Online retailing will account for 30% of sales in the 2020 holiday season, according to a new forecast from
up from 14% in 2019.
The company also said it expects 10% of shopping that previously took place around the Black Friday holiday period following Thanksgiving to move up a month, in sync with the annual Prime Day event at
(ticker: AMZN), now scheduled for Oct. 13-14.
Rob Garf, vice president for industry strategy and insights at Salesforce (CRM), said in a conference call with reporters that consumers are likely to shop earlier out of concerns about shipping delays and product shortages, and health risks related to in-store shopping.
Garf warned that the surge in online ordering could create new pressures on package-delivery services. Salesforce projects that 700 million packages could be at risk of being delayed this holiday season. Garf thinks retailers will try to drive demand earlier in the season to manage the potential delivery issue. He also said retailers are likely to shift the deadline for orders to be received by Dec. 25 to earlier than the previous standard date of Dec. 17.
Garf said more retailers are shifting distribution points to local stores, while partnering with crowdsourced delivery providers such as
and Instacart to get packages to consumers. Salesforece projects 90% growth this year in the use of stores as fulfillment centers for online orders.
Salesforce also expects a greater adoption of “shopping at the edge,” with purchases through social-media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
The company expects a spike in returns this year to the tune of $280 billion.
Salesforce forecasts that the top categories for holiday shopping this year will include electronics and gaming; home fitness; beauty; toys and games; and home furnishings and décor.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]