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Q1 shopping index: Global digital commerce grew 58%

With the release of its Q1 2021 Shopping Index, Salesforce is seeing how the pandemic has helped usher in a new wave of digital shoppers

Global digital revenue grew by 58% YoY globally in Q1 Retailers and businesses will need to rethink the role of the store Top growing categories were luxury handbags, active apparel and electronics, and accessories

Each quarter, Salesforce takes a pulse of retail activity that it is seeing on its platform. It first began tracking the surge in digital brought about by the pandemic with its 2020 Q1 Shopping Index as consumers shifted their shopping online last March and began to prioritize essential goods. With the release of its Q1 2021 Shopping Index, Salesforce is seeing how the pandemic has helped usher in a new wave of digital shoppers that are here to stay.

By The Numbers

Global digital revenue grew by 58% YoY globally in Q1, driven by a combination of overall online traffic growth (27%) and an increase in the amount of money spent by shoppers per site visit (31%)

Product categories with the most growth in Q1 YoY: 

  • Sporting goods (101%)
  • Home appliances (96%) 
  • Luxury handbags (95%) 

Product categories with the least growth in Q1 YoY:

  • Active apparel (42%)
  • Home, dining, art & decor (40%) 
  • General handbags & luggage (8%)

Why It Matters

With retailers and consumers moving online in response to the pandemic, Q1 data indicates that the habits formed over the course of the year and the 2020 holiday season are here to stay. As countries like the United States begin to reopen, retailers and businesses will need to rethink the role of the store (and store associates) and how it can serve as a critical component of the digital shopping experience in 2021.

Explore Further

An analysis of spending between March 15th and March 19th that compared 2021 to 2020 revealed that the top growing categories were luxury handbags, active apparel and electronics, and accessories. 

The Salesforce Perspective

“Retailers were forced to be scrappy last year as they reacted to an influx of new digital shoppers and embraced new tactics like curbside pickup to help keep consumers safe,” said Rob Garf, VP, and GM, Retail at Salesforce. 

“The growth in digital commerce over the first quarter is a signal that retailers will need to continue to scale their investments in digital while refocusing the in-store experience. Ultimately, stores must offer a balance of contactless and immersive experiences to cater to the differing needs of consumers.”

Find more insights by exploring the interactive Shopping Index dashboard powered by Tableau.