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Jason & Scot Show Episode 299 – Thanksgiving Week 2022 with Rob Garf of Salesforce

Jason & Scot Show Episode 299 – Thanksgiving Week 2022 with Rob Garf of Salesforce

A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. Episode 299 is a recap of Thanksgiving Week 2022.


Episode 299 is a discussion of Thanksgiving Week 2022 from a retail perspective with Rob Garf, Vice President and General Manager, Retail at Salesforce. This is Robs’ fourth time on the show, having previously been on episodes 110, 248, and 282.

Thanksgiving week 2022 will go down as one of the most complicated holiday weeks on record. With covid impacts still in place, a global economic crisis, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, new retailer discounting practices, and new consumer behaviors we have a lot to unpack.

This episodes covers a wide range of topics around the most important shopping week of the year. We make liberal use of real-time data from Salesforce Shopping Insights HQ, which tracks how 1.5+ billion consumers are shaping shopping trends. You can see a real-time holiday dashboard, powered by Tableau so you can interact with the data yourself on the Salesforce Holiday Insights page.

Episode 299 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Tuesday November 29th, 2022.


[0:23] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 299 being recorded on Tuesday November 29th
2022 the day after Cyber Monday I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-host Scot Wingo.

[0:41] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason and Scot show listeners Jason it wouldn’t be a delicious turkey five if we didn’t have our regular holiday guests robbed our van
Rob is the vice president and general manager
I think it’s total maybe longer than yours a retail at Salesforce let’s see those two forces that’s like eight words so you need to get to work this is Rob’s fourth appearance on the Jason Scott show he was here for episode 1 10 to 40 9282 and back for number four here and episode 299
Rob welcome back.

[1:15] Gentlemen it is such a pleasure to join you today I can’t wait to talk about cyber week.

[1:21] It wouldn’t be a several week if we weren’t talking to you Rob and as a I feel like a special bonus for me two of the three people on this podcast have received a 10 out of 10 rating from room Raider.

[1:33] Hmm who Could That Be Well I know you did it because you have a sweet pillow that shows it off.

[1:39] And I think I feel like you got up before me.

[1:42] I think so you know I gotta tell a really funny story quickly if I can I was doing early on in the pandemic a webinar I think it was probably with.
Business Insider and they brought like a staging expert online and I thought I had the best background I had like a.
Something like my wife got me for my 40th birthday long time ago by the way I like 1910 or 1920 National Cash Register in the background I felt all good about that and she totally.
Blew up my room and thankfully she did cuz I turned out on top with a 10/10.

[2:18] I know I probably shouldn’t have given that away but I felt pretty cool about it.

[2:21] Jason had a team of 10 people at publicist set his up so don’t don’t don’t listen to him.

[2:26] Either and he probably gets like product placement dollars as well as a influencer for all the cool things he has in the.

[2:33] And they came in from France.

[2:34] And side note on that the jury is out on whether giant marketing holding companies can actually help your sales but they can for sure help you win Awards.

[2:43] Congratulations.

[2:46] Well Rob weird.

[2:47] Scot the trifecta anyways we digress.

[2:49] Well yes some of us I guess my day job I’m like I don’t know not really working on my room.

[2:55] Actually you are about to say you’re actually working or aren’t ya.

[2:59] Well yeah the so in case even though this is your fourth time around let’s there’s definitely we always pick up millions of new listeners so let’s if you could recap
the data that you guys have at Salesforce where it comes from and then you know we’re recording this the day after Cyber Monday you’ve got some hot delicious fresh data will jump in after you kind of give the high-level overview in case people aren’t aware.

[3:25] I can’t wait I’m loving it we’ve been swimming through this data for a better part of the we can’t wait to share it with your crowd your audience yeah so by way of introduction again Rob Garf here.
With Salesforce I came to Salesforce by way of the demandware acquisition which is about.
Six years ago I spent five years prior at demandware on the GM for retail what that means is I oversee our product.
And solution strategy along with our industry insights team and that’s what gives me the great pleasure of talking cyber week and actually providing insights and intelligence for our customers all year long
and the way we do that is all the data that flows through the platform we bubble that up we obviously strip out all pii data.
And in its aggregate form billions of billions Shoppers it gives us an amazing read and pulse on the industry and we publish at throughout cyber week on our shopping insights HQ it’s an interactive dashboard,
built on Tableau and it really allows our customers the broader industry to understand what’s going on in digital and be able to Benchmark themselves.

