With the first quarter of 2022 now behind us, Salesforce’s Q1 Shopping Index data shows a 3% year-over-year decline in global digital sales. This figure marks the first decline in the index’s nine-year history.
Inflation (with an average selling price rising 11% in the US in March alone), i problems in the supply chain and economic insecurity these are all factors that have had an impact on the purchasing power of consumers. This has led to a decline in online spending after several quarters of unprecedented growth.
Salesforce data indicates that with global spend year-on-year down 3%traffic down 2% and order volumes down as much as 12%, consumer confidence and online spending are likely to level off for the rest of the year.
In particular, in Europe, online sales (-13%) and order volume (-17%) decreased significantly as people faced a considerable increase in fuel costs and a war within their borders.
Overall global traffic dropped 2% year-on-year (remaining unchanged on PC and dropping 2% on mobile devices). Global orders fell 12% year-on-year (-17% from PC and -8% from mobile).
The global economy continues to suffer from the stress of a strained supply chain while work stoppages persist and the closure of Shanghai ports.
Amidst pressures and protracted delays in the supply chain, the count of products in stock decreased by 3% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2021.
The product categories with the largest inventory reductions include: toys and learning (-23%); household appliances (-12%); Flexible payment options like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) offer a safety net for consumers in uncertain times, giving them the ability to make the necessary purchases instantly and pay gradually.
9% of global digital spending in the first quarter of 2022 was made using BNPLwith a 20% year-on-year increase and a 9% increase from the fourth quarter of 2021. Germany, Belgium, Australia / New Zealand and the Netherlands had the highest rates of BNPL use in the first quarter, while France, Italy, Spain and Canada recorded the greatest growth on an annual basis.
In Italy, digital commerce fell by 12% on an annual basis in the first quarter. The country recorded an overall decrease in traffic of 2%, in line with the global one. In particular, it should be noted that the traffic generated by mobile dropped by 7% while the traffic generated by PCs grew by 19% on an annual basis.
TO this data is also associated with a drastic reduction in orders of -19%. Italy remains among the countries with the lowest conversion rates – i.e. the ratio between online traffic and orders – in the world (1%), beaten only by Latin America (0.9%).
In Italy the traffic generated by social media stands at 9%, thus exceeding the global average which stands at 8%.