Salesforce analysed the online shopping behaviour of over 1.5bn shoppers across its Customer 360 platform and revealed, to the surprise of no-one, that online sales and traffic spiked on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
These two days were the biggest online shopping days of the year, with attractive discount rates leading to surprisingly strong sales growth. Black Friday saw an 8% increase in online sales globally and in Europe, while Cyber Monday saw a 5% increase globally and a 10% increase in Europe.
AI influenced $51bn in online sales in areas such as targeted offers, product recommendations, and generative AI-powered chat services. These features helped shoppers find the best deals and products for their needs and preferences.
Mobile phones accounted for a record-breaking 80% of Cyber Week e-commerce traffic, up from 76% in 2022. Social media platforms on mobile were also a critical source of referrals to retailer websites, representing 10% of all referrals.
After lacklustre deals earlier in the holiday season, discount rates rose to 27% globally on average throughout Cyber Week, representing the best deals of the holiday season.
The highest global discount rates were found in makeup (38%), general apparel (33%), skincare (33%), and active apparel (32%).
After an unprecedentedly high rate of returns during last Cyber Week, where consumers returned purchases to buy them back at lower prices, return rates fell back to normal levels (5%) for the week. This suggests that retailers were more transparent and consistent with their pricing strategies this year.
On the local front, EcoFlow secured 6th spot among the top 10 brands for gross merchandise value (GMV) - total value of goods sold - on Takealot.
EcoFlow Delta 2 secured 3rd on the top 10 items sold by GMV. This means that more Delta 2s were sold than PlayStation 5 consoles, Samsung Galaxy A24 smartphones and iPads. It also energed as the top-selling portable power station on Takealot.
The Chinese-based portable and home power solutions company has become a favourite among SA buyers to mitigate against widespread load shedding that has surpassed all previous records in 2023.