Online sales in the U.S. reached $270 billion in November and December. Returns across the globe jumped 63% year over year.

Global online sales during the 2022 holiday shopping period exceeded $1.14 trillion, according to estimates from Salesforce. In the U.S., online sales reached $270 billion in November and December, according to Salesforce.

Salesforce’s estimate of U.S. sales during the holiday period is higher than an estimate last week from Adobe Inc. November’s online sales were lower than in 2021 and 2020, Salesforce said.

Other notable points in Salesforce’s data:

  • Shoppers saw better deals than during the 2021 holiday season — a 21% average discount compared with 19% the year prior. Top discount categories included beauty, skincare, and makeup with an average discount of 29%.
  • Nearly one out of every five online orders placed globally this holiday season were via buy online, pick up in store. BOPIS adoption by consumers peaked at 35% of all orders on the Friday before Christmas as shoppers retrieved last minute gifts.
  • When the ground shipping window closed on Dec. 15, U.S. companies that offered BOPIS grew their revenue nearly 7X faster than those that did not.

“Retailers closed out the 2022 holiday season with stronger online sales growth than expected — driven in large part by U.S. demand, steeper discounts on peak days, and BOPIS options,” said Rob Garf, vice president and general manager of Retail for Salesforce, in a written statement.

That good news for ecommerce retailers was tempered by Salesforce’s estimate that shoppers also returned a shocking number of items during the holiday season.

Salesforce data shows that returns reached 1.39 billion, accounting for 13% of total holiday orders and a 63% increase in returns year over year. These numbers spiked in the six days after Christmas, with 16% of orders returned over that week — a 5% increase over last year. Salesforce had earlier predicted more than 1.4 billion orders purchased this holiday season would be returned.


“Staggering return numbers show that consumers are still cautious amid economic uncertainty,” Garf said.

Traffic referrals from social media hit an all-time high this holiday, driving 12% of all mobile traffic (+23% year over year). Belgium, Italy, and the U.S. represented the countries with the most social media-minded shoppers.


Salesforce based its estimate on an analysis of aggregated data from more than 1.5 billion global shoppers across more than 64 countries powered by the company’s ecommerce platform Commerce Cloud, in addition to data from retailers that use Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud services. Salesforce’s holiday data set includes 24 of the top 30 U.S. online retailers on the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 and uses publicly available third-party data sources.

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