A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. In episode 110 is a discussion of 2017 holiday trends and data with Rob Garf, VP of Industry Strategy and insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Rob Garf (@retailrobgarf), is the VP of Industry Strategy and insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud. His team has access to insights from all the Salesforce Commerce Cloud clients (formerly Demandware). We have a broad ranging conversation about what he’s seeing this holiday season and trends he expects for next year.
You can read more about his teams insights here:
Salesforce Reveals Black Friday Was the Busiest Digital Shopping Day of the Holiday Season
Don’t forget to like our facebook page, and if you enjoyed this episode please write us a review on itunes.
Episode 110 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on November 30th 2017.
New beta feature – Google Automated Transcription of the show
[0:25] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this is episode 110 being recorded on Thursday November 30th 2017 I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-host Scot Wingo.
Scot & Rob:
[0:40] Hey Jason and a welcome back Jason and Scott show listeners.
Jason R series that is a hot take on holiday 17 continues here in episode 110 we’re excited to have the first time to the show someone you and I’ve known both for a long time and I’ve been trying to get on the show and we finally made it work,
Rob Garf rub is the VP of Industry strategy and insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud welcome to the show Rob.
[1:06] Thanks gentlemen it’s great to be here I feel honored to be amongst digital Commerce loyalty I feel like I’m obliged to say first time long time.
[1:17] Appreciate it you know one thing we always like to do on this show is give listeners a little bit of context about how you came into your your control,
I’m in what what the scope of the current role is so I know,
like ourselves I know you’ve been kicking around the industry for a little while can you you talk to us about your career matriculation and what you’re doing at Salesforce today.
Scot & Rob:
[1:44] Yeah yeah absolutely literally retail is in my blood my father actually was at a supply chain a bunch of different retailers around the country when I was growing up and I didn’t have any,
prettiest aspirations of getting into retail but I did grow up working in his distribution centers and working in some stores at.
Ricky work for in retailers that he worked for and really really cut my teeth in a genuine way in headquarters,
right around 99 2004 Lids the specialty hat retailer,
where I live Ecommerce and at the time we’re doing some really fun things like buy online pickup store we had an endless aisle app we didn’t know,
really what we’re doing and put it together you know I shoestring budget but it worked and it was a lot of fun,
and tell you guys probably are the only ones on the show that will remember that we ran into world back almost 20 years ago of course they’re long gone as a,
e-commerce platform but anyways from there.
Certainly continue to kick around was industry analysts at AMR research leaving retail practice moved to lead retail strategy to IBM when I was in fortunate to land at demandware.
Which took me about 5 years in when we got Acquired and summer 2016 by Salesforce,
what is known as the Commerce cloud my role it’s really fun I get to kind of put all the hats on that I’ve worn over the last 20 25 years and I lead a team called Industries for insights and really.
[3:22] In short it’s it’s our job to stay in the market,
understand where the industry’s going would you that primarily through research and then we turn that back over to the industry,
our customers and we use that to better understand where we should bring our company products so it’s been a lot of fun over last coming up on 7 years for the last year-and-a-half as part of Salesforce.
[3:44] Very cool and then another one of the reasons you wanted to get you into this series is you guys have been releasing some holiday data and I don’t I don’t recall you doing much of that,
demandware tell us about what’s going on there and for listeners that don’t know let’s let’s kind of help them understand the scope of the day that you guys would have and kind of where it comes from.
[4:06] Sure yeah I think that’s going to start some good contacts on the conversation I’m sure we’re about to have so even wear a cloud platform that enables retailers and Brands to connect,
to their consumers across the Myriad of different channels whether that’s personally online or through mobile store.
Social even the increasingly iot invoice devices we collect a lot of data in fact on a monthly basis we have 500 million Shoppers Traverse City.
Rousey ultimately buying,
AR platform across around 3000 sites and not representing retailers in 53 country so we take that information we aggregated up and very thoughtful and secure way and it really helps us,
gauge meter Digital Trends and then again we as part of our perky turn that back over or consumers help them Benchmark I’m sorry.
Back over to our customers retail Brands and allows them to better Benchmark the business and then broadly it allows us to see you know where where the industry’s going what are some of the major Trends and we’ve been doing,
what are we reporting for some time but we really double down on the holiday this year to turn it into some interesting insights as to what we predict and then be what we’re seeing.
[5:27] Cool so if we if we kind of start at 30,000 ft view did you have any forecast for holiday or you’re not in the forecast visiting just kind of looking at insights.
Yeah so week we had some predictions based on the data from the platform,
what we see in the past quarter past years and we also did some primary research as well,
so yes and I get right into it tell him which I talk to you about kind of what we saw a little bit and get back yeah,
you know like how did you guys did you think holiday would be 15% that came in at 20 and then you have any other kind of macro stuff and we’ll get into some of the individual days in a minute but the the big picture what do you think.