[4:32] Frequent thanks for that summary
so let’s start with the kind of the elephant in the room I get this question and Jason does a lot as well you know I’m a CNBC junkie and all they talk about is inflation and recession so so anything kind of in the macroeconomics showing up in the data that you’ve seen.

[4:51] Yeah absolutely and I think it’s important to understand this holiday while the global numbers look really promising much of that if not all of that growth was concentrated.
In the u.s. there’s a bunch of headwinds happening for various reasons across Europe and UK along with Australian and Zealand but the US consumer who was really happy this.
Cyber week and we’ll talk about the data but yeah in terms of inflation are shopping index which the shopping insights ahq is built off of,
has been showing an average selling price increase for the last seven quarters and that’s been pretty steady and so,
that’s definitely played a key role in this holiday season in that much if not all of the growth that we’re seeing,
is driven by increased pricing not necessarily people buying more,
product and I think that’s a really important distinction now what I will say and I’m happy to say this in the first time we’re seeing a leveling off of that inflation globally
over cyber week it was only I say only a three percent increase which is promising as we’re looking forward to the new year.

[6:02] Yeah I think it’s Cressida at least the macroeconomic around 10% so so 3 is 3 is a pretty good.

[6:09] Yeah exactly it’s promising.

[6:12] And then that ASP increase is,
does that account for mix shift so like you know if people buy more luxury goods than our and then another segment goes value could that factor into that ASP or you normalize for that in some way.

[6:27] We normalize for that because to your point obviously average order value for luxury versus value segments are going to be different but we really normalize that look at it across the board,
and so it’s taking into account of the various factors based on segments.

[6:44] Yeah and as the resident Debbie Downer it’s.
We always want to have simple sound bites to describe this weekend like all of these Trends to me are super complicated because you just highlighted the,
conflicting Trend that like we have inflation goods are costing more / we’re probably going to talk about discounting later to help Goose holiday sales which of course brings prices down and when people are nervous about the economy
they shift to more needs which have higher inflation than the wants and it seems when you really dive into it it’s really complicated kind of
inflation seems different on online versus offline and category by category.

[7:25] Yeah it is complex you’re right there’s not a single kind of soundbite answer although if we stay on long enough I’m sure I’ll come up with one or two.
But you know you’re right in terms of the discount right so if I dive into that for a sec Jason to put a little color around it we saw for the week in the US there was a 30%.
Average discount rate globally it was twenty-seven percent and we can talk about how that looks your rear and how it looked,
compared to 2019 but even with those large discounts and by the way those are large discounts compared to any normal day.
During the year we’re looking at 15 16 percent discount rate so it’s you know in the double of what we typically see,
the reality is the reality is people are still paying more for a particular product than they were two years ago so people are feeling really good obviously that average is 30 in the us but we all saw over the last couple days,
40% 50% even yesterday 60% in the massive amount of emails that I got trying to push and really.
Incentivize people to actually click the buy button so my point here though is even with these high discount rates people are still spending more for a particular product than they did a couple of years ago.

[8:42] Yeah I like to say 40% off is the new 30% off for this holiday.

[8:48] Yeah I mean my father was in retail growing up so we would get discounts at the various apparel and Footwear companies he worked for and he always would joke that my mother would save us so much money we’re going to go broke.

[8:58] I love that we might come back to this counting but I do want to zoom out for just a second.
Traditionally Black Friday is the official heart start of the holiday shopping season here in the u.s. is that even true anymore.

[9:15] Well certainly retailers don’t want that to be true they want it obviously to be pulled earlier and earlier in the season and that’s another story line that we’ve seen here you know we actually saw a little bit.
Of holiday happen over the summer don’t forget and I know you two wouldn’t of Amazon Prime day or the first Amazon Prime day and for those retailers not named,
Amazon we saw a 21% year over year increase looking at the second week of July compared to the second week of July two thousand twenty one so there was a little bit,
very little pull forward and then of course people getting retailers Brad’s wanted to take advantage of the halo effect of the second.

[9:56] Prime day that happened in October and once again we saw a little bit of a bump interestingly enough some of the larger retailers front ended that with Weekend sales and that pulled a lot of growth during that time you know the weekend before Prime day in October,
but the reality Jason after a couple years of spreading out of that demand earlier earlier for various reasons which we can talk about,
there was so much of a concentration that happened,
over cyber week meaning and based on our data the pulling forward of the couple of percentage points to earlier,
in November really we’re taking back,
this year and were put back in cyber week and it all came down to discounts it all came down to Consumers being really patient.
Not seeing what they liked in terms of the lackluster deals and waiting for.
Cyber week which really contributed some very positive growth particularly in the US.

