Black Friday was busiest digital shopping day of holiday season, Salesforce reveals


Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, has released new research revealing Black Friday 2017 was the busiest digital shopping day of the holiday season. Salesforce combined insights on the activities of hundreds of millions global shoppers across more than 30 countries powered by Commerce Cloud; millions of public social media conversations analyzed through Marketing Cloud; and data from Salesforce’s annual Connected Shoppers Report to give retailers the intelligence they need to drive their businesses forward.

Top Salesforce 2017 holiday shopping insights

  • Massive digital commerce growth: the 2017 holiday season had a strong kickoff with e-commerce revenue up 30 percent on Thanksgiving Day, 32 percent on Black Friday and 15 percent on Cyber Monday. The combined 26 percent revenue growth across the first week of the season is nearly double the 15 percent growth rate in Q3 of this year. There is still massive opportunity for retailers, as consumers will only have 50 percent of their holiday shopping completed by Sunday, Dec. 3 and 80 percent completed by Friday, Dec. 15.
  • Record mobile commerce growth: consumers turned to their mobile devices in record numbers, as phones accounted for 60 percent of digital traffic to retail sites and 41 percent of orders from November 21-27 (Cyber Week), up from 53 percent and 32 percent, respectively, in 2016. This year represents a watershed moment for the shift to mobile commerce, as this was the first Black Friday where personal computers accounted for less than half–49 percent–of all orders.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) driven personalization delivers outsized impact: retailers are seeing the impressive impact of personalization on the biggest digital days of the season. On Black Friday, while only six percent of shoppers engaged with product recommendations, those shoppers accounted for 32 percent of all digital revenue. On CyberMonday, five percent of shoppers engaged with product recommendations, which accounted for 26 percent of digital revenue that day.
  • Social media increasingly plays a big role: Social traffic to retail sites rose to five percent overall, and seven percent from mobile. In looking at social media conversations during Cyber Week, Black Friday mentions were down year over year (YoY) with 3.4 million mentions this year, compared to four million in 2016. Conversation sentiment was also slightly down YoY, but remained positive at 75 percent. PlayStation, Xbox and Apple were the most frequently talked about products and brands this year, and the top hashtags (in order) were #givingtuesday, #blackfriday and #cybermonday.

Salesforce powers the holiday season

Salesforce delivers massive scale in business to consumer (B2C) CRM. Here’s how Salesforce helped retailers power personalized commerce, marketing and customer service throughout Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Cyber Week:

  • Commerce Cloud customers delivered nearly 94 million AI-powered product recommendations on Black Friday and just over 73 million on Cyber Monday. It also powered more than 850 million clicks on Black Friday, more than 700 million on Cyber Monday and more than 3.8 billion throughout Cyber Week. This data shows that Black Friday eclipsed Cyber Monday for the second year in a row as the largest digital shopping day of the season.
  • Marketing Cloud sent over three billion emails, mobile SMS and push notifications on Black Friday, nearly 3.3 billion on Cyber Monday and a total of 17.5 billion on Cyber Week. Salesforce DMP, part of Marketing Cloud, powered more than 8.8 billion data collection events on Black Friday, almost 10 billion on Cyber Monday and nearly 62 billion during Cyber Week. Delivering on the value of AI, Marketing Cloud powered more than 311 million Salesforce Einstein engagement scores on Black Friday, 472 million on CyberMonday and nearly three billion during Cyber Week. Einstein engagement scores determine how likely a retailer’s subscriber is to open an email, click links and stay subscribed.
  • Service Cloud customers viewed more than 55 million customer service cases and received more than 17 million customer service calls on Black Friday. This increased to 98.6 million customer service cases viewed and more than 44 million customer service calls received on Cyber Monday, topping out with more than 400 million service cases viewed and 162 million calls received during Cyber Week.


“Just as we predicted, Black Friday once again rose above Cyber Monday as the biggest digital shopping day of this holiday season,” said Rob Garf, VP industry insights, Salesforce Commerce Cloud. “However, it’s not too late for retailers to increase digital revenue as consumers will only have 50 percent of their holiday shopping completed by December 3rd.”

“Mobile and digital continue their massive growth, but what really sets retailers apart is personalization,” said Shelley Bransten, SVP Retail Industry Solutions, Salesforce. “Six percent of shoppers who engage with personalized product recommendations are driving 30 percent of revenue.”