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Global Online Holiday Sales Exceed $1 Trillion Despite Tight Inventory, Fewer Discounts, Salesforce Says

1:41PM ET 1/12/2022 MT Newswires
Global digital sales have exceeded $1 trillion during the just-ended holiday shopping season, driven by the surge of sales in early November and late December despite supply chain issues, tight inventory and fewer discounts, Salesforce (CRM) said Wednesday.

Consumers' online spending totaled $1.14 trillion globally and $257 billion in the US, compared with $1.1 trillion and $236 billion, respectively, in 2020, the company said.

Thirty percent of the holiday sales were recorded in the first three weeks of November as shoppers bought their gifts ahead of the retail rush to avoid shipping delays and unavailability of products, while 23% of sales were placed in the last two weeks of December as consumers missed online shipping cut-off dates, along with the growing concerns over the new variants of the coronavirus, according to the report.

Cyber Week, or the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, accounted for 23% of global sales, versus 24% in 2020.

"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, vice president and general manager of retail at Salesforce.

Inventory for the holiday season fell 2% globally and in the US due to supply chain issues, Salesforce said.

Luxury handbags saw the highest growth in global online sales at 45%, followed by home furniture at 34% and general footwear at 32%, amid consumer shift spending from "needs to wants" during the holidays, according to the report.

More shoppers also used Buy Now, Pay Later services in the US and alternative payment forms like PayPal (PYPL), Apple's (AAPL) Apple Pay and Google's Google Pay to offset the higher prices and fewer discounts throughout the season.