[10:57] Yeah it’s super interesting because as you pointed out Amazon added a second sale day which I think they technically don’t call Prime day right is like Prime Early Access today.

[11:05] Right right right get behind the Velvet Rope and be able to get some early deals.

[11:09] Exactly and Walmart Target and others all counter programmed against that with big sales but it cut it kind of feels like all that got defeated by the fact that
consumers are well aware that the discounts are going to be deep this year and it almost seems like they may have decided to wait for deeper discounts.

[11:29] Yeah yeah we call this and I’ve said it before on the show but I gotta do it right it’s an annual tradition,
discount chicken right the idea that retailers go into the holiday season with a really well thought out.
Plan for the promotional calendar and by the first weekend they typically rip it up and call inaudible.
And really try to chase the deals and you know that’s what happened this year contrary or in contrast to last year if you remember I know you do gentlemen.
Because you track this closer than anyone you know their inventory inventory scarcity issues there was high demand so retailers didn’t feel compelled to Discount they didn’t we saw the lowest discount rates.
In recent history last year and so retailers thought that the consumer was reprogrammed reconditioned and they would buy earlier the problem was,
the Retailer’s didn’t come to the table with the biggest discounts again discount chicken the consumers are going to wait it out and wait for that.

[12:29] Best deal and finally the retailers came to the table during cyber week and the consumers answered,
in kind you know again last year was probably the first year that retailers won the game of discount chicken this year consumers you know,
fought with their leverage and wait and they ended up winning and got some really good deals again 30 percent discount rate in the US over the course of.
Thanksgiving it really peaked at Black Friday with 31 percent in the US so they really finally came to the table.

[13:04] Wow,
you know we were reading all about last year all those cargo ships were sending off the coast of Long Beach where it is and then you know I’ve heard a lot of retailers in their commentary talk about being overstocked,
do you think do you think that played a role in these big discounts is just retailers or just kind of we got a really clear the shelves out kind of thing.

[13:27] Absolutely absolutely both in the store and in warehouse space they got spooked a little bit right in terms of,
them waiting it out didn’t quite work and so
the Retailer’s really had to step up Scott to your point they don’t want to go into the new year with too much inventory they really needed a free up both inventory and cash now of course they did that.
At the feet of margin right because you see I don’t care how great your margin is alright some probably are that great particularly in the luxury segment but 50 60 70 percent discount or you know I saw some it was
50% oh and by the way we’ll give you an extra ten percent just to make it sound like they weren’t really giving away everything but the reality is.
Really margin took a hit because of the deeper discounts that retailers just had to do and to your point they have to free up both the inventory the Shelf space and the cash.

[14:26] Yeah I think even Makin where’s I’ve had a number of clients come to me and say hey we’ve got too much inventory but even worse
it’s the wrong inventory that like a lot of that stuff that we
ordered for mid-year all the Home Improvement and outdoor furniture stuff that they were trying to get four last year is all in stock now and so what even further incentive fising retailers to discount.

[14:52] Yeah yeah and I give credit to some of the big box players who took a hit over the summer recognizing they tear Point Jason had the wrong inventory
and they did something about it they tried to clear it out earlier they were public about it and they took a hit but I think they’re going to come back strong you know it’s interesting I was a,
analysts back in the day and one of our Focus was on supply chain and Mr research was known for supply chain got acquired by Gartner for their supply chain and industries practice,
and you know always tracked the gentleman how Lee who came up with the bullwhip effect the idea that,
you know any shock in the supply chain will just have this ripple effect that could last,
quite some time I got it conceptually heard some examples of it but we’ve been living that over the last couple of years you know going from inventory scarcity buyers getting really excited thinking of the demand would really.

[15:47] Keep steady and then when finally dear points got it came through the port of LA got through the domestic supply chain it was the wrong product or enough people had bought,
you know a new monitor or TV or a desk or some cool background to get you know 10 out of 10 on rumerator and the demand wasn’t there anymore so you’re right I mean some of the things,
in terms of replenishable products sure they have a long shelf life they have a long turn
but some don’t they have an expiration date and retailers are struggling with that and certainly,
coming back around it is driving the discount strategy it’s not over either will continue to see probably not the same heightened levels but now that we have an extended holiday season because,
of create a fulfillment options will see some more discounts it’s not the end of it.

