Before the imminent arrival of the christmas campaign, forecasts point to online sales exceeding one trillion dollars worldwide. However, according to Salesforce, consumers, retailers and suppliers are expected to face a increased costs and a decrease in inventory due to problems in the supply chain.
The increase in online sales, of 7% year-on-year, is expected to be moderate compared to a historical rise of 50% last year, and is more in line with pre-pandemic growth trends. This will not prevent the online shopping habits acquired during the health crisis from persisting, as they will drive total sales at record rates next Christmas.
“Everything suggests that consumers around the world will anticipate Christmas shopping, due to delays in shipments last year”, says Enrique Mazón, regional vice president commerce cloud Spain. «In addition, with the problems in the supply chain that are currently being experienced, having an attractive website that allows products to be found efficiently, quickly and reliably, as well as fine-tuning the logistics aspects, constitute the backbone on which we must build the online strategy for this year’s Christmas campaign ».
The highlights of the Salesforce predictions are:
- A 7% year-on-year growth in online sales globally, which represents a brake compared to the 50% year-on-year that was experienced in 2020.
- Digital sales are expected to reach a record $ 1.2 trillion worldwide.
- The growth of online commerce will be marked by a 20% increase in final sales prices, despite the fact that a 2% decrease in the number of orders is expected.
One of the biggest challenges last year was delays in customer deliveries. While the concern persists this year, it is much less widespread. Salesforce expects a 94% drop in orders with risk of delay, meaning these would be limited to 40 million packages worldwide, up from 700 million last year. This will make many buyers opt to buy early this Christmas.
Five key predictions from Spanish retailers
Salesforce’s predictions were analyzed during an event with Spanish retail professionals, in which five key trends were detected that will mark the 2021 Christmas campaign:
- The supply chain will be affected by the increased costs. The impact on US retail as a result of the price hike is estimated to be $ 223 billion.
- The role of store employees is reinvented. Stores are still very important, but they need to be redefined. Some shop assistants now act as stylists and consultants with customers, as influencers on social networks or will prepare orders for collection in store or to be served to the consumer from the store.
- Returns the face-to-face consumption. Although the purchase channels will continue to be multiple, customers are beginning to return to physical spaces to purchase consumer products. In this omnichannel relationship, social networks, loyalty and personalized shopping experiences play a fundamental role.
- A Christmas without cookies. The disappearance of cookies opens the battle for first-hand data or First Party Data. Therefore, more loyalty programs will appear that must meet the double challenge of being significant for the customer and being profitable for the brand.
- Consumers will bet on giving experiences away. Among them, three are emerging as the most demanded. The adventure, which will attract those consumers interested in goods and services for the outdoors and action; the social, for those seeking emotional connection; and, finally, luxury with all the exclusive experiences that it entails.