salesforce, in a company blog post. “They are not limited by the limits of Cyber ​​Week and they decide when and how they browse and buy. High season starts earlier and lasts longer than ever. And as online growth will continue to normalize from the massive peaks of 2020 and early 2021, brands and retailers must be prepared to meet their shoppers anytime, anywhere. They need to embrace a new retail model – one where physical and digital realities coexist, stores never close, and shoppers are always looking for the next big thing.

Powered by Commerce Cloud, the Holiday Insights Hub analyzes the online shopping activity and statistics of more than one billion shoppers in more than 51 countries, focusing on 12 key markets: the United States, the Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. , Japan, Netherlands, Australia / New Zealand, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan, Australia and New Zealand) and Nordic countries.