[16:34] Yeah that that’s a good segue into kind of talking about the shape of the holiday so last year sounds like you saw the data we started a bit earlier and maybe maybe we kind of ended around after the turkey five or kind of came off a cliff there seems like this year
consumers waited they won discount chicken and then we’ve had a robust turkey five
maybe walk us through the days we’ve talked a little bit about Black Friday Cyber Monday anything else you want to hit there and then what do you think happens kind of post.

[17:07] Yeah absolutely to round it out actually and just give that perspective for the entire shape as you talked about the anatomy of the Season as a bunch of my customers talk about.
Um there are some kind of pretty nervous people in the industry coming out of the first two weeks of November the last two weeks of October and the first two weeks,
of November you know sales kind of words Riri we saw a negative seven percent during that time again little bit of a spike the first.
Week in October because of prime day and then it really leveled off quite dramatically 27 percent decline,
globally and so we’re really worried is this a trend is this going to continue in really what it told us is,
that cyber week becomes back into Focus again people were willing to wait people are willing to be patient waiting for those deals
you know what we saw for cyber week with again a higher concentration probably around 25 percent of all,
digital sales will be when it’s all said and done over the course of cyber week in the way we look at it sales force is,
the Tuesday before American Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday so we put another two days and it just to make it a full week but we can slice and dice it anyway,
you want especially on the dashboard via Tableau on our shopping insights.

[18:30] HQ but for the overall cyber week for us we saw nine percent growth.

[18:38] And for Global we saw two percent growth.
That again as you can tell because of the global number largely buoyed By Us sales Black Friday really strong us we saw.
12% in the US and we saw.

[18:57] 3.5 percent growth globally that’s Black Friday Cyber Monday we saw eight percent growth in us and we saw four percent growth,
globally so very strong what we also saw by the way is healthy traffic we even saw healthy traffic.
Earlier in the season so what that told us is people were interested they showed intent to buy but they weren’t given the right incentive to actually purchase so you know there’s a demand there’s.
Need there’s a want earlier in the season because of the traffic we saw that traffic stayed pretty steady both us and globally,
throughout the week as well and obviously that turned into higher conversion rate because people are actually now buying.

[19:47] Cool and then from your day to do you think Cyber Monday was the biggest day we’ve ever had is do you guys pontificate on them.

[19:54] Yeah we do we do we actually saw a turn of the corner about 3 or 4 years ago where Black Friday.
Digitally became the largest day and really what that was,
primarily driven by many retailers were actually shuttering their doors
both on Thanksgiving either part of or all of Black Friday and they were encouraging people to shop online that was a great altruistic message from a brand perspective
but it was also great you know to actually give their Workforce some time off,
as well and so n obviously Drive traffic towards digital while providing great deals,
online the other piece to it that really helped drive that change was mobile.
Really the huge increase in Mobile we saw a mobile traffic this year through the course of cyber week account for about seventy nine percent.

[20:52] All traffic and so people were on the go it was more accessible.
And they either did more of their shopping during Black Friday or actually what we started to see and it really came into Focus this year buying on the couch in the later days after Thanksgiving meal.
In the u.s.a. people got sick of their family needed to digest a little watch football and they took out their phone you know they either got distracted or
I don’t know if you’re a marketer inspired by something they saw on their phone and they started shopping so that’s my long way saying we actually see Black Friday of a higher concentration a bigger,
overall sales volume for online then Cyber Monday.

[21:38] Interesting okay and then there used to be this big disparity between mobile traffic and sales so used to be if you had 80% traffic you could knock that in more than half or is that number closed into you guys track that.

[21:50] We do we do yeah it hovers around 60% of orders and that has progressively gone up up until about.
How long have we been,
going through this pandemic up until a pandemic because what happened is people are actually at home they weren’t visiting their friends and family they weren’t as much on the go so they actually went to their computer
during Thanksgiving you know for me I spent the last couple years out by my fire pit and,
you know came in from the cold and went to my computer instead of my phone to check out the latest deals on Thanksgiving or.
The day after two Black Friday so we did see a dip.
Last couple years in Mobile because people were at home but it spiked back up this year both traffic and orders and I give you know retailers credit because,
and I know Jason you spent a lot of time with your customers thinking about customer experience and design and really breaking down that friction between inspiration and purchase,
you know retailers are getting much better at making it easier to actually not only find the product they want on their phone but make that purchase.