[6:09] The big picture yeah so you know back in September October we release them prediction information or three key points that we among many others that we hold in on and in one piece was,
wow discounts were going to be abundance as they normally are creeping earlier and earlier in the year we felt like the holiday season would smooth out,
a bit in terms of actual demand and that’s in fact what we saw by the end of.
Monday Cyber Monday only 35% of digital shopping was completely,
and so there’s still a lot of Runway to go there the second piece that we saw is that 40% of.
Statically Millennials will be doing a lot of research and Discovery through voice assistance in.
Alexis in the world in the Google homes and Sirius of the world and we don’t have data yet to back it up.
Quantitatively button talking to our customers there they’re definitely testing and.
Playing with poison in Lexington circular craving some skills around shipping notifications and,
order status which I think is a nice step forward on the convenience play of the of the three.
Last one was in this really started last year.
[7:38] Black Friday becoming more and more of a digital day you know we score screw up all of us here Scott Jason you know with.
Black Friday more of a store based way doorbusters and getting out of the,
Thanksgiving craziness at family and getting some the stores and works we’re seeing a real uptick both and we predicted and we in fact saw it as a really big,
really big digital day as well so I can dive in all of this in particular but those are some of the variations Rahsaan and how they kind of played out over the last.
789 days I would say.
[8:15] Awesome but just want to get an idea of how Granny or the data use you see is your the the actual platform that that all these retailers are are using for their, so I’m assuming you get,
pretty granular data so you you mentioned for example discounting like are you are you able to to see the actual sort of.
[8:35] Is was pricing that that is offered by your customers and are you guys sharing any data about like how promotional this holiday.
[8:44] Season has been versus past holiday season.
Scot & Rob:
[8:47] Yeah yeah absolutely so you know one of the things we saw as I mentioned discounts starting earlier and earlier we’re calling it.
You know game of discount chicken right it’s like the retailers are moving it more and more,
towards the beginning of November opening hoping that the consumers will by and by the way though we all know,
what happened but in terms of the rates and yeah we’re seeing across the,
the Cyber week starting on the Tuesday 2 days before American Thanksgiving and then going through through Cyber Monday,
we saw an average at 28%.
Discount rate so there’s some really nice discounts really teaching on Cyber Monday will see a little bit of a wall and then once again we anticipate another Spike,
around December 11th and for few days further when,
consumers are starting to feel the crunch of the shipping window starting to close and retailers taking advantage of that kind of emotional oh gosh I need to get it now or I’m not going to be able to get that deliver to my doorstep.
I’ll put the other interesting part if I could be on just discounts is what we saw a round free shipping.
And so across the week as I defined a moment ago we saw 84% of orders,
that were free shipping in fact on Cyber Monday alone it actually spiked up and was the highest 89% so in what was seen as a really nice to have in past years really the expectations the consumer is.
[10:30] We want it free or not at all and so as a consumer if you’re on and listening,
definitely look for those free shipping and if your retailer you got to get the game if you’re not already.
[10:44] Yeah yeah and I did just maybe put that in a little bit of context comes Gore would say that that year-round about 65% of all e-commerce sales are with free shipping so when you see a spike up to 85 to almost 90% that’s,
a version of a promotion that retailers are running and it just turns out free shipping is the most effective promotion you can run if you if you don’t already offer it because,
it seems like consumers are really weary to make any purchases that that where they have to pay for shipping.
Scot & Rob:
[11:16] Yeah that’s right and that’s why I talked about in the context of.
Discount since you know a lot of our customers are in the luxury and apparel space where they want to try to us from Apperception perspective hold onto price Integrity but free shipping is a nice way as you mention to essentially give,
it total cost of ownership if you will discounts on getting that a product you on.
[11:39] For sure you also mentioned Black Friday becoming a little bit more of a digital holiday and that that’s only seems like a trend that we’ve seen as well,
are you starting to see you mention that a lot of deals are peaking on Cyber Monday are you starting to see a spike of.
Online deals on Black Friday as well or do you feel like like as a consumer you’re going to get better deals on Monday then you can get on Friday.
Scot & Rob:
[12:03] Yeah I mean it’s it’s just to get really deep we saw a 27% discount rates on Black Friday compared to 29% on Cyber Monday.
[12:16] Negative Outlets closed right but generally speaking when I step back we’re seeing that,
deals have really in demand in fact has been smooth over across,
the seven days of cyber week where in the past it was for consumers got to get the deal on Friday in the store or Monday.
I’m online and I’m finding both based on a research and helping a sample size of one and doing a bit of shopping myself is that retailers are becoming a lot more transparent about the length.
[12:53] In the duration of their promotions and there’s not as much of a.
Gosh I got to get it on Friday or I’m going to lose out so yeah I know that’s my roundabout way of saying there’s a spike Cyber Monday at 29%.
We see 27% but overall we’re seeing deal smooth out through the entire week.
