SalesTech Star

NetElixir Releases 2021 Holiday eCommerce Sales Calendar Early; Forecasts 6-7% YoY Growth

Digital marketing agency predicts shifting buying behaviors will spur necessary retail strategy pivots

In advance of what is anticipated to be yet another unprecedented holiday shopping season, digital marketing agency NetElixir today released its 2021 holiday ecommerce sales forecast calendar. In all, data forecasts suggest that aggregate ecommerce sales will experience a 6-7% YoY increase in the November to December holiday shopping period, with total online sales likely to exceed 20% of total retail sales in the nation.

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“We understand that we are being aggressive in releasing this calendar as early as mid September, but we hope it signifies to retailers that we need to be preparing now for all possible challenges and obstacles we’re likely to face as consumer buying behaviors continue to shift erratically,” says Udayan Bose, founder and CEO at NetElixir. “With the delta variant and lacking vaccination progressions, we cannot afford to ignore that we are entering an endemic era. Now is the time for retailers to plan their pivots, and we’re here to help guide those strategies in any way we can.”

Key insights, broken down by week, are as follows:

  • Week of November 14: We can expect to see some online retailers run teaser holiday promotions to induce early shopping behaviors. This activity will lead to Thanksgiving week’s promotional drive.
  • Week of November 21 & November 28: Deep discounting will occur throughout the entire week and will not be limited to Black Friday deals. Retailers should look to get creative with category-level and product-specific promotions.
  • Week of December 5NetElixir predicts this to be the most important week (strategically) for online retailers. We anticipate some large retailers to test creative promotional strategies during this week. Mid-size and smaller businesses will need to be nimble and ready with their gameplans.
  • Week of December 12: BOPIS commerce will surge. Most retailers will lower their digital marketing spend this week, as the ground shipping cut-off date for Christmas will most likely be December 14. Inventory issues are likely.
  • Week of December 19: Last-minute mobile purchases are expected to spike from December 19 to December 21. BOPIS will continue to be important. Inventory issues are likely.
  • Week of December 26: Deep sales discounts on post-holiday inventory will influence the “Me-Buy” week, which will see more consumers shopping for themselves.

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Additional insights include, but are not limited to:

  • November 21November 22November 26November 29December 5December 6December 12December 13, and December 14 are the days during the holiday shopping season that are forecast to experience the highest YoY increase in online sales volume, projected to exceed 12% on each day.
  • Shipping cut-off dates and product availability will be the key limiting factors this year.

NetElixir has been accurately tracking holiday ecommerce sales forecasts for 10+ years. The agency leveraged its proprietary customer analytics technology, LXRInsights, to track and analyze real-time data of approximately 75 retail customers, ranging from small-to-mid sized businesses to enterprises. The team then utilized a proprietary forecasting model to convert the data into predictions. Data collection spanned seven ecommerce categories (including food & grocery, fashion, home furnishings, home decor, pet supplies, tools and hardware, and gifting) to track mobile and desktop data, broken down by state, on website sessions, website orders, AOV, website revenue, first purchase latency, and repeat purchase latency.

Current forecasts are subject to change and assume that there will not be an additional Amazon Prime Day, which may occur in October. NetElixir plans to discuss the full results, along with other key ecommerce trends and insights, during a live webinar on Tuesday, September 21st at 3 PM ET.

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