[22:58] Okay so that brings us up to Cyber Monday and then you kind of hinted that you think they’ll be some more discounting seems like if consumers One retail chicken you can’t you can’t kind of go
off of it right so if you’ve got this inventory left you’re going to have to either discount further at least keep the discounts on is that what you think is going to happen.

[23:17] Yeah exactly I mean we typically see a little bit of a dip coming off of cyber week to just.
Retailers take a breath analyze what they have what they did how their margin looks and then get back at it a little bit but we we are going to see perhaps not higher rates,
because retailers I’m sorry consumers are getting really,
crafty around price adjustments so it’s not only dipping further into their margin but it’s creating more operational expenses and headaches as well for the retailer and so I don’t necessarily anticipate,
higher discount rates but a steady drumbeat of discounts particularly those retailers that have physical stores and can extend the shipping cut off window by offering,
store fulfillment options so you’ll see you know a real leaning into discounts promotion.
Overall just attracting people hey you haven’t missed the window yet you can get that last gift for
your cousin or uncle or family member and oh by the way you don’t have to pay for it and you’re more guaranteed to get it because you can pick it up in an around the store or will get it.
To you through some sort of last mile delivery that is shipped from the store.

[24:35] I think one takeaway is
you know so Jason’s hearing there’s some concerns about revenue and stuff and then you know I’m hearing discounting could be a rough earning season as we kind of come out of the holiday if all this discounting is go on but at least I guess they’ll start the year kind of having flushed out all this massive inventory.

[24:54] Yeah yeah you know coming into this year we do our predictions all the way back in June and we kind of look at the data what we’ve seen what the storylines are and.
Start craft the narrative we were big Partners in that a couple of years ago where you coin ship a get in and you know we were both early on seeing man there’s some issues with this surge going on in the capacity issues with.
The carriers but you know one of those storylines or the main storyline just last June was.
And here’s comes your soundbite so get ready are you ready to rumble.
I just set way too high expectations sorry about that but you know we’re really concerned that margin will be the Grinch That’s deals,
Christmas and to your point we don’t see that until the February timeframe after the Retailer’s close out their fiscal year and start reporting again some retailers got ahead of it and caution what this is going to look like but I’m.
Anticipating that will be a key storyline come February Scott.

[25:57] All the who’s in Whoville loved prophets a lot but.

[26:00] Oh nice I like it I like it and we haven’t even talked about returns yet right because that’s I know that’s one of Jason’s favorite topping that’s going to certainly come into play as well as we talk about margin.

[26:12] You guys are bringing me down and actually I’m afraid I might want to bring us down even more because,
I would say like I came into this holiday season thinking hey top binds going to be okay because of inflation because of you know pent-up demand a variety of things but that you know the story was going to be about profits as you guys just perfectly laid out
um and then you know the Cyber weekend happen and Rob’s been on every news program I’ve watched for the for the last 12 hours
and you know they’re also citing these like Salesforce vanity stats right that like oh my gosh e-commerce was higher than it’s ever been before which is not shocking right like.
And then the internet came out with a study today more people went shopping this weekend than ever before which again.
There are more people in the United States than ever before so that’s not that’s not shocking I have in talking with retailers,
they’re more guarded like they all did scenario planning for like sort of good good weekends and bad weekends and they’re all like talking about being on the low end of those,
scenario plantings I know you have great data for the online portion of spending but you know 74 ish percent of all this spending is in stores I know you have some signals for the in-store sales but do you.

[27:38] Like are you confident that this was a really strong turkey 5 I’m I’m not clear if it was or wasn’t.

[27:46] Yeah I think it remains to be seen if we’re defining it as Jason we should be.
Retail in totality and the fact that a vast majority of sales still happen in the physical store right and we’re seeing that traffic.
Is up but oh by the way it was Don the last couple years so what’s that comparison set right is it actually up from 2018 or 2019 I’m not,
convinced it necessarily,
is and so we don’t track that but we look at smart people like you Jason and Scott and some other friends in the industry and the word on literally the street or the mall or whatever strip center anyways I digress,
is that it was the physical traffic a bit lighter and so we can say that.