[13:17] Yeah that that is interesting that is that’s one of the challenges with promotions right is that the promotions are going to be most effective,
if there’s almost some scarcity to them like if consumers believe that that deal is going to end on Friday and that’s the best deal I’m ever going to get if.
It we’re promoting stuff on Friday and all the consumers have a a real belief that there’s going to be an even better deal on Monday then the.
Promotions tendon not have the desired effect into your point in the old world the consumer attended the only know what we tell them right so we said hey big sale on Friday that’s the only information the consumer has not had but today.
The consumer knows everything and they have.
Perfect transparency and oh by the way there’s probably 50 websites that are designed to telling them what what deals are the best each day and what did the historical,
best time to buy all these products are so it’s hard to hard to get away with any of those those promotional games anymore.
Scot & Rob:
[14:13] It’s really good point I think it’s a really good point in the fact that.
Retail for finally listening you know what I mean in terms of their acknowledging that consumers have a lot more control in Access than ever before and why not be a little bit more,
transparent around the pricing in motion so that while you are giving a little bit away on the scarcity side you’re giving a little bit more away saying I don’t.
Each go to another retailer cuz I think I missed that window right.
[14:44] Put it makes me I know Salesforce is really big on the AI in it you guys call York or a Einstein if you guys do any exploration of kind of could you plug that in there and try to have the AI out smart smart the consumers on this whole,
pricing game of chicken thing,
yes and we are doing that in fact we actually have some interesting data around artificial intelligence and how that has actually influenced a lot of the,
the sales when it comes down to it so what we found across again these sample set that we have is that.
[15:21] And I’ll pick on Black Friday so on Black Friday 6%,
Shoppers engage or clicked on a product recommendation that was powered by artificial intelligence so that recommendation was based on the shopping Behavior.
Either a known consumer in the various digital profile and preferences that have been accumulated or an unknown based on the clicks that.
They did either on-site or off-site and while it was only 6% its Rove 32%,
of the revenue so huge impact when retailers can turn this data into intelligence and get it in front of the consumers in a meaningful way throughout the journey.
[16:14] That that’s fascinating I’m always curious like how how are you defining artificial intelligence for the recommendation and in that case cuz it you know obviously you know there’s there’s multiple definitions of artificial intelligence but I have a feeling all the the vendors that are in the the Salesforce Commerce Cloud link exchange that have been doing,
recommendations for for 5 or 10 years would probably call their engines artificial intelligence wouldn’t they are.
Scot & Rob:
[16:40] Yeah they likely will and so yeah we’re at the very core it’s.
From machine learning that is taking in all of the data that’s,
being generated on the platform by that retailer and allowing the algorithm to continually learn and in an automated way.
Dr. Relevant interaction LG interesting part is that,
artificial intelligence Einstein is both making the merchant in marketer the retailer smarter so they’re just getting more fishing around planning,
their pricing in there but then it’s also Autumn eating a lot of manual rules-based type of Assortment,
that the consumer will interact with on the site cool,
yes it’s need to see you and you’re always Acquisitions talk about synergies sounds like there’s already a rich set of capabilities over on the sales for side that you guys are tapping into.
[17:41] For sure yeah I mean particularly on the Einstein front given the fact that salesforce.com on this across across the entire company so yet while we have a date,
with in Commerce Cloud we are we are definitely leveraging,
all of the Innovation that’s happening back at San Francisco from machine learning to visual,
intelligence to voice intelligence to natural language processing so it’s it is really exciting where as we came,
India the Acquisitions with some pretty cool.
[18:20] Artificial intelligence were able to now look to our colleagues and really amp it up quite a bit and again. The fun part about this is It’s really baked into the plan.
So it snow in the same console that a marching will do their promotions in their assortments and figuring out the promotional calendar so they don’t have to talk between different screen so you know going back to data.
It’s really showing while you know small,
portion of consumers are coming across these product recommendations and stay clicking on then it’s driving a lot of Revenue and I assume at some point we’ll talk about mobile but,
in a very small form factor world that we’re living in now making sure where you might have one if two products that are made available getting those right ones,
in front of the consumer makes all the difference in the world yeah real estate is definitely the premium,
just want to talk about mobile one quick thing that you just kind of made me think about so early are you talking about skills being kind of a prediction you guys as part of the platform can you just kind of turn on for a new beer Merchants an Alexa skill or or.
[19:36] You know you’re watching what’s happening there before you do something like that.
[19:40] Yeah so you know Boyce in general is something we’re looking at our customers given our open platform already testing some out there finding it just the way they’re not necessarily seeing.
You’re clicking the bottle like it’s not really clicking or tapping are you but you know having to buy happen but it’s more on some of the purple,
research Discovery or on the other side service but that’s more happening for your partners or independently given again are open platform our customers are able to innovate and extend vrep eyes,
Darius didn’t ask Dex like order and customer and price and,
so on and so forth I figured I would keep your interest though given I know it’s a Hot Topic around these parts so obviously what you’re seeing on The Voice side it’s typically around this holiday anything.
