After the dust settled from the Thanksgiving and Black Friday purchasing, Adobe cited 2.8% growth. Salesforce cited 9%.
So, whose number is correct? There's a story in those two numbers and the distance between them, and it speaks to the markets they serve.
While Salesforce has incredible growth, their prestige brands are bottom-heavy, focused on growth that happens offline rather than online. While Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) won out over Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) in broad enterprise commerce penetration, they lag far behind in Analytics and Digital Experience Platform sales.
"Adobe Analytics covers 3 out of 4 enterprise sites on the web," says industry expert Kurt Elster. "Their enterprise penetration is impressive."
Our analysis: Adobe has better insight into the movements of the broader economy. Salesforce has better eCom penetration, particularly in prestige brands; but their growth tracks to recent U.S. Commerce Department CPI numbers.
Both Adobe and Salesforce's numbers make sense; they tell a different story of the same economy: inflation-adjusted spending is marginally higher, and unadjusted spending in eCom amongst prestige brands is higher still.
Meanwhile, Buy Now Pay Later platforms saw 78% growth, signaling a sharp increase in consumer credit usage that is sure to come as the economy becomes more volatile next year. This is cause for concern. As layoffs ramp up and spending begins to level off, Q4 is the last dance before the lights come on and we start sending people home.
Mobile device shopping ticked up to 55%, which means that 45% were on a desktop. On Thanksgiving Day? Who shops at a desktop computer on Thanksgiving? Lots of people, apparently.
More details about Holiday 2023 are found in this wonderful summation by Techcrunch.
Shop ‘Til We Drop. A record 196.7 million shoppers were out in stores and on the hunt for deals over the holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. Meanwhile, Amazon, Wayfair, and Ace Hardware individually reported their best-ever online sales during Cyber Week. Despite economic uncertainties, Americans are ready to shop!
A Sure Sign of Things to Come. Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) is under scrutiny after stipulating a 360-day payment term in an RFP launched the week. The terms require the winner of the agency selection process to obtain outside financing to cover the nearly year-long payout. While KDP maintains a long list of verified partners, the RFP is unclear whether they were entertaining new, outside vendors.
From the article: “I think there’s a piece of history that’s missing. There’s probably something specific about this RFP and the hiring organization at KDP that probably couldn’t afford it, but I think it’s terribly misleading to suggest that it’s a biased or exclusionary tactic.” One of KDP’s junior partners said, whose name was withheld from the article. KDP declined to clarify whether there was a special circumstance for this RFP.
Our Take: As many in the enterprise space prepare for an economic downturn in the first quarter of 2023, there will be many more of these types of financial arrangements to come. In our experience 360-day terms means 390 days before the payment actually hits the account. God bless.
Kentucky Fried Pub. In celebration of the FIFA World Cup, KFC has opened a pop-up pub in London called “The Colonel's Arms” that will only be open for a week. Nearly everything in the pub is chicken themed, including a foosball table with opposing chicken legs in place of players.
Labor and… Delivery? DoorDash will lay off 1,250 employees after over-hiring to keep up with pandemic delivery demands.
Sears still exists? The only thing longer than the entire Lord of the Rings Extended Edition series? The Sears wind-down as it continues to decline. The company that once revolutionized retail now boasts empty aisles and shoppers who leave empty-handed. Many people are surprised to find out there are still Sears stores that are open. Could this be our last holiday season hearing the Sears name?