Salesforce: Mobile to Drive e-Commerce Purchases During the Holiday Season (MESA)

Salesforce today released its new consumer insights and predictions for the 2018 holiday shopping season. Mobile will dominate the 2018 holiday season, with more orders and visits to e-commerce sites on phones than any other devices. 2018 holiday season revenue will grow 13 percent over last year, with AI-based product recommendations driving 35 percent of all revenue.

Salesforce combined insights on the activity of 500 million global shoppers across 53 countries and billions of transactions powered by Commerce Cloud with data from the Salesforce annual Shopper-First Retailing Report.

Top Four Salesforce 2018 Holiday Season Predictions and Insights:

Cyber Week — the seven-day period beginning the Tuesday prior to American Thanksgiving and running through Cyber Monday — will account for 40 percent of all digital revenue for the shopping season globally. Black Friday will again be the top digital shopping day of the season, capturing 10 percent of the season’s revenue, while Cyber Monday will contribute 8 percent of sales:

The top five digital shopping days (ranked by global revenue) will be Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Sunday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Saturday
50 percent of holiday shopping will be complete by December 2, a day earlier than the 2017 holiday season

For the first time during the holiday season, shoppers will place more orders from their phones than computers or tablets. Mobile phones will account for 46 percent of all orders, edging out computers (44 percent), and far outpacing tablets (9 percent):

Mobile will deliver 68 percent of all ecommerce traffic this season, an all-time high, which reflects 19 percent year-over-year growth
Mobile traffic share will peak on Christmas Eve, when shoppers will turn to their phones to make 72 percent of all visits and 54 percent of orders
Free shipping will prove to be a mandate this season, as 72 percent of all orders will ship for free, a slight increase over last year

“Mobile is undoubtedly the most disruptive force in retail since the onset of ecommerce,” said Rick Kenney, Head of Consumer Insights, Salesforce. “This is the year shoppers turn to phones, buying more on phones than any other device, and making far more visits, too. We’ll see more visits from phones this season than total ecommerce visits across the entire 2015 shopping season. And even those in-store shoppers are mobile — 83 percent of shoppers aged 18–44 are using their phones while in a physical store.”

Instagram will emerge this holiday season as the fastest growing social channel for referring digital traffic to retail sites:

Instagram traffic will grow 51 percent year-over-year, while Facebook will see a 7 percent decline. Social traffic share will surpass 5 percent during the holiday season, increasing 17 percent over last year’s social traffic share.
Health and beauty shoppers are the most likely to tap from Instagram to an ecommerce site

AI-based product recommendations will drive more growth:

Revenue driven from AI-powered product recommendations will grow by 25 percent since the 2017 holiday season
AI-based product recommendations will drive 35 percent of all revenue

“Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they don’t feel that retailers truly know them. But retailers who infuse AI into the shopping experience can better understand customer needs and drive increased revenue with capabilities like personalized product recommendations,” said Kenney.