LUXURY handbags and home furniture were the fastest-growing categories online, according to Salesforce’s 2021 Holiday Shopping Report, released this week.
Consumers spent $1.14 trillion (R17.79 trillion) online globally compared to $1.1 trillion in 2020, the report said.
Data showed that luxury handbags had the highest year-on-year (y/y) global growth with an increase of 45 percent in online sales. Home furniture and general footwear trailed closely behind with an increase of 34 percent and 32 percent growth, respectively.
The report analyses shopping data from more than 1 billion shoppers on the Salesforce Customer 360 platform and activity across commerce, marketing and service.
Rob Garf, the vice-president and general manager of retail, Salesforce, said: “Despite the lingering pandemic and countless obstacles such as supply chain logistics, low inventory, and fewer discounts, consumers flocked online to close out this holiday shopping season with a bang.
“As we move into a new year, retailers must push their brands to platforms such as social, gaming, messaging, and the metaverse to engage shoppers where they are discovering and buying products. They must also double down on efforts to re-imagine physical stores to support continually changing digital experiences,” he said.
While Cyber Week saw muted digital growth in 2021, early November and late December surges helped retailers break new sales records.
Trends that shaped the holiday season, included that shoppers splurged early and late this holiday season.
The report found that shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush to avoid issues with shipping delays and out-of-stock products, with 30 percent of global holiday sales completed by November 22. Cyber Week accounted for 23 percent of global sales (down from 24 percent in 2020).
Social commerce continued to influence consumer buying behaviour.
A survey of 1 600 global shoppers from Salesforce’s 4th edition of the Connected Shoppers Report found that by 2023, 25 percent of shopping was projected to happen beyond a retailer or brand’s website, app or physical store.
Over the 2021 holiday season, 4 percent of global digital sales on a mobile device were made through a social media app and 10 percent of mobile traffic originated from consumers browsing through social networks.
“As retailers begin to build in the metaverse, it’s clear that shoppers are ready to purchase across new channels,” the report said.
While consumers continued to embrace digital this holiday, physical stores proved to be key throughout the shopping season.
The report said 60 percent of global digital sales were influenced by brick-and-mortar – from generating to fulfilling demand. The evolving role of the store – and associates – helped to break down friction across digital and physical touch-points.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE