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Salesforce: A Short Holiday Season Won’t Stop Record Sales

Salesforce yesterday released its annual predictions for the holiday shopping season, noting that’s shorter than usual, with six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year.

Nevertheless, the software giant is forecasting a crushing victory for commerce, with total sales reaching a record $136 billion in the United States, and $768 billion globally, representing a remarkable 13 percent revenue growth YOY.

The shorter season will have some specific effects. Retailers are predicted to place an emphasis on early shopping opportunities: shopping on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving is predicted to show a 19 percent YOY growth in global revenue. Click-and-collect, Salesforce said in a release, will “give the short season longer legs” by extending online purchasing well beyond the Christmas shipping deadline.

Purchase points like social media, messaging platforms, and voice, are starting to gain traction as Gen Z develops more purchasing power and market influence. They’re three-and-a-half times more likely than Baby Boomers to use those channels for shopping; indeed, 37 percent of Gen Z expect to do their holiday shopping primarily on Instagram.

Finally, an unsurprising prediction. Cyber Monday will remain the best day for digital discounts. More from Salesforce here.


We’ve been following developments at Cheetah Digital since it emerged from the cocoon of Experian Marketing Services a couple of years ago. EVP global marketing Judd Marcello told me last year that internal transformation was hard work, but the  cross-channel marketing solution vendor seems to have reached a milestone with the release of its Engagement Data Platform, billed in their release as “not just another CDP.”

Maybe not, but the move reflects a common strategy across the marketing and/or customer experience cloud space, linking Cheetah’s suite of products —
Experiences, Messaging, and Loyalty —
to a foundational data layer. The resulting eco-system is called the Customer Engagement Suite, and it’s aimed at enterprise marketers.

Differentiating the offering from CDPs, Cheetah said in a release that the latter “require IT integration and lack seamless co-ordination with cross-channel experiences.” 

To recap:

  • Experiences: top-of-funnel acquisition through cross-channel interactive digital experiences, along with permission-based data collection
  • Messaging: orchestrated, personalized campaigns across all touchpoints
  • Loyalty: maintaining the customer relationship
  • Engagement Data Platform: now the unifying foundational layer for all the above.


It’s predicted that the entire political spend for the 2020 season could reach a staggering $10 billion. What channels will all this money fall to at the national and local level? We’re finding out from experts in ad tech and campaign strategies.

A recent study from Adobe sheds light on the audience and where campaigns should look to find them. For Gen Z, Instagram is the top social platform (73 percent go there), with Snapchat and YouTube in close second and third (63 and 62 percent).

Gen X, Boomers and Millennials still hang on Facebook, while it doesn’t crack Gen Z’s top sites. All generations agree that “the onus is on brands and websites” to have a consistent and relevant ad placement. Will this responsibility be taken up by candidates?

Also, will voters care how candidates value privacy in the digital age? Maybe not. Only one in five American polled believe politicians will create and enact laws that protect personal data, according to Adobe’s findings.  —
Chris Wood



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