Pop up for you and your discussions,
I always check the specials that the Amazon has there and just interesting to see what they’re choosing to push that way I think.
Retailers that are doing it our way out on the Edge at this point we haven’t heard a ton Jason have you heard anything.
[20:53] In general I think even though the most dominant voice players would say nobody really expects voice to be a primary interface for Commerce I mean there’s there’s just a bunch of.
Deficiencies like most things you buy have a bunch of variance you pick a color and a size and potentially a brand and like,
getting interrogated for all of those details to place a a Commerce order via voice.
[21:16] Actually isn’t a super elegant experience so while they’re there certain products that lend themselves to voice Commerce and there certainly are people that are engaging in voice Commerce.
[21:26] It’s not like oh man that’s the better user interface in the whole world is going to shift to voice.
For Commerce I think it’s really obvious that voice is going to be a major you user interface overall and I think we’re going to see voice being used a lot too.
Manage and modify order so you know once you start buying all your groceries online for example and you have an auto replenishment order.
You probably using voice to say hey I’m going to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving you know let’s cancel this week’s grocery order or hey I need to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving,
let’s let’s add these ingredients to my.
[22:04] My normal list but I really think that’s going to be the the primary role of a voice in Commerce more so than it is.
[22:15] Product Discovery or you know first time order types.
Scot & Rob:
[22:19] So it’s super interesting to me is incorporating voice for on-site search right so you’re still looking at,
the screen but you’re able to search using voice and then layering on top artificial intelligence or putting artificial it’s on the bottom whichever way you want to look at it architectural e in any case but being able to really help.
Again really cut down the time between inspiration and ultimately getting to the product that.
The customer wants but I hear what you’re saying in terms of perhaps you know on site to eat navigation versus doing it by.
Talking to a device saying I want this product that I’ve never seen before.
[23:02] And I think the use case you mentioned makes all the sense in the world in particularly on mobile we already see you like that voice as a user interface in Mobile has huge adoption in China are ready and so I think that’s inevitable.
Here and in there are some fascinating nuances that happened there right because when customers type into our search box with a keyboard.
We’ve taught them all how to type to how to do keyword searches right so two people type the words that they think.
[23:34] Are are most likely to come up with that results but when people speak to a voice interface they tend to speak in full sentences and so what’s what’s interesting is.
There’s voice search as we get 10 to have a lot more contacts.
Then that type searches and that actually enables us to give more relevant results.
Which is which is interesting but you do have to think about your indexing and your your if your you know a content creator on this product detail Pages you need to think about your SEO strategies and things differently when a meaningful percentage of your.
[24:08] Your customers are are searching via voice so I would certainly agree with that and I think.
[24:13] I’m not sure that that’s a huge piece of the market this year but I would suspect by next year.
[24:19] It’s a much bigger part I guess weather thing that slightly interesting is to the extent that you are going to shop via voice obviously Alexis the dominant voice platform out there.
And you know they predominantly want you to buy from from Amazon although you know they recently made an announcement of a partnership with.
[24:36] Best Buy to enable you to do Commerce through Best Buy.
[24:41] You know that you have to add a few extra words to that search but what’s interesting is so everyone that wants to compete with Amazon has the problem of not having a product catalog like Amazon has and not having all the sales data that Amazon has to help.
[24:54] Sort of determine what what brand you probably want when you ask for batteries and so we’re seeing like Google in particular.
Go out and start to do these Partnerships with retailers where the retailers are sharing their first party data with Google to make search more more context really relevant on.
Google home with those retailers and it occurs to me that they’d be really smart to partner with a platform like you to enable that for all of your clients not.
[25:25] How to give away any future product strategy but yeah.
Scot & Rob:
[25:27] Your way into much but I can say that certainly you know we’re always looking at ways to extend our platform and I’m realizing that.
[25:38] More and more Commerce is happening off property right and so you know our whole business model from the beginning of time was.
Consumers go to a Retailer’s website and buy and the reality is more and more of that happening off property so.
Retail RC to push their brand or the consumers are we want to help them we want to help them do that and if that’s you know again partner in to make that happen.
Definitely looking at those Avenues Cooper Ford Jason continues to,
can you know an uncontrolled Corner about future product releases this pivot to mobile,
so I remember the early days of demand where you guys were in this wacky thing called the cloud and and some of the earliest successes were convincing people to let you run their mobile site because you guys were really good at responsive and all that and then,
pretty quickly earned the entire site so you guys have been kind of mobile Pioneers from from as early as I can remember I’ve seen a lot of your.
Quotes of been around mobile give us what what do you see in as far as mobile Trends and and how did that meet your expectations.
[26:50] Yeah so.
Willie we think the headline or one of the key headlines for the holiday this year so far is Mobile in the continued adoption.
