Salesforce has announced new consumer insights and predictions for the 2021 holiday shopping season.
While online sales growth is expected to be moderate compared to last year’s historic 50% surge and more in line with pre-pandemic growth trends, digital shopping habits formed during the pandemic will persist and drive total sales to record rates for this holiday season.
Increased costs appear to be front and centre this year for retailers, suppliers and consumers – for a multitude of reasons. Three key forces that have exerted significant pressure on the global supply chain are manufacturing capacity, logistics costs and the labour shortage.
Product availability takes over shipping delays as this holiday’s spoiler
One of last year’s biggest challenges was fulfilment delays to consumers’ doorstep. While concerns persist this year, it is much less pervasive. Overall, Salesforce projects a 94% decrease in packages at risk of being delayed, or 40 million packages worldwide, down from 700 million last year. Just five million packages are expected to be at risk of delay in the US.
No more Christmas ‘cookies’: marketing departments disrupted by new change
With global legislation and changing consumer preferences giving way to increased Internet privacy, marketing departments are facing one of the greatest disruptions they’ve seen in the last five years. Tracking user activity through third-party data across the web and mobile applications is expected to become more expensive, if not impossible and first-party data – data that organisations collect and manage on their consumers – will be king.
Loyalty programs, social media engagement and personalised email marketing are expected to offer opportunities to marketers in the battle for first-party data, with Salesforce projecting 30% growth in e-commerce traffic from social referrals and an 18% rise in email marketing across November and December, compared to last holiday season.
Brick-and-mortar locations become a critical part of digital strategy
The combination of store associates – fulfilling online orders, offering an endless aisle of products, serving digital shoppers, and becoming social influencers – along with shoppers making purchases on mobile devices while in the store, indicates that physical locations will serve as a critical component of digital strategies this holiday.
As a result, more than six in 10 global online orders are predicted to be influenced by brick-and-mortar locations – either by helping to place an online order or by fulfilling it via curbside pickup options. At the same time that labour shortages are wreaking havoc in the lead up to the holidays, it’s becoming more critical than ever for store associates to meet rising consumer expectations.Click below to share this article