Jan 13, 2022
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Global digital sales surpass $1 trillion this holiday 2021: Salesforce

Jan 13, 2022

Consumers spent $1.14 trillion online globally and $257 billion in the U.S., compared to $1.1 trillion and $236 billion in 2020, setting a new record, according to Salesforce's 2021 Holiday Shopping Report. 

Global digital sales reach $1 trillion this holiday season: Salesforce - Heidi Fin

Consumers started shopping early, with 30 percent of global holiday sales completed by November 22, but closer to Christmas, we saw that 23 percent of global digital sales were placed between December 18 and December 31. Stores that offered curbside or in-store pickup options over the same time period captured 62 percent of these final global sales.

As consumers shopped online, social commerce continued to influence. Over the 2021 holiday season, four 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. 

With holiday prices on the rise, the overall use of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services in the U.S. during the holiday season jumped 40 percent compared to 2020. Alternative payment forms, including PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, also increased by 15 percent year-over-year in the U.S.

In terms of what consumers were shopping for, luxury handbags had the highest year-over-year global growth with an increase of 45 percent in online sales. Home furniture and general footwear trailed closely behind, up 34 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

"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," said Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail, Salesforce. 

Despite the ease of online shopping, physical stores still proved to be key throughout the shopping season. According to the report, 60 percent of global digital sales were influenced by brick-and-mortar – from generating to fulfilling demand.

"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 reimagine physical stores to support continually changing digital experiences.”

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