[27:04] By consumers not just to browse but to actually buy and if you remember mention one of the three predictions was Thanksgiving being a really big digital.
Holiday and we take the major driver to that is mobile.
You know cuz really in the past it was consumers had to wait either well going to the way back time machine to 2005 one day to get to a high speed internet connection but even at home.
On Thanksgiving or Black Friday oh gosh I got to open my computer I got to put in my username and password I got to bring up a browser I got up,
yeah there are a lot of steps there’s a lot of friction and really it do the day the mobile phone is the remote control of our daily lives right it’s tether to us so,
it’s really just creating instant access like it does any time of the year.
During Thanksgiving during Black Friday through the entire cyber week for consumers just to take out their phone.
And in brows but what’s happened you know the last couple years is.
Most retailers have really stub their toes around their their mobile strategy didn’t really make it easier so why you kept on seeing traffic creep up.
They were still that friction Aaron consumers ultimately like either wait until they get to a computer or weighted went to the store to buy but again.
[28:38] Consumers are pulling out their phone on Thanksgiving on Black Friday and actually buying so just some of that we think are some,
mind blowing status is. Some I guess I’ll give it to you for the Cyber week we saw Mobile Share,
traffic at 61% to 61% of the traffic was coming from Mobile by the way we to find Mobile as home,
.. Tablets are a separate category there but what I think is even more interesting is that,
mobile Sheriff orders for the week was 41% and that was up by the way from 34% for the week.
[29:21] Your prior so the idea.
And we can talk about and I love your perspectives on this like what are retail can talk about what a retailers doing to make it easier but that’s that’s the bottom line they’re really breaking down the friction between inspiration and purchase and not.
Part of what’s contributed again to Black Friday being a big digital day in the smoothing out in general of demand across the entire 7 Days of cyber week so it’s really,
if I could say inflection points a big shift that we’ve been seeing for quite some time and it’s actually coming through to fruition.
[29:59] Yeah I I think it’s it’s really fascinating we talked about it it’ll a lot on the show we called the mobile Gap and essentially that’s that.
That you know the fact that.
[30:11] Increasingly traffic is all shifting to mobile but the conversion rate on mobile tends to be a lot lower than desktop and so on these big holiday days when.
It’s in a mobile traffic by Stephen Moore.
Like you know there’s there’s a potential catastrophe of 61% of my my traffic is on mobile in that unit converts it you know 1/3 or 1/4 the desktop traffic used to convert I’m actually going to lose money on the site and Zoe.
That the fact that you’re seeing that mobile Gap Nero like obviously.
Is 61% of traffic and only 41% of the sales are happening there still is a gap but that you know that’s a lot better than when it’s 60% of the traffic and only 25% of the sales.
[30:53] So interesting to think about the series y that Gap is near Owings I certainly have some I’d be curious to hear if you have any thoughts but.
It is equally interesting question is.
[31:09] Whitney Rose is it just narrowing because of something that you need to Holiday. And so once we get through holiday.
We’re going to revert back to that you know same old nasty mobile Gap we’ve been living with for the last couple years or have we systemically figure you know improve the mobile experience enough that we’re actually starting to see a permanent shift,
tomorrow mobile purchases.
Scot & Rob:
[31:31] Yeah so I think the flywheel has started and it’s not going to slow down and so one other interesting data point and then I’ll give you a couple of my.
Hypotheses as to why no.
Why this is happening but I hate this part of the conversation by the way so if we do the mask on Thanksgiving.
For the first time mobile order share bypass computer order share so that’s like.
Big deal right so 46% of orders on Thanksgiving were Mobile in 45 we’re on computer now actually reverted back for the rest of the week but it just shows you like.
Okay computer is continue to.
Creep down and finally mobilize that Stout I think that’s going to continue to a degree you know going to the point around why you no like I contributed it.
[32:31] Put it on two things one we talked about a bit or more than a bit which is a I so applying to buy to the small form factor.
That’s huge benefits cuz they get that you mention it so little real estate figuring out what that it goes back to the what has no right product Right Price Right Time there it is,
and then the other one that were tracking is around the check out because it was not terrible was an awesome but it wasn’t terrible and so I was terrible.
We all missed the rookie still are in terms of okay now I can put my name okay now I send put my address and credit card and whatever else the.
[33:15] Adoption of integrated payments like Apple pay and Android pay in PayPal for that matter.
We should not really helping in fact we anticipate nearly 10% of iOS orders will be by Apple pay and so that’s just making it.
Easy and so I think it will go higher as more and more consumers use Apple pay,
and I’m part of the reason why isn’t hires because more more people are using it yet but it’s on again one of these things so that you know I’m a man and I do think it’s one of these things work,
consumers kids are getting this experience they’re going to have more confidence where they didn’t before that it will then.
[34:01] Come make its way into the other 360 ish whatever many days you want to say year.
[34:07] Yeah for sure and I’m going to.
