Yesterday we attended a press breakfast in which salesforce presented his predictions for the 2022 Christmas campaign, in which it is confirmed that, although 42% of consumers have planned to anticipate their purchases, the instability of the economic situation and the uncertainty is also leading many users to wait for possible last-minute offers and discounts, which will be more aggressive this year. Thus, compared to 15% average discounts that occurred in 2021, the expectation is that these discounts reach an average of 18% this year.
«Retailers and consumers are once again playing cat and mouse with discounts. Early promotions are carried out to stimulate demand, but many consumers wait for the latest and greatest offer at key moments such as the black friday wave cyber week”, he comments Enrique Mazón, Vice President of Commerce Cloud at Salesforce Iberia. «Online traffic early in the season was strong, but sales were weak. This means that although consumers have been exploring web pages, they are being cautious when executing purchases. Retailers can now succeed by focusing on automation and increased productivity to reduce costs and combat mounting margin pressure.«.
Rising prices, inflation or global economic instability are factors that are influencing consumer behavior and leading to restraint in purchases.
The data from the Salesforce Shopping Index corresponding to the third quarter of the year showed growth of 2% in online sales in Spain, compared to a decrease of 2% globally. However, data collected by the company from October 1 to November 14 shows a slowdown in sales compared to the same period of the previous year. Strong growth is expected thanks to discounts from the black friday and the cyber week.
The most recent indicators (data from October 1 to November 14) offer the following conclusions:
Online traffic remained high before the cyber week: Digital traffic increased 3% in the United States and 1% worldwide as consumers began looking for holiday gifts.
Christmas shopping starts slowly: Though consumers started searching early, digital commerce revenue was flat in the US and down 7% globally.
Rising prices put buyers on edge: Median sales price increased 14% in the US and 8% globally from 2020. Even with discounts, consumers are still paying more than they did two years ago.
Discounts and digital marketing receded after the event prime day October: Discount rates fell 16% in the United States and 6% globally over the next four weeks, on average, after the prime day 2022, compared to the same period of the previous year. This was also 11% lower in the United States and globally compared to 2019 during the same period. An increase in discount rates is expected, which could reach up to 18%, for the cyber week and the Christmas campaign.
Email and mobile marketing messages were down 5% globally the week after the prime day.
Some sectors offered bigger and better advance offers: The biggest discounts were found in:
- Appliances (26%)
- General, bags and suitcases (24%)
- General, Clothing (22%)
- Beauty, Makeup and Beauty, Skin Care (21%)
Automation is playing a key role for retailers: Customer service chatbot sessions increased 44% year-on-year.
According to Salesforce data, global online spend will remain strong, compared to pre-pandemic levels, although rising prices due to inflation will translate into lower order numbers. This situation causes retailers’ margins to shrink, so their sales strategies will have to be more efficient in order to improve profitability. Bringing purchasing periods forward, offering sustainable products and increasing the number of channels to connect with your customers are some of the trends for this upcoming campaign.
5 predictions for this Christmas
With the analysis of all the available information, Salesforce has anticipated its global predictions for the Christmas season. These are the main conclusions, which have been presented by Andrea ZarrocaSenior Principal Success Manager of Retail at Salesforce Spain.
- Consumers play between making their purchases in advance to avoid price increases or waiting for discounts – This year, the main motivating factor for advance purchases will be inflation. According to Salesforce, 42% more shoppers globally plan to purchase gifts in advance. However, there is also a phenomenon of waiting to try to take advantage of aggressive offers and last-minute discounts.
- Loyalty translates to value – As inflation rises, consumer loyalty shifts toward experience and value. In fact, according to Salesforce data, half of shoppers will switch brands this Christmas because of price. This implies that up to 2,500 million customers around the world could change brands for this reason, so it is essential to offer a good shopping experience to customers to retain them. At this point, the information that retailers have about their customers is critical in order to offer the best possible shopping experience. The value of data becomes more important and one of the great challenges for retailers is to improve in this aspect. According to Salesforce data, 54% of customers feel that overall, sales, service, and marketing are not well connected to each other.
- Physical stores will drive sales across all channels – Physical stores recover the impact on sales and this is corroborated by the fact that 85% of customers expect unified interactions, regardless of where they occur. The physical presence helps increase sales up to 1.5 times compared to those brands with only online presence. Offering various options such as buying online and picking up in store generates new purchases. In fact, even a 74% of retailers have reported that their customers purchased at least one more product while in the store to pick up a purchase.
- Sustainability will be a very important value – Over the last two years, users have attached greater importance to the values of the companies with which they are related. In fact, up to 64% have stated that they would stop purchasing products from a company if the corporate values do not match theirs. This trend is especially relevant in relation to the environment: 83% of buyers will look for sustainable brands and products during these holidays.
- Adoption of innovative solutions – The new emerging channels and innovation will mark another of the trends of this campaign. According to the Salesforce Shopping Index, Live Shopping (live broadcasts to promote sales) has become a new source of profit generation for almost half of retailers. The presence of brands on social channels and their commitment to collaboration with influencers on platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, Tik Tok or Amazon Live will be one of the trends in this Christmas campaign with significant increases in sales conversion.
On this last point, Andrea Zarroca has highlighted that in Spain “many retailers are not yet ready to incorporate disruptive solutions such as NFT for this Christmas campaign. However, Live Shopping can work very well to incentivize specific products. For example, ideas on what to give”.