Consumers Play 'Discount Chicken' As Online Sales Surge Worldwide

Email volume grew by 5% on Thanksgiving Day YOY. But this growth rate was dwarfed by those of push notifications (147%) and SMS (138%, according to a new report from Salesforce. 

Shipping and delivery offers were featured in 61% of emails. And 10% of email messages highlighted potential delays and pickup options. 

Consumers are again playing a game of “discount chicken,” holding out for deeper price reductions. But they have to “shop online throughout Cyber Week to ensure product availability and avoid shipping hassles,” says Rob Garf, the vice president of strategy and insights at Salesforce.

This comes as Salesforce projects global online sales of $56.5 billion on Black Friday -- 18% higher than last year -- and $11.9 billion in the U.S., reflecting 15% growth YoY. 

Salesforce adds that digital grew by 70% globally on Tuesday and 72% in the U.S. On Wednesday, this increased by 51% globally and 48% in the U.S. 

But growth leveled off slightly to 27% globally on Thanksgiving for sales of $30.4 billion and 20% in the U.S., for $6.8 billion in sales. 

Firms that offered drive-through and in-store pickup in the U.S. saw a 26% lift in digital sales over companies that did not. 

Mobile contributed 58% of orders on Thanksgiving, and desktop contributed 39%. But desktop achieved a $122 average order value --  around 20% higher than mobile -- and had a 2X higher conversion rate. 

Garf adds that mobile devices have become “the remote controls of our daily lives since the start of the pandemic and it’s no different this holiday season. Retailers are forced to meet shoppers at the edge — on TikTok, Animal Crossing, Instagram and other emerging commerce platforms.”

Meanwhile, 9% of global traffic was driven by social media platforms on Thanksgiving, and 11% of U.S. traffic. 

In addition, social was responsible for 4% of global online orders and 5% of U.S. orders. 

Salesforce analyzed activity from over one billion global shoppers in over 40 countries, powered by its Commerce Cloud.


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