Drill down into those in just a sec but I do want to ask one of the data point if you happen to have it so,
you’re one of the problems we always have with mobile as is conversion rates lower right so that’s what we’ve been talking about but another typical problem with mobile is,
people tend to use mobile to buy fewer items per cart so you know the average order items per cart you know is a lot closer to 1 on a mobile device than it is on a desktop so I’d be curious when using these like nice bikes in Mobile / holiday.
Are you tracking the items per order and are you seeing that Spike up as well.
Scot & Rob:
[34:48] So we track it I don’t work all of that data is,
and the next episode or we can sweat it out at some point right let’s do that because that stuff ice we definitely track it and we know what it is generally but I don’t know what it is comparatively for this time of year between mobile,
shopping cart so let’s let’s get that with W nice cheese or let’s get that out today.
[35:12] If I do surgery with you like I tend to think that there’s kind of a systemic thing that’s improving about mobile that hopefully makes for a permanent change in Mobile Gap and then there is a.
Kind of tertiary thing that improves mobile around holiday right like to this system a thing to me I totally agree with you it’s improving the checkout experience and reducing friction in the checkout experience.
And integrated payments is the easiest way to do that there also are just.
[35:41] Better best practices in user experience there’s things like using you know the Google Maps API or someone’s Alice’s API to enter.
[35:50] Addresses with waywest clicks then the traditional Fifield thing the the Apple pay.
[35:59] Those things are interesting but for example this year Google launched this thing called the payment request API.
Which is a 8 method built into their browsers in their mobile browsers that makes it way easier to store payment information on your phone.
Once and auto and security auto fill all those forms from from every retailer that supports it and so once retailers start supporting that that pin request API.
Check out becomes much lower friction there and we’re starting to see see some pretty significant deployment so I think they’re a bunch of things working in favor of.
Reducing checkout friction and I I suspected hope that that’s going to.
Eagle a permanent reduction in the mobile Gap and that’s super important to me because Scott and I actually had a debate about whether that mobile Gap was going to go away or not last year and I think I said it was so if it doesn’t I’m going to I’m going to lose that fat.
Scot & Rob:
[37:00] What happens when it goes away. What are you talking about well I guess you got plenty of topics.
[37:04] Yeah yeah I mean by quick weave shortage of topics has never been Scott and eyes problems.
[37:12] The but the other thing that I do think just works in Mobile favor over holiday is what I’ll call buying intent right that.
[37:22] There’s a lot of reasons a consumer would go to a Retailer’s website.
[37:26] So you know I used to use the phone book to get the phone number and find out if there’s a product in stock.
[37:33] Today I’ll go to the website and look up online whether the product in stock before I drive to the store.
I used to use the newspaper circular to see if the store has a sale today I’ll go to the website and look and see if they’re having a sale.
I used to use the Yellow Pages to see where the store nearest me was today I’ll go to the store locator on the site to see where that the store was all all so they’re all these.
[37:56] Visits that happened to a retailer site where no one ever intended to buy anything they intended to get information off and that they’re going to use to visit a store.
[38:07] And so all of those things are actually happy things that you unscrewed that consumers are doing but they have the unintended consequence of making conversion rate look lower.
[38:16] Inside out during holiday when a higher percentage of the overall traffic are coming to the site with the specific intent to buy something.
[38:26] That that affects gets diluted and so I think it’s.
It it’s just a natural thing that as traffic goes up on these on these days when people are mostly trying to buy online.
That we’re going to see the mobile Gap near a little bit but I do also think that the the the longer-term happier reason is.
It is just getting easier and easier to,
to check out and send Chopper stuff into your point as artificial intelligence gets better so the right product show up in front of you quicker and as we know it. Things like boys interfaces that are easier and faster than,
typing you know complicated searches and a search engine that I got that just all going to work in mobiles paper.
Scot & Rob:
[39:09] For sure I’d like to find you some we actually track that throughout the year and that’s a that’s a nice leading indicator as to what consumers are thinking so I’d like that like that apply to the mobile in Holiday.
[39:22] Any talk about some of the key days hear anything else on mobile that that you want to.
[39:32] Again I think the key piece of it is it’s it’s helping to a bit smooth out the the demand because the consumers have that access and control in Tazewell.
Reference before that transparency and and it’s in it showed.
As as consumers just continue to go to that as their mechanism to connect with the retailers.
[39:57] About a Multi-Device because you guys are running,
go towards the side against after you logged in effectively but anything anything interesting their arguments people I say as well people are on their phone and they’re doing research and they throw something in the cart and then they go to the desktop and check out now,
I’ve never been a big believer of that but haven’t had enough data to either agree or dispute.
[40:23] Yeah for sure I mean that is happening and we’re seeing the data because we’re able to give an arm.
Persistent cart were able to see that consumer through most of the digital if not all of the digital Journey right and we are seeing fact that there are multiple digital touch points before.