[28:37] Also online sales were strong but I also to your point want to temper that by if somebody or a retailer was reading this in almost any country in Europe.
They probably wouldn’t believe that headline right because it just you know they’ve been visiting head wins,
not only during cyber week for the better part of this year and so most categories saw a negative growth,
throughout Europe and you can see the data specifically by each country,
on our dashboard and so it to your point earlier Jason it’s not a sound bite that we’ll be able to tell you
the entire story right and so it was positive I’m feeling pretty good about the sales and
you know the retailers I’m talking to who are forecasting closer to Fat flat not fat flat,
growth were pretty happy but I think it still remains to be seen in terms of stores what that looks like margin what that’s going to look like and if you’re a global brand how does it look in totality.

[29:44] Yeah for sure,
decided I’m going to make a prediction most of the good store traffic data is about three days leg so we don’t have it yet but I think what I think you called it exactly right I think store traffic is going to be up from last year but still below,
2019 levels and what’s confusing it is there’s a few Pockets there’s a few a malls that did really well this weekend as they always do and so I think journalists went to these a malls and saw a bunch of people
and they you know they’re talking about how it was a robust in-store holiday but I I am going to be eager to see that that store data which brings me to my next question
a lot of people use your tool set for Boba so I’m imagining that you got to see.
Some of the trends in both us and like did that reveal anything in terms of people that might be going to store to pick up orders.

[30:37] Yeah I think that’s interesting and it also talks about Jason like what are the new metrics given this new world like do.
Bo piss or curbside orders count as traffic I don’t know you know the consumers come in close.
To the store or they’re going to the pickup area within the store in many cases they buy more product so I think again if.

[31:00] Weaving in those stats it helps definitely the online traffic I don’t think by the way many retailers are looking at it that way just yet and I think it’s an important factor to consider.
But he has your question yeah I mean I think.

[31:16] Bo pasts and create a fulfillment options from the store are helping Elevate traffic and driving people to brick-and-mortar based on our data what we saw is botes usage.
Overthrew we’ll call it cyber weekend we saw close to 10% growth compared to earlier,
in the holiday season what super interesting what we typically see is the lead up to a big holiday like for instance we looked at Halloween for the two days leading up to Halloween we actually saw.
Double the amount of,
Opus orders because people realize they didn’t get the costume or the candy or whatever other ornaments that they needed and they knew it wouldn’t get shipped in time they also want to make sure it would be available if they actually purchased it.
And they did both this the other really interesting thing is throughout cyber week and again we look at that for the full seven days but even no matter how we slice it it’s high what we saw is and this is u.s. specifically by the way,
retailers that had bo piss they offered it grew online Revenue by 38% more.

[32:33] Then those without this creative fulfillment option and so it does speak to.
How important the store is to your digital business right so you know another stat.

[32:47] Why not I’m on a roll that I’ll say is.
Our research shows that 60% of digital orders are influenced by the physical store whether that’s where demand is being generated or demand,
is being fulfilled in this case it’s being fulfilled because somebody’s buying it from the comfort of their own home and it’s convenient and they’re able to pick it up with the confidence that the product would actually,
be there so again the new rules of you know both how do you provide the incentives to the store associate how their role is changing and how you measure,
Effectiveness because of such the interplay between digital and physical is super interesting to be a part of.

[33:29] Yeah that to me I saw that stat about the bow purpose retards that offering boat best outperforming returns that don’t and,
that was super interesting and kind of tragic Rob because I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but so both this isn’t universally offered by all retailers
more retailers were offering both pissed last year than this year like everybody scrambled in the pandemic to come up with some version of bow pose and
a number of them turned it off either because they didn’t have a robust implementation or they couldn’t hire enough labor this year to support.

[34:05] Yeah yeah it’s less about a technology.

[34:09] Project or initiative and it is to your point it’s about operations and you know part of the reason people turned it off you mentioned some of them is.
They couldn’t get down the operational efficiency we’re seeing more retailers lean into Automation and,
more productivity to really refine their fulfillment operations and it’s not easy it’s not just about having.
The right amount of labor but it’s having them focused on the right tasks based on the time of day and what.
The priorities are and that’s not easy to do at all especially you know when consumers are standing right in front of the associate and the associate is you know tasked with having to make a call do they.
Fulfill this.
Bullpen disorder because they have to within 15 minutes or do they serve the consumer who explicitly came in the store because they wanted to be in a physical space and talk to a human.
And get some knowledgeable service so it’s my long way saying it’s not easy
those retailers that have been able to move from Scrappy which many did to scale really thinking about how to automate some of the processes,
how to really focus on efficiency and productivity will be winners because they’re not only helping with loyalty serving the consumers who want to shop that way but also thinking about the margin pressures they’re feeling otherwise.

[35:35] Yeah that totally agree and I can definitively answer one thing I rarely I’m almost always guessing but in terms of whether both is counts a store traffic or not
I have no idea whether it should count or not or whether returns would like it to counter not but I can tell you when it does and doesn’t count
most retailers in America have a device on their front door that counts how many people walk in the store and it excludes employees and so two companies sell those devices sensor Matic and Retail next and they both publish
Anonymous store traffic data so if you see data from either of those companies it did not include dopest but Place Rai is the third company that provides that data and they use the GPS
in the consumers phone which does Campo.

[36:23] Yes.

[36:24] So in three days you’re going to see data from all three of those companies and it’s not going to agree and that is why.

[36:31] That’s super rich I’ve been that right there that is the best nugget of the last however long we’ve been talking that’s.

[36:37] Six hours.

[36:38] It feels like it I could talk another six though that’s the fun part but that’s Jason that’s super interesting and that’s the type.
Data you know it typically use whichever one helps tell the story you want but understanding the differences like you just dissected is so important.

[36:54] Cool let’s we’re getting towards the end so we know you had a long day but one of my favorite things about your data is you can peel the onion on categories
I have a sixteen-year-old daughter and I can vouch for the
Beauty and athleisure categories but did you see those kind of pop in any other categories up or down that you want to talk about.

[37:15] Yeah absolutely well again there is a correlation between performance and discounts at least from a top-line perspective and so yeah we saw some strong performance in health and beauty for sure.
We also saw in consumer electronics.
And we also saw it in actually General apparel and Footwear as well believe it or not particularly on the Footwear side we saw it because people are actually putting on shoes and sneakers again and getting out the.
You know world again whereas I guess I can’t live in my slippers or flip-flops anymore actually when we looked at the data by actual product,
we saw flip-flops actually had some of the largest decline that we saw your every year because again people are getting out in the world again.
The good news is two by the way again to plug the shopping insights HQ you can slice and dice by I think it’s at least nine if not about 12.
Categories and see what it looks like for orders and sales and the like along with traffic as well.

[38:27] I did.
Notice so I’ve been playing with the dashboard a lot and side note as you know my pandemic hobby as I learned to have well so it’s super exciting for me that you you are publishing the data and Tabla,
it does seem like some categories popped that like.
Had been underperforming for most of the pandemic so like you know Electronics had not been a very bright spot but it does seem like they they had a pretty decent weekend like do you have a,
am I seeing that data right and do you think like that that might mean they’ve turned the corner or do you think that that could be a holiday anomaly.

[39:07] It’s hard to say because again discounts drove so much of the buying there was such a correlation between discounts and sales and so it’s a little hard to say and it’s really interesting to understand to like some of that.
Binge shopping that we all did over the pandemic and it subsided perhaps over the last 6 to 12 months,
and then in gift-buying times you’re seeing a pop again so I wouldn’t necessarily stake the claim on this is now what’s going to happen for the next 12 months in terms of demand for these categories,
because a lot of it again is correlated to Discount a lot of it is correlated to what people have pot over the purchased excuse me over the last couple of years.

[39:51] That’s totally fair so let’s pivot to how they paid for it you alluded earlier to buy now pay later traction like
can you share what you saw in the data and where there any other interesting Trends in terms of payment methods.

[40:06] Yeah totally this was kind of fun because we put it in there
as we did each of the mornings early early early particularly those that are on the west coast thank you to the team by the way
I should have done this at the beginning but it’s not just me I have the fun part to have this conversation with you and speak to so many people about this including a lot of retailers not just
today but we have through the rest of the holiday season we have a way to go.
But it’s make possible through the team that brings these data and insights to life and,
the reason I say that is we are trauma through the data one morning and we got the normal like what the sales look like what does traffic look like what are the hot categories biggest discounts,
and then Kayla Schwartz on my team who really is the master behind the shopping index was that.
This is super interesting around buy now pay later because of the Divergence between orders.

[41:04] For buy now pay later and at the average order value and what I mean by that is specifically we saw.
A five percent this is throughout the course of cyber week.
In the u.s. in particular where we saw in the increase of 5% year-over-year,
of orders with buy now pay later and by the way this is after,
a couple of years of really nice growth so five percent based on the bass is really we consider noticeable however on the other side we saw.

[41:37] Average order value for the same transactions decrease by five percent so it’s indicating to us.

