Omnichannel Fulfillment, BNPL and Social Commerce Contributed to Holiday 2021’s Digital Success

Most experts expected the 2021 holiday to be a digital success, and the season didn’t disappoint: global sales hit 1.14 trillion dollars, higher than $1.1 trillion In 2020, while US sales have reached 257 billion dollars, higher than $236 billion, according to data from Salesforce. In addition, the total number of orders increased almost 10.45% of 2020 holiday levels, according to Klaviyo data.

It is worth noting that the highest levels of spending came at the beginning and end of the season. As a result, Internet Week represents 2021 23% Of the total spending on e-commerce, down slightly from 24% In 2020. Shoppers started early, with 30% of global holiday sales completed by November 22, but the last 23% of sales during the home extension between December 18 and December 31.

The uptick at the start of the season can be attributed to shoppers’ awareness of potential shipping delays, which has also made omnichannel fulfillment a winning solution during this latest rush: stores with curbside or in-store pickup options have been picked up. 62% Global sales from December 18 to 31.

Rob Garve, Vice President and General Manager of Retail, Salesforce, said in an interview Retail TouchPoints. “It was the retailers who were able to connect the physical and digital experience that had the most success in the last few weeks of the season.. As consumers became increasingly concerned about the emerging Omicron variant and wanted to order earlier shipping cut-off dates, retailers who were able to sell an item online and fulfill curbside order or pick up at the store accounted for a larger percentage of these late season sales.”

The importance of BOPIS and BOPIS is reflected in Sensormatic’s list of the busiest days of the holiday season: Six of the top 10 It was the week before Christmas, and shoppers’ need to make sure they got their gifts on time made the pickup options particularly attractive.

Peter McCall, Senior Director, Retail Consulting and Advanced Analytics at Sensormatic, said in an interview Retail TouchPoints. You are now in the final 10 Season days, so you can’t necessarily count on getting this item. If you can’t guarantee to be on hand by relying on delivery, it drives a significant amount of traffic to stores. “

The relationship between digital and physical traffic has gone both ways throughout the season. Salesforce found it 60% of global digital sales influenced by real experiences. The ability to visit stores to get a more tangible sense of potential gifts was a strong sales driver, even if many transactions were eventually completed online.

BNPL and social commerce were a highlight of the holidays

Shoppers have embraced modern technology and services throughout the pandemic, and the trend has continued through the festive period. Two of the key techniques this season are:

  • Artificial intelligence: 19% Of all the orders that included a product that was recommended to a shopper by an AI-powered solution; And
  • Digital wallets: The use of alternative payment models including PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay has increased by an 15% On an annual basis in the United States

But when it comes to alternative payments, BNPL has been the star. Usage increased by 40% Compared to the holiday of 2020, while credit card use has decreased 5%. The rise in BNPL is attributed to higher prices in general, due to 25% Inflated prices on an annual basis and reduced overall promotional discounts. Garf noted, “As these headwinds continue into 2022, it’s safe to say that we will continue to see widespread use of BNPL.”

In addition, mobile devices have played a larger role than in the past. Klaviyo found that its retail partners sent more than 132 million Messages during the holiday season 2021- 10× Amount sent in 2020. This was a strong indication of the omnichannel approach to getting shoppers’ attention, be it for promotions or notifications.

Social commerce played a small but significant role in terms of mobile sales. Salesforce found it 4% of global digital sales made on mobile devices through social media applications, and 10% of mobile traffic originating from social networks. The search for holiday inspiration has likely given some shoppers their first taste of social commerce, and retailers should brace for interest in continuing to grow in the year ahead.

“Social commerce fits into what I call ‘edge shopping,’ where consumers begin – and even complete – their shopping journey away from a brand, retail store or website,” Garf said. “Consumers live on their phones, and pushing your brand experience and push into these social networks helps remove consumer friction between discovery and purchase. Social commerce is not a distraction from consumers’ daily routines, but it is actually a convenience that shoppers will continue to look for this year.” Retailers will be smart to keep up with the demand and continue to find different commerce channels in the metaverse and beyond. “

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