The buy button which is of course just driving retailers absolutely Baddie because most of them can’t attribute know where the demand is coming from and where else only they’re buying and kind of needing it all together but we’re finding that.
For sure to be the case and that we’re seeing it even,
more so during the holiday time when if you can believe it or not,
consumers are even more time starved and distracted so they are starting their shopping journey in one stage for One Touch point and then.
Consummating in another so yeah that’s it that’s a big Dynamic that’s happening and also they’re using in many cases the,
you know the shopping cart if you will as a registry or a wish list and allowing them to also do a lot of research for not only,
gifting to others but self-gifting is well will self-gifting on,
the start digging into so many ski days and you hit on some of them is as we,
been going over the broader topics but what was pick November kind of first which is I guess the kickoff there through Thanksgiving but not including Thanksgiving.
[41:54] Anything have you guys been watching that. And as I feel like it is accelerated compared to last year a lot of retailers are kind of now calling it you know a month of black Friday’s and they’re trying to get consumers to ACT earlier or any anything by that kind of.
Early holiday. Talk about.
[42:11] Yeah for sure I mean it goes back to this game of discount chicken and it’s not only between the retailer and a consumer it but it’s between or among all.
The retailers and there were some that just went out of the gate really strong right on November 1st and if retailers didn’t.
Already planned for that we saw that there were several that actually scramble to to make it happen but.
Are TV shows that wow the discounts continue to.
He brought forward the consumer is still in control and it might have helped with.
Brand recognition and certainly to get a jump on the preference of the shop where and when but.
Only 35% and I say only cuz it still needs a lot of Runway will occur of digital shopping by.
[43:09] This month is not Monday what we also stopped by the way just to kind of give you a broader sense of When shopping will be complete we anticipate we,
predict that 50% of the digital shopping will be complete by December 3rd so that’s right up on us and then 80% by December 15th right again right around.
[43:28] That what I would say nautical shipping windoware.
People even though they might be promise to get the product in a certain amount of time or it’s starting to get a little worried about that but that’s my long way of saying yeah we’re definitely tracking this the discount keys.
[43:45] And other promotional activities what we started to see to I don’t know if it was purposely plan for.
This time of year or not but more more subscriptions.
That are being launched a subscription Services right so stance as an example just launching their there.
[44:09] Their subscription for socks or Fruit of the Loom so I wonder if that has a little to do with hey this is an interesting gift to get this time of year that last throughout the entire year.
[44:21] That is totally interested I haven’t noticed that transfer I will redouble my Maya observations and follow that,
as we move from that kind of pre pre Thanksgiving. And start looking at it’s a big 5 days what what are you guys seeing in terms of Thanksgiving Black Friday,
that the weekend and then Cyber Monday.
Scot & Rob:
[44:43] Yeah absolutely yes sir we saw just actually across the seven days to.
Throw it out there we saw a 26% / All Digital growth and we saw.
Really high spike in Black Friday and it actually based on our data was the biggest digital shopping day.
Of the holiday season but we also saw Thanksgiving being.
Significant growth as well so people aren’t again aren’t waiting and so you know across the board we’re seeing some really really nice growth as we anticipated because of the strong digital growth that we saw.
In our shopping index in Q3 we anticipated it but it was really really interesting to see you again particularly on Black Friday.
[45:36] Very interesting in just a clarification some vendors like see a subset of all the the.
E-commerce traction transactions and they they use a statistical model to try to extrapolate that and say.
And here’s you know here’s what we think happened in a hundred percent of the industry in your case.
I think you’re being a little more straightforward right like when you say 26% grilled you’re talking about like all the Salesforce Cloud customers I sent you a saw 26% growth in so that that may or may not perfectly mirror the entire.
E-commerce industry or the entire internet 500 or something like that do I do I have that right or are you trying to do a.
Scot & Rob:
[46:19] That is.
[46:21] That is totally fair and so we do have a great cross-section of retailers and branded manufacturers of every size,
but that is in fact the case we do not apply Cisco model on top of we have here we just used the R3000 sites across 53 countries as as the sample set,
and that’s another important the 6th and I think is ours is global we can and do subsequently slice it by.
Size and by geography and by segments phenotype.
A retailer but in this case we are providing Global numbers across all of the segments.
Awesome so we’re running up against time and appreciate you recording this in the evening preciate you taking time out of your end of your busy day here I was going to get out of holiday mode towards the end here and,
you’ve already been super helpful with some of the voice Commerce stuff that we left talk about in an AI,
any interesting non-holiday trends that that you can share as you look kind of towards the next year or even three to five years out.
[47:33] Yeah you don’t want friend where fracking really closely and it’s I would say in the context of AI is.
Actually putting the consumer or.
The consumer data back in the consumer experience near a hypothesis is that we’ve been talking about putting the customer incentive everything you do for the last 10 15 20 years I remember.
Writing reports on it as an analyst but with.