[41:46] Again you know this better than anyone buy now pay later really was hatched as a finance option for.
Bigger ticket items home appliances television couches and other Home Furniture but what we’re seeing is a turning of the corner.
Because of the ubiquity and he is and also I think the desire to finance and spread payments over the course of a given time period rather just at once for lower price for less expensive goods and gifts,
compared to 2021.

[42:21] Yeah I will say you know a lot of the retailers that are like looking at the economic snapshot for next year and I really concerned about.
The consumers discretionary dollar they’re they’re kind of concerned about this you know.
Acceleration of buy now pay later and other credit means as kind of a an early indicator that the consumer might be overextending themselves.

[42:47] Yeah I mean we don’t look at that very closely but it is fairly intuitive to see it that way that people are leaning on.
Newer creative finance options over the holiday and what does that mean for the subsequent quarters will be keeping an eye on that really closely for sure.

[43:05] Yeah so we are coming up on time Rob there’s one other topic I just wanted to touch on with you you know you you alluded to capacity concerns in pass holidays and of course you know we’ve talked a lot on the show about ship again
um I’m kind of worried about a new thing this year.
With the moat with this really prevalent version of discount chicken if a bunch of consumers are thinking they’re going to wait till the very last minute.
To get the best discount we have all the usual things in place we have like a fragile inventory that might start running out.
But we also this year have lower labor levels like stores tried to hire less people and they weren’t able to hire all the people they tried to hire UPS and FedEx didn’t get all the people they want so I’m a little worried if consumers way too long
that we you know might have another ship again in situation on our hands where there just isn’t enough labor capacity to get all these orders out the last week of the year.

[44:04] Yeah that’s a super interesting point one that I haven’t dove into very deep but I’m with you Jason that’s going.
Potentially be an issue I mean I’m a sample size of one but I see it any time I shop or any restaurant I go in there not taking reservations or they’re not limiting reservations based on tables there.
You know basically limiting it because of waitstaff and so,
that’s true too in the physical store when the associate is being asked to do so many things now right it’s not just about scanning and bagging at the cash wrap,
it’s you know they’re becoming social media managers that are fulfillment experts there live streamers so you’re stretching them thin.
Capacity gets issue by the way the other interesting thing that we didn’t touch upon was returns we saw such an increase of returns heading into cyber week than we ever have in our thesis is that.
People who bought product earlier in the season.
Star the better discounts and we’re doing price adjustments in way of returning a product and then buying it back,
at the cheaper price so there may be earlier returns that are playing and usually that’s not,
a storyline that we talked about until you know January at NRF right but now it’s actually happening more so add that to your Litany of things that will create capacity issues.

[45:30] Oh my gosh know for sure and you know it’s already a distant memory but with all those early sales that people tried to do
one of the things that may have gone unnoticed is a lot of retailers also extended the return window because the fear was will never get people the holiday shop early if they don’t think
that gift recipients will be allowed to return the gifts so a bunch of these sales are on more liberal return policies,
then ever before and again you know the economist are like come January we could be in stagflation and you know we don’t know what returns might even look like in that kind of economic environment so it’s,
it’s a concern for sure and that on that happy note Rob we’ve used up our allotted time.
Because on top of everything else during this show I received about 1,000 emails from the Salesforce marketing cloud with even better deals than Cyber Monday so I’m gonna,
after to go a little early so that I can get some more shopping.

[46:28] Go for it please do shop on of course Salesforce Commerce Cloud websites if you may.

[46:33] I didn’t know there were other kinds.
But in all seriousness Rob it’s always a pleasure to talk to you about anything and for sure to talk about the the holiday sales
loyal listeners will know the number one piece of feedback we get is they like to hear more from Kayla and from Michelle and I have to keep telling him that you always insist on coming.

[46:54] Hey that will happen they are amazing I gotta say though before we go Jason Scott first of all as I mentioned before I love doing this like seriously this is.
Highlight it’s our Super Bowl or dare I stake a World Cup given where we are right now go us but you know.
More than anything I just really appreciate your friendship it’s so amazing to have friends like you and the retail industry
and the amazing Community we have and I also love how humble you are in terms of you asking me these questions
but the reality is you’re so on top of what’s Happening Now and in the future and I really value that so A big thank you all around.

[47:34] Boom and you just secured yourself a fifth spot there you go
Rob thanks for joining us on Twitter you are retail Rob Garf you’re very active on LinkedIn I’ve noticed we will put a link to the hub of activity in the show notes thanks for joining us.

[47:54] And until next time happy Commercing.