The increasing importance of AI there’s increasing importance on actually figuring out how to better manage and.
Operationalize your consumer data physically because it’s just scattered in many cases all across the difference operational systems and so,
really interesting Theory Focus over the next 12 months on the data which isn’t that,
sexy honestly but it’s something we need to do so we think there’s going to be a lot of investment there were looking at that closely from the my team and a research perspective and what that’s going to look like.
[48:37] We also you know given.
[48:41] Now part of Salesforce for the last year-and-a-half certainly looking at what does a platform look like.
That helps manage the journey from all the way up the final at you know as you know,
Discovery research coming through Commerce and fulfillment and service and advocacy and that’s what’s really getting us excited as you know with the densities coming together.
Salesforce applying artificial intelligence to it we think there’s this great value to be had by by retailers Brands to and rethink their front end systems,
animal holistic of unified way.
[49:30] I do think that’s an interesting opportunity I actually think there’s two Trends are somewhat related in that like one of the problems we had start they have a data is that there’s a ton of of.
Data within an Enterprise but it’s all trapped into these you know the spirit silos so there’s like.
The personalization engine on top of your eCommerce engine that knows something in your analytics for e-commerce know something else and your customer service guys know something else and you know that to that consumer that doesn’t look at those two separate Services they’re like.
Man I sure did all this information about myself and they should go to use that to have way more relevant interactions with me and reduced you know a lot of friction and they shouldn’t be asking me all these questions they already know about me.
But for the retailer to solve those.
They got to break down all those silos and integrate all that that data so I actually think the leveraging AI to get better experiences and kind of you know.
Doing a better job of integrating all of your systems are are closely related.
Scot & Rob:
[50:32] Yeah for sure no I think you articulated that really well if they all kind of playoff each other I guess the other point to is what can send you to see,
your Brand’s going Direct on and become even more vertically integrated in retailers,
certainly going back for this life-changing and creating unique differentiated through products and services and so forth but you know really where you’ll become interesting is.
How Brands and retailers as a reference before moves Beyond just their property which is,
really uncomfortable for many of these organizations because since the beginning of time it was about pulling the consumer to their property and owning them and not sharing them and now needs to be more of,
pushing their brands where the consumers are and that might be in various Partners or third parties that you know,
that’s where the demand is being created so be asking to see I’m more of whatever you call it distributed Commerce or conversational Commerce property,
Daiquiris retailers outside your comfort zone from a technical perspective much as you know operational perspective as well to go where the consumers are.
[51:53] I totally agree and in fact I’ll even give a little Club to your architecture that’s sort of beneficial for all those those things.
[52:03] The challenges you know that all of these new opportunities are launched it’s hard to know which ones are going to be huge successes and which ones are are just kind of.
[52:14] Buzzy and there’s potentially a significant amount of effort to implement the technology to try these things so Pinterest launches shoppable pins.
Hey is that going to be a huge thing or is that a novelty Apple pay makes itself available through a web browser is that you know the most important thing I could do my inside or not and if you’re.
[52:36] If you’re a site with a non-friend Connor solution that you sort of own.
And you got a bunch of developers that have to implement each of these things you have to make big strategic bets about which ones you’re going to chase and which ones you’re going to try to be a fast or follower on.
But when one of the awesome things about your cloud-based solution is.
[52:59] You guys tend to do those implementations and then you know the customers wake up to the new version of the platform and it and just all of those those things are available and often like super easy and low friction to turn on and try.
And you know I do think.
That your your customers you know tend to be in a better position to implement and try some some of those new features and learn which ones are going to work and which ones aren’t much quicker then.
Then maybe some of the the more Legacy on-prem Solutions.
Scot & Rob:
[53:32] Yeah well I appreciate that and certainly the consumers are moving really quickly in,
stating the terms to a large degree and so yeah I mean gone are the days of 12 months implementations to get a mobile site up or even you know a month to get Apple pay going it’s Let’s test the stuff if it works awesome,
it doesn’t let’s move on but let’s not invest too much time and energy and put too much risk on the business oh yeah I’m in the cloud model continual innovation.
Certainly agility we’re seeing our customers take advantage that weather we’re putting.
The innovation in the platform of their innovating but themselves or third-party say I appreciate it specially coming from you the recognition of that and you know Cloud certainly as a key enabler.
[54:20] Well Rob that’s why she can be a great place to leave it because it does happen again,
we have burn through our a lot of time but definitely one thank you for taking time out during what I know is a super busy season for you and sharing what the Salesforce.
Scot & Rob:
[54:38] Thanks so much helmets absolute pleasure and happy holidays to everybody thanks Rob.
[54:43] Until next time happy commercing.
[…] is VP and GM, Retail at Salesforce. Rob returns to the show for the third time (EP249 and EP110) to talk about November, and especially cyber week e-commerce […]
[…] at Salesforce. This is Robs’ fourth time on the show, having previously been on episodes 110, 248, and […]